National Fisherman

Halibut catches could be cut by 33 percent next year if proposed numbers get the nod by the International Pacific Halibut Commission next month. That would mean a coast-wide harvest of just 22.7 million pounds for fisheries in California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Alaska’s share of the halibut catch would be 17.4 million pounds, down from about 25 million this year.

Unlike past years, staff scientists are not making catch limit recommendations by separate areas. Instead, they are providing “assessment and advise frameworks” to the commission that embodies the risks and benefits associated with choices for harvests in certain areas.

“We are trying to provide a link between previous years and this year using what’s being called a Blue Line out of the decision table,” explained Bruce Leaman, IPHC executive director after an interim meeting last week. “That is the application of our current harvest policy using the rates in each area to the results of this year’s stock assessments. So that is what the Blue Line represents — but it is not a recommendation by the staff, it is just one of the choices we are putting forward for the commission to decide on in January.”

See the full story in the Seward Phoenix Log>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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