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

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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