International managers of Pacific halibut have lowered the overall catch limit for 2023 to 36,970,000 pounds, down 4,250,000 pounds from last year’s coastwide limit of 41,220,000 pounds, due to concerns over the declining number of fish.

The decision of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, at its late January meeting in Vancouver, hit hardest at Area 3A, the Central Gulf of Alaska, which historically is the largest area of the whole West Coast in terms of biomass, said Kurt Iverson, a fisheries management special with NOAA Fisheries in Juneau.

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