Catch Share Plan

Mezirow-400x600As expected, The guided halibut charter fleet is now fishing under the Catch Share Plan. Here is the motion that will likely be approved by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for Area 3A:

Using the IPHC “blue-line” of 1.78 million lb. as a reference point, 1 trip per boat per calendar day and a 2 fish per person bag limit, 1 of which is equal to and less than 29″.
If the charter allocation is sufficiently higher than the “blue line” to remove the trip limit: 2 fish, one of which is equal to or less than 29″ (Only)
As needed, the size of the second fish may be adjusted up or down to meet policy goals. Under the CSP there is no retention of halibut allowed by Captain and Crew and also that we are “charged” with a release mortality for every halibut that is released.



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What is the Catch Share Plan?
The Council developed the CSP in IPHC Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A to address the ongoing allocation conflict between the commercial and charter halibut fisheries. The commercial halibut fishery is subject to defined allocations of individual harvest shares that generally rise and fall with changes in halibut abundance, while the allocations to the charter halibut fishery, which experienced many years of sustained annual growth in Areas 2C and 3A, were not increased or decreased in direct relationship with changes in fishery abundance. The commercial IFQ and charter halibut fishery are harvesting a fully utilized resource. The primary objectives of the CSP are to define an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, establish by regulation sector allocations that vary in proportion with changing levels of annual halibut abundance and that balance the differing needs of the charter and commercial halibut fisheries over a wide range of halibut abundance in each area, and describe a public process by which the Council may develop recommendations to the IPHC for charter angler harvest restrictions that are intended to limit harvest to the annual charter halibut fishery catch limit in each area.
Here is a link to the complete, most recent version of it:

http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/prules/78fr39122.pdf

Submitted by Capt. Andrew Mezirow

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