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The International Pacific Halibut Commission funds several Merit Scholarships to support university, technical college, and other post-secondary education. The scholarship fund has been established to assist the further education of Canadian and U.S. students connected to the halibut fishery and its industry. Generally, a single new scholarship valued at $4,000 (US) per year is awarded every two years. The scholarships are renewable annually for the normal four-year period of undergraduate education, subject to maintenance of satisfactory academic performance. A committee of industry and Commission representatives reviews applications and determines recipients based on academic qualifications, career goals, and relationship to the halibut industry.  The next new scholarship will be offered March-June 2018.

The competition for the 2016 IPHC Merit Scholarship is closed.  The recipient will be announced at the 2017 IPHC Annual Meeting.


Past and Current Recipients:
RecipientHome townInitial Year
Ms. Elise Pletnikoff Kodiak, AK 2002
Mr. Lawren Best Sooke, B.C. 2003
Mr. Casey Knight Petersburg, AK 2004
Mr. Tyler Jones Mount Vernon, WA 2005
Mr. Dylan Hardie Courtenay, B.C. 2006
Mr. Myron Melovidov Jr. St. Paul, AK 2007
Mr. Joel Thomas Port Townsend, WA 2008
Mr. Parker MacClelland Port Townsend, WA 2009
Mr. Ryder Whitmire Homer, AK 2009
Ms. Candace Schaack Cold Bay, AK 2010
Mr. John Scott Girdwood, AK 2011
Mr. Jamie Nightingale Delta, B.C. 2012
Mr. Spencer Lunda Juneau, AK 2013
Ms. Katie Koolman Sooke, B.C. 2014
Ms. Shalie Dahl Petersburg, AK 2015

IPHC Directors of Investigations and their years of service


David T. Wilson


Bruce M. Leaman

Donald A. McCaughran

Don McCaughran

Bernard E. Skud

F. Heward Bell


Henry A. Dunlop

William F. Thompson

Biography by J.Richard Dunn


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The Governor General of Canada and the President of the United States of America each appoint three commissioners who serve without remuneration. In recent years, one commissioner from each country has been an employee of the federal fisheries agency, one a fisher, and one either a buyer or a processor. The chairmanship of the Commission alternates annually between countries.

The commissioners appoint the Director who supervises the scientific staff, which collects and analyzes statistical and biological data needed to manage the halibut fishery. The commissioners annually review the regulatory proposals made by the scientific staff and consider proposals from the industry, the Conference Board, and the Processors Advisory Group. The regulatory measures adopted by the Commission are submitted to the two governments for approval and fishers of both nations are required to observe the approved regulations.

Current Commissioners

James Balsiger (Chair) United States
Paul Ryall (Vice Chair) Canada
Robert Alverson United States
Ted Assu Canada
Linda Behnken United States
Jake Vanderheide Canada


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IPHC Advisory Bodies


Government Agencies (US & Canada)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada



Canadian Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard

Alaska Department of Fish & Game

California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

North Pacific Fishery Management Council - Alaska fisheries management

Pacific Fishery Management Council - WA/OR/CA fisheries management

State of Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission

Alaska Department of Community and Business Development

B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries


Other Pages

Alaska Charter Association
Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation
Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association
Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Alaska Sea Grant Program
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
American Fisheries Society
Association for Professional Observers
B.C. Longline Fishermen's Association
Coastal Villages Region Fund
Committee of Age Reading Experts (CARE)
Every Halibut Counts
Fishing Vessel Owners' Association
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Halibut Advisory Board (HAB)
Halibut Association of North America (HANA)
North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners' Association
North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
North Pacific Research Board (NPRB)
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University
Pacific Coast Fisheries Information Network: PACFin
Pacific Halibut Management Association of British Columbia
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Southeast Alaska Guides Organization
Sport Fishing Advisory Board (Canada)
University of Washington
Washington Sea Grant


ADF&G - Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin
American Fisheries Society Publications
DFO Reports and Publications
NRC Research Press
NMFS Scientific Publications Office
Oceans and Law of the Sea

Industry Features

Commercial Fishery

Commercial Feature

Commercial halibut fishery updates from Alaska, British Columbia, and the U.S. West Coast.

Sport Fishery

Sport Feature

Sport fishing information from Alaska, British Columbia, and the U.S. West Coast.

Advisory Bodies

Advisory Bodies Feature

The IPHC maintains an auxilary website for its Advisory Bodies at iphc.info.