In accordance the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s Rules of Procedure (2017), the IPHC Secretariat announces the following dates and process for developing and submitting proposals for new or amended IPHC Fishery Regulations. This Regulatory Proposal submission and review process also applies to catch limit proposals, which are in themselves Regulatory Proposals and shall henceforth be referred to as Regulatory Proposals.
The 28 June 2017 non-treaty directed commercial fishing period in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A resulted in an estimated catch of 75,500 pounds, leaving approximately 150,000 pounds in the allocation. Therefore, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) has determined that this fishery will remain open and fishing period limits will be required during the 12 July 2017 10-hour fishing period to avoid exceeding the 225,591 pound (net weight) catch limit. The 12 July 2017 fishing period will begin at 8:00 AM and end at 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. The fishery is restricted to waters south of Point Chehalis, Washington (46°53.30’ N. latitude) under regulations promulgated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Fishing period limits as indicated in the following table will be in effect for this opening.
The 2017 quota share Pacific halibut fisheries opened on 11 March 2017. It is estimated that the following commercial landings, in pounds and numbers, were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries through 27 June 2017 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through 25 June 2017.
Closed: Washington sport Pacific halibut fisheries - The preliminary catch estimate for all Washington (WDFW Marine Areas 1-10) sport Pacific halibut fishery openings through 17 June 2017 is 235,073 pounds, leaving an estimated 8,594 pounds from the harvest allocation. This amount is not sufficient to sustain further openings this season. Thus, all Washington sport fisheries for Pacific halibut are now closed for the remainder of 2017.
The preliminary catch for all Washington sport Pacific halibut fishery openings through 10 June is 210,644 pounds, leaving an estimated 35,513 pounds to be harvested. Due to lower fishing effort targeting Pacific halibut in recent weeks, sufficient quota remains to open another all depth fishing day in WDFW Marine Areas: 1 (Ilwaco - Columbia River), 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), 5-10 (Puget Sound) for one day on Saturday, 17 June 2017. These fisheries will then be closed for the remainder of 2017.
WDFW Marine Area 3 (La Push), Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay): 10 June 2017
The preliminary catch for the Washington North Coast primary sport Pacific halibut fishery in WDFW Marine Areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) through 4 June 2017 was estimated to be 81,755 pounds, leaving 33,844 pounds to be harvested. Fishery managers anticipate this will sustain one more day of fishing, thus the Washington North Coast (WDFW Marine Areas 3 and 4) sport Pacific halibut fishery will reopen for one day on Saturday, 10 June 2017. State fishery managers will then review the catch and announce if sufficient quota remains for additional openings. The next potential fishing day would be Saturday, 17 June 2017.