Charter Announcement:
IPHC Requests Bids for 2013 Stock Assessment Charters

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking commercial longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2013.

The purpose of the setline survey is to collect standardized data used for halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. The 2013 setline survey will cover 28 regions, from northern California to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands. All regions are open for single year bids. Vessels will fish 6 skates of gear at each station following standard survey protocol. A maximum of 4 stations will be permitted per day. Most regions require 12 - 22 fishing days plus additional days for running, loading and offloading gear and fish, foul weather days, etc. Depending on the region, total charter duration can be expected to be 21 - 35 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to three regions. Survey fishing must be completed between May 26th and August 31st, 2013.

Information such as age, sex, maturity, length, location, and catch rate will be collected from all halibut captured. Legal-sized halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained and sold by the IPHC to reduce charter expenses.

Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure. Bids will be accepted based upon a lump sum payment for the completion of a region. Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for the above projects may be requested from the Commission or downloaded from the IPHC web site (www.iphc.int).

Vessels need not be licensed for halibut fishing in Canada or the U.S. to be eligible. The Commission is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any area as long as customs regulations are followed. The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have halibut fishing experience. Most areas require vessels that have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two Commission employees (who may be women). Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear built to Commission Standards (see Charter Specifications) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing.

The IPHC will evaluate bids based on (1) the experience of captain and crew with halibut fishing, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) vessel's availability, and (4) IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the Commission will contract according to its own best interests.

For further information please contact Claude Dykstra (ext. 7662), Tracee Geernaert (ext. 7665), or Heather Gilroy (ext. 7666) at (206) 634-1838. Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Friday, March 15th, 2013.

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Bruce M. Leaman, Executive Director
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983
Web: www.iphc.int

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