Charter Announcement:
IPHC Requests Bids for 2009 Stock Assessment Charters

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is seeking commercial longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2009.

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 2009 setline survey will cover 27 regions, from the southern Oregon border to the northern Bering Sea, including the Aleutian Islands. Survey vessels will fish seven skates of standardized gear at each station. The survey has been designed so that the average vessel can fish 3 stations per day (a maximum of 4 per day will be permitted). Most regions require 11 - 18 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 20 - 34 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas. Survey fishing must be completed between May 25th and August 31st 2009.

Four regions are available for two-year renewable contracts: Area 2B (St. James, Charlotte) and Area 3A (Albatross, Shelikof). Two regions are available for single year contracts: Area 2A (Washington, Oregon). The remaining 21 regions are currently held under multi-year contracts (3 yrs). We are asking that all interested parties submit contingency bids on any areas that may currently be under contract, in the event that a current contract holder bids for and wins one of the currently open areas. Contingency bids would be mutually renewable for two years. These bids will only be assessed if a contract holder gives up their current holding(s) to take on a new area.

For the setline survey charters, information such as age, sex, maturity, length, location, and CPUE 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 offset some 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. Vessels may bid up to three regions. Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for the above projects may be requested from the Commission or downloaded from the IPHC web site.

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. Stock assessment surveys in Area 2B require three Commission employees to conduct the work and all other charter areas must 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 ((206) 634-1838 ext. 213), Tracee Geernaert (ext. 208), or Heather Gilroy (ext. 206). Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009.


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