Charter Announcement:
IPHC Requests Vessel Bids for Live Halibut Collection off Oregon

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is requesting bids from commercial longline vessels to perform a live halibut collection charter during the summer of 2009. The charter will operate out of Newport, Oregon, and is expected to take approximately 1 to 2 fishing days to complete, plus transit and offload time. While specific charter dates are flexible, the charter must be conducted either between June 1 and June 19, or between July 10 and August 7.

The purpose of the charter is to collect a total of (30) live halibut ranging in size from 70-89 cm (28-35") in length and deliver them to the Oregon Coast Aquarium (OCA) in Newport, Oregon. The halibut will be used in a study to determine the feasibility of using externally-affixed electronic archival tags. The vessel will fish in the vicinity of Heceta Bank, at or near IPHC setline survey station 1035 (44 50' north latitude by 124 25' west longitude), in order to maximize catch rates and minimize the time fish are held on board before delivery. The proposed collection site is located roughly 20 nautical miles from Newport. Fishing will be conducted only during daylight hours and the vessel will be expected to remain on-station until the required number of halibut has been collected. Halibut will be retained only if they are in excellent condition, without marked injury, and bear no evidence of being parasitized. At the end of the trip, fish will be delivered to the OCA. A small number of halibut (≤12) and rockfish may be retained for sale from the charter, but all fish sales revenue will be retained by IPHC.

Vessel owners interested in the charter are asked to submit a bid based upon a lump sum for delivery of the required number of live halibut to the port of Newport, including crew, fuel, and food expenses. The vessel must have accommodation for at least one, preferably two, IPHC staff members in addition to the normal crew, and a reasonably smooth-surfaced fish hold capable of being flooded, with a system which allows fresh seawater to be circulated. Vessels need not be licensed for halibut fishing to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters, but the vessel is responsible for compliance with all customs regulations. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the Commission will contract according to its own best interests. The IPHC will evaluate bids based on (1) experience of captain and crew, including previous live-capture experience, (2) characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) dates on which the vessel is available for charter, and (4) IPHC operating costs.

For a copy of the charter specifications and bid forms, contact the IPHC offices or download from the IPHC web site. For additional information, please contact Tim Loher (ext. 212). Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Friday, May 15th, 2009.

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