Non-treaty Commercial Fishing Period Limits in Area 2A for June 24 Fishery

The Commission has determined that fishing period limits will be required during the 10-hour, June 24 non-treaty directed commercial fishing period in Area 2A to avoid exceeding the 166,385 pound catch limit. The June 24 fishing period will begin at 8:00 AM and end at 6:00 PM. The fishery is restricted to waters that are south of Point Chehalis, Washington (46 53'18" N. latitude) under regulations promulgated by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Fishing period limits as indicated in the following table will be in effect for this opening.

 

Vessel ClassFishing Period Limit (pounds)
LengthLetterDressed, head-on
with ice/slime
Dressed, head-off
without ice/slime
0-25 A 860 755
26-30 B 1,075 945
31-35 C 1,715 1,510
36-40 D 4,735 4,165
41-45 E 5,090 4,480
45-50 F 6,095 5,365
51-55 G 6,800 5,985
56+ H 10,225 9,000

 

The appropriate vessel length class and letter are printed on each vessel license.

The fishing period limit is shown in terms of dressed, head-off weight as well as dressed, head-on weight, although fishers are reminded that regulations require that all halibut from Area 2A be landed with the head on.

The fishing period limit applies to the vessel, not the individual fisher, and any landings over the vessel limit will be subject to forfeiture and fine.

NMFS implemented mandatory depth-based area closures that are in effect for the directed halibut fishery to protect specific rockfish species. For further information, call the NMFS hotline at 1-800-662-9825, then press "5" for the halibut fisheries.

 

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2009 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 21. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ and IVQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through May 31, 2009.

 

AreaCatch Limit
(000s pounds)
Catch
(000s pounds)
Number of
Landings
2C 5,020.0 2,211 546 
3A 21,700.0 8,496 807 
3B 10,900.0 1,963 172 
4 7,880.0 284 34 
Alaska Total 45,500.0 12,954 1,559 
2B 6,711.6 2,365 284 
Grand Total 52,211.6 15,319 1,843 

 

The catch off Alaska represents 28% of the 2009 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 15.4 million pounds, or 31% of the 2008 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2008; however, the opening date of the 2008 fishery occurred 13 days earlier in the year than that of the 2009 fishery. Thus, to compare opening periods, during the first 71 days of the 2008 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 11.4 million pounds, or 23% of the catch limit, were landed.

The catch from British Columbian waters represents 35% of the 2009 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 3.2 million pounds, or 40% of the 2008 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2008. Comparing opening periods, during the first 71 days of the 2008 IVQ fishery, 2.6 million pounds, or 33% of the catch limit, had been landed.

 

Area 2A Commercial Tribal Fisheries

In 2009, the Pacific Fishery Management Council allocated 303,500 pounds of halibut for commercial use to the Treaty Indian tribes of Area 2A-1. As of the beginning of June, the Treaty tribes have landed a total harvest of 284,918 pounds of halibut in 448 trips. The catch represents 94% of the 2009 catch limit.

 

Incidental Commercial Halibut Catch in the Area Fixed Gear Sablefish Fishery

The total allowable incidental commercial catch of halibut allocated to the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish fishery which operates in Area 2A north of Point Chehalis, Washington is 11,895 pounds. It is estimated that 556 pounds have been landed through May 28. This incidental halibut catch fishery remains open until further notice. For further incidental fishery retention information call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825).

 

Area 2A Incidental Commercial Halibut Fishery During the Salmon Troll Season

The total allowable incidental commercial catch of halibut allocated to the Area 2A salmon troll fishery is 29,362 pounds. A total of 4,009 pounds of halibut were landed in Washington through May 26. The incidental halibut catch fishery during the salmon troll season remains open until further notice.

 

Annette Islands Reserve Fishery in Area 2C

The Metlakatla Indian Community has been authorized by the United States Government to conduct a commercial halibut fishery within the Annette Islands Reserve. The first 48-hour opening of the 2009 season occurred between May 8 and May 10 and resulted in the landing of 3,144 pounds of halibut. The Metlakatla Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will announce future halibut openings.

 

Correction to Synopsis of 2009 U.S. Sport Halibut Regulations in Area 2A

The Appendix in the 2009 Pacific Halibut Regulation booklet published by IPHC presents a synopsis of the Area 2A sport fishery seasons and catch projections, as provided by the Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan. The Synopsis in the Appendix incorrectly states the Area Catch Projection for the South Coast Washington area as 40,230 pounds. The correct Catch Projection is 40,739 pounds. In addition, the seasons for this area should have read May 3-May 17 (Sunday & Tuesdays), May 17-Sept. 30 (Sundays only). Anglers are advised to check with state regulations and the NMFS Hotline (1-800-662-9825) for further updates.

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