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 CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through August 31, 2009.
The catch off Alaska represents 72% of the 2009 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 38.4 million pounds, or 76% 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 163 days of the 2008 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 35.1 million pounds, or 70% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian waters represents 66% of the 2009 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 5.6 million pounds, or 70% of the 2008 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2008. Comparing opening periods, during the first 163 days of the 2008 IVQ fishery, 5.1 million pounds, or 65% 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. It is estimated that 303,406 pounds have been landed by the Treaty tribes through July 30, the closing date for the commercial tribal fisheries.
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 3,290 pounds have been landed through August 20. 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 10,986 pounds of halibut were landed in Washington through August 10. 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 fifth 48-hour opening of the 2009 season occurred between July 10 and July 12 and resulted in the landing of 3,240 pounds of halibut. The sixth and seventh openings, which occurred between July 24 and July 26 and between August 7 and August 9 respectively, yielded a total catch of 4,911 pounds. After seven openings, a grand total of 20,342 pounds of halibut has been landed in 2009. The Metlakatla Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will announce future halibut openings.
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983