Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2008 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 8. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through June 16, 2008.
The catch off Alaska represents 38% of the 2008 catch limit. For comparison, 21.5 million pounds, or 41% of the 2007 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery between March 10 and June 18, 2007.
The catch from British Columbian waters represents 44% of the 2008 catch limit. For comparison, 5.2 million pounds, or 51% of the 2007 catch limit, were landed from Area 2B between March 10 and June 18, 2007.
Oregon Central Coast Sport Halibut Fishery
The preliminary catch for the Oregon Central Coast sport halibut fishery (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) through June 14 is 77,825 pounds, leaving 81,752 pounds to be harvested. Therefore, the fishery will re-open Thursday through Saturday, June 26 through June 28. The catch from that fishing period will be evaluated on July 3.
Area 2A Commercial Tribal Fisheries
In 2008, the Pacific Fishery Management Council allocated 397,000 pounds of halibut for commercial use to the Treaty Indian tribes of Area 2A-1. As of the beginning of May, the Treaty tribes have landed a total harvest of 424,123 pounds of halibut, 27,123 pounds over the allocated poundage. The separately managed and restricted fisheries are now closed for the remainder of the 2008 season.
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 70,000 pounds. It is estimated that 4,600 pounds have been landed through May 29. This incidental halibut catch fishery remains open until further notice. For further incidental fishery retention information call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825).
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 2008 season occurred between May 9 and May 11 and resulted in the landing of 1,699 pounds of halibut. A second opening, which occurred between May 23 and May 25, yielded a catch of 5,974 pounds. A third opening, between June 6 and June 8, saw 7,059 pounds of halibut landed. After three openings, a grand total of 14,732 pounds of halibut have been landed in 2008. 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