News Releases 2007

Ordered in reverse chronology.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission introduced a modified approach to assessing the Pacific halibut stock at its 2007 Annual Meeting. While employing the same stock assessment model as had been used previously, the assessment used the model to determine a single coastwide estimate of exploitable biomass. This single coastwide estimate was then apportioned into IPHC regulatory area estimates using data from the fishery-independent IPHC setline stock assessment survey and estimates of bottom area from each regulatory area.

At the 2007 Annual Meeting, the IPHC Commissioners deferred adoption of the new approach until IPHC staff had conducted a workshop involving other stock assessment researchers and industry participants, to further explore the basis and implications of the new approach. The general intent of this workshop will be to develop a final assessment approach for the current year during the summer, incorporating necessary changes resulting from the workshop, prior to conducting the current year assessment in the fall of the year. The workshop will be held at the Hotel Nexus, in Seattle, on June 27-28, 2007.

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2007 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 10. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery through April 17, 2007 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through April 18, 2007. No Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) landings have been made so far in 2007.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is seeking vessels to conduct sampling using small-scale trawls during the summer of 2007 in two charter regions: 1) northern Hecate Strait in British Columbia, and 2) the Copper River Delta in south-central Alaska. The vessels chartered need not be trawlers, as it has been demonstrated that the nets can be fished from a variety of other types of fishing vessels, such as small drum seiners. However, the captain and crew should have some experience fishing trawl gear. Each charter is expected to last 10-14 days. While the specific charter dates are flexible, the charter must be conducted between June 17 and September 8.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission funds several Merit Scholarships to support University and Technical College education. The scholarship fund has been established to assist the further education of Canadian and U.S. students connected to the halibut fishery and its industry. Generally, a single scholarship valued at $2,000 (US) per year, will be awarded. A committee of industry and Commission representatives will review applications and determine recipients based on academic qualifications, career goals, and relationship to the halibut fishery. The scholarships for 2007 will be available for educational entrance or continuation in Fall 2007.

Bait for 2007 IPHC research 20,000 pounds semi-bright chum salmon Proposals due March 30, 2007

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is requesting proposals from industry to provide bait for an experiment investigating hook-size and spacing during summer 2007.

Due to the scientific nature of the study, our bait quality requirements and standardization exceed those normally provided by industry as "bait chums". The Commission's minimum acceptable bait quality is #2 semi-bright (ASMI grade A through E), H&G, IQF, Chum salmon with "meat colored" flesh. The preferred size grade is 6 to 9 pound chums but smaller fish may be considered. The salmon must have been caught and processed no earlier than June of 2006.