The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) will be conducting research operations off Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska during 2007 and will be selling halibut caught during these operations to offset costs associated with conducting the research programs. The intention of this news release is two-fold: to notify the industry of IPHC sales plans and to seek letters of interest from potential buyers.


We anticipate that all landings will fall between mid-June and early September, 2007. Approximately 15 vessels will participate in the survey, and the average quantity of halibut landed per trip is expected to range from 4,000 to 30,000 pounds. Small amounts of rockfish and Pacific cod may also be landed. All fish will be well iced. When selling into ports where fish are marketed as fresh we will attempt to keep all trips less than six days in length. When selling into frozen markets, older fish may be landed. Suggestions from industry on how the IPHC can maximize fish quality are welcome.

A day or two before most deliveries the Commission will fax or email a sales notice to all buyers who have expressed interest in purchasing halibut in the expected port of landing. The sales notice will open the sale for bidding, and will contain the vessel's hail, ETA, and other relevant delivery information. Bids are usually due on the day the sales notice is released.

In 2007, sales will be awarded based on our objectives of achieving a fair market price and distributing sales among buyers and ports. Sale agreements will be based on prices bid at the time of the sale. The Commission will not enter into any consignment or profit sharing arrangements. Preference will be given to buyers with a history of successfully marketing halibut and following ethical business practices. In awarding sales, the Commission will consider: (1) price; (2) the number of years buyers have been buying and marketing halibut; (3) how fish are graded at the dock, including the determination of No. 2 halibut and chalky fish; (4) safety of offload site; and (5) promptness in settlements following deliveries. Although obtaining a fair market price will be a primary consideration in awarding fish sales, the Commission may award sales to buyers with slightly lower prices when the factors listed above are considered. The Commission will also attempt to distribute sales among as many qualified buyers as possible, subject to fair market value.

Area specific notices:

Area 2A: This summer the Commission is interested in entering into a direct sales arrangement with a single buyer for a series of small offloads in Washington and Oregon. This group of landings has historically consisted of about five offloads of less than 2,500 pounds of halibut each. We will contact interested parties in early May to request pre-season bids for these deliveries. Pre-season bids would be good for all offloads for the duration of the season. Although the small offloads in this region will be likely be purchased through a direct sales agreement, one larger delivery in Washington will be put up for bid according to usual IPHC practice, a day or two before landing.

Area 2A, 2C and 3A: State biologists will be sampling rockfish caught off Washington, Oregon, and in SE Alaska, from Canadian border west through Yakutat. The biologists will meet the vessel at the dock and collect the samples before the fish enter the fish plant for processing. Sampling procedures may alter the appearance of the delivered rockfish (eg: head cuts, slit belly) and may affect the pace of the offload. Please include this factor in your analysis of the sale while preparing your bid. Buyer and offloader flexibility around this component of our research fish offloads will be appreciated and we will make our best effort to help offloads occur as smoothly as possible. Your feedback on this aspect of IPHC research fish deliveries is welcome at any time.

All buyers (including those with past IPHC sales history) interested in purchasing IPHC research fish in 2007 should send a letter, fax, or e-mail to Erica Anderson at the Commission before April 15, 2007. The letter should list the ports in which you intend to actively purchase fish and should also include contact information for all member of your company desiring to be notified of sales in each port. This will ensure you are kept informed of purchasing opportunities through out our field season. Please use this occasion to supply feedback to the Commission about research fish sales and to make us aware of any other pertinent information.

For further information, please call (206) 634-1838, and contact Erica Anderson (ext. 202) or Claude Dykstra (ext 213).


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