Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2012 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 17. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery through May 20, 2012 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through May 19, 2012. No Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) landings have been made in 2012.
The catch off Alaska represents 22% of the 2012 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 8.5 million pounds, or 26% of the 2011 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2011; however, the opening date of the 2011 fishery occurred five days earlier in the year than that of the 2012 fishery. Thus, during the first 64 days of the 2011 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 7.5 million pounds, or 23% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian waters represents 32% of the 2012 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 2.2 million pounds, or 33% of the 2011 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2011. Also, during the first 63 days of the 2011 IVQ fishery, 2.1 million pounds, or 31% of the catch limit, had been landed.
Area 2A Commercial Treaty Indian Fisheries
In 2012, the Pacific Fishery Management Council allocated 321,650 pounds of halibut for commercial use to the treaty Indian tribes of Area 2A-1. Preliminary catch estimates indicate that during a 13-hour unrestricted "mop-up" fishery on May 1, the treaty tribes landed 128,800 pounds of halibut. It is estimated that the total pounds landed is approximately 351,200 pounds or 9% over the catch limit. The Area 2A-1 treaty Indian commercial fishery is closed for the remainder of the 2012 season.
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 30,568 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the salmon troll fishery was allowed beginning May 1. It is estimated that 2,500 pounds have been landed in Washington and Oregon, leaving approximately 28,000 pounds to be harvested. The incidental halibut catch fishery during the salmon troll season remains open until further notice. For further incidental fishery retention information call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825 press 7 for halibut information).
Area 2A Incidental Commercial Halibut Fishery During the Limited Entry, 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 21,173 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the sablefish fishery was allowed beginning May 1. There has been little activity to date and this fishery remains open until further notice.
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983