Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2014 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 and CDQ fisheries through September 14, 2014 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through September 11, 2014.
The catch off Alaska represents 86% of the 2014 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 18.1 million pounds, or 79% of the 2013 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2013; however, the opening date of the 2013 fishery occurred fifteen days later in the year than that of the 2014 fishery. Thus, during the first 190 days of the 2013 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 19.7 million pounds, or 85% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian (Area 2B) waters represents 80% of the 2014 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 4.7 million pounds, or 79% of the 2013 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2013. Also, during the first 190 days of the 2013 IVQ fishery, 5.0 million pounds, or 84% of the catch limit, had been landed.
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 ninth and tenth 48-hour fishing periods of the 2014 season, with opening dates of August 8 and August 22, had halibut catches by opening of 7,059 pounds and 9,971 pounds, respectively. The total landed weight of halibut to date is 72,109 pounds. The Metlakatla Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will announce future halibut openings.
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 29,671 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the salmon troll fishery was allowed beginning April 1. On the 1st of August, 4,000 pounds of halibut were rolled over from the directed commercial fishery, increasing the catch limit to 33,671 pounds. It is estimated that the entire catch limit has been taken and this fishery closed on September 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM, for the remainder of the season.
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 14,274 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the sablefish fishery was allowed beginning April 1. It is estimated that 7,865 pounds of halibut have been landed through August 27, leaving 6,409 pounds. The incidental commercial halibut fishery during the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish fishery remains open until further notice. For further incidental fishery retention information, call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825 press 7 for halibut information).
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983