The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) completed its Ninety-first Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC on January 30, 2015. More than 250 halibut industry stakeholders attended the meeting, with over 75 more participating in web broadcasts of the public sessions.
The Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2015 totaling 29,223,000 pounds, displayed in the following table by regulatory area.
2015 Catch Limits
|Regulatory Area||Catch Limit
|Area 2A (California, Oregon, and Washington)||970,000|
|Non-treaty directed commercial (south of Pt. Chehalis)||164,529|
|Non-treaty incidental catch in salmon troll fishery||29,035|
|Non-treaty incidental catch in sablefish fishery (north of Pt. Chehalis)||10,347|
|Treaty Indian commercial||307,700|
|Treaty Indian ceremonial and subsistence (year-round)||31,800|
|Sport - Washington||214,110|
|Sport - Oregon||187,259|
|Sport - California||25,220|
|Area 2B (British Columbia) (includes sport catch allocation)||7,038,000|
|Area 2C (southeastern Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1||4,650,000|
|Guided sport fishery||851,000|
|Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1||10,100,000|
|Guided sport fishery||1,890,000|
|Area 3B (western Gulf of Alaska)||2,650,000|
|Area 4A (eastern Aleutians)||1,390,000|
|Area 4B (central/western Aleutians)||1,140,000|
|Area 4C (Pribilof Islands)||596,600|
|Area 4D (northwestern Bering Sea)||596,600|
|Area 4E (Bering Sea flats)||91,800|
|1The combined total includes estimated mortality from regulatory discards of sublegal halibut and lost gear in the commercial fishery, plus discard mortality in the guided sport fishery, as mandated in the U.S. Catch Sharing Plan.|
The Commission approved a season of March 14 - November 7, 2015 for the U.S. and Canadian Individual Quota fisheries. The Treaty tribal commercial fisheries and the incidental halibut fisheries in Area 2A will occur within these dates. In Area 2A, seven 10-hour fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery are recommended: June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, September 2, and September 16, 2015.
A subsequent IPHC News Release will provide more details of the Annual Meeting, including the regulatory and other issues decided by the Commission.
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