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
(pounds)
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
  Commercial fishery 3,799,000
  Guided sport fishery 851,000
Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1 10,100,000
  Commercial fishery 8,210,000
  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
Areas 4CDE 1,285,000
  Area 4C (Pribilof Islands) 596,600
  Area 4D (northwestern Bering Sea) 596,600
  Area 4E (Bering Sea flats) 91,800
Total 29,223,000
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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Bruce M. Leaman, Executive Director
Phone: (206) 634-1838
FAX: (206) 632-2983
Web: www.iphc.int