Washington South Coast Area Primary Sport Fishery Closed

The Washington South Coast primary sport fishery in Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores) closed at the end of the day Tuesday, May 12, 2015. State fishery managers project the recreational harvest in that area to have been taken and any quota remaining from the primary season will be added to the separate quota set aside for incidental halibut retention in the Marine Area 2 northern nearshore area. This nearshore fishery remains open to halibut fishing seven days per week until further notice. For more information refer to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website:

https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1587


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 29,035 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the salmon troll fishery was allowed beginning April 1. It is estimated that 10,450 pounds have been landed through May 13 in Washington and Oregon, leaving 18,585 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 10,347 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the sablefish fishery was allowed beginning April 1 and minimal landings have occurred. 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).


Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2015 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 14. It is estimated that the following commercial landings, in pounds and numbers, were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery through May 14, 2015 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through May 13, 2015. No Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) landings have occurred thus far in 2015.


AreaCatch Limit
(000s pounds)
Catch
(000s pounds)
Number of
Landings
2C 3,679 1,640
373
3A 7,790 2,811 490
3B and 4 6,465 732
79
Alaska Total 17,934 5,183
942
2B 5,914 1,951 156
Grand Total 23,848 7,134 1,098


The catch off Alaska represents 30% of the 2015 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 5.3 million pounds, or 32% of the 2014 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2014; however, the opening date of the 2014 fishery occurred six days earlier in the year than that of the 2015 fishery. Thus, during the first 61 days of the 2014 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 4.5 million pounds, or 27% of the catch limit, were landed.

The catch from British Columbian (Area 2B) waters represents 33% of the 2015 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 2.0 million pounds, or 35% of the 2014 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2014. Also, during the first 60 days of the 2014 IVQ fishery, 1.8 million pounds, or 31% of the catch limit, had been landed.


Correction to Table Published with the Pacific Halibut Fishery Regulations 2015

The table on page 23 of this year's regulations pamphlet lists incorrect dates for the Central Oregon Coast all-depths spring fishery. The first opening for this fishery is May 14-16 instead of the listed May 14-18.



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Bruce M. Leaman
Executive Director
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983

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