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 August 17, 2015 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through August 16, 2015.
The catch off Alaska represents 69% of the 2015 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 12.0 million pounds, or 72% 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 156 days of the 2014 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 11.6 million pounds, or 69% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian (Area 2B) waters represents 75% of the 2015 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 4.0 million pounds, or 70% of the 2014 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2014. Also, during the first 155 days of the 2014 IVQ fishery, 3.9 million pounds, or 68% of the catch limit, had been landed.
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 27,400 pounds have been landed through August 16 in Washington and Oregon, leaving 1,635 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. It is estimated that 7,800 pounds have been landed through August 8, leaving 2,547 pounds to be harvested. 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).
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 fifth, sixth, and seventh 48-hour fishing periods of the 2015 season, with opening dates of June 19, July 3, and July 17, had halibut catches of 7,398, 6,511, and 6,036 pounds, respectively. The total landed weight of halibut reported to date during the 2015 season is 41,787 pounds. The Metlakatla Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will announce future halibut openings.
Three short-notice announcements regarding changes in the Area 2A sport fishery and limits for the Area 2A incidental commercial halibut fishery during the salmon troll season have been published as on-line-only news releases since the most recent printed landing report news release. They can be viewed at the IPHC website: http://iphc.int/news-releases.html.
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983