The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking commercial longline and research vessels to conduct a Pacific halibut discard mortality study in the latter part of October to early November 2017. The study will require fishing conventional fixed gear in an area southeast of Chignik, AK, bounded between the following points (56°05’N, 158°10’W), (56°05’N, 157°25’W), (55°26’N, 156°23’W), (54°55’N, 157°15’W), (54°55’N, 158°10’W), and (55°40’N, 158°50’W). Three sets of 8 skates (1,800’ feet long (300 fathoms) with 100 hooks (#3 (16/0 Mustad)) at 18’ intervals) will be fished per day. A secondary roller will need to be in place in board the rail to enable release of fish into an area where they can be assessed, tagged, and released. Release methods (careful shake, hook straightening, gangion cutting, and hook stripper) will be randomly assigned by skate throughout each set. Two trips of six days will be conducted following an initial two days of test fishing to finalize the experimental protocols. The vessel must be capable of taking three (3) IPHC field biologists for data and sample collections. IPHC will bear bait and ice costs; fuel costs will be borne by the vessel. Some Pacific halibut will be retained and sold by IPHC, and limited retention of Pacific cod and rockfish bycatch may be allowed.

The purpose of the charter is to (1) evaluate the effects of fish handling practices on injury levels and their association with the physiological condition of captured Pacific halibut, (2) investigate the effects of fish handling methods and associated injury level and physiological condition on post-release survival of sublegal Pacific halibut discards, and (3) validate the ability of electronic monitoring (EM) to correctly identify release methods and associated fish handling methods to post-release survival. This project will help refine current estimates of discard mortality rates (DMRs) in the directed Pacific halibut fishery by investigating the relationship between hook release methods, injury levels, physiological condition, and survival post-release. Additionally, it will pioneer the use and application of EM to associating fish handling practices with survival.

Charter specifications and bid tender forms are available from IPHC via mail and on our website (www.iphc.int). The IPHC will consider only those vessels and captains having a history of commercial longline fishing. Vessel must have accommodations for three IPHC employees (including women) in addition to an experienced captain and crew, capable of fishing 24 skates per day and handling halibut in adverse weather conditions. The IPHC will evaluate vessels based upon the experience of the captain and crew with longline fishing, the safety features of the vessel, and charter costs. Vessel will provide setline gear and all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing. The IPHC will replace all fishing gear lost in the course of being put into the sea for fishing.

The IPHC is not restricted as to the nationality of vessels it charters in any region, and will contract according to its own best interests. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted. Interested owners can contact IPHC for more information on charter specifications and to obtain tender forms. Sealed tenders must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle no later than 12:00 noon (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, 25 September 2017. Interested parties should contact Claude Dykstra (ext. 7662), Josep Planas (ext. 7687), or Timothy Loher (ext. 7674) at (206) 634-1838 for further information.

 

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The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking commercial longline and research vessels to conduct monthly Pacific halibut collection charters from July 2017 through May 2018. Collections will be confined to the greater Portlock Bank region, bounded between the following points: (58°03’N, 152°44’W), (58°55’N, 151°58’W), (57°45’N, 148°41’W), and (56°59’N, 150°04’W) in the Gulf of Alaska. Fishing is to occur between the 1st and 15th of each month. The objective of the monthly charters will be to obtain reproductive samples (ovaries, testes, blood, ultrasound imagery, weights) from a total target number of 100 Pacific halibut (up to 50 males (>70cm), up to 50 females (>90 cm). The vessel must be capable of taking up to two (2) IPHC field biologists for the data and sample collections. Vessel crew may set as much gear as they feel is necessary to achieve the sampling targets; however, once the targets are met, all remaining gear must be hauled and all fish released with minimal injury. It is expected that during most months the targets likely can be obtained in 2-3 fishing days. IPHC will bear bait and ice costs; fuel costs will be borne by the vessel. Unless combined with quota fishing, some Pacific halibut will be retained and sold by IPHC, and limited retention of Pacific cod and rockfish bycatch may be allowed.

The main purpose of this study is to document and describe temporal changes (changes over time) in gonadal (sex organs) morphological characteristics as well as the levels of reproductive hormones and physiological condition throughout an entire annual reproductive cycle in order to improve and update our estimation of maturity in this species. Understanding the reproductive biology of Pacific halibut is important for estimating the reproductive potential and spawning biomass of the stock and, consequently, for optimizing the management of the species.

Charter specifications and bid tender forms are available from IPHC via mail and on our website (www.iphc.int). The IPHC will consider only those vessels and captains having a history of commercial longline fishing. Vessels must have accommodations for two IPHC employees (including women) in addition to an experienced captain and crew, capable of fishing 25 or more skates per day and handling halibut in adverse weather conditions. The IPHC will evaluate vessels based upon the experience of the captain and crew with longline fishing, winter fishing experience, the safety features of the vessel, and charter costs. Vessels must have a bait shed or a sheltered space for sample collection and data recording and to protect personnel from weather. The vessels will provide setline gear and all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing. The IPHC will replace all fishing gear lost in the course of being put into the sea for fishing.

The IPHC is not restricted as to the nationality of vessels it charters in any region, and will contract according to its own best interests. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted. Interested owners can contact IPHC for more information on charter specifications and to obtain tender forms. Sealed tenders must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle no later than 12:00 noon (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, 12 June 2017. Interested parties should contact Josep Planas (ext. 7687), Timothy Loher (ext. 7674), or Claude Dykstra (ext. 7662) at (206) 634-1838 for further information.

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The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking to charter longline vessels to conduct our fisheries-independent setline survey (setline survey) in 2017. The purpose of the setline survey is to collect standardized data for use in the Pacific halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the Pacific halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized Pacific halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to offset survey expenses. The 2017 setline survey will cover 31 regions within the IPHC Convention Area with a standard grid of stations from California to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands. The 2017 setline survey will also include an expanded number of stations in IPHC Regulatory Areas 2A and 4B to gather additional data from these regions. All regions are open for single year bids. Vessels will fish 5 skates of gear at each station in most regions (except 6 skates in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A and 7 skates in Regulatory Area 4CDE) following standard survey protocol. A maximum of 4 stations will be permitted per day. Most regions require 12-22 fishing days plus additional days for running, loading and offloading gear and fish, foul weather days, etc. Depending on the region, total charter duration can be expected to be 20-36 days in duration. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to a maximum of three regions. Survey fishing must be completed between 28 May and 31 August 2017.

Vessels need not be licensed for Pacific halibut fishing in Canada or the U.S.A. to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any region as long as customs and immigration regulations are followed. The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have recent (within 5 years) Pacific halibut fishing experience. Most areas require vessels that have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two to three IPHC employees (who may be women). Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear conforming to IPHC standards (see Charter Specifications) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing. Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure as described in the IPHC Request for Proposal specifications.

The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel prior to awarding the charter. Bids will be evaluated based on (1) the Pacific halibut fishing experience of captain and crew, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) the vessel's availability, and (4) the IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the IPHC will contract according to its own interests.

For further information please contact Tracee Geernaert (ext. 7665), or Eric Soderlund (ext. 7678) at (206) 634-1838.

Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be requested from the IPHC or downloaded using the links below. Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, 13 March 2017.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2016. The purpose of the setline survey is to collect standardized data used for halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to reduce charter expenses. The 2016 setline survey will cover 29 regions, from Oregon to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands. The 2016 fishing effort includes an expansion into the northern 4D Edge. All regions are open for single year bids. Vessels will fish 6 skates of gear at each station following standard survey protocol. A maximum of 4 stations will be permitted per day. Most regions require 12 - 22 fishing days plus additional days for running, loading and offloading gear and fish, foul weather days, etc. Depending on the region, total charter duration can be expected to be 20 - 35 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to three regions. Survey fishing must be completed between May 29th and August 31st, 2016.

Vessels need not be licensed for halibut fishing in Canada or the U.S. to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any area as long as customs regulations are followed. The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have halibut fishing experience. Most areas require vessels that have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two to three Commission employees (who may be women). Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear built to Commission Standards (see Charter Specifications) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing. Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure.

The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel by IPHC staff prior to awarding the charter. Bids will be evaluated based on (1) the experience of captain and crew with halibut fishing, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) vessel's availability, and (4) IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the Commission will contract according to its own best interests.

For further information please contact Anna Henry (ext. 7668), Tracee Geernaert (ext. 7665), or Heather Gilroy (ext. 7666) at (206) 634-1838.

Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be requested from the Commission or downloaded using the links below. Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, March 14th, 2016.

Please be advised that we have revised the bid specifications for Expanded Survey Stations: 4D Edge South, 4D Edge Central, and 4D Edge North.

Stations will now be fished if they are within the depth range of 50 fm to 400 fm. This is a change from previous specifications with a depth range of 75 fm to 400 fm.

The updated specifications are as follows (new text is in red):

  • The same standards for gear and effort as the standard survey apply.
  • As some of the station locations are new to IPHC surveys, the skipper will be provided some discretion (within predefined limits listed below) in station positioning to maximize successful station completion.
  • Prospect all new stations to ensure they are within the expanded depth parameters (>50 fm and <400 fm)
  • If shallower (<50 fm) or deeper (>400 fm) at the designated coordinate, then forego (don’t fish) that station.
  • If the station depth is within our parameters, but bottom topography or other constraints (land, rocks, drop offs, traffic lanes, etc.) preclude setting the center of the gear through that location, move the station no more than 3 nm from the original coordinate while striving to keep it within the depth band of the original coordinate (>50 – 275 fm, or >275 and <400 fm). If the station is between 50 fm and 75 fm strive to keep it as close to 75 fm as possible.
  • A single coordinate indicating the center of the set is given for each station location. The gear should be set through this position in either a N-S or E-W orientation.
  • Unfished stations will be deducted on a prorated basis from your final lump sum payment (e.g. Lump Sum Bid Dollar Value / Total Number of Stations bid upon). Please factor in costs for prospecting stations when considering bids in these areas.

If you have already submitted a bid and would like to revise your bid for these regions due to this new information, please submit your revised bid by 12:00 noon (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, March 14, 2016. If your bid is not impacted by these changes please disregard.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2015. The purpose of the setline survey is to collect standardized data used for halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to reduce charter expenses. The 2015 setline survey will cover 30 regions, from Oregon to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands. The 2015 fishing effort includes the eastern Bering Sea flats (last fished in 2006). All regions are open for single year bids. Vessels will fish 7 skates of gear at each station (5 skates on the eastern Bering Sea flats) following standard survey protocol. A maximum of 4 stations will be permitted per day. Most regions require 12 - 22 fishing days plus additional days for running, loading and offloading gear and fish, foul weather days, etc. Depending on the region, total charter duration can be expected to be 20 - 36 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to three regions. Survey fishing must be completed between May 24th and August 31st, 2015.

Vessels need not be licensed for halibut fishing in Canada or the U.S. to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any area as long as customs regulations are followed. The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have halibut fishing experience. Most areas require vessels that have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two to three Commission employees (who may be women). Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear built to Commission Standards (see Charter Specifications) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing. Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure.

The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel by IPHC staff prior to awarding the charter. Bids will be evaluated based on (1) the experience of captain and crew with halibut fishing, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) vessel's availability, and (4) IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the Commission will contract according to its own best interests.

For further information please contact Claude Dykstra (ext. 7662), Tracee Geernaert (ext. 7665), or Heather Gilroy (ext. 7666) at (206) 634-1838.

Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be requested from the Commission or downloaded at the links below. Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, March 9th, 2015.