fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska
January 25, 2008
NOAA Fisheries has proposed regulations limiting the guided sport harvest of Pacific halibut in Southeast Alaska. Comments on the proposed plan, which was released on the last day of 2007, must be received by January 30, 2008.
"The International Pacific Halibut Commission has announced new abundance estimates for halibut in 2008", said Jim Balsiger, Administrator for the Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries. "The harvest levels are also set. With the 2008 information out, we hope people will take time to review our proposed new regs and make constructive suggestions."
The International Pacific Halibut Commision determines halibut abundance in all areas along the Pacific and Alaska coasts. While the IPHC sets conservative catch limits for the commercial halibut fisheries, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries have established guideline harvest levels for halibut harvested in the sport charter vessel fisheries in IPHC Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). The guideline harvest levels decrease when halibut abundance drops.
Sport fishermen on charter vessels have exceeded the guideline harvest level in Area 2C in the past four years (2004 through 2007).
Managers have written the new regulations to reduce the harvest of halibut by guided sport charter vessel anglers in Area 2C. They want the harvest to remain within the guideline harvest levels while minimizing adverse impacts on the charter fishery, its sport fishing clients, the coastal communities that serve as home ports for this fishery, and on fisheries for other species.
Newly-proposed regulations include a one-halibut daily catch limit, substituted for the existing two-halibut daily catch limit. The new regulations would also include a prohibition on the harvest of halibut by charter vessel guides, operators, and crew plus a limit on the number of fishing lines that may be used on a charter vessel of six or the number of charter vessel anglers onboard, whichever is less.
Comments on the proposed new regulations in IPHC area 2C may be addressed to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian.
The proposed new regulations can be viewed at www.fakr.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/charters.htm
The comments may be submitted, identified by "RIN 0648-AW23" by:
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