January 12, 2010
"This is a one-time opportunity to apply for sport charter halibut permits," said Doug Mecum, Acting Administrator of NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Region. "The dates are important. If you don't apply between February 4 and April 5 this year, you won't get a permit, even if you qualify otherwise."
The new limited access program will limit the number of operators in the sport charter halibut fisheries in International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (the central Gulf of Alaska).
Permits will be issued to qualifying individuals or businesses that documented fishing trips-in state log books-during a qualifying year (2004 or 2005) and in the recent participation year, 2008.
Charter halibut operators will be required to carry their new permit on board starting February 1, 2011.
Details are available at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm
The Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries staff will be sending application packets with blank forms to all operators they believe to be eligible, and that they have current addresses for. Application forms will also be available on the web at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/default.htm or by contacting NMFS at 1-800-304-4846 (option 2).
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