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New regulations for guided sport halibut fishing in SE Alaska proposed


April 10, 2007


The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed on April 6th new regulations in the Federal Register for guided sport halibut fishing in Southeast Alaska.

A public comment period on the proposed new regulations started today and ends April 23, 2007.

The proposed regulations would restrict the harvest of halibut by anglers fishing on a guided sport charter vessel in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 2C in Southeast Alaska. The proposed regulations would change the current sport fishing bag limit of two halibut per day to require that at least one of the two fish taken in a day be no more than 32 inches (81.3 cm) long.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates that the 32-inch maximum size restriction for one of two potential halibut taken by charter vessel clients would reduce the overall harvest in Area 2C by the charter vessel sector by about 425,000 pounds (192.8 metric tons).

Regulation language proposes the following change to regulations at 50 CFR 300.65 for anglers fishing from a charter vessel in Area 2C only:

  • Charter vessel anglers would be allowed a daily bag limit of two halibut per sport fishing client on a charter vessel operating in Area 2C provided that at least one of the two halibut retained is no longer than 32 in (81.3 cm) with its head on. If only one halibut is retained by the sport fishing client, it could be of any length. Note that a charter vessel is a vessel used for hire in sport fishing for halibut, but not including a vessel without a hired operator.
  • Charter vessel anglers would not be allowed to possess halibut on board a charter vessel in Area 2C that has been mutilated or otherwise disfigured in a manner that prevents the determination of size or number of fish. Filleted halibut may be possessed on board the charter vessel provided that the entire carcass, with the head and tail connected as single piece, is retained on board until all fillets are offloaded. This requirement allows enforcement officers to determine the size of landed halibut.

The regulation would be in place for the entire sport fishing halibut season which is authorized through December 31, 2007.

This proposed regulatory change is necessary to reduce the halibut harvest in the charter vessel sector while minimizing negative impacts on this sector, its sport fishing clients, and the coastal communities that serve as home ports for the fishery. The intended effect of this action is a reduction in pounds of halibut harvested by the guided sport charter vessel sector in Area 2C.

Methods for submitting public comments are in the proposed rule. (Download the proposed rule -- pdf)

The Draft Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and other, related information are online at


Source of News:

NOAA Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Region


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