Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Subsistence Halibut Permit System Refined by NOAA Fisheries


May 02, 2005

NOAA Fisheries Service officials today announced the availability of three new types of subsistence halibut fishing permits in Alaska, under regulations proposed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and approved by the Secretary of Commerce.

"We designed community harvest permits, ceremonial permits and educational permits to accommodate particular circumstances in communities that fish halibut for subsistence," said NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region Administrator, Dr. James Balsiger. "Community harvest permits allow skilled fishermen to harvest subsistence halibut for the whole community. Ceremonial permits allow halibut harvest for specific ceremonial events such as potlatches and marriages. Educational permits allow students who attend Alaska Native cultural camps to learn traditional methods and means of harvesting halibut for subsistence."

A community harvest permit allows a rural community or Alaska Native tribe in Southeast Alaska to select individual fishermen to harvest halibut on behalf of the community or tribe. Fishermen authorized under a community harvest permit are allowed 30 hooks per person up to a maximum of 90 hooks per vessel and unrestricted retention of halibut.

An eligible community or Alaska Native tribe may possess only one community harvest permit at any time. The permit expires one year from the date of issuance. In addition to stringent application requirements, fishing under a community harvest permit also requires more rigorous reporting than fishing under the more typical subsistence halibut registration certificate.

Only Alaska Native tribes in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska may use the new ceremonial permits and educational permits for subsistence halibut fishing. Ceremonial and educational permits allow tribes to harvest up to 25 halibut per permit.

Ceremonial and educational permits expire 30 days from their date of issuance and must be returned within 15 days following expiration regardless of whether halibut were harvested using the permit. However, eligible tribes may apply for additional permits as necessary and may possess multiple permits at any given time.

Anyone interested in applying for a community harvest, ceremonial or educational subsistence halibut harvest permit should review further details at and contact NOAA Fisheries Restricted Access Management Program in Alaska at 1-800-304-4846 (press #2).

This summary provides a general overview as a public service. For exact regulatory language, please refer to the final rule at


Source of News:

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries)
Web Site



E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions
Submit A Letter to the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska