IPHC Annual Meeting – Halibut Catch Limits Adopted for 2019

The IPHC Annual meeting ended this morning with the announcement of Catch Limits and regulatory actions

IPHC table 2.1.19


For comparison purposes, the adopted commercial fishery catch limit adopted for 2008 for 2C was 3.57 and 3A was 7.35

The IPHC Commissioners also adopted as FISHERY LIMITS the following statements:

a.  A coastwide target SPR of 47{011364765f66369e3b18bfb4bff139a9c8654494d05ca41b290c33562211a86b} for 2019
b.  a share based allocation for IPHC Regulatory Area 2B.  The share will be defined based on a weighted average that assigns 30{011364765f66369e3b18bfb4bff139a9c8654494d05ca41b290c33562211a86b} weight to the current management procedures;s target TCEY distribution and 70{011364765f66369e3b18bfb4bff139a9c8654494d05ca41b290c33562211a86b} on 2B’s recent historical average share of 20{011364765f66369e3b18bfb4bff139a9c8654494d05ca41b290c33562211a86b}.  This formula for defining 2B’s annual allocation will apply for a period of 2019 to 2022.  For 2019, this equates to a share of 17.7{011364765f66369e3b18bfb4bff139a9c8654494d05ca41b290c33562211a86b}; and

c.  a fixed TCEY for IPHC Regulatory Area 2A of 1.65 mlb for a period from 2019-2022, subject to any substantive conservation concerns


The SEASON DATES adopted for commercial fishing in ALASKA and Canada is they may not begin earlier than March 15 and must cease on November 14.  (it was noted that due to the Government shutdown and potential additional shutdown  US may have trouble getting the date implemented on time)


Three other motions made by the commission – I did not catch all the language exactly on the first of the three:

The intent is that  Contracting Party to the Treaty would be responsible for counting it’s U26 mortalities against its collective TCEY.  This change would be intended to take effect for TCEY’s established at the 2020 annual Meeting.

The Commission RECOMMENDED that the IPHC Secretariat expand upon the analysis completed in IPHC-2019-AM095-INFO8  “Treatment and effects of Pacific halibut discard mortality (bycatch) in non-directed fisheries projected for 2019”  to be reviewed by the SRB at its next meeting.  The objective of this work is to estimate lost yield from bycatch of Pacific halibut in non-directed fisheries for the years of 1991-2018.

The Commission AGREED to continue the development of a workplan to explore methods for 1.) improvement of monitoring requirements in directed and non-directed fisheries, and 2.) examining options in each IPHC Regulatory Area for mitigating the impact of bycatch in one IPHC Regulatory Area on available harvest in other IPHC Regulatory Areas.

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Black Cod Almanac 2019

NOAA has published their 6th edition of the “Black Cod Almanac” which you will find informative. In this edition, they have included some new and ongoing research updates. The highlight of the 2018 assessment was that while we (NOAA) see promise in new year classes of fish, we (NOAA) recommended a precautionary ABC.

And of course, the longline survey calendar for 2019.

Black Cod Almanac 2019

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King and Tanner Crab task force presentations

Here are the ADF&G presentations from the KTTF meeting on December 13, 2018

SEAK Commercial RKC presentation_December 2018 KTTF

2018 Tanner Crab Survey Results

GKC KTTF 2018_December meeting


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Southeast Regional Planning Team (RPT) Meeting Documents

The RPT will be meeting in Petersburg November 29th following the salmon task force meetings

Fall 2018 RPT draft agenda (003)

nakat coho increase 2018WLH (003)

2018 HFH Thomas Bay MSH chum


Alaska Treaty Fiscal Request 2018


2018 DIPAC Rainbow Trout PAR

2018 8-7 HFH Keta R Chinook NPA APPROVED

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2018 Salmon Task Force Meeting Documents

The task force meetings are being held in Petersburg

Drift gillnet TF agenda – November 27, 2018

Purse seine TF agenda  – November 28, 2018

statewide proposals (003)

TF meeting handouts (003)

2019 Pink Salmon Forecast News Release

Alaska Treaty Fiscal Request 2018



2018 D11 GNTF presentation

2018 D68 GN TF Post Season

2018 GNTF KTN Mgmt

2018 Haines Task Force Presentation 11.23.18

2018 Juneau Seine TF presentation

2018 PSTF Ktn Mgmt_final

2018 Seine Task Force-Psg-Wrgl

ADFG PSTF Escapement 2018

NOAA-ADFG Pink Forecast


MORE DOCUMENTS Posted 11/27/18

2018 Sitka Seine Presentation

2018 SSRAA Nov. Task Force Meeting_SSRAA_v2


NSRAA 2018 Salmon Task Force – Petersburg

Treaty Salmon Net Task Force Presentation 11-27-2018 Final

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Transboundary Mining Projects Update

Transboundary Mine Projects-June2018

The above link will take you to a summary of the main transboundary mine projects that currently have any activity occurring.  This update was provided at teh Lt Gov transboundary mining meeting on Friday June 1st.

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TSI Chinook Symposium

Territorial Sportsman (TSI)  hosted  a Northern SE Chinook Symposium that was very informative.  We will be posting the presentations as we gather them.

TSI Commercial Fisheries Outlook 2018 April 2018

2018_TSI presentation_JNU_management sport

TSI Chilkat king mgmt_RSC_2018-04-16

2018 TSI Treaty slides 4.12.18


TSI Chilkat Chinook JNU 4.16.2018

TSI Jones_King Salmon Symposium_041618

TSI Taku Chinook Stock Assessment and Trends April 2018

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Sablefish Summit on March 7, 2018 Presentations

2018 Sablefish Industry Meeting_AO

NSEI Sablefish Fishery and Survey Data Review_JS



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Governor’s Letter on NPFMC Nominee’s

Here are links to the letters from the WA & AK Governors for their nominee’s for the NPFMC

Gov Inslee WA NPFMC Nominees 3.2.2018

Gov. Walker letter on NPFMC 3.12.2018

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Halibut – NMFS Announces Catch Limits and Charter Management Measures for 2018

Alaska halibut fishermen gear up for March 24 season opener
NOAA Fisheries announces catch limits and charter management measures for 2018  (NMFS Press Release)

March 19, 2018

From Southeast Alaska to the Bering Sea, Alaska halibut fishermen are gearing up to head out to sea as the 2018 halibut season opens at noon March 24. It’s an annual ritual for both commercial fishermen and charter operators seeking to make their living through the pursuit of the tasty flatfish.

Out of concern for the health of the halibut stock, the 2018 Pacific halibut catch limits are lower and charter management measures are tighter compared to last year.

Historic Disagreement
For the first time since 1990, the International Pacific Halibut Commission failed to reach agreement with regard to setting halibut catch limits in U.S. waters, because Canada wanted, as they have repeatedly done, to set catch limits in its own waters that were above science-based sustainable limits.
The U.S. then went forward with setting catch limits through its domestic regulatory process. International trade policies must be free, fair, and reciprocal, including our nation’s international fisheries treaties and agreements. Failure of the IPHC to reach agreement may result in the U.S. seeking re-negotiation of the Halibut Treaty to improve the circumstances for U.S. fisherman. Until the treaty is re-negotiated, we must operate under the current treaty.

Through an Interim Final Rule developed by NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. is implementing catch limits and additional charter management measures for waters off Alaska that are consistent with the proposed limits and measures proposed by the U.S. Commissioners at the IPHC meeting. Those limits are lower than 2017 levels and consistent with the best scientific information available on the abundance of harvestable halibut in each area.

Adopting higher catch limits could further exacerbate the decline in halibut abundance throughout its entire range in future years. These lower limits are needed for the long-term sustainability of the halibut resource.

Catch Limits and Management Measures
NOAA Fisheries announced this Interim Final Rule to ensure that halibut catch limits, charter halibut fishery management measures, and Catch Sharing Plan allocations are in place at the start of the commercial halibut fishery at noon on March 24, 2018. The season runs through noon on November 7, 2018.

The Interim Final Rule establishes 2018 Commercial Fishery Catch Limits and Charter Management Measures for the Pacific Halibut Fishery off Alaska and applies to the following International Pacific Halibut Management Areas off Alaska: Area 2C (southeast Alaska); Area 3A (southcentral Alaska); Area 3B (southwestern Alaska); and Areas 4A though 4E (Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands). The catch limit for Area 2A is being addressed in a separate rule.

Specifically, this Interim Final Rule:
• Revises Catch Sharing Plan allocations for guided sport (charter) and commercial individual fishing quota (IFQ) halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A.
• Establishes commercial catch limits for Area 3B and Areas 4A though 4E.
• Revises allocations for the commercial IFQ and Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) halibut fisheries in Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E.

The Interim Final Rule also revises regulations applicable to the charter halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A as follows:
• Area 2C (Southeast Alaska): Charter operators will have a one fish daily bag limit, with a reverse slot limit that allows retention of halibut less than 38 inches, or greater than 80 inches, and no annual limit.
• Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska): Charter operators will have a two fish daily bag limit, maximum size limit of less than or equal to 28 inches on one of those halibut, and a four fish annual limit. In addition, Wednesdays will be closed to charter fishing in 3A all season, along with six Tuesday (July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7, and August 14) closures in the summer. Vessels and charter permit holders will continue to be limited to one trip per day.

The catch limits for all areas (in net pounds) are shown in the table below. For Areas 2C and 3A, discards are removed before allocating Commercial IFQ:

2C – Total CEY 5,250,000; Commercial (IFQ) 3,570,000; Charter: 810,000; percent change from 2017  -15.2
3A – Total CEY 10,000,000; Commercial (IFQ) 7,350,000;Charter: 1,790,000; percent change from 2017 -5.5
3B – Total CEY 3,140,000; Commercial (IFQ) 2,620,000; percent change from 2017 -16.6
4A – Total CEY 1,390,000; Commercial (IFQ) 1,370,000; percent change from 2017 -1.4
4B – Total CEY 1,140,000; Commercial (IFQ & CDQ) 1,050,000; percent change from 2017 -7.9
4CDE – Total CEY 1,700,000; Commercial (IFQ & CDQ) 1,580,000; percent change from 2017 -7.1
Total – (2C – 4) 22,620,000; Commercial Total  20,520,000; percent change from 2017 -9.3

This Interim Final Rule supersedes 2017 catch limits-which would have resulted in harvest rates that are beyond the limits used in fisheries off Alaska for sound, sustainable, and precautionary management.

That science-based management is one reason why Alaska fisheries are renowned as among the most sustainable fisheries in the world, and helps ensure more than 70-percent of the world’s annual halibut catch continues to come from Alaskan waters.

On the web: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/node/58256

Additional resources:

Sport halibut fishing in Alaska

IFQ Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.


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