Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council proposed a limited entry program for the halibut sport charter industry operating in southeast and southcentral Alaska to be implemented in 2010. The rumor is that the IPHC has recommended a delay until 2011. It looks like bag limit reduction is the only option for regulating the charter catch.
We will work on getting the whole scoop ASAP.
Posted by Flatfish at 7:30 AM
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The scientific staff of the International Pacific Halibut Commission has released its recommended catch limits.
Here's a full rundown of recommended limits in all regulatory areas, including those off the West Coast, British Columbia and Alaska:
Area 2A — 760,000 pounds, down 20 percent
Area 2B — 6.6 million pounds, down 13.6 percent
Area 2C — 3.7 million pounds, down 26 percent
Area 3A — 20 million pounds, down 7.9 percent
Posted by Flatfish at 7:16 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
Judge Collyer with the DC District Court issued an opinion today denying our petition to overturn the 1 fish rule in Area 2C.
Posted by Flatfish at 2:54 PM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Source: Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009
The Environmental Defense Fund and a California congressman have undertaken a lobbying campaign on behalf of "catch shares," the policy advanced by national oceans administrator Jane Lubchenco that would privatize the fisheries, converting a commonly held resource into a commodity. Click the headline for the rest of the story!
Posted by Flatfish at 6:49 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We along the Yukon River are casualties of an unjust system that protects big enterprise and a state government that is unsympathetic to the rural people of Alaska, primarily the Native community. Thus, we the Native people along the entire Yukon River face an uncertain future; our subsistence way of life is now in serious jeopardy. Click here for the whole letter!
Posted by Flatfish at 9:08 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
In a new rule released today, NOAA’s Fisheries Service reduced the number of halibut that charter vessel anglers in southeast Alaska can keep each day from two to one to protect the halibut stock.
"While today’s rule addresses an immediate need to better manage the charter halibut fishery, we believe the long-term solution to sustainably managing the fishery is for the charter halibut fishery to join with the commercial halibut fishery in a catch share program,” said Doug Mecum, acting regional administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service in Alaska. “Catch share programs that allocate the total allowable catch to participants in the fishery give a strong incentive to fishermen to conserve fish stocks."
Halibut fishing along the Pacific Coast is managed under overall limits set for each fishing area. Sport charter halibut fishermen in Southeast Alaska have exceeded their assigned harvest levels for several years.
"Sport charter fishing has grown in southeast Alaska while halibut abundance has decreased," said Mecum. "With this rule, we are trying to reduce the charter halibut catch to ensure that we continue to fish sustainably. We want to work with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on a long-term solution for sustainable fishing by both commercial and recreational fishing sectors."
As part of the new rule, effective June 5, a halibut sport charter vessel angler in southeast Alaska may use only one fishing line, and no more than a total of six lines are allowed on a charter vessel fishing for halibut. Further, charter operators, guides and crew are prohibited from catching and retaining halibut during a charter fishing trip.
Details of the new rule can be found at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/charters.htm
Managers put a similar rule in place last spring, but sport charter halibut operators challenged it on procedural grounds and the agency withdrew the rule.
Posted by Flatfish at 6:38 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
NOAA Fisheries opens comments on proposal limiting charter halibut boats
NOAA Fisheries has opened comment on a proposed program designed to limit the number of charter boats in the guided sport halibut fishery in Southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska.
“The guided sport charter halibut sector has been growing steadily in recent years,” said Acting Regional Administrator Doug Mecum. “The proposed limited access program is intended to stabilize the guided charter sector while maintaining access to the halibut charter fishery for small rural coastal communities."
Under the proposed program,
permits would be issued to qualifying individuals or businesses that documented fishing trips during a qualifying year (2004 or 2005) and a recent participation year (probably 2007 or 2008) in their logbooks;
halibut guide business operators would be required to hold a permit for each boat they use to provide their charter clients with halibut fishing trips;
charter halibut permit holders would be subject to limits on the number of permits they could hold and on the number of charter boat anglers who could catch and retain halibut on their charter boats;
newcomers could enter the charter halibut fishery only if they were able to purchase an existing permit;
permits could be issued to community quota groups representing specific rural communities;
permits would be endorsed for fishing only in a specific International Pacific Halibut Commission management area;
permits would be endorsed for the maximum number of clients on the boat
Unguided or independent sport fishermen and subsistence fishermen would not be included under the proposed charter halibut limited access program.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to develop the proposed limited access program for the sport charter halibut fishery in March, 2007.
The proposed program would apply only in International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska).
Comments must be received by June 5, 2009.
The proposed new management system is described in detail in the proposed rule at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/prules/74fr18178.pdf
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, visit http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov or: www.afsc.noaa.gov
Posted by Flatfish at 5:41 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Halibut Charter Moritorium will be announced this week. The hotest word in the blogosphere is about the halibut charter guide moritorium being announced for its final public comment period this week. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has established a limited entry program for the halibut sport charter industry operating in southeast and southcentral Alaska. This program is anticipated to go into effect in 2010. Qualification for operating licenses under the program is based on participation during the 2004 or 2005 fishing seasons. Businesses not granted licenses will not be eligible to fish for halibut once this program goes into effect. Further information regarding this limited entry program can be obtained by calling the National Marine Fisheries Service at (907) 586-7228
Posted by Flatfish at 5:38 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
THE JOINT SESSION OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE JUST VOTED AGAINST THE CONFIRMATION OF BRENT JOHNSON TO THE STATE FISHERIES BOARD.
Governor Palin says. “Brent Johnson was both qualified and willing to serve on this high-profile board, and would have been the first Cook Inlet setnetter appointed since Dannie Garroutte was appointed by Governor Jay Hammond in 1975,” she said. “While it‘s discouraging to see politics undercut Brent’s opportunity for service, I recognize the legislature’s statutory authority not to confirm an appointment. I remain proud of the many individual Alaskans who spoke up in support of Brent Johnson, and thank the presiding officers for their efforts to keep the process fair.”
Posted by Flatfish at 6:13 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Members of the state Legislature have introduced resolutions asking Gov. Sarah Palin to examine the "inordinate and potentially unfair, unethical, and disproportionate influence of the commercial fisheries industries on fisheries management in Alaska."
The lawsuit the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, a commercial salmon fishermen's group, filed against the U.S. commerce secretary on March 5. The lawsuit, among other things, wants stop to personal use dipnet fisheries open to Alaska residents only. In their resolutions, the legislators ask the governor to oppose the lawsuit. And they ask for an examination of the commercial fishing industry's "disproportionate influence."Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, is the prime sponsor of House Joint Resolution 32. Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, is the prime sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 22.
Get ahold of your local repsesentatives! A call, email or letter is a powerful tool to help get your point across.
Posted by Flatfish at 10:34 AM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The panel voted unanimously Monday to cap the number at 60,000, or fewer under certain conditions.
Billions of pounds of Bering Sea pollock are caught each year. But village fishermen say the pollock fleet is catching and killing far too many of the salmon that communities depend on for food and money.
Nicole Ricci, a foreign affairs officer for the State Department, told the council just before the vote that the cap wouldn't do enough to meet a treaty agreement between the United States and Canada to ensure strong salmon stocks in the Yukon River.
"I don't understand how you can call this a reduction," Ricci said. She noted that the upper limit of the cap is higher than the average bycatch over the past decade.
"This has been one of the most disappointing things that I have sat through," she said.
Under the motion approved by the council, the cap would drop down to about 47,600 salmon if the industry's salmon bycatch routinely exceeds recent averages. Those refusing to take part in incentive programs would face far lower bycatch limits.
The council, consisting of government and industry representatives, sends recommendations to the U.S. commerce secretary for approval before the new bycatch rules can take effect in 2011.
Posted by Flatfish at 8:37 PM
Friday, April 3, 2009
Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) Opposes Johnson’s Appointment to Alaska Board of Fisheries.
Sportfishermen are opposing the appointment of Brent Johnson to the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF).
.“Anyone who believes in Alaskan’s subsistence, sport and personal use fishing rights should be appalled by this appointment,” said KRSA executive director Ricky Gease. “Johnson is unable to see other points of view and has shown in his past interactions with the Board that he is not able to take a fair and balanced approach to fish allocation decisions.”
Tell your legislator what you think about this pick.
Posted by Flatfish at 8:50 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Bill Text 26th Legislature a.. 00 HOUSE BILL NO. 143 01 "An Act repealing the termination of licensing and regulation of sport fishing operators 02 and sport fishing guides and licensing and registration of sport fishing vessels; and> 03 providing for an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA 05 * Section 1. Section 8, ch. 70, SLA 2004, is repealed. 06 * Sec. 2. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).
Be aware that our State Representatives, ADF&G, DNR and Alaska State Parks are all working aggressively to implement some form of "Limited Entry Program/Sport Fishing Guides Services Board" for sport fish guides in Alaska. Representatives and agencies are working overtime to implement some form of system which they believe will somehow increase professional standards within the sport fish guiding and also result in what they term REDUCED ENTRY to guided sportfish anglers.
Posted by Flatfish at 2:27 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
March 10, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today forwarded her nominations of Robert “Ed” Dersham and Dan Hull to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for appointment to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Dersham currently serves on the council and is being nominated for a second term. Hull has been an active public participant at council meetings and has served on council committees.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires governors of specific coastal states to provide a preferred candidate for each vacancy as well as two alternate nominees. In addition to Dersham and Hull, Governor Palin named Mike Heimbuch and Gale Vick as alternate nominees.
Posted by Flatfish at 3:32 PM
Canada Sets One Halibut Daily Recreational Limit
As of March 1st Canada Dept of Fish and Oceans (DFO) implemented a coast wide opening of the recreational halibut fishery with a daily limit at the start of the season is one (1) per day with a total possession limit of two (2).
In a letter from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans addressed to the Sport Fishing Advisory Board it stated, ”For 2009, Canada has agreed to a Canadian TAC of 7,630,000 pounds. This results from a 10.4% reduction in the coast-wide Canada-US catch this year. While it will be challenging, the Department (DFO) will plan Canadian Fisheries to meet this obligation. As well, the existing domestic allocation framework will remain with an 88:12 sharing arrangement and provisions for agreed adjustments.”
The official notice did not include a closing date, but the season can be shortened and will close prematurely if the 12% catch ceiling is exceeded and no or insufficient compensated transfer occurs to offset for fishing over the 12% of the halibut TAC by the recreational sector according to the local sport fishing advisory board chair from Victoria.
Posted by Flatfish at 3:18 PM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Denby Lloyd & Company still want to push the SFSGB despite receiving a large number of comments in writing and at public meetings, against it, roughly 85% against and 15% for. Board of fish is just another entity siding with the comm fishers instead of fair and equitable resource managemaent.
Some good news from the Sitka BOF meetings.
Here's just a few of the important ones we won.
> #286 Failed Define possession limit as maximum number of fish a
> person may have in possession until returning to their domicile.
> #287 No Action
> 137 Failed 2 bag limit on all species that don't have a bag limit.
> This was a strange one. Comfish amended to just include black cod
> with a limit of two. We submitted an amendment for bag limit of six with
> no annual limit. Both proposals were voted down so we were left with the
> status quo.
> This was a bad position, electric reels would have to be banned to
> limit the
> catch of black cod which several board members were adamant in doing.
> #368 No Action Establish possession limits for nonresidents at one
> daily bag limit for all species.
> #288/289 Failed Establish an annual limit of 12 coho for
> nonresidents and require a harvest record.
> #294 Failed Close regional aquaculture association terminal
> harvest areas to sportfishing.
> #296/#297 Definition of sport fishing gear. Tabled until tomorrow
> because they needed to work on definition of an electric reel. They almost
> took no action, but at the last minute Captain Kain mentioned that some
> people might object to allowing these large commercial jigging machines from
> entering the sport fishery.
> #298 Passed This "electric reel use" proposal was changed to
> consider black cod limits again. A compromise proposal of 4 daily, 8
> possession, and 12 annual was passed. We almost had the annual limit reduced to 7 or 9 because there wasn't enough lines on the back of the sportfishing
> license....thank god staff said they would accept hash marks for 4
> black cod on one line!
> #307 Failed Prohibit use of charter vessel for personal use within
> 30 days of season.
> #308 No Action Restrict personal use fishing while clients present
> for lodges.
> #309 Failed Establish coho allocation.
> #310 No Action Develop fish ticket system (BOF has no budgetary or
> administrative powers).
> #311, #312, #313 No Action Inspection of lodge facilities proposals.
Posted by Flatfish at 12:59 PM
Friday, January 30, 2009
The Commission also considered the proposed NMFS one-fish bag limit for charter fisheries in Area 2C for 2009. The Commission expressed its desire to see implementation of effective management measures for this fishery, in consideration of the Guideline Harvest Level of 788,000 lb defined for this fishery. The Commission will therefore monitor the implementation of the NMFS proposed rule. In the event of conservation concerns, the Commission will be prepared to take extraordinary action at an intercessional meeting in 2009 to pass IPHC regulations commensurate with the intent to conserve the resource, should there be any delay or problem with the implementation schedule for the NMFS regulation.
Check out the IPHC press release. @http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/newsrel/2009/nr20090120.htm Or click on Title of this post.
Posted by Flatfish at 4:27 PM