Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NOAA Reduces Charter Halibut Catch in Southeast

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:
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.

1 comment:

CaptBob said...

In my humble opinion I think many Southeast charter operators have been drinking the Kool-Aid causing their thinking to be fuzzy and irrational. When you have an expanding business and you need additional resources you make a loan and invest in the materials you need. When your business is soundly operated with smart investments and reasonable expected profit, your business does well. If you enter an industry with little invested and you bemoan what others have that you don't, because they have made wiser choices and perhaps worked harder or taken greater risks, you bring down your own capability and it may even bring down your marketshare. We are all capable of being just like Donald Trump, or Bill Gates, or George Soros, they are just people too so take an original approach and go work for it. So many in this world want the big money delivered to their petty situation without working for it and then they cry foul at every self destructive loss they suffer. Charters are businesses and I have seen so many lightly invested operations that are top-heavy with debt and excessive operating costs dependent on this four month season with overcapitalized entry, poor marketing plans, and the thinking that only their customers are the ones who should deserve a right to 2 halibut, regardless of the state of the resource, I am amazed.