IPHC Interim Meeting - YIKES!

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by SerengetiGuide, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    Just saw the draft tables from the meetings, looks like they are suggesting that area 2B's catch next year should be 3.14 million pounds, down from 7.49 million pounds this year. The setline survey data coastwide was very bad, but commercial WPUE in almost all areas minus one was level or positive. In area 2B it was actually up 5%. Weird there can be such a HUGE difference between the setline and what the commies are seeing. Area 2B IPHC setline WPUE (weight per unit effort I believe) was down 23% while commies, like I said, were up 5%. 28% difference seems like an anomaly to me.

    Don't know if our rep's can pull a rabbit out of the hat...or in this case may be quite a bit more than one rabbit.

    This would essentially drop the rec sectors catch, assuming we don't get more %, from 1.12 mill pounds to 470,000 pounds if I'm not mistaken.
  2. Capt_Ed

    Capt_Ed Active Member

    In my time spent on the Halibut Advisory Board I never saw the quota get cut in half in any one year , not to say it couldn't happen just unlikely. As far the difference between the setline survey and commercial results I can offer this. Myself ,my boat and crew spent a number years conducting the setline surveys around the Queen Charlottes and Hecate Straits for the IPHC, the specific grid pattern that the IPHC wanted gear set on was rarely good halibut fishing ground for the commercial sector. It was however the same spots that had been surveyed since the inseption of the surveys and the science requires the gear to be on the same spots every year .
  3. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    (Photo courtesy of the International Pacific Halibut Commission)

    Scientists monitoring halibut say there could be a decline in the bottom fish along the coast of the U.S. and Canada in upcoming years if the current level of fishing continues.

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission oversees management of the fish along the coast from Alaska to California. Commissioners had an interim meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, November 28-29th in Seattle and heard about this year’s catch and the latest estimates of halibut stocks.

    Scientists found fewer younger halibut in survey fishing done up and down the coast this year. That could signal a decrease in halibut numbers and what’s caught in the commercial fishery in upcoming years.

    “What we are starting to see here is a projection we’ve got fewer young fish coming into the stock and that’s very consistent with the setline survey dropping in terms of numbers and it’s also why we’re really not seeing it yet in the commercial fishery,” Ian Stewart, a quantitative scientist with the commission. “Because that fishery is still largely dominated by these better year classes that are still present in the fishery catch. But will be decreasing in the fishery catch over the next several years.”

    The IPHC’s survey found a decrease from last year in the number of halibut caught. Coast-wide that drop was 24 percent from 2016, with some variation between different parts of the coast. Meanwhile, catch rates actually increased in the commercial fishery in some areas. Coast-wide commercial catches this year topped 26 million pounds. Fishing fleets targeting other species caught another six million pounds of halibut as bycatch.

    Staff scientists don’t recommend catch levels to the U.S. and Canadian commissioners. Instead they present the likelihood of future declines or increases in fish stocks based on different catch limits. Because fish numbers are dropping, most areas of the coast could see decreases in the commercial and charter catch limits next year if the commission decides to stay with the same level of fishing intensity as 2017.

    Commissioner Linda Behnken of Alaska asked for more clarity on the impacts of those catch limits for the future. “It does seem as if the reductions we’re seeing you calling for here indicated are really driven by recruitment and the fact that there’s not small fish moving in to replace the bigger fish, or to recruit into the fishery,” Behnken said. “And so I think part of what we’re going to have to understand when we take action at the annual meeting is how sensitive the population is in the future projections to the fishing intensity levels.”

    The commission will decide catch limits at their annual meeting in Portland, Oregon in late January. They’ll also be considering various regulatory changes and setting the season dates for next year.
  4. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    Doubt it will end up being cut in half but point is if it gets cut even 25% we as the rec sector are ****ed!! So we better get 20+% instead of 15 or count on what, a 40lb size limit next?? Even with the US dollar strong watch tourists go north to Alaska if that happens.

    Realistically we need 22-25%.
    bigdogeh likes this.
  5. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    lol..how about we get to the 20% first......:rolleyes:
  6. Capt_Ed

    Capt_Ed Active Member

    Glad I'm not on the HAB anymore when that subject comes up :eek::eek:

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