So Let’s Talk About It, Halibut 2013

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by GLG, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    In 2012 the sport fishing sector was faced with the very real possibility of a July closure to the Halibut season. Most will re-call the decision to implement the 1 and 2 possession with 1 being 83cm or less. This decision and its timing spawned considerable discussion, and some very good suggestions came from it. As a result of those discussions, a motion was put forward that, in simplicity, requested that things be done in a timely manner to allow for discussion and input at all levels. This motion was passed and consequently we now have numerous management options to consider well before any decisions will be made. The belief that the current allocation of 85/15 does not provide the sport sector with adequate opportunity has not changed. Nor has the commitment to one day see it changed. However it would be irresponsible of us all not to prepare our input on the bases that we will be operating under the same or worse conditions as 2012.
    Primary Objective
    To make sure the sport sector conducts its halibut season in a manner that will meet the needs of the majority, while keeping conservation as our first priority.
    Objective of this post
    To obtain input from concerned local anglers regarding possible management measures that could be suggested to DFO. Such a need to make any suggestions is dependent upon the level of our 2013 TAC and the affect it will have on our ability to achieve our primary objective.

    Consideration to be given to all possible suggestions

    Conservation based: Is the measure a responsible approach that respects the fish and conserves the stock in both the short and long term? Does it present the likelihood of increased incidental mortalities of other species? Does it present the likelihood of increased handling and release mortalities for halibut?
    Measurable: Is it possible to quantify the impact of the measure in pounds of catch saved? Can the catch over time be predicted, thereby facilitating an estimate of the potential length of season?
    Enforceable: Can the measure be effectively enforced by DFO? Are there legal or practical barriers in place that would prevent its application?
    Timely: How long would it take to implement the measure? Is it possible to implement it for the 2013 season?
    Possible management measures for consideration
    These are suggestions up for discussion and consideration only and have not been implemented.
    Max size limit: Last year’s model of limiting the size of one of the two fish, or limiting the size of both fish.
    Individual Annual Limit: A set maximum number of Halibut per season per angler. All Halibut harvested to be recorded on license.
    Daily and Possession Limit: Go to 1 a day and 1 in possession.
    Season Length: Adjust start and or completion dates to ensure “max use times” will remain open.
    Time and Area Closures: A series of in-season time and area closures which would, in effect, ration access by preventing anglers from fishing in particular places for stated periods.
    Area Allocations: Individual areas would receive individual allocations or area TAC’S.
    Restriction on the “Gifting” of halibut by service providers: Prohibit service providers such as charter operators and lodge guides from “gifting” to a customer halibut, which they have harvested on their recreational license. Prohibit Guides and crew members from catching and retaining Halibut on their license while guests are on board.
    Other possible suggestions:
    You are encouraged to provide your opinion about any of these possible tools and to add any that you may have come up with that have not yet been listed.
    This is our chance to provide our input in regards to any management measures that may be necessary depending on the 2013 TAC, and ultimately our allocation of that TAC. As many of us requested, we have been provided time to have these discussions prior to any decisions being made. This post is intended to start the process of accumulating well thought out opinions and suggestions.

    The above text has been taken from the “SFAB Halibut Management Considerations 2013” PDF that has been passed around. It has been condensed so to make it easy to open a discussion on this subject. If you would like me to send a copy of the original, give me a PM with your email address and I will send one shortly. As the local SFAC that originated this motion to have this document created, I feel we need to get this out on this forum. Here in Area 14 we will be holding a meeting mid November to make a decision as to what path is best for our local fishermen. We will consider the above options and what impact it has on all Canadian fishermen not just the ones that live here.
  2. Duffer

    Duffer Active Member

    Restriction on the “Gifting” of halibut by service providers: Prohibit service providers such as charter operators and lodge guides from “gifting” to a customer halibut, which they have harvested on their recreational license. Prohibit Guides and crew members from catching and retaining Halibut on their license while guests are on board.

    I know this is not a Issue guiding on the Mid Island, maybe Port Hardy? Also I do not think "ALL" guides do this. I know I dont with Salmon. So this is a Geographical Issue where on the West Coast you can troll up Ping Pong paddles. Dont paint all Guides with the same brush...
  3. wstcoaster

    wstcoaster Member

    cenadian govtment should ask for compensation for huge alaskan halibut bycatch in their trawl fisheries; this should help sports fisheries attain more quota
  4. wstcoaster

    wstcoaster Member

    if you dont gift any fish then whats the problem with making it illegal
  5. Duffer

    Duffer Active Member

    It is not necessary central east Coast to gift fish number 1 because we have what I would say is a different Client base then on the West Coast. Many guest I take out don't even think ahead of time how they are going to process there catch so very often I will have to assist with this. West Coast most lodges these Clients go to, have the Vacuum Packers etc right there for there Guests and transportation for the catch. 2. Me gifting Halibut here is a non issue that's why I say its a geographical issue. 3. Ethics I don't have all the facts is this a real problem? I know Guides on the West Coast that definately don't limit there guests every time with Hali every time let alone give there own catch. Is there some proof that this is a real conservation problem. If there is then show it to me besides pics of lodges Guests with there fish. 4. With Salmon here a real good day is limiting 3 Guests with there 2 Chinook each and they are normally very happy with that. Average trip is prob 2 or 3 Salmon during a good year.
  6. lorneparker1

    lorneparker1 Banned

    Put in an annual limit and the gifting also ends.
  7. fisher69

    fisher69 Member

    Seasonal limit and reduce possession limit for out of country visitors.
  8. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    I like the annual limit and I would prefer to see it fairly low, something like 5 and youre done.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
  9. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Gifting any fish to clients who already have their limit is illegal already. I'm sure there are a few who still do it any way. I've also been in favour of an annual limit, my number was 8 to 10 halibut per year. More than enough meat per person.
  10. richmake

    richmake Active Member

    Apart from solutions i believe that as both a business owner, Guide and recreational fisherman....unless the 'experimental licence program' is thrown out....we should not offer DFO any solutions.
    This is my opinion but without going into a lengthy rant, this has to be the first step in any future negotiations or or DFO will continue with the individual ITQ for all other species of fish in the future and level the recreational fisherman at the bottom.....
    As far as I'm concerned...the level of accepting the slot limit in the first place is a nail in the coffin....just try and get that lifted is never going to happen.
    Next we will be fishing from July 1-August 31 just because their random creel survey says they should....
  11. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Well-Known Member

    We are going to lose and Pattison wants us to pay for his!
  12. lorneparker1

    lorneparker1 Banned

    From the SFI website...
    the last part really hits the nail on the head IMO

    The case is interesting. On the surface it is a dispute between commercial quota holders who believe that the original 12% allocation was set in stone versus DFO which maintains that under the Fisheries Act, allocation can be amended at any time. In practice, it will allow a judge to consider some of the broader issues surrounding public ownership of the fisheries resource, the meaning of quota, especially when held by non-harvesting "slipper skippers", and the extent to which fish can become private property before they are caught. As joint respondents, the SFI and BCWF are asking the court to consider a number of questions including how it is that government can implement a halibut leasing model that transfers fish between quota holders who don't actually fish to lodge owners or charter boat operators who don't actually fish.
  13. Duffer

    Duffer Active Member

    Lorne I think you know the reaction to Guides buying Quota?? No one bought that plan. I agree Sportys are not the problem here its the greed of a slipper Skippers so why not propose make that illegal. We always seem to be the ones to Concede when Most of us agree we Always want to preserve stocks. We also know we bring in the money to this Province not a few greedy people getting rich cause they own quota. We should be asking for more quota not conceding anything. Its all Canadians fish not just Jimmys. I was dissapointed last year at the meeting in CR when our side conceded that Sporty fish Counts were accurate I call bull #@€* to that also. How many of you got your hali counted this year? Except for a fly over? Everytime they flew over did you have your limit of Hali on board? Were you even fishing for Hali?
  14. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Great post - thanks for opening the discussion early. It is important that we get as many of the facts out early so all can see exactly how many fish were caught, where, when and how this data is used to set our recreational harvest rates. There will be a number of choices or options for the rec sector to consider in managing the 2013 season, and opportunity for input to DFO. Open and transparent data is a first step. Next is to select options which provide the best benefit to the most number of anglers regardless of how they pursue their catch (guided vs unguided).

    Going forward we also have to come to terms with harvest rates and changing efficiencies within the rec sector - so it is a complex issue with a number of factors that play into how fast the recreational TAC is caught. Any regulatory decisions we recommend should take into full account the actual impact to helping achieve maximum opportunity to spread out the available TAC fairly across the entire rec sector. Its very easy to make choices based on perceptions, so before we go down those avenues it would be best to know precisely what is to be gained or lost by making certain choices.

    The SFI, WCFGA, Area 23 SFAC, and West Coast Aquatic are hosting a public Open House event on November 20 in Port Alberni at the Barkley Hotel starting at 6:30 p.m. to conduct a post season review of our 2012 Salmon and Halibut fishery, and hear about potential management options for 2013, review current processes in place to engage DFO to provide input into fisheries management decisions. The overarching goal of this open house is to build improved understanding of the issues, fisheries management options, and processes groups and individuals have available to them to provide input to DFO. Come out and get the facts.
  15. wstcoaster

    wstcoaster Member

    i think we should stop worrying about slipper skippers and wonder whats going on with DFO and indian bands who seem to be on the recieving end of most of the halibut quotas; that dfo has been buying up and gifting indian bands who just lease it out; as they have no proper halibut boats; seems there is no quota for sale last couple of years; but dfo gets it somehow i suppose
  16. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    When we are making some decision regarding halibut we should remember that theses decision we are making are just not for us personal but for all those people in Canada and else where who are sport fishing for halibut in the province....
  17. trendsetter

    trendsetter Active Member

    I've been thinking about this issue a lot over the past two seasons. Here are a couple of proposals for long term solutions.

    Scenario #1: Using economic based allocation principles.

    1. Obtain TAC from current process
    2. Natives get their allocation.
    3. The remainder of the TAC is divided between sport and commercial as follows.
    a. Determine the amount of biomass required to allow a 365 day, 2 per day, 3 possession for the sport industry.
    b. Allocate that amount to the sport fishing sector.
    C. Allocate the remainder to the commercial sector.

    This would provide for a fixed sport fishing season and a variable commercial season and catch. This model is based upon the fact that sport caught halibut, pound per pound, are far more economically valuable to the economy and all Canadians.

    In order to accomplish the above the sport sector would almost certainly need to adopt an annual limit for halibut retention. 6 per license seems like enough to me, others may not agree.

    Scenario #2: Using halibut stamp fees to permanently purchase quota under the current allocation system.

    1. Allocate the halibut according to the current 15/85 model.
    2. Add an annual limit to halibut retention for sport fishing to extend the season.
    3. Add a 6$ resident, 18$ visitor halibut stamp requirement.
    4. At the end of each season (Dec 31) purchase halibut quote from the commercials with the proceeds of the stamp program.
    5. Use the purchased quota to adjust the allocation model. i.e. 2013 15/85, 2014 17/83, 2015 20/80 etc.
    6. Continue this process until there is no more quota for sale and a market based balance has been reached. i.e. buy out slipper skippers and leave only actual commercial fisherman with quota.

    I'd like to hear what you guys think about those options... I think that scenario 2 would be easier to implement because the slipper skippers would have a chance to recover and make money. Scenario 1 would take a supreme court decision and a top down mandatory change of the rule.

  18. Duffer

    Duffer Active Member

    I disagree with setting annual limits on Hali I already know a few people who target only the Big females and they do pretty good at it won't this create more fisherman targeting bigger Hali. This is a coservation issue?? Another problem is you set it at say 6 annually next year it will be 4 then 2. What are the options besides annual limits??
  19. trendsetter

    trendsetter Active Member

    I don't see it as a conservation issue, the TAC is determined after conservation measures have been considered. The TAC we are talking about is the available catch after conservation and native requirements have been taken into account.

    I was saying set an annual limit that allows the season to be extended. This doesn't have to be 6 it could be 20 if the available biomass would support that figure. Under either scenario the sport allocation would increase each year so the only situation were the annual limit would decrease would be if the biomass decreased.

    For the guys that target the large females, are you saying 6, 100lb plus halibut is not enough of a fair share? Annual limits should actually increase as the sport section gets more and more of the TAC as the years go by. You have to start somewhere.

  20. Duffer

    Duffer Active Member

    Killing big females is a Conservation Issue thats what I meant, what they do with all there meat who knows?? I know 2 50 lb Halis are plenty for me for the winter. I just dont agree with setting limits when we already give up enough its time for others to change there ways.

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