The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2017 totaling 31.40 million pounds.
In January, more than 200 halibut industry stakeholders attended the Ninety-third Annual IPHC Meeting in Victoria, BC, Canada. Public sessions were also made available via web broadcasts.
2017 Catch Limits (by area)
Regulatory Area Catch Limit (pounds)
Area 2A (California, Oregon, and Washington) 1,330,000
Area 2B (British Columbia) (includes sport catch allocation) 7,450,000
Area 2C (southeastern Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1 5,250,000
Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1 10,000,000
Area 3B (western Gulf of Alaska) 3,140,000
Area 4A (eastern Aleutians) 1,390,000
Area 4B (central/western Aleutians) 1,140,000
Areas 4CDE 1,700,000
1 The combined total includes estimated mortality from regulatory discards of sublegal halibut and lost gear in the commercial fishery, plus discard mortality in the guided sport fishery, as mandated in the U.S. Catch Sharing Plans.
The Commission approved a season of 11 March – 7 November, 2017 for the U.S. and Canadian Individual Quota fisheries. The Treaty tribal commercial fisheries and the incidental halibut fisheries in Area 2A will occur within these dates. In Area 2A, seven 10-hour fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery are recommended: 28 June, 12 July, 26 July, 9 August, 23 August, 6 September, and 20 September, 2017.
A subsequent IPHC News Release will provide more details of the Annual Meeting, including the regulatory and other issues decided by the Commission.