Halibut regulations are much improved over 2011 for the coming season. Limit will be one per day with a “reverse slot limit” meaning you can keep halibut that are under 45 inches or over 68 inches. For more details, read the press release from the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) below. SEAGO continues to fight hard for sustainable and reasonable regulations for charter customers who visit Southeast Alaska. Visit us at seagoalaska.org and support SEAGO.
(ANCHORAGE) – Following several days of meetings by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) discussing the health of the halibut stock, establishing catch limits for the 2012 season and considering new regulations the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) applauded the commission’s measured approach and thoughtful deliberations while approving measures for 2012.
The Commission approved staff recommendations for Southeast catch limits and a new management measure the charter fleet recommended intended to provide relief from a 2011 rule.
In December, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) recommended a “reverse slot-limit” of under 45″ or over 68″ (U45/O68) for the Southeast charter fleet. The Council’s motion to make that recommendation was adopted without objection.
During the week’s meetings, some controversy arose stemming from a regulatory proposal for the Area 2C (Southeast) charter fleet. The Conference Board (CB), a body comprised of representatives of charter and commercial fishing groups from the United States and Canada, took up the issue of the new management measure for Southeast.
During the CB deliberations the Halibut Coalition, which represents commercial fishing interests, made a move to stop a liberalized management measure intended to mitigate damage done to charter operators by an overly aggressive management measure. The Conference Board vote is a non-binding and advisory to the Commission. Despite the CB’s vote, the IPHC chose to adopt the U45/O68 reverse slot limit.
Heath Hilyard, Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) stated, “We’re very pleased that the Commission chose to adopt the recommendation coming out of the Council process. A number of our members worked diligently through the Charter Management Implementation Committee and with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to develop a regulation that was both responsive to the needs of the charter fleet and adequately addressed conservation concerns. We expect the reverse slot-limit to provide measureable improvement to operators and their clients.”