Halibut regulations are set for 2016 and we’ve gained an inch. This gain reflects steadily building halibut numbers and size in Southeast Alaska paired with a conservative approach to harvesting those gains. Last year, the regulations allowed for retaining one halibut under 42 inches or over 80. In 2016, we’ve stepped up to one halibut under 43 inches or over 80 inches. The trend is positive.
The conservative approach taken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission in rebuilding the resource provides an added benefit: more reliable and faster fishing for halibut. Over the past five years halibut catching has become increasingly fast and reliable. Everything we’re seeing in the assessment of the stocks suggests that things will continue on that upward trend for 2016 and well beyond.