NMFS Publishes Proposed Rule to Restrict the Halibut Charter Fishery in 2C for 2007

The NMFS has published a proposed rule that would restrict the 2C halibut charter fleet for the 2007 season a 2-fish bag limit but one of the fish must be under 32″.  The expectation is that this will save approximately 400,000 lbs of fish.  This regulation is meant to replace the IPHC recommendation that was rejected by the Sec of State & Sec of Commerce.  NMFS believes that this rule will have less impact on the charter operators, and communities than a one-fish bag limit for 6 weeks.  While a maximum size limit of 32″ on the second fish is not a choice that leaps to the minds of commercial operators as a choice that makes sense,  the thing to keep in mind is that a regulation that restricts the charter industry is being implemented and this rule should be supported with that in mind.  Through the council process we can comment in June on an alternative that we believe would be better for implementation in 2008. 

The attached press release below provides additional information along with links to the analysis for the options considered and to the proposed rule.

http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2007/charterhalibut040607.htm

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