Results of 2008 IPHC Annual Meeting

The IPHC meeting ended this morning, Friday January 18th with the announcement of the catch limits and other actions taken by the Commissioners.  In Alaska, the Commissioners accepted the staff catch limit recommendations.  The season dates will be March 8 to November 15, 2008

The 2008 Catch Limits

Area                 2007 Catch Limit          Staff Recommendation      2008 Catch Limit

2A                   1.34                             1.00                                         1.22

2B                    11.47                           8.06                                         9.00

2C                   8.51                             6.21                                         6.21

3A                   26.20                           24.22                                       24.22

3B                    9.22                             10.9                                         10.9

4A                   2.89                             3.10                                         3.10

4B                    1.44                             1.86                                         1.86

4CDE              4.10                             3.89                                         3.89

The Commissioners spoke specifically to the Area 2C charter situation.  They stated that they spent alot of time on the issue but that there was no way to change the harvest rate, or biomass to change the effect to the charter industry.  That further actions will be addressed at the NPFMC.

By the Commissioners accepting the staff catch limits this brings the charter GHL according to federal regulation to 930,000 lbs compared to the 1.432 that they have been operating under.


Other Actions:

The Commissioners adopted staff proposals to put in regulations the standard deduction of 10% for heading & gutting and 2% for ice and slime; further defining the sport regulations that it is illegal to fillet halibut beyond 4 fletches, 2 ventral and 2 dorsal with the skin; adopted the WDF sablefish logbook as a legal halibut logbook.  On public proposals submitted, the Commissioners adopted the proposals to prohibit tagging of halibut unless approved by IPHC or appropriate state/provincial governments, allowing the combining of Area 4 fish with the use of VMS.  Two public proposals were asked to be reworked for next year, these include allowing sport/personal use shellfish pots onboard and the prohibition of electric or hydraulic reels when sport fishing.

The Commissioners directed staff to analyze the issue of lowering the commercial size limit and the implications of; to analyze halibut by-catch issues and update the 1991 report with a workshop in 2009; in early fall of 2008 have a workshop on the apportionment, migration and harvest policies; write letters to NMFS enforcement and ADFG enforcement regarding charter enforcement activities and actions.

The tenative dates for the annual meeting in 2009 in Vancouver is the week of January 12th.

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