Council Recommends Catch Sharing Plan for Halibut

Saturday evening the NPFMC voted 10 to 1 to pass a catch sharing plan. Friday afternoon the State of Alaska offered the first motion on the halibut charter issue.  This motion had no set allocation between the commercial and charter sectors.  It did have a framework where at various level of abundance the charter fleet would fish under a one fish bag limit, two fish bag limit with one under 32″ and a two fish bag limit with no leasing of IFQ’s.  This proposal allowed a range of charter harvest from 12% to 30% depending upon the level of abundance in 2C and 11.8% to 30% in 3A.  The Council allowed the motion to sit overnight, while they took staff reports on 3A management measures to allow the public a chance to review, understand and offer to council members their opinions on a one to one basis.  

The final motion ended up being a catch sharing plan that has a clear allocation between sectors.  The charter fleet allocation is a fixed percentage of 15.1% in 2C except when the combined commercial and charter catch limit is below 5 million pounds when the allocation goes to 17.3%.  In 3A the allocation is 14% except when the combined commercial and charter catch limit is below 10 million pounds when the allocation goes to 15.4%.  The allocation acknowledges that management measures and projections of harvest in the charter fleet are imprecise therefore up to a 3.5% variance may occur and that overtime the variances should balance out.  The allocation is what will be used in IPHC’s calculations for determining the commercial catch limits.  The State of Alaska approach of predetermining set management measures that IPHC and NMFS will abide by at various levels of abundance as determined by the combined commercial and charter catch limit although these differ then the State’s original motion. Leasing was added as an amendment to the motion which passed with a split vote of 8 to 3 and became part of the main motion which passed the Council.

NPFMC Official draft motion:  NPFMC Motion on CSP

State of Alaska Original motion:  State Motion CSP

State of Alaska charts for motion 2C:  2C Graphs

State of Alaska charts for motion 3A:  3A Graphs

The NPFMC on Sunday morning took public testimony on the 3A management measures and took no action.

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