IPHC Catch Limits Announced

The IPHC today announced the following catch limits. Presentations from throughout the week can be viewed online at: http://www.iphc.int/
AREA      2012 Catch Limit      Blue Line Recomm     2013 Catch Limit   % of Change*
2A                  989,000                       710,000                         990,000                 +0.10%
2B              7,038,000                   4,580,000                     7,038,000                    same
2C               2,624,000                   2,970,000                     2,970,000                   +13%
3A             11,918,000                   9,240,000                   11,030,000                    -7.5%
3B              5,070,000                    2,730,000                     4,290,000                   -15.4%
4A              1,567,000                         850,000                     1,330,000                   -15.2%
4B               1,869,000                         620,000                      1,450,000                   -22.4%
4C               1,107,365                          358,000                          859,000                   -22.4%
4D               1,107,365                          358,000                          859,000                   -22.4%
4E                   250,290                           135,000                          212,000                 -15.29%
TOTAL    33,540,000                   22,550,000                   31,028,000                      -7.5%

Area 2A includes sport, treaty & commercial combined in a catch sharing plan
Area 2B included sport & commercial combined in catch limits
Area 2C used GHL for the charter removals before setting the catch limit
Area 3A used GHL for the charter removals before setting the catch limit
* % of change is 2012 catch limits compared to 2013 catch limit

STARTING DATE:
The Commission set the starting date for March 23 to November 7, 2013. The Conference Board (CB) recommended a start date of March 16 after earlier dates failed to pass. The Processor Advisory Group (PAG) recommended a later starting date of March 30th and closing on October 31st. The PAG recommended the later opening date because there are high levels of frozen inventory from 2011 and 2012. This unsold inventory is not just from the processors but distributors and retailers.

AREA 2C/3A Sport Fishing Regulations:
Maintain the current regulations of the reverse slot limit allowing the retention of one fish, ≤45 inches or ≥68 inches in length, with head on in Area 2C.  In addition, as in the past, if the halibut was filleted the entire carcass must be retained on board the vessel until all fillets are offloaded. Likewise the conference board recommends maintaining existing guided sport management measures in Area 3A (two fish bag limit, no size restriction; harvest allowed by skipper and crew).

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SE Gillnet Sac Roe GHL’s Announced

Seymour Canal (Section 11-D): The Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) for the Seymour Canal sac roe fishery is 1,014 tons. This GHL is based upon a 3,000 ton threshold level, a forecasted mature spawning biomass of 7,716 tons, and a harvest rate of 13.1%. The forecast indicates the spawning stock will consist of 11% age-3, 28% age-4, 10% age-5, 14% age-6, 7% age-7, and 30% age-8+.

No fishery will occur at Hobart, KahShakes and West Behm Canal

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Sablefish Personal Use Report Due by January 15th

Don’t forget that you must return your 2012 personal use fishing record for sablefish or you won’t be able to get a permit for 2013

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King and Tanner Task Force Presentations from December 7, 2012

The following are the powerpoint presentations from the December 7, 2012 King and Tanner Task Force Meeting. At the end of the meeting, John Barry was re-elected as co-chair of the task Force with ADFG’s Forrest Bowers.

King_Tanner_KTTF_2012

GKC_KTTF_2012

Observer_program_KTTF_2012

Also provided was a copy of the report: Southeast Alaska Golden King Crab Onboard Observer Program Report for 1998 through 2010

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IPHC Staff Recommendation for 2013

The IPHC Staff announced their 2013 recommended catch limits in a web seminar. While they presented their recommendations in a table that shows a range and the risk and benefit factors for the different levels in the range. The following limits are the equivalent to past years recommendations and the baseline recommendation of the scientists.  This shows up in the IPHC Chart as the BLUE LINE

The coastwide fishery goes from 33.8 Mlbs in 2011 DOWN to 22.7 Mlbs recommendation for 2013. (Table in Millions of LBS)

AREA          2013          2012
2A                0.71            1.15
2B                 4.58            6.63
2C                 3.12            3.21
3A                9.24          11.92
3B                 2.73          5.07
4A                0.85          1.57
4B                0.62           1.87
4CDE          0.85           2.47

Total        22.70        33.80Mlbs

The various presentations given today can be viewed at http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/interim-meeting.html

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2013 Pink Salmon Forecast for Southeast Alaska

The Southeast Alaska pink salmon harvest in 2013 is predicted to be in the excellent range, with a point estimate of 54 million fish (80% confidence interval: 42–67 million fish). An actual harvest of 54 million pink salmon would be well above the recent 10-year average of 37 million pink salmon, but is close to the average harvest over the past five odd years. The 2013 forecast was produced in two steps: 1) a forecast of the trend in the harvest, and 2) the forecast trend adjusted using 2012 juvenile pink salmon abundance data provided by the NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratories. A brief discussion and description of the forecast methods can be found at:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyareasoutheast.salmon#/forecasts  

Department staff will be available to discuss this forecast and plan for the 2013 season at the SE Alaska Purse Seine Task Force Meeting scheduled for December 6, 2012, in Juneau. In addition, staff from the NOAA Auke Bay Laboratories plan to attend this meeting and present their 2013 pink salmon harvest forecast for Southeast Alaska.

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Salmon Task Force Meetings

The Gillnet Task Force Meeting will be held Tuesday December 4, 2012 at 1:00 in Juneau at Centennial Hall.
GNTF Agenda 2012 (DRAFT) Have additional topics you would like discussed, contact SEAFA office and we will request it to be added to the agenda.

The Seine Task Force Meeting will be held on Thursday December 6, in Juneau at Centennial Hall starting at 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
PSTF Agenda 2012 (DRAFT)  Have additional topics you would like discussed, contact SEAFA office and we will request it to be added to the agenda.

The Southeast King and Tanner Task Force will be meeting Friday, December 7, in Juneau; 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm at ADFG Commissioners Conference room with teleconference locations at:
Petersburg – Tides Inn Conference Room
Wrangell – ADFG Wrangell Area Office
Sitka – ADFG Sitka Area Office
Ketchikan – ADFG Ketchkian Area Office

TOPICS for the meeting include:  (DRAFT) if you have additional items you would like to add to the agenda, contact the SEAFA office

  • Review 2011/12 king and tanner crab fisheries
  • Update on 2012 king and tanner crab surveys and stock status
  • Discussion of 2012/2013 golden king crab fishery management and stock status

On Wednesday, December 5th, the Regional Planning Team will be meeting in Juneau

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Exemption for SE Inside Waters from Mandatory CG Exams

Attached is the letter from the Coast Guard granting an exemption for vessels under 79 feet, and in the inside waters of SE Alaska and outside of 3 mile baseline (contiguous/donut holes in Cross Sound, Sitka Sound, Icy Strait, Chatham Strait, , Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal, Fredrick Sound, Clarence Strait and REvillagigedo Channel.

SEAK Exemption from Mandatory Exams Reply to SEAFA Request Oct2012

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NPFMC Takes Action on the Halibut CSP Again!

The Council took final action on the Catch Sharing Plan (CSP). By a vote of 10-1 (Sam Cotton opposed) they adopted Alternative 3 for Area 2C and Alternative 4 for Area 3A. The final percentages approved were :

Area 2C:
At a combined charter and setline halibut catch limit of <5 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 18.3% of the combined charter and commercial setline halibut catch limit. When the combined charter and setline halibut is between ≥ 5 million pounds and ≤5.755 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 0.915 million pounds. When the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit is > 5.755 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 15.9% of the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit.

Area 3A:
At a combined charter and setline halibut catch limit of <10 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 18.9% of the combined charter and commercial setline halibut catch limit. When the combined charter and setline halibut is between ≥ 10 million pounds and ≤10.8 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 1.890 million pounds. When the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit is > 10.8 million pounds and ≤20 million pounds , the charter allocation will be 17.5% of the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit. When the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit is between >20 million pounds and ≤25 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 3.5 million pounds. When the combined charter and setline halibut catch limit is greater than 25 million pounds, the charter allocation will be 14.0% of the combined charter and commercial setline halibut catch limit.

Compared to the CSP adopted in 2008:
2C lost 0.8 to 1.0% of the combined catch limit (CCL), depending on abundance levels, to charter.
3A lost 3.5% of the combined catch limit to charter at CCL below 20,000,000 pounds.

The high end of the allocation alternatives would have re-allocated, in 2C at time of low abundance 4.5% and in 3A in times of low abundance 5.3%
The Guided Angler Fish (GAF) program was adopted and the logbooks were recommended to be used as the primary data collection method for charter harvest over the Statewide Harvest Survey (SWHS).
Thank you to the SEAFA members who attended the meeting or submitted written testimony. This has been a long battle and is not over until a final rule is published.
I will post the full motion as passed when available

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NPFMC Meets 1st Week of October in Anchorage

The NPFMC will be taking up several issues of interest to SEAFA Members. Approximately Wednesday afternoon through Friday the NPFMC will be taking final action (again) on a Halibut Catch Share Plan (CSP) between commercial and charter industries. There are options on the table to reallocate to the charter sector up to 5% above the allocation set in the 2008 CSP.

Also on the table will be a review of the 2013 Annual Deployment Plan for the restructured observer program.  For vessels in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fishery which was previously unobserved between 40 and 57.5 feet in length they are proposing a vessel selection pool where you will be selected for 3 months at a time (quarterly) to be observed for all federal fishing trips. Electronic Monitoring (EM) will be  a voluntary basis only (you might be selected for human observation also) to try and develop a program to be integrated in the future.  The current objective of the voluntary EM program “in 2013 is to evaluate the efficacy of EM to identify species and the disposition of those species coverd by the full retention requirements for Demersal Shelf Rockfihs in the hook and line fishery operating out of Southeast Alaska.  Only vessels with a history of fishing from the ports of Homer, Petersburg, Sitka and if funding permits Kodiak.

There will be a review of a discussion paper on Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS). There is a strong push by Coast Guard and enforcement to enact a requirement that all commercial fishing vessels be required to have VMS in federal fisheries.

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