Southeast AK Chinook Quota Announced

ADF&G Announces 2013 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Harvest Quota
(Juneau) – Under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announces that the preseason Chinook salmon all-gear harvest quota for Southeast Alaska in 2013 is 176,000 fish. This year’s quota is 90,000 fish lower than the 2012 allowable preseason Chinook all-gear harvest level of 266,800.

The annual all-gear quota for Southeast Alaska is determined by the Chinook Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission. The quota is based on the forecast of an aggregate abundance of Pacific Coast Chinook salmon stocks subject to management under the treaty. Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries may be harvested in addition to the annual treaty limit.
The Chinook harvest in Southeast is allocated to sport, commercial troll, and commercial net fisheries under management plans specified by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Information on those allocations and the regulations that will be in place for the 2013 season can be found in news releases from the ADF&G Sport Fish and Commercial Fisheries Divisions.

  • Troll Quota:  129,862
  • Drift Gillnet:  5,104
  • Purse Seine:  7,568
  • Set Gillnet:  1,000
  • Sport:  32,466

This is a decrease of 67,410 kings in the troll fishery from last year.

Links to those releases are below:

Commercial

Sport

Summary of King Salmon SPORT FISH REGULATIONS AS OF APRIL 8th, 2013

 The bag and possession limit (resident and nonresident) is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length;
 A nonresident annual harvest limit and recording requirements apply as follows:
o From January 1 through June 30, a nonresident’s harvest limit is three king salmon 28 inches or greater in length;
o From July 1 through July 15, a nonresident’s harvest limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by the nonresident from January 1 through June 30 will apply toward the two fish harvest limit;
o From July 16 through December 31, a nonresident’s harvest limit is one king salmon 28 inches or greater in length, and any king salmon harvested by the nonresident from January 1 through July 15 will apply toward the one fish harvest limit.
o Immediately upon landing and retaining a king salmon nonresidents must enter the species, date and location, in ink, on the back of their sport fishing license or harvest record.
 From October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014; resident sport anglers may use two rods while fishing for king salmon; a resident using two rods may only retain king salmon.

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Governor Makes Appointments to NPFMC

March 15, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today nominated Duncan Fields and David Long for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also named Stefanie Moreland and John Moller as alternate nominees.

“The fisheries resources in the North Pacific are of vital importance to Alaskans and Alaskan communities, and these nominees are experienced in the harvest, conservation, and management of fisheries resources,” Governor Parnell said. “Mr. Fields and Mr. Long will effectively press forward on issues that are important to Alaska.”

Fields, of Kodiak, is completing his second term on the NPFMC. He has been an active fisherman since 1960. Fields serves as a technical advisor for the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition, the vice president of natural resource and community development for Old Harbor Native Corporation, and a natural resource consultant for Shoreside Consulting. He served on the NPFMC Advisory Panel from 2001 through 2007 and is a member of the executive committee of the United Fishermen of Alaska. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a comprehensive social science major from Cedarville College and a juris doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Long, of Wasilla, has acquired extensive and diverse experience over the past 40 years through active participation in fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Bristol Bay, and Sea of Okhotsk in a variety of gear types and fisheries. He is a licensed master of oceans, has mastered vessels with oceanographic research and development programs, and has served the Alaska State Troopers as a vessel supervisor. He has also participated in the NPFMC process by providing testimony and information. Long is also an avid sport fisherman.

Moreland, of Juneau, is currently a special assistant in the Office of the Governor. In that role, she serves as a policy advisor on fisheries, wildlife, oceans, and Arctic issues. She formerly served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. Moreland has additional public service in fisheries management working as a federal fisheries coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, as the commissioner’s alternate on the NPFMC, and as an economist and research analyst for the State of Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. Moreland earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a master’s degree in resource and applied economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Moller was born in Unalaska and resides in Juneau, where he serves as a senior rural affairs advisor and special assistant in the Office of the Governor. He worked for many years as a commercial fisherman and currently owns and operates a commercial fishing vessel in Southeast Alaska. He also owns and manages commercial properties. Moller has served on a number of Alaska Native and local government community boards and committees, including four years on the advisory panel to the NPFMC. He also served for 13 years as general manager of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.

With jurisdiction over the one million square mile Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of Alaska, the NPFMC has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species harvested mainly by trawlers, hook and line longliners, and pot fishermen. Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, the council is one of eight regional councils dedicated to the oversight of the nation’s fisheries. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, which was originally signed into law in 1976, empowers the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to choose the final appointees from applicants nominated by governors of coastal states.

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Spring Port Meeting for Troll fishery Dates Announced

Sitka . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the following schedule for the commercial troll public meetings to be held in towns around Southeast Alaska and Yakutat:
 Ketchikan
Monday, April 1; Fish and Game Conference Room
6:00 p.m.
Craig
Tuesday, April 2; Craig City Hall
11:00 a.m.
Petersburg
Wednesday, April 3; Petersburg City Council Chambers
12:30 p.m.
Wrangell
Wednesday, April 3; Wrangell Fire Hall
6:30 p.m.
Juneau
Thursday, April 4; ADF&G Headquarters Conference Room
6:00 p.m.
Hoonah
Friday, April 5; U.S. Forest Service Office
10:00 a.m.
Pelican
Friday, April 5; Pelican City Hall
1:00 p.m.
Sitka
Tuesday, April 9; NSRAA Conference Room
6:00 p.m.
Yakutat
Wednesday, April 10; Teleconference at Yakutat Salmon Board Building
8:00 p.m.
Meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, plans for the 2013 spring and summer troll fisheries, the 2013 Pacific Salmon Treaty Chinook salmon abundance index and quota, a review of the 2012 troll season, and new regulations adopted at the 2012 Board of Fisheries meeting. The executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association will attend and present information at some of these meetings. Anyone with an interest in the troll fishery is welcome to attend.

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Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative Survey

February 18, 2013

Dear Alaska permit holders and crewmembers,

Alaska’s commercial fishing, seafood and maritime industries, the State of Alaska, and the University of Alaska are working together to determine how we can all better support the current fishing workforce, and how to ensure that fishing is a vital career for the next generation of Alaskans.

Below is a link to a short online survey being conducted by the University of Alaska on behalf of the Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative Industry Advisory Committee. This group is developing a workforce development plan for these industries in 2013. Similar plans are already in place for the oil and gas and healthcare industries and the mining industry is also developing a workforce plan.

You can find the survey at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/alaskafishingworkforce
The survey will remain open until March 1, 2013.

Your time and thoughts are appreciated. Please pass this announcement on to others. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Paula Cullenberg, paula.cullenberg@alaska.edu, 274-9692 or Torie Baker, torie.baker@alaska.edu, 424-7542. You can find out more about this initiative at www.alaska.edu/fsmi

Thank you,
Paula Cullenberg, Program Leader
Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
University of Alaska Fairbanks
www.marineadvisory.org

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IPHC Official 2013 Meeting Announcement

Halibut Commission Completes 2013 Annual Meeting

Monday, 04 February 2013 15:41

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC, or Commission) completed its 89th Annual Meeting in Victoria, BC on January 25, with Mr. Michael Pearson of Ottawa, ON presiding as Chair. More than 250 halibut industry stakeholders attended the meeting, with over 60 more participating via the web. All of the Commission’s public and administrative sessions during this year’s meeting were open to the public and broadcast on the web.

The Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2013 totaling 31,028,000 pounds, a 7.5% decrease from the 2012 catch limit of 33,540,000 pounds. These catch limits are higher than recommended by the Processor Advisory Group but consistent with Conference Board recommendations. They achieve a lower coastwide harvest rate than in 2012 and move the coastwide harvest rate toward the harvest policy, while recognizing that the harvest policy is under review. In addition to setting catch limits for 2013, the Commission addressed a wide range of regulatory issues and took important actions regarding the IPHC performance review, management strategy evaluation, the structure of its advisory bodies, and bycatch management.

A news release issued January 28 announced the catch limits and fishing seasons for 2013. That information is repeated in this news release. Documents and presentations used at the Annual Meeting can be found on the Annual Meeting page of the IPHC website: http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting.html.

Stock Assessment and Harvest Rates
During 2012, the assessment staff at the IPHC conducted a full review of the data, specific model equations, and the general approach used to assess the stock in recent years. The retrospective bias seen in recent assessments was found to occur because the model did not correctly account for variation in the availability of different sizes of fish in different areas. A peer review team, including the U.S. and Canadian Science Advisors, agreed that the staff’s more flexible model structure could be adopted to address this problem and correct the retrospective bias. The assessment model results are now more consistent with observed fishery and survey results. As a result of changes to the assessment model, estimates of recent recruitment are much lower than previously thought.

The Pacific halibut biomass has been declining over much of the last decade as a result of decreasing size at age as well as below-average recruitment. Including 2012 data, the stock assessment estimates that the population decline has now slowed and the stock trajectory is relatively flat, with spawning biomass about 5% higher than a level which would require a reduction in harvest rate. The report of the 2012 stock assessment is available on the IPHC website at: http://www.iphc.int/publications/rara/2012/rara2012093_assessment.pdf.

As described in Information Bulletin 70 (http://iphc.int/library/bulletins/300-ib0070.html) and the IPHC Interim Meeting news release (http://www.iphc.int/news-releases/306-nr20121218.html), the IPHC staff harvest advice was reformatted this year into a decision table which provides the probabilities of risks and benefits associated with specific harvest choices. This decision table allowed a comparison of alternative stock biomass and fishery outcomes at different increments of total removals, providing more information for consideration by the Commissioners as they set the annual catch limits.

Catch Limits and Seasons

Catch Limits
The Commission received harvest advice for 2013 from the scientific staff, Canadian and United States harvesters and processors, and other fishery agencies, and recommends to the two governments the following catch limits for 2013:

Regulatory Area     Catch Limit     (pounds)

Area 2A (California, Oregon, and Washington
Non-treaty directed commercial (south of Pt. Chehalis)     173,390
Non-treaty incidental catch in salmon troll fishery     30,600
Non-treaty incidental catch in sablefish fishery (north of Pt. Chehalis)     21,410
Treaty Indian commercial     314,300
Treaty Indian ceremonial and subsistence (year-round)     32,200
Sport – North of Columbia River     214,110
Sport – South of Columbia River     203,990
Area 2A total     990,000

Area 2B (British Columbia) (includes sport catch allocation)     7,038,000

Area 2C (southeastern Alaska)     2,970,000

Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska)     11,030,000

Area 3B (western Gulf of Alaska)     4,290,000

Area 4A (eastern Aleutians)     1,330,000
Area 4B (western Aleutians)     1,450,000
Area 4C (Pribilof Islands)     859,000
Area 4D (northwestern Bering Sea)     859,000
Area 4E (Bering Sea flats)     212,000
Area 4 total     4,710,000

Total     31,028,000

Notes Regarding the Catch Limits for Specific Regulatory Areas

Area 2A
The catch sharing plan implemented by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) for Area 2A was adopted by the Commission and is reflected in the catch limits adopted for the Area 2A fisheries. The overall catch limit for Area 2A in 2013 is sufficient to permit non-treaty incidental harvest of halibut during the limited entry sablefish longline fishery, under the provisions of the PFMC catch sharing plan.

Area 2B
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada (DFO) will allocate the Area 2B catch limit between commercial and sport fisheries.

Area 4CDE
The IPHC sets combined limit for Area 4CDE. The individual catch limits for Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E reflect the 4CDE catch sharing plan implemented by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The catch sharing plan allows Area 4D Community Development Quota (CDQ) harvest to be taken in Area 4E, and Area 4C Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) and CDQ to be fished in Areas 4D and 4C.

Fishing Season Dates
After reviewing staff information and proposals from the harvesting and processing sectors, the Commission approved a season of March 23 – November 7, 2013 for the U.S. and Canadian Individual Quota fisheries. Seasons will commence at noon local time on March 23 and terminate at noon local time on November 7, 2013 for the following fisheries and areas: the Canadian Individual Vessel Quota (IVQ) fishery in Area 2B, and the United States IFQ and CDQ fisheries in Areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E. All Area 2A commercial fishing, including the treaty Indian commercial fishery, will take place between March 23 and November 7, 2013. The Saturday opening date was chosen to facilitate marketing. In order to provide more time for its staff to conduct the stock assessment prior to its Interim Meeting, the Commission selected the same closing date as in 2012.

In Area 2A, seven 10-hour fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery, south of Point Chehalis, WA, are recommended: June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, and September 18, 2013. All fishing periods will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. local time, and will be further restricted by fishing period limits announced at a later date.

Area 2A fishing dates for an incidental commercial halibut fishery concurrent with the limited entry sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis and the salmon troll fishing seasons will be established under United States domestic regulations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The remainder of the Area 2A catch sharing plan, including sport fishing seasons and depth restrictions, will be determined under regulations promulgated by NMFS. For further information regarding the depth restrictions in the commercial directed halibut fishery, and the sport fisheries, call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825).

Regulatory Changes and Issues

Control of Charter Harvest in Area 2C
The Commission received a request from the NPFMC to continue from last year the Commission’s existing one-fish bag limit with a reverse-slot limit length restriction (≤ 45 in or ≥ 68 in, head on). This proposal is intended to keep the removals by the charter fishery within the Council’s Guideline Harvest Level for Area 2C. In addition, the entire carcass must be retained on board the vessel until all fillets are offloaded. To accommodate the Council request, the Commission left in place the existing reverse slot limit regulation for charter halibut fishing in Area 2C for 2013.

Sport Fishery Management
The Commission forwarded proposals for developing an Alaska sport harvest ticket and an Oregon charter tag to the respective state agencies for their consideration, since these proposals should be appropriately considered by these agencies.

Other Proposals
The Commission reviewed other proposals concerning hook requirements, preserved fish aboard vessels, careful release of fish, direct assessment of U32 fish, hook and release mortality, Area 2A biomass, and halibut in Prince William Sound, but took no regulatory action concerning these proposals. The Commission directed staff to work with proponents of several of these proposals to accommodate the intents of the proposals to the extent practicable.

Other Actions

Performance Review
The Commission reviewed the recommendations of the 2012 Performance Review, as well as stakeholder response and advice. The Commission has already taken action on several recommendations concerning increased openness and transparency in Commission meetings and operations. Action on other recommendations will be incorporated into ongoing work to improve the Commission’s procedures and processes, including the development of scientific advice, planning and review of research, and operation of the advisory bodies. The Performance Review final report can be found on the Commission’s website at: (http://www.iphc.int/documents/review/FINAL_IPHC_Performance_Review-April30.pdf).

Management Strategy Advisory Board and Scientific Review Board
The Commission approved the formation of a Management Strategy Advisory Board (MSAB) to advise on the development and evaluation of candidate objectives and strategies for managing the halibut resource. The MSAB will be a cross-disciplinary group, with representatives from industry, science, fisheries management, and Commission staff. The Commission is accepting nominations for the MSAB until February 28, 2013, and the membership should be finalized by the end of March. The Commission expects the MSAB to meet for the first time in late spring of this year. Travel expenses for MSAB members will be paid by the Commission.

The Commission is also adding a new Scientific Review Board (SRB) to fulfill the need for ongoing scientific peer review of the stock assessment, harvest advice, and research. The SRB will be a small technical body of members invited by the Commission, and is expected to begin work during this year.

The two new advisory bodies are dedicated to particular organizational needs and are complementary to the existing advisory structure. They do not supplant or replace the functions of the Conference Board, Processor Advisory Group, or Research Advisory Board, but will work with them in advising the Commission.

Halibut Bycatch
The Commission expressed its continued concern about the yield and spawning biomass losses to the halibut stock from mortality of halibut in non-directed fisheries. Significant progress in reducing this bycatch mortality has been achieved in Areas 2A and 2B, using individual bycatch quotas for vessels in some fisheries. Reductions have also occurred in Alaska, and new measures aimed at improving bycatch estimation, scheduled to begin in 2013, should help to refine these estimates.

The Commission received a motion from the Conference Board concerning bycatch, which it is incorporating into the ongoing work of its Bycatch Project team and the Commission staff.

The Commission received a report from its Bycatch Project Team, which outlined its progress on its four project objectives: quantifying bycatch, documenting impacts to the fishery and resource, exploring options to mitigate impacts, and identifying options to reduce bycatch. The Project Team identified its next steps, to include refinement of the immediate term options, subsequent discussion on longer-term options, completion of a report by summer 2013, and an implementation plan for agreed-upon strategies.

IPHC Merit Scholarship
The Commission honoured Mr. Jamie Nightingale of Delta, BC as the 11th recipient of the IPHC Merit Scholarship.

Upcoming Meetings
The next Interim Meeting of the Commission will be held December 4-5, 2013 at the IPHC offices in Seattle. The next Annual Meeting of the Commission is planned for January 13-17, 2014 in the Seattle area (dates to be confirmed).

Commission Membership
United States Government Commissioner, Dr. James W. Balsiger of Juneau, AK, was elected Chair for the coming year. Canadian Government Commissioner Michael Pearson of Ottawa, ON, was elected Vice-Chair. The other Canadian Commissioners are David Boyes (Courtenay, BC) and Paul Ryall (Vancouver, BC). The other United States Commissioners are Ralph Hoard (Seattle, WA) and Phillip Lestenkof (St. Paul, AK).

- END -

 

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House Fisheries Committee Receives a Report on Escapements Around the State

The House Fisheries Committee heard a report from Commercial Fisheries Director Jeff Regnart about salmon escapements around the state and areas about Foregone harvest of salmon. This discussion has been heard in previous years also.  The two meeting documents provided to the Fisheries Committee are:

Salmon Escapements and Goals 2003-2011 FMS 12-03

Report to House Fisheries Committee Salmon Escapements Above Goals 5 Years Running

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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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