Transition of Pacific halibut Area 2A management

Action status

  • Implemented
  • Undergoing NMFS Review
  • Approved by Council
  • Under development by the Council

In 2019, the Council decided to move forward with the transition of management authority of the Area 2A Non-Indian Commercial Directed Pacific Halibut Fishery (directed fishery) fishery from IPHC to the Council and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

In April 2019 the Council was provided with a scoping report that outlined tasks and considerations that may need to be addressed as part of a transition plan. A second report in June 2019 focused mainly on transition timing and licensing of the fishery.  At the June 2019 meeting, the Council confirmed its intent to begin the transition process, and approved a list of actions and steps to take in preparation for the transition.  In September 2019, the Council sent a letter to IPHC outlining its plans to pursue the transition of management authority for the directed fishery, and utilized the Catch Sharing Plan process (September/November) to recommend the 2020 season structure of the directed fishery for IPHC consideration (Agenda Item F.3, Attachment 1, March 2020).  In November, the Council discussed the NMFS report on the process and workload for the management transition.  During its discussion in November, the Council acknowledged some elements of the directed fishery management may involve consideration of other 2A fisheries, mainly the current rules governing which 2A licenses can or cannot be held in tandem.  With that in mind, the successful transfer of management authority of the directed fishery will require holistic thought and successive steps.

Most recently, In March 2020, the Council reviewed a report on details of the potential transfer of management and adopted for public review a range of alternatives.  The Council is scheduled to consider this topic again in both September and November 2020.  The Council will consider public comment and potentially adopt preliminary preferred alternatives in September and consider final alternatives in November.