Halibut have been fished for hundreds of years by native Americans on the west coast of the U.S. The U.S. commercial fishery started in 1888, when halibut were first landed in Tacoma, Washington.
Pacific halibut are managed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and through the Council’s Halibut Catch Sharing Plan, a framework that dictates how the total allowable catch will be divided off the West Coast. The total allowable catch is set each January by the IPHC, and each year the Council solicits changes to its Catch Sharing Plan between September and November, making final recommendations in November of each year.
Recently, the Council has taken steps to transition routine management of the non-Indian commercial directed halibut fishery from IPHC to the Council and NMFS. The Council is working closely with IPHC and stakeholders during this process. However, the IPHC will continue to set the total allowable catch for Pacific halibut, and Council will continue to develop a Catch Sharing Plan.
Actions in progress
- Amendment 32: Non-trawl area management measures
- Groundfish FMP Amendment 31
- Groundfish FMP Amendment 30 and the 2022-23 Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Management Measures
- Groundfish FMP Amendment 29 and the 2021-22 Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Management Measures
- Pacific Whiting Utilization in the At-Sea Sectors
Upcoming Council Meeting
March Council meeting
The Council contracts with hotels two to three years in advance.