Pacific Council News Spring 2019: Pacific halibut

Changes to halibut management may be on the horizon

The non-Indian commercial directed halibut fishery may be managed by the Council in the future, in response to International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) recommendations to change the structure of the fishery, citing safety concerns. The Council asked representatives from NMFS, the states, and Council staff to meet with the IPHC before the June Council meeting to discuss the logistics associated with a transition plan.  Next steps will be discussed at the June Council meeting.

The fishery structure has been a topic of discussion between the IPHC and Council since May 2017, when the IPHC recommended the Council consider a change in the management of the fishery. The IPHC did not recommend a particular management structure for the fishery, but supported changes that would reduce the concentration of fishing effort.

A stakeholder workshop may occur later in 2019 to discuss regulatory alternatives (opening date, season structure, and vessel limits) for the 2020 fishery. At the November Council meeting, NMFS will provide a report on the process, timeline, and workload associated with transitioning the management of the fishery. Skip to other halibut news

Halibut incidental catch limits for salmon troll fishery set

The Council adopted final incidental landing restrictions for the salmon troll fishery as follows: from May 1, 2019 through the end of the 2019 salmon troll fishery, and from April 1-30, 2020, license holders may land no more than one Pacific halibut per two Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 35 halibut landed per trip.

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