December 2, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch. Halibut catches – Board of Fish and the Council. It’s a big week for fish meetings. More after this –
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Will Alaska’s halibut catches be cut again next year? That’s the big question as the industry braces for the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s interim meeting this Wednesday and Thursday in Seattle. The unusually slow growth of halibut has forced a downward press on catches for years. The Alaska total this year was about 22 million pounds.
Also for review by the IPHC – 22 requests for an increased halibut catch to about half a million pounds in Area 4A of the mid-Aleutian Islands … In the same region there is a proposal to allow retention of halibut taken as bycatch in sablefish pot gear.
One other proposal asks for mandatory length requirements for all halibut sport charters. A report by the Halibut Bycatch Work Group which covers every gear group and region also is up for discussion. Final halibut decisions will be made by the IPHC annual meeting in mid- Jan. (13-17) .
Also this week: the state Board of Fisheries meets this Thursday and Friday (Dec. 5-6) in Anchorage to take up Chignik fisheries; that’s followed on Dec. 8-11 when the board focus shifts to Lower Cook Inlet fish issues.
Finally, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets Dec. 9-17 in Anchorage. Among other things, they will set catch quotas for next year’s groundfish catches in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.
You can tune in to all of the fish meetings via web casts. Maria Shawback is point person for the North Pacific Council’s on-line presence.
We have the ability to listen in, see whos listening on line – We have the ability to record so you can record a section of the meeting to your own computer. You can actually download the handouts directly to your computer. So if there’s a motion on the table, you can actually follow along at home.
Find links to meetings and web casts at our AK Fish Links page.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.