94th Session of the IPHC Interim Meeting

The International Pacific Halibut Commission will meet on November 27th and 28th in Seattle.

This upcoming meeting will be a real nail-biter as the U.S. and Canada struggle to come to terms about the management of the Halibut resource where the parties struggle to reach an agreement in this time of decreasing halibut abundance.

A summary of the data, stock assessment, and harvest decision table for Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) for 2018 can be found by clicking the button below.

As scooped this afternoon by the Halibut Coalition, “The 2018 FISS detailed a coastwide aggregate NPUE (modelled via the space-time methodology) which was showed a second consecutive year of decrease, down 7% from 2017, with individual Biological Regions ranging from a 6% increase (Region 4B) to a 15% decrease (Region 2; Figure 3). 

The WPUE of legal (O32) Pacific halibut, the most comparable metric to observed commercial fishery catch rates was 5% lower than the 2017 estimate at the coastwide level, constituting the lowest value in the time series. Individual IPHC Regulatory Areas varied from a 12% increase (Regulatory Area 4B) to a 19% decrease (Regulatory Area 2C; Figure 4).

The FISS sampling associated with the expansion in Region 2 (Regulatory Areas 2A, 2B, and 2C) revised the estimated relative catch-rates in this region compared to the rest of the coast, and reduced the variability about the estimates by approximately 48%."

Follow the link below to register for the 94th Session of the IPHC Interim Meeting

Partial Obfuscation Program - cont.

Partial Obfuscation Program - cont.

The Deep Sea Fishermen’s Union and the Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association remains convinced that the Council and certain elements of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is unwilling to make the programmatic changes necessary for a robust partial observer program and merely wants to implement an expensive and one-sided increase in the landing fee to more that $1400 per observer day.

Partial Obfuscation Program

Partial Obfuscation Program

If stakeholder and Council Committees demands were not enough, the bottom fishing trawlers should wake up to the fact that their lack of observer coverage and their practice of abusing this Tendering Loophole will undoubtedly and rightfully threaten any trawl company’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for lack of compliance with the program’s objectives of marine stewardship with respect to Gulf of Alaska Pacific Cod and Arrowtooth Flounder.

2018 Sablefish Assessment

The Groundfish Plan Team met yesterday to review the status of Sablefish abundance. It was decided to propose to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council that the 2019 Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) for 2019 be at the status quo 2018 levels - no change.

Please check out these informative slides produced by National Marine Fishery Scientist as background and support for the recommendation.