Friday, September 2, 2016

NOAA Survey of Charter Captains on Halibut Management Measures now available

The results from the survey of CHP holders conducted in 2015 are now published in a NOAA Tech Memo (titled “Attitudes and Preferences Toward Pacific Halibut Management Alternatives in the Saltwater Sport Fishing Charter Sector in Alaska: Results from a Survey”).  It is available for download at:  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NACO Wins for Charter Fishing Industry

From our partners at the National Association of Charterboat Operators:

All Members 
Great news for all vessel owners.
Please see the attached FCC order regarding our efforts to eliminate the financial and administrative burden associated with the recent requirement to install a VHF DSC radio.

As you know NACO, along with several other passenger vessel associations, has worked with the USCG and FCC on this issue.  Working together we were able to have a class “D” VHF DSC radio installed in lieu of the required class “A” radio.  We were able to have the FCC send out a Federal Register Notice asking for comments to eliminate the need to apply for an exemption with the required application fee.

The FCC has agreed with the comments received and has eliminated the application process and fee.  While we requested all members to submit a comment during the required period, only 40 comments were received by the FCC.  Fortunately the 40 comments were all similar and enough to make a difference this time.  I cannot stress enough the importance of comments sent to the respective parties on issues such as this.  NACO works very hard to reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements that cause administrative and financial burdens on our industry.  Working with other passenger vessel associations we have had much success.  Members are extremely helpful when they respond to our requests for comments sent to agencies and/or legislators. 
I want to thank every member who sent a comment on this issue as together we have another success story.  

Thanks to all for your continued support.

Capt. Bob Zales, II

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kauffman resigns from IPHC after fishing violation leads to $49K fine

From the Alaska Journal of Commerce, DJ Summers:

"Jeff Kauffman resigned as the Alaska resident member of the International Pacific Halibut Commission on June 22, shortly after he and two fellow fishermen agreed to a $49,000 fine for harvesting more than 10,000 pounds of halibut over their combined quota limit in June 2012."
The settlement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement was nearly $13,000 less than the original Notice of Violation and Assessment of $61,781 issued on March 1 of this year."
Kauffman, who is the vice president of the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, or CBSFA, and a member of the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, did not respond to a request for comment."
Linda Behnken, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, will replace him as interim commissioner, NOAA Fisheries announced June 22…."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ulmer’s Hardware in Homer - Special Offer to the Charter Industry

As the charter fleet gears up for the 2016 season, we’d like to remind ACA members that Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware in Homer has a deal for charters looking to stock up on fishing gear. According to Manager Mike Quinn, charters qualify for a discount on any item in their fishing department, just 25% above wholesale cost. Ulmer's has been a long-time supporter of the ACA and if you have any questions you can contact Mike at

Thursday, April 14, 2016

North Council Decision on RQE:

RQE Passes to Public Review

April 10, Sunday, Anchorage: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council passed the RQE (Recreational Quota Entity) on to its next step, public review, today.  This charter industry proposal has taken eight years to get to this point and will tentatively be scheduled for final action in December.  When implemented, this will allow guided anglers a mechanism to return to traditional bag limits.  Creating a common pool of funds for the guided angler sector will provide the ability to purchase IFQ quota from the commercial fishery to use, together with IPHC allocation, as a new basis upon which to set annual guided angler bag limits. 

Council member Andy Mezirow was instrumental in working with other council members to support this action.  He passes on his thanks, along with the ACA, for all the public comment letters received by the Council and the many members of the charter fishing industry that took time out of their schedules to come to Anchorage and testify in person.  It was nice to see young, second-generation charter operators at this meeting.  The angling public that uses charter services also showed up, which helped give a perspective the council rarely hears.

On the downside, commercial fishing interests, seeing they could not stop the RQE from going forward, lobbied council members to add stricter transfer limits to be added to Mr. Mezirow's original motion for an RQE.  Ranges that go down to half a percent annual cap on transfers, 7 percent total cap on transfers, prohibitions on purchasing any blocked quota shares, aim to cripple the RQE by making it harder to find quota to purchase.  We will be soliciting charter sector support in December, to help ACA lobby for less transfer restrictions.  The motion as amended and passed unanimously can be read here: Motion

RQE Passes to Public Review: CORRECTION

The RQE Council Motion linked in the previous newsletter was actually the Initial Motion that was made by Counsel Member Andy Mezirow. The final Motion approved by the Council is linked below. Notice how changes have been added to allow the commercial sector an opportunity to derail the efficacy of the program. We will need to support those options that provide the least restrictive environment in which to find quota shares to purchase. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Seeking Former Charter Captains Who Have Left the Industry

Dr. Phil Loring of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking out halibut charter operators who have left the business, or have thought about leaving the business, as a part of an ongoing research project that seeks to understand how fishers are impacted by, and respond to, regulatory changes. Dr. Loring is hoping to do short interviews either in person or by phone. They will take roughly 30 minutes or more. If interested please contact Phil at Phil will be in Sitka on May 18,19, and 20, and in Homer on May 22, 23, and 24. If these dates are not good for you, Phil will be happy to speak with you by phone.