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…."


http://www.alaskajournal.com/2016-06-22/kauffman-resigns-iphc-after-fishing-violation-leads-49k-fine#.V2wtNMdllAY

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 mquinn@ulmersalaska.com

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Motion
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 ploring@alaska.edu. 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.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

43 and 80; An Extremely Fishy Story



To whom it may concern

I am producing a film this coming summer about charter halibut fishing
and how it is impacted by conservation and allocation
regulations. I have been employed in Gustavus Alaska for over five
years, and have personally seen some unfortunate
effects from allocation decisions.

My film is titled 43 and 80 and will be a discussion of how future
conservation efforts can better regulate fish stocks for charter, 
commercial, and subsistence fisheries.  While I hope to make
a compelling argument for Alaskan charters, I don't want to produce a
propaganda piece. For that reason, I am meeting with parties on all
sides of the debate, to fully understand how the charter industry is
being treated with regard to other industries/fisheries.

Currently, I am running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $7,500. The
money will be used for crew expenses, equipment costs, and post
production work necessary to make the film as compelling as possible.

I am attaching a link to my film teaser. I am seeking any and all kinds of 
donations to the project. If you know of any sources that would be 
interested in this project, can you please forward the information along. I 
want this film to enlighten viewers on how conservation impacts 
communities.

Here is the link:

Thank you very much,

sincerely

Hans Glasmann

Friday, February 19, 2016

Homer Fish & Game Advisory Committee Meets March 8th, Cook Inlet Proposals to be discussed

The Homer Fish & Game Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, March 8th at 6 pm at the NERRS building on Kachemak Drive.  Agenda will be primarily to prepare Board of Fisheries Cook Inlet proposals, and any other business that may properly come before the committee.  For more information contact Dave Lyon at 399-2340.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ACA President Richard Yamada attended the IPHC along with Mike Flores (representing the Homer Charter Association), Kevin Burchfield (Juneau Charter Association), Tom Ohaus (SEAGO) and Andy Mezirow (Seward Charter Association) to work on this year's halibut catch limits and regulations. 

While the stock assessment was positive, Commissioners were cautious in setting limits. Even so, most areas received an increase over the "Blue Line" staff recommendations. 

Commercial season dates are 3/19-11/7. The IPHC adopted an earlier closing date to make data available for the Interim Meeting in December 2016.

Area 3A was allowed a combined catch limit of 9.6 million pounds, and Area 2C received approval for 4.95 million pounds. Each was around 300,000 pounds above the Blue Line. 

Area 2C will have a one-fish daily bag limit, with a reverse slot limit (under 43" or over 80"). This represents a 1-inch increase in the lower size limit.

Area 3A will have a two-fish daily bag limit, with a maximum size limit on the second fish of 28".
Each vessel is limited to one trip per calendar day.
Each permit is limited to one trip per vessel per calendar day.
Wednesday closure. (Thursdays will be open this year).
4-fish annual limit.
Record in ink, date, area, #halibut, on State license or on duplicate license if necessary.
 
Halibut with IPHC external tags will be exempt from sport and personal use bag limits, seasons, size and possession limits.

On the commercial side, the IPHC considered lowering the size limit in areas 3B-west to 30 inches. (70% of the fish in these areas are undersized). The motion failed with Canadians opposed and the US supporting for a tie vote.

Dates for this year's meeting were set for the 2016 Interim Meeting (November 29-30th in Seattle, WA) and for the 2017 Annual Meeting (January 23-27 in Victoria, B.C.). The 2018 Annual Meeting will be on January 22-26 in Portland, OR.