Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2017 Charter Halibut Management Measures Final Council Motion


C-1 Charter Halibut Management Measures Final Council Motion

December 8, 2016


The Council recommends the following charter halibut management measures for implementation in 2017 in Areas 2C and 3A:


Area 2C 

The Council recommends the following management measures be implemented with a one-fish bag limit.
  • If the halibut charter allocation is at the Blue Line, implement a reverse slot limit (U40:O80), with an annual limit of 3 halibut with a recording requirement.
  • If the halibut charter allocation is below the Blue Line, implement an annual limit of 3 fish with a recording requirement, and a reverse slot limit with a maximum size limit of 80”. Incrementally reduce the lower size limit until projected harvest falls within the allocation.
  • If the halibut charter allocation is above the Blue Line, but below SPR, implement a reverse slot limit of U40:O80 and an annual limit of 5 fish with a recording requirement. Select a lower limit for the reverse slot to allow the largest lower limit while maintaining the projected harvest within the allocation.
  • If halibut charter allocation is at or above the SPR, implement an upper reverse slot limit of O80 and select a lower limit for the reverse slot to allow the largest lower limit while maintaining the projected harvest within the allocation. No annual limit.


    Area 3A 
  • The Council recommends the following 2016 management measures also be implemented in 2017; 
  • a two fish bag limit with a maximum size limit of one fish of 28 inches; 
  • an annual limit of four fish (with a recording requirement); 
  • Wednesdays closed all year; status quo trip limits.

  • In addition, the following are new management measures recommended for 2017. Assuming a 1.32% reduction in charter halibut harvest for each Tuesday closed during the season, the Council recommends closing the minimum number of Tuesdays required to bring the projected charter removals below the charter allocation, as described in the table below, and as specified in the catch sharing plan.
Amended motion passed unanimously 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Recreational Roundtable with NOAA Fisheries Administrator, Eileen Sobeck and staff

Fun get-together last night: 

A diverse group of charter boat operators, recreational sportfishermen, commercial fishing representatives, ADF&G staff, and Eileen Sobeck, NOAA Administer of Fisheries got together in Anchorage last night.


Ms Sobeck is retiring after 37 years of federal service on January 20th, 2017. Russell Dunn, who is well-known as sport fishing's liaison to NOAA Fisheries on recreational issues, was also in attendance.

The Alaska Charter Association (ACA) and the South East Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) in conjunction with  NOAA Fisheries co-hosted a Recreational Fishing Roundtable at the Alaska Heritage Hotel Wednesday night.

Sobeck announced that she was a "short-timer" but she hoped the work her team had done over the past three years would provide a basis for the new administration to build on.

NOAA released a new Policy on Recreational Fisheries this year, and they promised a look at the way rec fishing data is used and consider new ways to bring flexibility to sportfish catch monitoring.

ACA members who attended had an opportunity to share their immediate and long-term concerns about our fishing industry. There was a good cross-section of regions providing commentary about Alaska's sport fisheries.

Special thanks to guys like Eric Lehm, Ben Martin and all the other young recreational fishing charter captains who came and testified for the RQE. 

ACA President Richard Yamada gave info on the development of the CATCH program, and how he got grants for seed money to develop a way out of the allocation shortage we have in Alaska.



The ACA can use your support to convey our message over time and be successful. 

Because you like fishing, Join ACA here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

North Pacific Fishery Management Council this week

We're getting started this morning at the Charter Halibut Management Committee this morning. Reps are discussing options for 2017.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

IPHC issues Blue Line recommendations today:


The IPHC is holding its Interim meeting and this is a screenshot of the Blue Line recommendations.
More info at: www.iphc.int

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lineup for Important Upcoming Public Hearings



Meeting Schedule

Nov. 29, 5pm:
Deadline for public comment for RQE program at NPFMC

Nov. 29-30:
IPHC Interim Meeting in Seattle -
Blue Line recommendations released

Nov. 30th:
Homer Charter Association Meeting: 6pm at Chamber of Commerce

Nov. 30-Dec 3:
Board of Fish Meeting Oceans & Islands Center Homer

Dec. 6-15:
North Pacific Fishery Council Meeting, Hilton Hotel, Anchorage

Dec. 6, 9am-12pm:
Charter Halibut Implementation Committee

Dec. 6, 1pm- 5pm:
Recreational Quota Entity Committee

Dec. 7, 8am- 5pm:
Advisory Panel (RQE testimony)

Dec. 7, 6-8pm:
ACA Hosts Recreational Reception with NOAA Staff in connection to the 40th Anniversary of MSA: Historic Anchorage Hotel, Will Smith Room, 330 E St.

Dec. 9
RQE Public Testimony to the full Council;
Also: Discussion of White Paper on Charter Halibut Permit Leasing

Boards of Fish & Game Appointments - for 2017 apply now


Greetings,

Please allow this group message to serve as notice that the Governor’s office will be reviewing applicants for the 2017 appointments to the Boards of Fish and Game in the next several weeks. Anyone interested in applying for one of these appointments should insure a current application is on file (note: applications received within the last two years remains active).

See the following link for the online application:

http://aws.state.ak.us/CrmForms/Home/Apply

Anyone interested in providing endorsements or other input should send that information to the following email address:

Boards and Commissions: boards@alaska.gov

For more information about the Boards of Fish and Game please go to:

http://gov.alaska.gov/services/boards-and-commissions/fact-sheet/?board=037

http://gov.alaska.gov/services/boards-and-commissions/fact-sheet/?board=040

Appointments to the Boards of Fish and Game require Legislative confirmation. As such, 2017 appointments will be presented to the Legislature at the next Legislative session beginning in January. Therefore review of applicants will begin on November 25, 2016.

Best Regards,

John

John F. Hozey III
Deputy Chief of Staff
Director of Boards and Commissions
Local Government Liaison

Office of the Governor
907-465-3500
Juneau, Alaska

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Recreational Quota Entity - Comment Letter Guidance

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will be making decisions on the best chance we have to regain halibut quota in a fair and equitable manner.

The Council will meet Tuesday, December 6, and continue through Tuesday December 14, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel, 500 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, AK.

Don’t let this opportunity pass without weighing in with your support.

Comment deadline: Deadline for written comments is 5:00 pm (AST) on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.



Chairman Dan Hull
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
605 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 306
Anchorage, AK 99501-2252

Re: Recreational Quota Entity (RQE)

Dear Chairman Hull,

1. Introduction: Who you are.
Provide information about yourself (name of your business, number of employees, type of clients you have, where you are located, how long have you been in business, etc.).


2. Problems you are having with current halibut regulations.

Have these regulations affected your business and clients? How? Explain it like they are five years old, with specific examples and stories, how these new rules have (or rather, have not) worked for you, your clients and your business:

Area 3A:

a. Annual limits?

b. Weekly closures?

c. 2nd fish “minnow rule”?

d. What about even more restrictions?


Area 2C:

a. Reverse slot limit?

b. One fish?


3. The RQE (Recreational Quota Entity) will provide a market-based, willing seller and willing buyer, tool by which commercial IFQ can be purchased to add to guided angler allocations — thereby decreasing the pain of strict harvest rules during times of low abundance. How will this improve conditions for your business, clients, and the resource? How will more allocation improve the success of your business? And the other businesses dependent on guided anglers in Alaska?


4. Closing.

Thank Council for their work and encourage them to pass the RQE into regulation.

Regards,



Your Name

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sport Halibut May Depend on Good Angler Cents!

Sport Halibut May Depend on Good Angler Cents!

by Richard Yamada, President, Alaska Charter Association


(appeared in Fish Alaska magazine, Oct.-Nov. 2016)


A proposal is coming up before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in December to allow the transfer of commercial fishing quota to guided recreational anglers in an open market, between willing sellers and buyers. The additional quota would supplement annual guided angler allocations, thereby lessening recent restrictive bag limits. A Recreational Quota Entity (RQE) that would raise funds to buy quota would represent guided recreational anglers in a common pool. The preferred fund-raising option would be a guided angler halibut stamp, similar to the state of Alaska’s King salmon stamp. The stamp would have to be approved by the Alaska state legislature. The difference between the king salmon stamp and the proposed RQE halibut stamp will be that the halibut stamp will directly fund more fish for recreational anglers.

Since 2014, guided anglers, through the sport charter sector, have shared a common allocation set annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission with commercial fishermen. Recent declines in harvestable abundance have meant each sector has seen drastic reductions in allocations. For guided anglers in Southcentral, this led to a reduction in the size of a second fish in a two halibut daily bag limit, to 28 inches in 2016 as well as an annual limit of four fish. This was in addition to a fishing closure on Thursdays and charter operators limited to one trip per day carried over from 2015. For Southeast Alaska, a reverse slot limit on a one fish per day bag limit of 43 inches or less or 80 inches or more is in effect.

Proponents of an RQE argue that this is what commercial fishermen have always demanded in the past 20 years, that is, a “compensated” means to transfer allocation rather than the uncompensated transfers that happened in the past and commercial fishermen would not be forced to sell any quota they do not want to. Guided anglers would be investing for future increased access to the fishery and thus make them better stewards of the fishery. On the commercial side, having a larger pool of buyers may help those fishermen who wish to exit the fishery but haven’t been able to find a buyer either with the capacity to buy more quota or the means to fund a large quota purchase.

Opponents of the plan argue it would increase quota prices and hinder new entrants into the fishery. While the market might adjust to a new buyer in the marketplace, it has already seen quota prices that have doubled in five years. No stockholder would be complaining if they saw their stocks double in value in such a short period. With halibut in high demand and selling at record high prices, why wouldn’t it make sense to buy into a fishery that seems to be increasing in value each year?

Ultimately an RQE would provide a means to return guided angler bag limits back to historic levels enjoyed for over thirty years. This will not only be good for anglers that want to put fish in their freezers for the winter, but also the businesses that depend on a community’s success as a sportfishing destination. Letters of support for this program that is scheduled to go to final action in December can be written to Chairman Hull, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501 or emailed to: npfmc.comments@noaa.gov. You may wish to comment on how restrictive bag limits have effected your decisions to take a charter fishing trip or lodge vacation and how a program like an RQE would benefit you as a sport angler. Please contact the Alaska Charter Association for more information at info@alaskacharter.org. Taking all things into consideration, this program just makes good cents!












Wednesday, November 2, 2016

IPHC Press Release on New Requirement for Commercial Landing Weights



COMMISSION STAFF RECOMMENDS HEAD-ON LANDED WEIGHT REQUIREMENT FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERY

In 2013, the International Pacific Halibut Commission staff began a study to evaluate the relationships used to convert Pacific halibut length to weight, dressed weight to head-off weight, and the adjustment made for washed vs. unwashed weight. Collection of these data were integrated into all commercial catch sampling in 2015, as well as included in select survey operations during 2016. Pacific halibut head weight removed during processing, as a percentage of the dressed body weight, has historically been assumed to be 10%; however, results from this study indicate that the average current head weight removed is around 12%, with a range from 9-18% among different ports and regulatory areas (see report link below). The range comes from variations in where the head is cut off, and, to a lesser degree, in the proportion of the head to the body for smaller versus larger Pacific halibut.

Regulations for the commercial fisheries require the initial accurate scale weight of Pacific halibut at the time of offloading to be reported on the landing record (fish ticket – USA, validation record – Canada) with the delivery condition code. Currently, when the fish ticket notes that the fish were weighed with the head on, reporting systems apply a 10% deduction for the weight of the head. Cutting larger heads than the assumed value, on average, and reporting weights after these cuts have management implications. This practice reduces the estimated net weight, potentially allowing more individual fish to be harvested within the catch limits. Landing records show that, coastwide, 67-71% of catch by weight is reported head-off, so the potential effect of head proportions that differ from assumed values is large. For example, in recent years we may have underestimated the coastwide landings by 2-3%, with some individual regulatory areas more inaccurate than others. In order to improve the accuracy of estimated landings, the Commission staff is recommending that all commercially landed Pacific halibut be required to be landed and weighed with the head attached for the landing record (fish ticket – USA, validation record – Canada).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Upcoming Workshop: Long-term Challenges to Alaska’s Salmon and Salmon-Dependent Communities



    Alaskans and salmon have been inextricably linked for generations. Salmon are affected by humans through direct harvest and through ecosystem alteration. Salmon-dependent communities are supported by salmon harvests, whether subsistence, personal use, commercial, or sport. Many communities are dependent on salmon as a key source of food, a principal driver of the economy, and a cultural keystone species. Ensuring this reality for generations to come is the purpose of these workshops and of the Center for Salmon and Society.

    Although salmon populations and the ecosystems that support them are relatively healthy in Alaska compared to those in other regions, increasing population size, urbanization, and climate change are long-term current and future challenges. Salmon-dependent communities are affected by fluctuations in abundance and price, the gradual erosion of access to the resource, the high cost of living in these communities, and many other economic and social challenges. Thus, Alaska is at, or will soon be at, a crossroads for making decisions that will have lasting impacts on salmon and the communities linked to salmon.

    This workshop focuses on identifying and addressing long-term challenges to Alaska’s salmon, and also on long-term challenges to communities that depend on salmon. Two days of public discussion and presentations will start the workshop, followed by a day of breakout sessions to develop action plans addressing key issues identified in the public workshop. Action plans will tackle the major challenges faced by salmon and salmon-dependent communities, identifying policy, community, and research priorities.

    The registration fee for this workshop is $50 if paid on or before October 28, 2016. The late registration fee will be $75 after October 28.

    Live streaming of this workshop will be available for Tuesday and Wednesday sessions. The link will be provided here.

    A block of rooms has been reserved at the Marriott Hotel (820 W. 7th Ave.) for $99.00 per night. Please use this link to reserve your room at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown.

    Don't miss the Salmon Life storytelling event after the workshop on November 3! Inspired by the popular Arctic Entries show, the evening will feature seven storytellers who will each tell a 7-minute tale about the magic and mayhem of living a life full of salmon. Tickets are available at Brown Bag Tickets.
Sponsors

University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Alaska Sea Grant
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Alaska's Salmon Habitat Partnerships
The Salmon Project
Bristol Bay Habitat Land Trust

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Charter Halibut Meeting Held in Anchorage Oct. 24, 2016

The Charter Management Implementation Committee (CMIC) held its meeting in Anchorage.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide a list of potential management measures to be analyzed for their effect on harvest reductions for 2017.  Prior to the meeting, a preliminary charter halibut harvest estimate for Areas 2C and 3A for 2016 was released (Scott Meyer report).  Preliminary estimates are based on logbook data up to the end of July and projected to the end of the year.  The estimates revealed that Area 2C was under its allocation by 62,354 lbs. or -6.9 percent and Area 3A was over its allocation by 166,523 lbs. or +9.2 percent. 
 
Area 2C asked for the same range of harvest measures used in 2016 to be analyzed for the 2017 season which will be updated with current stock information provided by the IPHC in November.
 
Area 3A potential management measures to be analyzed (all with a one trip per day limit, two-fish daily bag limit unless otherwise noted, 4-fish annual limit, and Wednesday closure):
1.  Maximum size limit on one fish, potentially combined with an          annual limit
       a.  Maximum size 26" - 30"
       b. Annual limit 4+
2.  Additional day of the week closure from July 1 - Aug 15
3.  One-fish halibut bag limit for July
       a. Option to extend one-fish daily bag limit from mid-July to                   mid-Aug
4.  Status quo with Reverse Slot Limit on one fish, second fish 28"        or under
       a. Range of slots between U28 - O80.
           
The recommended harvest measures that would keep each Area under its allocation will be made at the next CMIC meeting on December 7th in Anchorage.  Comments on potential harvest measures for Area 2C should be addressed to Richard Yamada at richard@alaskacharter.org and for Area 3A to Daniel Donich at homerfishing@gmail.com or Mike Flores at fishninilchik@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hunting and Fishing License Fees Will Increase in 2017

House Bill 137 goes into effect in 2017, with resident and non-resident license fees for fishing and hunting being increased. Resident sportfishing annual license fees will go up $5, while a 14-day non-resident fishing license will spike by $25. 

For a table comparing 2016 fees to the new ones in 2017 go to:

The increased fees were widely supported by outdoors advocates because it will ensure that the state will continue to capture federal matching funds in the face of declining general fund budgeting for ADF&G.

For every dollar, the federal government will match it with three more.


If money is tight, you can still get a 2017 fishing license online at 2016 prices until the end of December.

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
President
NACO 

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.