What's in store for the 2017 Halibut season
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IPHC Interim Meeting

Near the end of every halibut fishing season, after all the data comes in, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) holds its interim meeting.  Here, analysts and Commissioners review the data sets and figure out what next year's harvest will look like.  Some good news from this year's report is that the halibut stock is keeping steady and bycatch numbers are the lowest we've seen in at least 50 years. A surprise for us is that guided anglers in 2C caught 13% less than their limit for 2016!

What everyone holds their breath for is the "blue line" number released at this meeting, so named because it is highlighted in blue in staff presentations and handouts.  The blue line numbers are staff recommendations for next year's catch.
Above is the 2017 blue line chart.  The middle section, labeled FCEY, are the numbers we look at for the halibut commercial and charter fisheries.  This year, we're at 26.12 million pounds.
This chart not only shows the 2017 blue line, but also blue line numbers for the last three years and the spawning potential ratio (SPR on the chart).  The SPR might affect the final catch allocation.
If you take a look at 2C's 2017 Blue Line on the Comparison chart, it went down from last year's 4.62 million pounds to 4.08 million pounds.  This is where the SPR might come into play.
Even though the 2016 Blue Line was 4.62, the IPHC adopted a higher allocation of 4.95 after considering fishing intensity using the SPR.
Translation: even though the 2017 Blue Line is 4.08, the allocation might end up being higher.  This decision will be made at IPHC's Annual Meeting, January 23-27, 2017.
Don't forget
The North Pacific Fishery Management Meeting begins December 6th in Anchorage!

SEAGO and the Alaska Charter Association are hosting a catered Recreational Fisheries Round Table event on December 7th.  It will be held at the Anchorage Historic Hotel on 4th Avenue and E Street, from 6-8 p.m.

Staff from the National Marine Fisheries Service will lead a discussion about collaborative fishing opportunities, industry representatives will have an open discussion about the state of the fisheries, and a comment and question period will end the evening.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Copyright © 2016 Southeast Alaska Guides Organization, All rights reserved.

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