NOAA Fisheries announced new halibut management measures put forth by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
Fishery Management Specialist Rachel Baker told us about the changes that will impact charter anglers.
Baker: ” The restrictions that have been put in place in 2014 will actually limit charter anglers. They can still catch and retain two halibut but one of them can be any size and the other one has to be less than or equal to 29 inches in length.”
The commercial catch limit, after deducting waste, has changed to 7,317,730 pounds and charter vessels are limited to only one fishing trip per calendar day where halibut are caught and retained.
According to Baker the new measures were brought about by halibut decline seen in the last few years.
Baker: “It’s basically because there aren’t as many young fish recruiting into the fishery is one reason and the fish also aren’t growing to as large of size as they have in more recent history.”
Baker said similar sizes and ages of halibut being caught now are comparable to the 1930’s and 40’s.