NOAA Says Charter Halibut Concerns ‘Unfounded’

The NOAA Halibut Catch Sharing Plan is at the center of another political fishing battle, with charter fishermen up in arms about the idea of a one halibut per day limit.

 

NOAA says that limit is fictional – there is no ‘one halibut limit.’ According to fact sheets put out by the federal administration, “The catch sharing plan requires both commercial and charter sectors to share in the burden of conservation,” based on the percentage of the overall take, denying that there’s a reallocation from charter to commercial.

 

They explain that in 2013, that limit would have been 18.3% of the combined catch limit in southcentral – that would have resulted in no change to the current bag limits.

 

In the event that the harvest size decreases significantly overall, NOAA says it would hesitate to bring in an across-the-board one fish limit, with alternatives like “a two‐fish limit where one of the fish would be of any size and a second fish of a smaller size,” or an annual limit for each harvester.

 

The plan received thousands of comments before closing its public reception last week. It’s now being reviewed and will be implemented in 2014, if approved before the North Pacific Marine Fishery Council meeting in December.

 

For more, read: NOAA Halibut Talking Points.

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