IPHC Approves Coastwide Decrease in Halibut Catch, Down 4.57% From 2023

Image: International Pacific Halibut Commission.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission wrapped up its 100th annual meeting in Anchorage on Jan. 26, after lowering by 4.57% from 2023 the overall allowable rate of harvest for commercial fishermen and charter operators.

The decision came after extensive discussion, with a number of those participating in the meeting urging deeper cuts.

The adopted total constant exploitation yield (TCEY) for regulatory areas of Canada and the United States included: Area 2B (British Columbia) 6.47 million pounds;  Area 2A (Washington, Oregon and California) 1.65 million pounds; Area 2C (Southeast Alaska) 5.79 million pounds; Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska) 11.36 million pounds; Area 3B (Western Gulf of Alaska) 3.45 million pounds;  Area 4 (subdivided into 5 areas, 4A through 4E, in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands of Western Alaska) with 1.61 million pounds for Area 4A; 1.25 million pounds for Area 4B and 3.70 million pounds for Area  CDE.

The biggest cuts were 8.09 % in area 4B, followed by 6.94 % in area 4A, 5.99% in areas 3B and 5.96% in Area 3A.

A total 0f 221 members of the public participated in the meeting, including 124 in person and 97 remotely, along with six commissioners and 14 contracting party advisors and experts.

The IPHC recommended that in 2024 that the overall fishing period begin at 6 am local time on March 15 and continue through 11:59 p.m. local time on Dec. 7, 2024.  In past years the halibut fisheries have opened and closed on noon of the designated start and completion days.