IPHC Moves to Boost 2021 Catch Limits

Halibut catch limits are up by 39 million pounds, or 6.6 percent, for 2021 under new harvest limits set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission during its annual meeting this past week.

The new limits cover commercial, sport, subsistence and personal use catches from Alaska to British Columbia to the west coast of fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California.

The big change was the percentage boosts, calculated by Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer, Alaska, which showed increased quotas for all IPHC areas except for 4CDE in the Bering Sea.

The biggest boost came from Area 3A, the central Gulf of Alaska, with the catch limit rising from 7.05 million pounds a year ago to 8.95 million pounds in 2021, an increase of 26.95 percent.

Area 4A, in the Aleutians, saw its quota rise from 1.41 million to 1.66 million pounds, up 17.73 percent, and in Area 4B, in the Aleutians, the quota rose from 1.10 million pounds to 1.23 million pounds, up 11.82 percent. Area 2C in Southeast Alaska, saw its catch limit rise from 3.41 million pounds to 3.53 million pounds, up 3.52 percent. In Area 4CDE, meanwhile, the catch limit dropped from 1.73 million pounds to 1.67 million pounds, down 3.47 percent.

In Area 2A, in waters off of California, Oregon and Washington, the catch limit remained at 0.87 million pounds, while in Area 2B, in the waters off of British Columbia, the IPHC boosted the catch limit from 5.12 million pounds to 5.23 million pounds, up 2.15 percent.