IPHC Seeks Longline Vessels for Fishery-Independent Setline Survey

Image: International Pacific Halibut Commission.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is accepting applications from charter longline vessels through May 21 for its Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS) in FISS Charter Region Yakutat, to collect standardized data for use in the Pacific halibut stock assessment.

Information gathered from the 36 planned stations will also be used to study growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity of Pacific halibut and relative abundance of other fish.

Legal-sized Pacific halibut and Pacific halibut less than 32 inches in length that have been sampled, as well as incidentally caught fish (byproduct) that would die upon release would be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to offset FISS expenses.

The survey itself must be completed between May 26 and Sept. 15. Participating vessels need not be licensed for Pacific halibut fishing in the United States or Canada to be considered. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels chartered for operation in any region, so long as customs and immigration regulations are met.

Those interested are invited to submit tenders based on the 2023 IPHC’s FISS Vessel Tender Specifications. The Tender Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be downloaded and accessed directly from the IPHC website, https://iphc.int/management/science-and-research/fishery-independent-setline-survey-fiss/62-fiss-vessel-recruiting. 

The IPHC has said that it’s not obligated to accept the tender with the lowest bid — or any tender received — and will contract according to its several criteria, ranging from the seaworthiness and general condition of the vessel and its equipment to the vessel captain’s experience and fishing record and qualifications of the crew.

Both fixed gear and snap gear vessels are welcome to bid.

For further information, contact the IPHC Secretariat at secretariat@iphc.int or (206) 634-1838.