The International Pacific Halibut Commission is looking to charter fixed gear and snap gear longline vessels for a gear comparison study to be conducted this fall, to collect standardized data for use in the Pacific halibut stock assessment.
An initial review of submitted bids is to take place on July 3 and the request for tender is to remain open until filled. All submissions must be completed by July 2 in order to be considered during the initial review.
Survey results would be used to provide further data for the multi-year gear comparison study that began in 2019, as well as to study aspects of the Pacific halibut resource such as growth, distribution biomass, age composition, sexual maturity and relative abundance of other species, the IPHC said.
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 will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to offset charter expenses, the commission said.
The work is to begin with a start date after Sept. 15. Vessels need not be licensed for Pacific halibut fishing in Canada or the United States to be eligible. Also, the IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels chartered for operation in any region, as long as customs and immigration regulations are adhered to.
Those interested are invited to submit tenders based upon the 2023 Gear Comparison Study Vessel Tender Specifications. The Tender Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be downloaded and accessed directly from the IPHC website: https://www.iphc.int/management/science-and-research/fishery-independent-setline-survey-fiss/62-fiss-vessel-recruiting.