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· Premium Member
2,719 Posts
I will be workin on an informative post in the next day or 2 :( Sadly with the info (that hopefully I will be able to put together in the next couple days) will reflect on the fact that this once lucrative(sp ;D) fishery might have now become a pm scenario....Its not lookin good and this should turn into a somewhat political post........For the sportfishin sector of area 121 its looking as tho there are some rule changing in the works. We sportfishers are taking a little too much of the 12% TAC

:-\ working on a post.... trying to weed through all this stuff myself

....... an May :thumbup:

· Premium Member
2,719 Posts
There is a start
RECREATIONAL - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)

Fishery Notice - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Subject: FN0044-Halibut: All Tidal Waters - Delayed Opening of Recreational Fishery

Fishing for halibut will remain closed effective 00:01 February 1 to 29, 2008.
The fishery will open March 1, 2008.

The assessment for Pacific halibut is conducted annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) which is provided at the January 2008 IPHC annual general meeting. Results from this meeting indicated that the biomass of older halibut or the exploitable biomass was continuing to decline. They concluded that a reduction in harvest rate was necessary to provide the optimal combination of harvest and to ensure viable spawning biomass for the future.

Therefore, the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Canada will be reduced from 11.4 million lbs in 2007 to 9 million lbs for 2008.

This situation will require changes to the recreational fishery in order to stay within domestic allocations.

DFO has been working in consultation with the SFAB to develop management options for 2008. Consultations and decisions are still underway. In order to complete the necessary consultation requirements and avoid in season changes to the recreational fishery, the opening date will be delayed.

....and then.....


To Minister Loyola Hearn, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
January 25, 2008

Information regarding upcoming Main Board Meeting re Halibut

For all members:
As most of you are very aware, there have been ongoing deliberations by DFO and the SFAB regarding the management of the Canadian Recreational Halibut Fishery.
In Dec 2003, then Minister Thiebeualt, Minster of Fisheries and Oceans made a decision to fix the recreational sector at a 12% catch ceiling of the overall Canadian TAC. Growth in the recreational catch would be accommodated by a yet to be established market based mechanism.
In recent years, DFO has calculated the recreational catch to exceed this 12% cap resulting in negotiations with the Canadian stakeholders (recreational and commercial halibut reps) to establish the means by which a transfer might occur. Meetings are ongoing this and next week in efforts to establish this mechanism.
Last week the International Pacific Halibut Commission established its catch limits for the countries (areas) who jointly fish halibut. The net result to Canada further complicates the recreational sectors situation. The Canadian TAC was reduced by 21% which again shrinks the size of the recreational sectors share within the Cdn TAC. (See data in package prepared by DFO)
In addition to working to establish a transfer mechanism, DFO has held three meetings with the SFAB halibut committee to initiate discussion regarding possible management measures that might assist to achieve the recreational Cdn TAC.
The SFAB firmly holds the opinion that it is the government of Canada who needs to solve this problem via a compensated transfer from the commercial sector. However, without that yet to be aquired full transfer of allocation, we are in the position of having to consider a package (combination of management measures, transfers of quota, and resolving Neah Bay issue) in order to achieve DFO’s rec fish cap of 12%.
We have also maintained a firm position through out these meetings that no one geographic area should bare any particular pain more than others. The halibut committee has not endorsed the options presented to us here in this package. In fact, DFO and BC continues to press hard for specific measures to eliminate US charter boats fishing in Canadian waters, hence their inclusion of regulations outside of 12 miles in areas 121.
Today we face uncertainty. With the development of a transfer mechanism incomplete, we cannot be assured how much quota can be transferred to the recreational sector. With the main board looming next week we have been asked by DFO to review a series of possible management options and provide them feedback as to which of these options might be least damaging to the recreational fishery.
DFO believes that there are three likely scenarios that may occur. There are three options under each scenario. Each is detailed in the attachment. We are being asked to consult our members to recommend to DFO, which option, under each scenario.
The SFAB executive needs your prompt and thoughtful consideration of these options by end of day Wednesday Jan 30, 2008 in order for your perspectives to be integrated into a final recommendation that would be tabled at the main board on Feb 3. While in the Interim the SFAB Executive, Halibut and Groundfish Committees will still press for the shortfall to be fulfilled by a transfer mechanism.
Thank you and looking forward to receiving your thoughtful advice. Please send all correspondence to Devona Adams. [email protected] and cc to Chuck Ashcroft, Chair SFAB Groundfish Shellfish Committee [email protected] .
On behalf of the SFAB Executive and Halibut Committee,
Marilyn Murphy

Scenario 1 Savings of 480K lbs
(No fish through transfer mechanism)

•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121(>12nm); and a coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for full season(480K lbs), or
•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm); and a coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for July and August;
and a coastwide annual maximum size limit of 90cm (493K lbs), or
•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm); and a coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for July and August;
and a coastwide annual maximum size limit of 95cm (460K lbs).

Scenario 2 Savings of 380K lbs
(100K lbs through a transfer mechanism )

•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm); and a coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for July and August(360K lbs), or
•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm);; and a daily limit of 1/day for May, June and September; and a coastwideannual maximum size limit of 85cm (366K lbs), or
•Coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for July and August; and a coastwideannual maximum size limit of 95cm (400K lbs).

Scenario 3 Savings of 280K lbs
(200K lbs through a transfer mechanism )

•Coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for July and August(300K lbs), or
•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm); and a coastwideannual maximum size limit of 85cm (272K lbs), or
•Time and Area annual closure for Area 121 (>12nm); and a coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for May, June and September; and a coastwideannual maximum size limit of 90cm (287K lbs), or
•Coastwidedaily limit of 1/day for May, June and September; and a coastwideannual maximum size limit of 85cm (306K lbs).

Next Steps

•Delay opening date of recreational fishery to March 1
–Local SFAB committees with feedback to DFO by Jan 30,
–Groundfish/shellfish Working Group on Feb 1,
–MainboardSFAB on Feb 2-3
•Decision by senior managers
•Communication packages
•Future management options
–Coastal fish protection act
–Annual limit
–Over-under size limit

Its a cut and paste from other places....... Ive gone through a better part of the 170 page IPHC .pdf and some of the more relavent info.
For one Id like to see a guy tail a 30(ish) lber and measure it to make sure its under the 90 cm. Know I probably wont waste the gas to run out to the bank the couple time a year I do it.... all the sudden it takes 4 50 mile round trips to do the same as 2.
Also what they cut out of the sport quota will just go to the commercial guys :confused:

...... OH yeah...... area 121 = Renfrew

· Registered
338 Posts
Thanks for putting this together Fishaholic. Because of all the dire warnings about over-harvesting and a decline in stocks of large fish, I decided that last year would be my last commercial halibut season. Well, it wasn't the only factor in my decision, but it was a significant consideration. I am, however, not opposed to a commercial harvest, as long as it is managed well.

To me it makes sense to look at the total harvest, by long-liners and sporties, when determining the total allowable catch. What doesn't make sense to me is imposing maximum length restrictions on sport fish. While it is true that sporties have a better chance of landing really big halibut, long-liners will always catch many more fish over 95cm.

I recently talked with a biologist about the halibut cycle. He explained that because halibut are cannibalistic there is a predictable cycle of big fish and small fish. When there are lots of big fish, there are relatively few small fish, and when there are few large fish, there is an explosion of small fish. Maybe it would actually increase the population if big fish were targeted, and smaller fish of spawning age were released?

Also, as I understand it, halibut are migratory. So why regulate one small area so stringently? Is it a bottleneck in the migration rout where all of the fish have to go? I don't know.

I have never targeted these fish recreationally, though I hope to find some off BS this summer. But I certainly understand why these new regs. might keep you from making the trip down the straights (or over the tarmac?).

- S2.
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