NPFMC to take final action on charter halibut catch

Federal fisheries managers are set to take final action at their December meeting in Anchorage on charter halibut management measures for Southeast and Southcentral Alaska for 2019.

While the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2018 report on the Guided Angler Fish Program has already been received by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for its meeting the week of Dec. 4, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is still preparing its analysis to present during the council meeting.

The goal of the combined efforts of the council’s charter halibut management committee, ADF&G and the International Pacific Halibut Commission, who will receive recommendations from the council, is to assure that the charter halibut catch limits set will protect the sustainability of the halibut fishery. The IPHC will be setting its allocations in January.

The council has already posted on its website, www.npfmc.org, copies of the 2018 Guided Angler Fish Report, area 2C (Southeast) and 3A (Southcentral) sport harvest final reports for 2017 and the minutes of the charter halibut management committee from its Oct. 30 meeting. Comment on the matter is being accepted on forms provided on the website through Nov. 30.

Final action on the Aleutian Island Pacific cod set aside adjustment is also on the agenda, along with final specifications to be announced for the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands groundfish harvests.

Council meetings begin with reports from several entities, including the National Marine Fisheries Service management report and final 2019 observer annual deployment plan. Other reports are presented by NOAA enforcement, ADF&G, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the IPHC. Comment is also being sought on these reports.

The complete agenda and schedule for the meeting, which is open to the public, is posted on the website, along with related documents.

For those unable to attend, meeting is to be broadcast at https://npfmc.adobeconnect.com/december2018, and motions approved will be posted during the meeting.