New rule impacts charter halibut operators

Fishing vessels docked in Cordova Harbor on Sept. 12, 2019. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Fishing vessels docked in Cordova Harbor. (Sept. 12, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

A final rule published by National Marine Fisheries Service in the Federal Register requires that, effective Dec. 20, charter halibut permits be registered annually with NMFS before use.

The charter halibut limited access program was implemented by NMFS in 2010. Under that program, NMFS issued a limited number of charter halibut permits to individuals operating in the guided sport halibut fishery on waters in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska regulated by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

The annual registration of these permits is intended to improve enforcement of charter halibut permit transfer limitations and ownership caps. Other goals are for the program to provide additional information to NMFS and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on any charges in charter halibut permit ownership, leasing and participation.

For further information contact Doug Duncan, fisheries management special with NMFS’ Alaska regional office at 907-586-7425 or doug.duncan@noaa.gov.