PWS sablefish fishery begins April 15

The sablefish fishery for the Prince William Sound will be open April 15 through Aug. 31 in the Inside District only, with a guideline harvest level of 167,000 pounds.

State fisheries biologists said the 2020 GHL was adjusted from the 2019 GHL by applying the relative change between the prior and current year of the National Marine Fisheries Service Gulf of Alaska sablefish acceptable biological catch, which is derived from NMFS stock assessment surveys.

The fishery is managed by quota allocations among vessel size permit classes, as specified in state fisheries regulations.

Registration closed on April 1, with 56 permits registered.

Each permit holder’s harvest total will be verified based on the sablefish weight as delivered. Accurate delivery condition code must be reported at the time of delivery. To avoid misunderstandings, processors are required to report the proper delivery code for the delivered pounds of fish: whole for unbled fish, eastern cut for dressed fish, or bled for fish when gills have been cut, must be reported on the fish ticket.

Pounds of fish delivered in either dressed or bled condition will be converted to round weight for fishery management.

Harvesters are reminded that a sablefish quota overage is illegal harvest and may be subject to prosecution. All sablefish in excess of an individual’s quota allocation must be reported on the fish ticket as a “sablefish overage” and a check to the state for the value of the overage must accompany the fish ticket.

Harvesters are also reminded that log sheets must be completed and returned within seven days after each landing with the corresponding fish ticket for that trip.

For additional information, contact the Homer office of ADF&G at 907-235-8191.