Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Pacific Fishery Management Council plans transition for non-Indian commercial Area 2A halibut fishery; new season-setting process begins

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Pacific Fishery Management Council is requesting public comment on structuring the West Coast Area 2A non-Indian directed commercial halibut fishery for the upcoming year.

The public is encouraged to comment at the September and November council meetings as management of this halibut fishery transitions from the International Pacific Halibut Commission, or IPHC, to the council.

In June, the council committed to working closely with the IPHC and stakeholders on the transition. The council will focus on a smooth transfer of management authority for the commercial directed fishery, and will rely on the IPHC to continue to issue licenses for this fishery in the near-term.

The council intends to maintain the current management structure, but may consider changes to vessel poundage limits and open periods.

At its September and November meetings, when the council typically considers changes to its halibut catch sharing plan, it will also make management recommendations for the 2020 directed commercial halibut fishery trip limits and fishing periods.

These meetings will provide an opportunity for public, agency and advisory body comment.

The Groundfish Advisory Subpanel meetings held in conjunction with the September and November council meetings will also provide an opportunity for public comment on this issue.

As always, public comment will be accepted through the council’s e-portal before the meetings.

The September meeting will be held Sept. 11 to 18 at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho. The November meeting will be held Nov. 13 to 20 at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa in Costa Mesa, California.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold public meetings Aug. 5 to 8 to discuss fishing periods and trip limits for the 2020 directed commercial halibut fishery.

Meeting dates and locations will be posted online; information is also available at 541-867-4741. Currently, the Departments of Fish and Wildlife for Washington and California do not have public meetings scheduled to discuss the non-Indian commercial directed halibut fishery season structure for 2020.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3-200 miles offshore of the United States of America coastline.

The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

All council meetings are open to the public.

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