Alaska Charter Association

To Protect the Rights and to Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News May 2016

Reminder - Seeking Former Charter Captains Who Have Left The Industry

Dr. Phil Loring of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking out halibut charter operators who have left the business, or have thought about leaving the business, as a part of an ongoing research project that seeks to understand how fishers are impacted by, and respond to, regulatory changes. Dr. Loring is hoping to do short interviews either in person or by phone. They will take roughly 30 minutes or more. If interested please contact Phil at  ploring@alaska.edu. Phil will be in Sitka on May 18,19, and 20, and in Homer on May 22, 23, and 24. If these dates are not good for you, Phil will be happy to speak with you by phone. 

Ulmer's Hardware in Homer - Special Offer to the Charter Industry

As the charter fleet gears up for the 2016 season, we'd like to remind ACA members that Ulmer's Drug and Hardware in Homer has a deal for charters looking to stock up on fishing gear. According to Manager Mike Quinn, charters qualify for a discount on any item in their fishing department, just 25% above wholesale cost. Ulmer's has been a long-time supporter of the ACA and if you have any questions you can contact Mike at mquinn@ulmersalaska.com

HB 41 Passes Legislature - On to Governor for Signature

This bill re-establishes the mechanism by which the state licenses sportfishing charter operators, and is supported by the ACA despite reservations about stiff penalties for minor infractions that could cost an operation its license. Read the full text here.

NOAA Releases Recreational Saltwater Fisheries Policy Plan

The plan includes specific language about NOAA's commitment to the RQE:

"Work with the Council and constituents to develop a market-based mechanism to allow the charter sector to purchase commercial halibut quota share to supplement the Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan allocations and reduce harvest restrictions."

Read more: 


(Note that ACA President Richard Yamada provided some very nice photography to this year's report!)

North Council Advisory Panel Charter Representative Needs Our Input on future halibut regulations

Although there were some encouraging signs in the stock assessment of Pacific halibut in 2016, allocations for guided anglers remain tight and it is entirely possible that more restrictions could be in the cards for 2017. Charter industry representative and ACA board member Daniel Donich reports that next year the options for consideration must include regulations above, at and below the blue line. In other words, the charter sector must be prepared to craft regulations for 2017 that include further restrictions in the halibut fishery, especially in Area 3A

Options include: another daily closure, losing the second fish, decreasing the annual limit... no easy options remain as we are "scraping the bottom of the barrel," says Donich.  The ACA takes no position at this time, and it is important that stakeholders start thinking about what to do and which options should be considered in case abundance of halibut continues to decline. Daniel Donich serves on the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and is happy to hear from captains about their ideas. You can drop him an email at homerfishing@gmail.com. With any luck we will remain at or above current allocations in 2017, but we must be prepared for any outcome next year. 

One concern is that a number of latent permits are being activated by new entrants in the charter halibut fishery - in some cases non-transferable permits are being fished in contradiction with the rules. NOAA will be issuing a "white paper" on this problem and will be auditing the permit system to monitor these problems. Obviously, in times of low abundance, a bunch of people jumping into the fishery can make it very difficult to stay within our limited allocations. 

Do you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decreased fishing opportunities for your clients and you don't have time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future? You need an organization like ACA to inform, educate, and represent you at these important fisheries meetings. Please help support us with your $150 membership. Please join us Today! 
 

DON'T MISS OUT ON RECEIVING OUR EMAILS!