To Protect the Rights and to Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News Year-End 2016
Year in Review
As we look back over the last year, a lot has been accomplished by the recreational charter industry and it's worth reviewing the developments as we look forward to the 2017 fishing season.
Recreational Quota Entity passed 8-3 by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. After a long battle taking place over many years, and thousands of hours of work by ACA President Richard Yamada and other leaders in the sportfishing industry, we finally have a path to reduce the strangling halibut fishing regulations on guided anglers. NMFS may take a full year to finalize this program and publish its rule-making, and more work with need to be done to identify sources of funding for the program. We can take great satisfaction at this moment at what we've accomplished, a unique program that can address a national problem of catch-share fishery management.
Discussion Paper on Charter Halibut Permit Usage One of the key issues of concern at the December NPFMC meeting was the problem of "latent" permits in the management of guided angler halibut fishing. Permits that were issued on a non-transferral basis are being transferred and used without a means to revoke these permits; permits that hadn't been used much in the past are suddenly being used a lot - and with tight management constraints it doesn't take a lot of extra fishing effort to blow through our annual quota. The Council identified the problem and set a course to gather more information about the problem and further discuss solutions. Click here to view the Council's final motion on Charter Halibut Permit Usage.
The Council put forward options for charter halibut fishing measures in 2017, for areas 2A and 3C, but they won't be finalized into regulations until the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) in January, 2017. Information about the annual IPHC meeting can be found at http://www.iphc.int. There was a great deal of public testimony at the Council meeting regarding the great difficulty the charter industry has in marketing because of the annual revision of the rules - the lack of stability in the rules from one season to the next makes it impossible to schedule trips. This is one of the main goals of the RQE program - to improve stability in the charter industry.
Also on the horizon: bag limits and possession limits on chartered motherships, live aboard boats, and floating lodges are under review by enforcement, with a plan to bring all these business models under the same regulations as those for day-boat charters.
Under "Staff Tasking," the Council, and the Advisory Panel, recommended that the Council expand the Charter Halibut Management Committee scope to include addressing latent capacity in the charter sector, ending leasing of non-transferable CHPs, the ability of the RQE to purchase or freeze CHPs, and other issues that directly affect the charter halibut sector.
Do you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decrease fishing opportunity for your clients?
No time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future?
Your membership in the Alaska Charter Association can help.
If your dreams include flying scales and full fish totes, You
need the Alaska Charter Association to inform, educate, and fight for you