Alaska Charter Association

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

IPHC in Juneau January 25-29
ACA representatives will be attending the Annual Meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission in Juneau next week, where this year's catch limits for halibut will be set for the management regions on the west coast, Canada and Alaska. We expect a major topic of concern to be by catch off halibut in the trawl fishery in Alaska, which has been causing severe economic dislocation and drastic cutbacks in directed fisheries in Alaska and elsewhere. 

The IPHC estimates the size of the halibut stock coast-wide, and sets broad catch limits for each major region of the fishery, while the individual states set allocations and management measures between user groups within those areas. 

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has recommended Alaska charter halibut management measures to the IPHC for approval. For Area 3A it will be a two-fish daily bag limit, maximum size of one of the two fish is 28", one trip per day (use of each charter halibut permit is limited to one charter halibut fishing trip per calendar day). Also limit each vessel to one charter halibut fishing trip per calendar day, 4-fish annual limit, prohibition on halibut charter fishing on Wednesdays, all year. For Area 2C it will be a one-fish daily bag limit with a reverse slot limit.  A halibut must be equal to or less than 42" or equal to or more than 80" in length. Depending on final stock assessments announced at this meeting, these restrictions could be modified.

Charter operators are encouraged to attend these important meetings to have input on the future of our fisheries. If you are unable to attend, you can listen to the live webcast from the IPHC website.

The IPHC also has a YouTube Channel, and you might be able to watch live here or watch previous discussions as well:

Charter Industry Meet & Greet at the IPHC meeting Monday
January 25th at 6pm

The ACA, the Juneau Charter Association and SEAGO will be hosting a reception for industry, managers and legislative officials at the Hangar Ballroom on the Wharf in Juneau, Alaska. The reception is open to the public and members of the charter fishing industry are encouraged to attend to share their concerns with managers and decision-makers in Alaska's state capitol. Complimentary food, no-host bar from 6pm-8pm at the Hangar in Juneau on Monday, January 25th. See you there!

In addition, ACA will host a Town Hall-style meeting where the industry can ask questions, share viewpoints and air concerns on Wednesday, January 27. The Town Hall meeting will be held in the Hammond Room of the Centennial Hall in Juneau at 7pm. 

NACO Report

Richard Yamada and Greg Sutter attended the board of directors meeting of the National Association of Charter Operators (NACO) in San Diego last week, and reported on a number of issues that could affect charter vessels due to proposed federal regulations, including new safety equipment and clean water requirements that are burdensome for small vessels, new FCC regulations that require VHF radios with expensive distress signal capabilities, and a push by the Coast Guard to require some form of official annual vessel inspection for six-pack vessels. NACO has been saving our industry millions of dollars by fighting against unnecessary federal requirements and the ACA is proud to support NACO's work. We are considering including NACO membership in the annual ACA dues to strengthen both organizations.

ACA Board of Directors Elections

We are pleased to announce that the membership votes are official and ACA welcomes new member, Capt. Eric Lehm, from Homer, to the board of directors. At the January 21st meeting of the board, Officers were elected and we thank them for their service:

Richard Yamada - President
Bryan Baker - Vice President
Daniel Donich - Treasurer
Jeff Wedekind - Secretary

Reminder for Annual ACA dues
Membership dues make the work of the Alaska Charter Association possible. Commercial fishing associations are well-represented at all the meetings that set fishing regulations and directly affect your business and livelihood. Consider making an additional donation to keep the ACA afloat. If you haven't renewed since Labor Day weekend, your membership has expired! Ask your fellow charter operators to join and get involved. 

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! 2016 memberships are due October 1, 2015.