Responding to concerns from many charter operators, the Council considered a wide range of options to address the potential for unused permits re-entering the halibut fishery and causing even more difficulty in managing to ever-tightening catch limits. While the concerns are valid, the Charter Management committee had good public input and after the discussion it was decided that the problem had not surfaced, and it might be worth waiting until the registration of CHP permits revealed how many non-transferable permits have expired already. The Council decided to take no action on this item.
"RQE Ownership Caps"
The Council explored the potential for using the funds from the Recreational Quota Entity to purchase latent or under-used charter halibut permits in an effort to prevent an increase in fishing effort in the future. Current regulations limit the ownership of CHPs to five permits per owner. The idea is to allow the RQE to buy up to 30% of the permits to control effort. The Council postponed action on this item.
"Self-Guided Rental Boats"
The issue of unguided, or "self-guided" anglers using rental boats and fishing under the bag limits on non-guided private halibut anglers was studied by the Council. They felt more information was needed about the extent of the use of rental boats. Currently, unguided angler effort is stable and not increasing.
To address this concern, the Council intends to implement a registration system for rental power boats that may be used in the halibut fishery.