Council Member Andy Mezirow reminds us that at the last IPHC meeting, the Alaska delegation was asked to include options for charter halibut management measures designed to meet harvest levels "below the Blue Line" for the next meeting in 2017. This means that if the total allowable catch is lower next year, we must provide management options that would result in a lower harvest and present them to the North Council and the IPHC. We need to think about, and prepare to weigh in on, restrictions such as a one fish bag limit or an extra day closure, for area 3A. In Area 2C, Southeast Alaska, lowering the size of the lower slot limit would reduce harvest levels.
ACA Board Members Daniel Donich, Mike Flores, and Richard Yamada serve on the Charter Halibut Implementation Committee. They need your input regarding the order in which certain harvest measures should be applied. Should Area 3A go to a one fish daily bag limit before another day of the week closure? Should Area 2C go to an annual limit of four fish before reducing the lower slot limit below 40 inches? On the flip side, if stocks improve and a higher catch limit is allowed, which current restrictions should be removed first?
At this October meeting, we need to suggest harvest measures that can be analyzed by staff for the December meeting. If an option has not been analyzed, it cannot be considered at the December meeting, so it is important to get your input now.
Council Staff contact for the Charter Halibut Implementation Committee is Steve MacLean: 907-271-2809. ACA Board member Daniel Donich can be contacted at 907-399-7202 with questions or input. Richard Yamada can be contacted at 907-723-0008. Both plan to attend the Committee meeting in Anchorage.