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The following news story and video appeared in Seafood News on thursday, Dec 2nd.
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Fish Radio with Laine Welch]
Halibut cuts for 2011 December 2, 2010
This is Fish Radio. I'm Laine Welch - Big cuts for next year's halibut catch. I'll tell you more after this.
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Halibut catches for next year could be cut by 19 percent if managers accept the recommendations of fishery scientists.
On Monday the International Pacific Halibut Commission released preliminary numbers that show a Pacific coast wide catch of 41 million pounds.
Of that, 32.5 million pounds are set aside for Alaska fishermen, down from 40 million pounds this year.
It could be especially brutal for Southeast Alaska, Area 2C, which could take a huge 47 percent cut to just 2.33 million pounds.
The Central Gulf, Area 3A also could be slashed 28 percent to 14.36 million pounds.
The recommended catch for the Western Gulf, Area 3B, is 7.52 million pounds, down from about 10 million pounds this year.
Only smaller fisheries along the Aleutians and Bering Sea could see slight increases.
Scientists say halibut are recruiting into the various Pacific fisheries but they are growing very slowly.
The IPHC is also looking more closely at halibut bycatch. At its annual meeting last January the Commission reconvened a Halibut Bycatch Work Group that last met 20 years ago. The work group will examine how bycatch of halibut in other fisheries can best be accounted for in stock assessments and fisheries management. IPHC director, Bruce Leaman:
'And it was also coincident with the council and NMFS looking at restructuring the observer program to try and get some changes in estimation of bycatch both in fisheries that are not presently covered and in areas where increased coverage would be desirable such as the Gulf of Alaska In particular to look at what is present accounting for bycatch, is it adequate, and also to look at the targets established back in 1991 for the original bycatch work group'
The IPHC will make final decisions on 2011 halibut catches January 25-29 in Vancouver.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 100 years of partnership with Alaska's coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I'm Laine Welch.
Founder of Seafood.com News. I have 30 years in the seafood industry. Started in New England. My work with Baader in the 1980's introduced me to the global industry. Started my own Internet business in 1994. Survived the dot com boom / bust by being honest. Partnered with Urner Barry, and built Seafood.com News into our flagship product. Also do a lot of speaking and consulting on market issues, price forecasts and outlook. Currently I work for both harvesters and processors in the crab and shrimp industry in Newfoundland, and the crab industry in Alaska. My personal goal is to contribute to the sustainable growth of the entire seafood industry - which occupies a unique and special place in the lives of everyone who is a part of it.