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AJOC/MCA: Several factors at play as #NPFMC addresses halibut bycatch

Halibut with Carrots and Asparagus
Image by L.Richarz via Flickr

Jan 19, 2012 - 11:47 AM AKST

COMMENTARY: Several factors at play as NPFMC addresses halibut bycatch


Pacific halibut is in the headlines as commercial and recreational harvesters go head-to-head over management of the resource. Decisions are on the table that few Gulf of Alaska fishers, both in the directed and non-directed fisheries, perceive as fair.

In February, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council will continue to discuss amending the fishery management plan and on the table for future consideration is whether to reduce the halibut bycatch — also known as prohibited species catch, or PSC — allowance anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent, for trawl and hook and line groundfish fleets in the Gulf of Alaska.

The current state of the halibut resource

In the Pacific halibut fishery, the directed commercial and recreational users find themselves in a heated struggle over how to divide the allowable catch of halibut. This struggle has intensified as....