Local News

ADFG: Subsistence halibut catches down

Alaska’s subsistence halibut harvest has declined over much of the past decade, mirroring the drop in commercial catches statewide. Effort in the subsistence fishery has also fallen. That’s according to numbers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which has tracked subsistence halibut catches with a voluntary survey since new rules went into effect for the federal fishery in 2003. The department recently released a draft report detailing its latest estimates, which cover 2011. Subsistence fishermen reported catching an average of eight fish each in several trips that year. More than half of the subsistence catch comes from Southeast Alaska with Petersburg and Sitka-area residents landing the most. Overall, the subsistence catch represents about 1.4 percent of the total halibut removals in Alaska. Matt Lichtenstein spoke with Subsistence Division Research Director Jim Fall, who will be presenting the report to the International Pacific Halibut Commission later this month:
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