Commercial Halibut fishermen in Southeast will see a small increase in their catch limit for the second year in a row while the entire pacific quota will be down again coast-wide. That’s according to recommendations from the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which voted on the numbers at the end of its 5-day, annual meeting in Victoria, British Columbia Friday.
The commission’s 2013 catch limits total just over 31 million pounds, which is drop of about seven and a half percent from last year. That’s in response to on-going concerns over a decline in the amount of halibut that are big enough to keep.
Catches will remain roughly the same for the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, where the fleets will be allowed about a million pounds and seven million pounds respectively.
In Southeast Alaska, the recommendations call for a catch of just under 3 million pounds, which is actually up 13 percent from last year. Southeast fishermen saw a similar bump up last year, but that was after weathering cuts totaling nearly 80 percent over the previous half-decade.
The other regulatory have also faced significant quota cuts over the past several years. The downward trend continues, though the reductions are not as severe for 2013. For the Central-gulf, the majority of the commissioners went with a quota of just over 11 million pounds, a drop of about 8 percent.
The recommendations call for a cut of 15 percent in the western gulf and, depending on the area, 15 to 22 percent less in the Aleutians and bearing sea.
Before they’re final, the numbers need approval from the federal governments in the US and Canada.