PETERSBURG-AK Halibut researchers saw some improvements in their survey catch rates last year which could be a positive sign for the future of the fishery in Southeast Alaska. Over the past half decade, the International Pacific Halibut Commission has cut the southeast area 2C commercial quota by roughly 60 percent. That drop was due to a decline in abundance as well as changes in research methodology and the way the commission apportions the catch limits for each regulatory area along the Pacific coast.
As the commercial season got underway in early March, IPHC director Bruce Leaman was in Petersburg to talk with fishermen. He also spoke with reporter Matt Lichtenstein about the Southeast stocks, the charter halibut issue, and bycatch.
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