The Charter Halibut Management Committee met in October 2016, and again in December 2016, to consider management measures designed to keep the charter halibut harvest within each area’s (2C and 3A) 2017 allocation. Management measures recommended by the committee were evaluated by Scott Meyer (ADF&G) to determine their likelihood to keep the charter harvest within the IPHC FCEY identified at the 2016 interim IPHC meeting (0.747 million pounds in Area 2C and 1.778 million pounds in Area 3A). After receiving the report from Mr. Meyer, and from the Charter Halibut Management Committee, and hearing from members of the public, the Council approved the following charter halibut management measures for recommendation to the International Pacific Halibut Commission for implementation in 2017:
- One fish daily bag limit
- If the halibut charter allocation is at the Blue Line, implement a reverse slot limit (U40:O80), with an annual limit of 3 halibut with a recording requirement.
- If the halibut charter allocation is below the Blue Line, implement an annual limit of 3 fish with a recording requirement, and a reverse slot limit with a maximum size limit of 80 inches. Incrementally reduce the lower size limit until projected harvest falls within the allocation.
- If the halibut charter allocation is above the Blue Line, but below the SPR, implement a reverse slot limit of U40:O80 and an annual limit of 5 fish with a recording requirement. Select a lower limit for the reverse slot to allow the largest lower limit while maintaining the projected harvest within the allocation.
- If halibut charter allocation is at or above the SPR, implement an upper slot limit of O80 and select a lower limit for the reverse slot to allow the largest lower limit while maintaining the projected harvest within the allocation. No annual limit.
- Two fish bag limit.
- Maximum size limit of 28 inches on one fish.
- Annual limit of four fish with a recording requirement.
- Prohibition on halibut charter fishing on Wednesdays, all year.
- Use of each charter halibut permit is limited to one charter halibut fishing trip per calendar day. Each charter vessel is limited to one trip per calendar day.
- Prohibition on halibut charter fishing on Tuesdays, as described in the table below, to bring projected charter removals below the charter allocation, as specified in the catch sharing plan.