For a history of halibut bycatch actions, see the Overview Page.
In June 2012, the Council submitted Amendment 95 to the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP in order to reduce occurrence of halibut bycatch in Gulf’s groundfish fisheries. According to the amendment, the reductions were to be achieved by implementing more restrictive halibut PSC limits for trawl and hook-and-line groundfish sectors. Reduced PSC limits were phased in, beginning in 2014, and have been fully realized as of 2016. The overall PSC limit reductions are:
- 7 percent reduction for hook-and-line catcher/processors;
- 15 percent reduction for hook-and-line catcher vessels;
- 1 mt reduction for the hook-and-line demersal shelf rockfish fishery in the Southeast Outside district; and
- 15 percent reduction for trawl.
Halibut PSC limits are apportioned to the groundfish fisheries annually through the groundfish harvest specifications process.
Directed halibut fisheries (commercial and charter) are expected to benefit from reduced groundfish fishery bycatch of halibut under Amendment 95. Analyses accompanying Amendment 95 suggest that first wholesale gross revenue for the commercial halibut sector may increase by $2.3 M annually. Among the IPHC Regulatory Areas, Area 2C revenue is estimated to increase by $1,900 annually, Area 3A by $1.4 M annually, and Area 3B by $875,000 annually. The charter sector and the commercial sector are under a combined catch limit, and allocations are expected to increase.
Under this action, the commercial groundfish fisheries that incidentally capture halibut while targeting groundfish are expected to lose approximately $10M annually by 2016.
The Council is currently working on a GOA trawl bycatch management action, which is described here. Staff contact for that action is Sam Cunningham: 907-271-1283.
Documents and Council Motions
- GOA PSC motion; 2012 Example Tables 6/12
- GOA Comprehensive Bycatch motion 6/12
- Comprehensive GOA Halibut PSC discussion paper 6/12
- BSAI Halibut PSC discussion paper 6/12
- GOA Halibut PSC EA/RIR/IRFA (Updated) Executive Summary, Supplemental; public comments 6/12 – Secretarial Review Draft (11/13)
- GOA Halibut PSC 1/12; GOA Halibut PSC Motion 2/12
- Individual Bycatch Allowances discussion paper 10/11
- GOA Halibut PSC Limit Action Plan 10/11
- GOA Halibut PSC EA/RIR, Executive Summary 9/11
- IPHC Halibut Bycatch report 3/11
- GOA Halibut PSC Limit Addendum to discussion paper 12/10
- GOA Halibut PSC Limit discussion paper 6/10
- Discussion paper: Modifying Halibut PSC Limits in Groundfish Fisheries 2/10
- Electronic Monitoring of Halibut Discards in GOA Rockfish Fishery 5/08