Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  In this July 2, 2013 file photo - halibut of all sizes are lined up after a trip with Alaska Gulf Coast Expeditions in the Cook Inlet. The International Pacific Halibut Commission voted Friday to increase Alaska's total catch allowance for the first time in a decade.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this July 2, 2013 file photo - halibut of all sizes are lined up after a trip with Alaska Gulf Coast Expeditions in the Cook Inlet. The International Pacific Halibut Commission voted Friday to increase Alaska's total catch allowance for the first time in a decade.

Alaska halibut catch sees first increase in a decade

  • By Molly Dischner
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015 10:29pm
  • News

JUNEAU, Alaska — Fishermen in Alaska will have access to slightly more halibut this year than last.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission voted Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a total catch in Alaska of 21.215 million pounds, up from 19.705 million pounds in 2014. That’s the first time in a decade the commission has increased the catch.

The six-member panel meets annually to set the halibut catch limits from Northern California to the Bering Sea. There are three commissioners from the U.S. and three from Canada.

The Alaska catch limit is divided between several areas, and includes commercial and charter halibut sectors, as well as their wastage. The commission accounts for subsistence- and sport-caught halibut, but doesn’t limit it.

The uptick means commercial fishermen in southeast and south-central Alaska will see slight quota increases.

Bering Sea halibut fishermen will have the same allotment as last year. The commission considered decreasing it based on stock status and bycatch, but other commercial fishermen agreed to voluntarily reduce their bycatch. Federal managers for Alaska also said they will look at a regulatory reduction in the near future, so the commission agreed not to make another cut. Charter anglers will not see relaxed regulations, because the management measures implemented in 2014 resulted in the sector catching more than its allotment.

In south-central ports, including Seward, Homer and Valdez, fishermen on charter boats will be allowed to catch two fish per day, with the second fish limited to 29 inches or less. There will also be a five-fish annual bag limit for charter anglers, and charters will not operate on Thursdays. Charter anglers in southeast ports, including Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, will be limited to one fish per day, which must be 42 inches or smaller, or 80 inches or larger. Sport and charter halibut fishing opens Sunday. The commercial fishery will open March 14.

The total coastwide halibut limit is 29.223 million pounds, up from 27.515 million pounds in 2014.

More in News

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. A kiosk that will offer educational programming and interpretive products about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is coming to the airport. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsua Clarion)
Wildlife refuge kiosk coming to airport

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge stickers, T-shirts, magnets, travel stamps and enamel pins will be available.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
5 more COVID deaths reported

The total nationwide fatalities surpass population of Alaska.

Velda Geller fills goodie bags at the Kenai Senior Center on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 for next weekend’s drive-through trick-or-treat event. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘This has been a lifesaver’

Seniors seek human connection as pandemic continues.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A very slippery slope that we need to be careful of’

Approval of library grant postponed after Kenai council requests to preview book purchases

This undated photo released by the Alaska State Department of Public Safety shows Robin Pelkey just before her 18th birthday. The remains of a woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of 17 victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, have been identified through DNA profiling as Robin Pelkey, authorities said Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Alaska State Department of Public Safety via AP)
DNA match IDs serial killer’s victim after 37 years

Robin Pelkey was 19 and living on the streets of Anchorage when she was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s, investigators said.

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Most Read