Landmark IPHC Meeting Sets Allocation Process for Canada and Lower 48 For Next Four Years
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - February 5, 2019
One year after a historic low point between treaty partners Canada and the U.S., the commissioners of the International Pacific Halibut Commission last week forged an agreement that will hold for at least the next four years.
“I am pleased that the United States and Canada reached a new agreement on a coast wide Pacific halibut quota on Feb. 1,” said U.S. Commissioner Chris Oliver, who represents the U.S. government on the IPHC.
The new agreement involved a slight increase in quota for most areas compared to last year, when each country set their own quotas without an agreement at the commission level. Both countries agreed the catch limits needed to go down, but they disagreed at the rate of the decrease. This year, they agreed a slight increase was warranted from last year.
“The new quota of 38.61 million pounds reflects an increase of 1.4 million pounds above the 2018 quota,” explained Oliver.
“Based on input from stakeholders and analysis from Commission science reports, the United States and Canada agreed to a rebalancing of the coast wide quota resulting in Canada receiving a 17.7% share and the U.S. receiving an 82.3% share.”
That agreement reflects a new calculation of Canada’s quota for the next four years. Each year the Canadian quota will be based on a 70:30 weighting on the traditional share of 20% of the coastwide quota and an application of the current SPR percentage to Canada’s area 2B. The agreement to apply emphasis by that formula was a landmark for the commission and resolves that issue for the next four years.
“The IPHC also agreed to a 1.65 million pound allocation for the U.S. West Coast (Area 2A) to address tribal, recreational, and commercial needs in that area. The IPHC intends to apply the allocation process developed at this meeting over the next four years, pending any unanticipated conservation or management concerns,” Oliver said.
Overall total removals of halibut, which include more than commercial catch limits, are up 3.8% at 38.61 mlbs for 2019, compared to 37.21 mlbs in 2018.
“While the overall quota for 2019 is a slight increase over 2018, the catch limits agreed to at the meeting reflect a sensible, conservative approach that will secure the future of this iconic and economically important species. We solved several challenging international fishery management issues and we accomplished our goal in the spirit of cooperation and compromise,” Oliver explained.
“We look forward to working closely with our partners at future meetings.”
The United States and Canada have jointly managed halibut throughout its range, today extending from northern California to the northwestern Alaska coast, since 1923 through this bilateral commission.
Under the provisions of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act (Halibut Act), a majority of U.S. and Canadian Commissioners must agree to recommend revised catch limits or other regulations. Those decisions are submitted to each country for final adoption and promulgation on an annual basis.
Happy International Year of the Salmon!
NOAA Fisheries - February 4, 2019
While 2019 is the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac, here at NOAA Fisheries we’re celebrating the International Year of the Salmon with our global conservation partners!
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/05/2019
he North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Scallop Plan Team will meet on February 20, 2019 in Kodiak, AK.
Reminder: Seals Need Space
NOAA - January 30, 2019
The following was released by NOAA: With daily reports of seals and seal pups coming into our hotline, this is a good time to remind everyone of seal watching guidelines and information.
Alaska Sea Grant Hosting Better Process Control Class, Workshop on Oil Spill Preparedness
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - February 5, 2019
Looking to continue your education? Alaska Sea Grant has you covered. This month the organization is offering two different events for those in the Anchorage area.
Starting Wednesday, February 6, Alaska Sea Grant will be hosting a three-day class called “Better Process Control School.” The class is part of Alaska Sea Grant’s “Alaska Seafood School” and teaches principles of thermal processing, equipment requirements, container closure evaluation, and record keeping for glass jars and cans. Those who are retort operators, quality assurance technicians, home canners, or personnel in plants that pack and thermally process low acid foods and acidified foods in hermetically sealed containers, will find the course beneficial. In addition, the class satisfies FDA requirements and attendees will receive a certificate upon successful completion. The cost of the three-day class is $480. You can find more information and register here.
Later this month Alaska Sea Grant will also be hosting a free two-day workshop on oil spill preparedness. The workshop is part of a national series sponsored by the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program to “improve community preparedness for oil spills.” The two-day event will cover research and lessons learned from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the current state of oil spill preparedness in Alaska, and how to prepare communities for the next technological disaster. The workshop will take place from February 20-21. Registration is required. You can find more information here.
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