Proposed Halibut Regulation Could Relax Bag Limits

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - NOAA Fisheries has proposed a regulation that forms a compensation reallocation program between the halibut commercial and charter sectors.

    NOAA Fisheries has proposed a regulation that forms a compensation reallocation program between the halibut commercial and charter sectors.

    It calls for creation of a non-profit organization that would purchase and hold commercial halibut quota shares for use by charter anglers in both Southeast and Southcentral Alaska.

    If the non-profit obtains enough quota shares, agency official Julie Speegle says restrictions on halibut size and bag limits could be relaxed in years of low abundance. . . 

    "It's a proposed rule, we're looking for public comment. This proposed rule is recommended the North Pacific Fishery Management Council as necessary to promote social and economic flexibility in the charter halibut fishery. Our comment period will be open for 45 days. People can comment by going to regulations.gov

    The proposed rule was filed with the Federal Register on Monday; the 45 day clock for comment starts once it is published.

    Speegle says the rule was proposed in view of more stringent restrictions placed on charter anglers in recent years as halibut abundance has dropped and catch limits, reduced.

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