Fishery scientists with the International Pacific Halibut Commission have put forth a 2014 coast wide commercial catch total of 24.45 million pounds, a 21% decrease from the 31 million pounds allowed for this year.  That includes catches in Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Coast states.


In a summation at a meeting in Seattle last week, the IPHC said: “The results of the 2013 stock assessment indicate that the Pacific halibut stock has been declining continuously over much of the last decade as a result of decreasing size-at-age, as well as recruitment strengths that are much smaller than those observed through the 1980s and 1990s.”

Here are the proposed 2014  catch limits for Alaska regions in millions of pounds, compared to the totals from 2013 in parentheses:

Southeast Alaska (2C)  – 4.16  (2.97);

Central Gulf (3A) – 9.43 (11.03);

Western Gulf (3B) – 2.84 (4.29);

Alaska Peninsula (4A) – 0.85 (1.33);

Aleutian Islands region (4B) – 0.82 (1.45);

Bering Sea (4CDE) 0.64 (1.94).
Final decisions on the catch limits, season start date and regulation changes will be made by the IPHC at its annual meeting, Jan. 13-17 in Seattle.