Fish Radio
Brokers say ‘slow going’ on IFQs, catch shares
February 24, 2015             

Longlining halibut

Longlining halibut

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Lots of buyers but few sellers for high priced catch shares. I’ll tell you more after this –

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Right after the yearly catch limits are announced for halibut, brokers are busy with buying and selling shares of the catch. But it’s been slow going so far this year.

 Less of a rush this year, but there is less available. So I think the increases in 3A and 2C and the higher prices might bring out some more sellers, and of course the buyers are sitting there waiting.

 Olivia Olsen runs Alaskan Quota and Permits at Petersburg.

I’d say the biggest sellers now are the charter halibut permits, and any 2C quota we can come with. There’s interest in the Central Gulf and it will be interesting to see where the price ends up there.

 Blocks of halibut in Southeast, Area 2C, are selling at $50 a pound. That’s about $10 a pound more than for fish from 3A, the Central Gulf, a big spread that Olsen calls very unusual.

 Buyers for Southeast charter halibut have picked up over the past two years. Those permits range from $20,000 to $29,000, based on the number of anglers on the charter boat. Olsen also brokers Guided Angler Fish, or GAFs, that let charters lease halibut poundage from IFQ holders at $7 per pound.

 Homer’s Doug Bowen at Alaska Boats and Permits also is seeing strong demand for halibut pretty much across the board. Recent sales have been at $45 a pound in 3A, with others a few dollars less.

 These are record high prices, and of course the folks that are buying at these prices must believe that the resource is recovering .  I have my doubts, but there certainly is a feeling out there that maybe things have bottomed out and maybe things will improve from here and we see that in the prices that people are willing to pay for halibut quota. It’s amazing.

 Interest in sablefish shares is slowly picking up with shares fetching $15-$30 a pound in prime fishing areas.

 Dock Street brokers is the go to place for Bering Sea crab shares.

Listings show 1,750 pounds of red king crab at $52 a pound; 5,000 pounds of snow crab at $16; and 16 offers for Tanners at $13-$16 per pound.


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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.