Fees for halibut, sablefish, crab management increase
December 13, 2016
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Value increases for halibut and sablefish but a dip for Bering Sea crab.. More after this –
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Alaska fishermen who hold catch shares of halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea crab pay an annual fee to the federal government to cover management and enforcement costs for those fisheries. The fee, which is capped at 3 percent, is based on dock prices through September and averaged across the state.
This month bills went out to 1,968 holders of halibut and sablefish shares, down by just 15 from last year. At a three percent fee, those fisheries yielded slightly more for coverage costs at $5.9 million. That’s due to an increase in overall fish value at the docks.
“The 2016 halibut landings had an increase in value from 2015 – it went up from $107 million to $112 million. Sablefish had an increase in value going from $76.6 million to $77.7 for a $1.1 million increase.”
Carl Greene is Cost Recovery Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries in Juneau.
“ The halibut prices increased to $6.67 per pound and sablefish increased to $4.34 per pound.”
That’s an increase of 25 cents a pound for halibut and 56 cents a pound for sablefish over last year’s average dock prices.
The fishermen’s fees are due to NOAA at the end of January and Greene says nearly 100 percent have a great pay back record.
“They are fantastic and the vast majority of them pay their bills on time”.
Improvements have been made to the eFish payment site, Greene says, to make it more user friendly. NOAA doesn’t track dock prices for Bering Sea crab, only the total value of the fisheries. The coverage fee for crab catches increased slightly from 1.48 percent to 1.6 percent and yielded $3.7 million in enforcement costs. Greene says the total value of the crab fisheries last season took a dip.
“The Bering sea crab fisheries total value was $228 million for the 2015/2016 season, which was a decrease of about one million dollars.”
For Bering Sea crab, the processors are responsible for paying those bills in July. Find links to all Alaska fish catches and more at www.alaskafishradio.com
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