Fish Radio
May 23, 2013                   

Alaska halibut longliner Credit:  ADF&G

Alaska halibut longliner
Credit: ADF&G

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Have your say on reining in hired skippers – and bid on quota shares.  More after this –

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 The practice of hiring skippers to fish for halibut and sablefish is set to undergo some big changes.  Last April the North Pacific Council approved a plan to limit the use of hired skippers who fish quota shares allocated to others when the IFQ plan began in 1995.  

 The problem is that when the halibut and sablefish quota share program hit the water, federal managers envisioned an owner-operated fleet that would protect the resource and provide entry level fishing opportunities for coastal Alaskans.  But over 20 years, the number of hired skippers has surged to 50 percent, and the quota owners have been charging high rents for their fish. That’s cut into crew wages and inflated the costs for quota shares.    

To maintain the goal of a predominantly owner operated fishery, a proposed rule would bar an initial quota share recipient from using a hired skipper to harvest any halibut or sablefish shares acquired after a cutoff date of Feb. 12, 2010.

Comments on the new hired skipper rule are being accepted through May 28 at NOAA Regulations

Also – bids on repossessed quota shares can be made on line through the Alaska Dept. of Economic Development.   Right now, it’s listing 28,419 pounds of halibut in Area 4A, in the Dutch Harbor area along the Aleutians.  A scan of brokers shows those 4A shares selling for between $15- $24 per pound.  


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.   In Kodiak,