Pacific Halibut Range          Credit: IPHC

 

Halibut quota share values continue to soar in Alaska’s major fishing areas. Get ready for this jaw dropper:

“They’re in the $70 per pound range in Southeast, the $60 range in 3A, approaching the $45 mark  for 3B –  and then as you work further west, the values taper off – $30-$32 a pound for 4Aand down in the teens for Bering Sea regions. “ 

Doug Bowen operates Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer.

“Even small pieces of Delta class for smaller boats are trading for $51, $52 and $53 a pound.  Just unheard of. 

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The halibut IFQ prices have gone up about $5 a year for the past several years as the fish  stocks have appeared to stabilize  and increased slightly. Dock prices for halibut also have remained high, in the $6 to $7 per pound range at major ports.

“The only reason they would pay that is they believe the catch limits are going to go up in the near future. I’m not sure that they will. But otherwise you’re looking at a very       long payoff at these prices.”

Halibut quota shares are sold in various categories designed, in part, to prevent consolidation. The shares are not flying off the  shelves, Bowen says, but there’s more movement in small batches.

 “Almost call it a retail market for  IFQ’s where if a fella holds a fair amount of unblocked they will cut a chunk of 1,000 pounds away to complete his boat projects or get his RSW going for his Bay boat .”

The quota share prices for black cod, or sablefish, also are on an upswing. Large sized fish over seven pounds are fetching up to $10 a pound for fishermen.

Sales prices for black cod quota in the Central Gulf are now at $29 per pound, up eight dollars from last year. Black cod quota in Southeast has jumped to $35 a pound.

Sales prices for quota in the Central Gulf are now at $29 per pound, up eight dollars from last year. Black cod quota in Southeast has jumped to $35 a pound.

Jeff Osborn of Dock Street Brokers in Seattle cites other reasons for the black cod boost.

 “The increases there are a consequence of 3 factors; one, a really strong grounds price, two was an increase in the TAC which was somewhat  unexpected but led to some optimism about future potential increases in the Gulf, and of course pots.”

Starting this year, pots are able to be used in the Gulf to keep whales from robbing the pricey black cod from longline hooks.  ‘Getting whaled’ can sometimes cost a boat up to half of its catch.

Nearly 2,000 fishermen hold quota shares of halibut and black cod in Alaska. Find the daily catches at our website.

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