In a July 17 article, Mr. Tony Weaver advocates that the halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) “is designed to reallocate what might have been your second sport caught halibut to the commercial sector.”
To the contrary, the CSP is designed to address the stability, economic viability, and diversity of the halibut industry, recreational experience quality, subsistence access, and socioeconomic health of halibut dependent coastal communities. During plan development, the NPFMC met four times between December 2011 and October 2012 on the CSP and considered many hours of oral comment, a 313-page analysis, legal review, and hundreds of written comments — all in an effort to balance the needs of anglers, subsistence users, and access by consumers.
Halibut stocks are at a cyclic low. Biomass is down 32 percent from 2008-2012 in the North Gulf (3A). Commercial catches have dropped 46 percent while the charter allocation has dropped only 15 percent.
The CSP provides for strong charter input and that should help prevent overly restrictive bag limits.
— Brian Lynch,