I’m responding to Mr. Brian Lynch’s letter concerning the halibut Catch Share Plan.
Mr. Lynch claims charters allocation, since 2008, has dropped “only” 15 percent and commercial boats have dropped 46 percent. Commercial boats catch about 80 percent of halibut caught (not including halibut that become “by-kill” by commercial boats). Charters get around 17 percent of halibut caught, less than a fourth of what commercial boats catch. Maybe the commercial boats “by-kill” account for the major portion of that 32 percent reduction in “biomass” Mr. Lynch referenced.
A simpler explanation of what’s happening to halibut charters: In 2007, a typical six-passenger charter (two-member crew) could catch two halibut each, totalling 16 halibut. Since then, crewmembers aren’t allowed their daily quota of two halibut, losing four of 16 is 25 percent, not 15 percent.
If the Catch Share Plan becomes law for 2014, a typical charter of six will lose six more halibut. Bottom line: A six-pak charter’s daily quota will have dropped from 16 (2007) to 6 (2014). That’s a 62 percent quota loss over a seven-year span.
The Catch Share Plan is a farce.
— Bill Buttry
Anchorage Daily News