Halibut Allocation Annoucement Feb 17 2012 "Disappointment"

Halibut Allocation Announcement
Update - February 17, 2012

For Immediate Release


VANCOUVER, B.C. -Today’s changes to the recreational halibut fishery, will ensure that in 2012, recreational anglers will experience the shortest halibut fishing season in memory, said Sport Fishing Institute of BC President Robert Alcock. “Minister Ashfield closed the recreational halibut fishing on September 5th last year and caused extensive economic damage to the sport fishing industry”, said Alcock. “Today he served notice that recreational halibut fishing will end in the first week of August, which will wreak havoc in the sport fishing industry and which will not conserve a single fish.”

Ashfield announced that he will not accept the unanimous recommendation of Canada’s 300,000 recreational anglers and create a "fixed number’ fishery that would allow recreational anglers to enjoy a predictable fishery during periods of low halibut abundance. Instead, Ashfield simply tinkered with the flawed allocation system established in 2003 which will ensure that Canada’s 436 commercial halibut quota holders can continue to harvest 85% of Canada’s sustainable Total Allowable Catch (TAC). The TAC is established annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the amount of halibut that Canada and the US can harvest without endangering the long-term stability of halibut stocks.

During the 2011 election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Island residents that “Our government recognizes the importance of the halibut fishery in BC. The jobs and regional economic impact of the commercial, recreational and related tourism in BC are substantial. We remain committed to finding a solution to BC’s halibut allocation issue in advance of the 2012 season that strikes a fair balance between all sectors.”

“Recreational halibut fishers took the Prime Minister at his word,” said Alcock. “Sadly, today we have learned the hard way that the Prime Minister’s word is of little value, particularly to the hundreds of businesses, thousands of sport fishing industry employees and the hundred thousand Canadians who enjoy recreational halibut fishing.”

According to a recent study conducted for the BC Seafood Alliance (the commercial sector’s industry association), the recreational fishery in BC produces $642 million in annual sales, pays $150 million in wages and benefits, creates more than 7,800 jobs and 3,950 person-years of employment and contributes $240 million to the province’s Gross Domestic Product.

For more information please contact

Robert Alcock, President
Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia

or visit sportfishing.bc.ca.

25% increase in allocation while other groups have 12% decrease and you still complain ??? all should share equally in conservation!!

It is getting harder and harder to make a living these days. Prince Rupert is going to take a big hit this year with
all the cancelled fishing trips coming up. I for one will have to inform my clients who have booked fishing trips
with me right up to the middle of September that their Halibut is a no go. This will have an avalanche effect all the way
down the line from hotels to restaurants to (fill in the blank) ------------. Not happy.

Ya fukc conservation measures as samon and halibut are unlimited resource that will never run out! Unlike the east coast, the west coast will have an infinite amount of ocean life… Just saying…

Is it time to impose licences, logbooks, on charter boats and lodges, as well as 32" and 37" limits on halibut as in Alaska? Next will be cameras and tracking devices?

There should be different quotas for local and non local, for halibut and salmon, charters shouldn’t be coming to target halibut just because everyone likes it more. It makes me sick when I go down to the dock and theres 4 or 5 charters with 4 people on each boat and there all limited out like a fucking slaughter and for the commercial sector, the quotas should be way less than they are, taking thousands of pounds every trip, the halibut will never come back as they were, with everyone taking the breeders and throwing chickens back !

Go regulate Alaska better if you want results. Look at the amount of fish they take yearly.

Love all the whining …no mention of sport catch going over by 300,000 lbs last year,that should come off this years catch first!Most of the problem rests with the "COMMERCIAL"sport fishers and NOT the average real sport fisherman.So the sport catch for 2011 was approx 1.2 million lbs and if the real commercial fisherman had landed this @ $7.00 per lb.plus the spin offs of 2 or 3 times that amount,now we are talking some real $.Before charter boats were an issue all the quota was landed by the commercial sector.Time for some accountability from the “sport” sector similar to what the rest of the fleet has to go through,log books,validation etc…a separate lic with tags or some way to record size of fish caught.
As a resident I object not being able to legally keep a halibut because some one has paid to catch my share!We should, as some one has said,have a separate allocation for locals.

Those commercial sporties have had free, unmonitored access for too long! Their portion should have been cut back along with the other quota-holders! If they want more, buck up for your share, and get monitored. They should be embarassed by those operators that keep the ‘chickens’. Disgraceful record of freely pillaging the resource!
No sympathy here.

They are pillaging shrimp, prawns and crab for free, and without consequence! Just check out their own pictures on their websites to see how they brag about the bonus freebies!

I feel sorry for the resident (BC) angler.
I feel sorry for the Commercial fisher.
I can understand the reluctance of the charter fishermen to accept a changing business model.
I can’t understand why government refuses to change their model…
If you are a charter fisher you are a commercial endevour. Period.
Government needs a plan to melt these commercial fishing interests together that would allow everyone to prosper.
The commercial sector would have to share allocation with commercial sporties (licence buy back and redistribution?), the charter sporty could buy an allocation that adds value to his/her business.
And the local guy (BC) with his own access (boat) can have a longer more relaxed access to THEIR resource.
If it costs more for a charter operator or their client that would just be another increase in the cost of bussiness (so what else is new…).
Compressing the season solves nothing.