Guideline Harvest Levels for the Guided Sport Fishery for Pacific Halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A

 

 

NMFS provides notice of the 2013 Pacific halibut guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for the guided sport fishery in International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas 2C

(Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). This notice is necessary to meet the regulatory requirement to publish notice announcing the GHLs and to inform the public about the 2013 GHLs for the guided sport fishery for halibut. The GHLs are benchmark harvest levels for participants in the guided sport fishery. The Area 2C GHL is 788,000 lb (357.4 mt); and the Area 3A GHL is 2,734,000 lb (1,240.1 mt). These GHLs revise and supersede those published in the 2013 IPHC annual management measures (78 FR 16423, March 15, 2013).

The GHLs are effective February 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. This period is specified by IPHC as the sport fishing season in all waters in and off Alaska.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie Scheurer, (907) 586-7228.

 

Background

In 2003, NMFS implemented a final rule (68 FR 47256, August 8, 

2003) to establish GHLs for Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) 

harvested by the guided sport fishery in IPHC Areas 2C and 3A. 

Regulations implementing the GHLs have been amended twice. In 2008, the 

GHL table was corrected at 50 CFR 300.65(c)(1) (73 FR 30504, May 28, 

2008). In 2009, regulatory provisions were amended for NMFS' annual 

publication of the GHL notice and to clarify NMFS' authority to take 

action at any time to limit the guided sport angler catch to the GHL 

(74 FR 21194, May 6, 2009). Regulations at Sec.  300.65(c)(1) require 

that NMFS annually publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce 

the GHLs for Area 2C and Area 3A.

    Consistent with Sec.  300.65(c), this notice announces the 2013 

GHLs for the guided sport fishery for Pacific halibut in IPHC Areas 2C 

and 3A. Regulations at Sec.  300.65(c)(1) specify the GHLs based on the 

total constant exploitation yield (CEY) that is established annually by 

the IPHC. The total CEYs and resulting GHLs were incorrect as published 

in the final rule announcing the 2013 IPHC annual management measures 

for the Pacific halibut fisheries (78 FR 16423, March 15, 2013). This 

notice announces revised total CEYs and corresponding GHLs for 2013. 

For Area 2C, the total CEY is 5,020,000 lb (2,277.0 mt) and the 

corresponding GHL is 788,000 lb (357.4 mt). For Area 3A, the total CEY 

is 17,070,000 lb (7,742.8 mt) and the corresponding GHL is 2,734,000 lb 

(1,240.1 mt). The GHLs in Areas 2C and 3A each dropped one step from 

2012 levels. NMFS may take action at any time to limit the guided sport 

halibut harvest to as close to the GHL as practicable (50 CFR 

300.65(c)(3)).

 

 

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