Charters Asked to Weigh-In on Halibut Bycatch Reduction

Letters are urgently needed to support halibut bycatch reductions in the Bering Sea.

Halibut-in-the-Northwest“I was born and raised in Homer, and halibut have always been a part of my life. At age 32, I’ve logged 16 years in the charter fleet as a deckhand and captain, and have served as President of the Alaska Charter Association, Board Member of the Homer Charter Association, and held a seat on the Southcentral Alaska Fish and Game Advisory Committee. Halibut fishing, which began as weekend nirvana at age 5, has now become a convoluted web of politics, regulation, and money trails. I’ve watched as longline and charter halibut allocations have declined steadily, and have long-awaited the day when regulators would hold trawlers accountable for their waste.”, David Bayes.

It is vital that the Council hear from halibut users from across the North Pacific. Write to the Council today and ask them to reduce halibut bycatch caps in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands by no less than 50%! The deadline for written comment is Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Only a meaningful reduction will give the halibut fishery and the communities that depend on it the relief they need, as well as restore balance to the conservation efforts in the BSAI fisheries. Email your comments to npfmc.comments@noaa.gov with “C2 Bering Sea Halibut PSC” in the subject line.
Volunteers Wanted in UAF Survey What are the goals of this study?

The goals of this study are to improve knowledge of charter halibut fishing and to better understand changes to the charter halibut sector over time, particularly in response to fishing regulations. I’m looking for people to interview who have operated a charter boat that fished for Pacific halibut in Southeast and South-central Alaska.

Who is conducting the research?

I (Maggie Chan) am a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where I am looking at the social and ecological effects of regulations in small-scale halibut sectors in Alaska. I am advised by Dr. Anne Beaudreau, who will be supervising this study.

What will volunteers do in this research?

Volunteers will participate in an interview ranging from 1 – 2 hours. I will ask questions about your experience in the charter halibut sector, including where you fish for halibut, the size of halibut, and the other fish you catch along with halibut. Additional questions will ask about changes to halibut fishing and charter businesses in response to management.

How will confidentiality of volunteers be ensured?

All interviews will be kept confidential. There will not be any identifiable information shared in the results of this study. All results will be reported in a summarized manner to ensure confidentiality of volunteers. Summarized results from this study may be presented in public presentations, research reports or publications.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please feel free to email or call me. Prior to interviews, volunteers will have the chance to review the full project information and consent form.

Thanks for your time!

Sincerely,

Maggie Chan

Please contact Richard Yamada to make an appointment with Maggie.

Email: richard@alaskacharter.org