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2024 West Coast Pacific Halibut Directed Commercial Fishery

June 18, 2024

Information on the 2024 Area 2A non-tribal directed commercial fishery

NOAA Fisheries is taking this opportunity to remind fishery participants about the upcoming start to the Area 2A non-tribal directed commercial fishery and the associated fishing periods and limits. NOAA Fisheries is also taking this opportunity to remind fishery participants about certain requirements during the Area 2A non-tribal directed commercial Pacific halibut fishery, provide resources to assist fishery participants in complying with those regulations, and highlight the importance of landing information being reported in a timely manner.

Fishing Periods

  • Fishing period #1: June 25 at 8:00 a.m. to June 27 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Fishing period #2: July 9 at 8:00 a.m. to July 11 at 6:00 p.m.
  • If a third fishing period is needed to reach the allocation, it will occur no sooner than 3 weeks after the second fishing period.

Fishing Period Limits

Fishing period limits (vessel catch limits) are shown below, in dressed weight, head-on with ice/slime (pounds). As a reminder, fish must be landed with head on.

Vessel classLength range (feet)Fishing period limit (pounds)
A1 - 251,800
B26 - 301,800
C31 - 351,800
D36 - 403,000
E41 - 453,000
F46 - 503,800
G51 - 553,800
H56+4,500

Fishing periods and fishing period limits are primarily intended to provide opportunities for commercial fishermen to achieve but not exceed the directed commercial fishery allocation.

Seabird Avoidance

Any vessel retaining groundfish that is at least 26 feet in overall length, and is operating in federal waters (3 nm - 200 nm) north of 36° N. lat.; must follow the requirements of the groundfish Seabird Avoidance Program (50 CFR 660.21). See the compliance guide for more information.

Vessels retaining only Pacific halibut are not required to use seabird avoidance gear.

Logbooks

Logbooks are required for vessels 26 feet or greater. Approved logbooks include: logbooks provided by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), Pacific Coast Groundfish non-trawl logbooks, or Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Fixed Gear Logbooks. IPHC and ODFW logbooks must be submitted to the IPHC within 30 days of the close of the season. See IPHC regulations for more information and the Compliance Guide for Federal Non-Trawl Logbook Requirements for more information. Note that fishermen retaining groundfish must also comply with groundfish logbook regulations and should refer to the compliance guide for more information.

VMS

VMS is not a requirement of the Pacific halibut fishery, but, if a vessel is otherwise required to use VMS, it is then also required during Pacific halibut fishing operations. Vessels that are required to have a vessel monitoring system (VMS) must make the following declaration: Open access Pacific halibut longline gear (declaration code 62) (50 CFR 660.14). See NOAA Fisheries Vessel Monitoring System on the West Coast page for more information: Compliance Guide, Declaration Report Worksheet, and approved VMS units.

Closed Areas

Vessels are prohibited from fishing within closed areas as defined in 50 CFR 300.63(f), including the non-trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs). RCAs are depth-based areas closed to fishing with certain gear types. The RCA boundaries are lines that connect a series of latitude and longitude coordinates and are intended to approximate particular depth contours. Coordinates that define the RCA boundary lines are listed at 50 CFR 660.71(e), 50 CFR 660.73(a), and 50 CFR 660.72(j). All vessels must comply with Pacific halibut RCA regulations regardless of groundfish retention. Vessels retaining groundfish in state waters of California are also subject to California RCA regulations.

See Pacific halibut regulations and the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Groundfish Closed Areas page for more information on closed areas, including Essential Fish Habitat Conservation areas and Yelloweye RCAs.

Fish Tickets and Reporting

Fish tickets must be submitted in accordance with state rules and regulations: Washington, Oregon, California. Timely submission greatly helps NOAA Fisheries assess fishery catches inseason and send out timely updates.

Fishery Updates

NOAA Fisheries will send out fishery catch estimates as soon as possible after each fishing period to assist fishery participants in planning their operations. Updates will be made through this email notification system and through the telephone hotline (800) 662-9825 (press 7 for Pacific halibut).

Other Regulations and Resources

Regulations listed above are only a partial list of applicable regulations. Some helpful links to more regulations and resources include:

Questions?

For more information on Pacific halibut fishing, please contact the West Coast Region Pacific halibut team at nmfs.wcr.halibut@noaa.gov.

Visit NOAA Fisheries' Rules & Regulations directory to learn more about recent federal management actions affecting managed fish species on the West Coast.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on July 03, 2024

Halibut