Pacific Halibut Permits
NOAA Fisheries issues different permits to harvest Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the waters off Washington, Oregon, and California (International Pacific Halibut Commission [IPHC] 2A). These permits are issued to vessels, not individual harvesters. Vessels bearing a valid permit must also possess all federal and state permits required for the waters in which they intend to fish.
Only one permit per vessel will be issued with the exception of incidental commercial pacific halibut during the longline sablefish and direct commercial halibut when the joint application is submitted.
Following review and approval, permits and other relevant information will be sent electronically to the vessel owner’s email address provided in the application.
Fishery Type: Open access
Harvest Type: Commercial, For-hire / Charter, and Incidental Salmon Troll and Longline Sablefish
Species Covered: Pacific halibut (50 CFR 660 Part 300)
Logbook Requirements: Yes
To submit a Pacific halibut permit application (IPHC Regulatory Area 2A) you will need to access the online permit application system:
If you DO NOT have an account please go to: https://www.webapps.nwfsc.noaa.gov/create_account
- Use your email address as the username.
- An email will be sent to that email address with a link that will allow you to validate your email address and activate your account by setting a password.
- Once you have created and validated your account, go to: https://www.webapps.nwfsc.noaa.gov/permitting
- Log in with your email address and the password you set Click the Halibut Permit Applications tile.
If you DO have an account go to: https://www.webapps.nwfsc.noaa.gov/permitting
- Log in with your email address and the password you set.
- Click the Halibut Permit Applications tile.
Recreational Charter Fishery – 15 days prior to the start of fishing
IPHC Regulatory Area 2A is divided into seven recreational subareas, each with its own allocation and season structure. Season dates are set to not conflict with other fisheries, and may be open for only one to three days per week in some subareas. Opening dates, local area closures, and bag limits are determined by NOAA Fisheries and State Fish and Wildlife Departments.
Charter vessels retaining Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A must be permitted by NOAA Fisheries. Federal and State licensing requirements may also apply. If a vessel has a direct commercial license, the vessel cannot be used to fish recreationally for Pacific halibut in that same IPHC Regulatory Area.
Directed Commercial Fishery – February 15th
The directed commercial Pacific halibut fishery operates south of Pt. Chehalis (46° 53.18’ N) and requires a permit from NOAA Fisheries. The fishing season is a series of fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery as announced in the fishery regulations each year and removals are further restricted by specific vessel-length limits, called fishing period limits in fishery regulations. Fishing periods and fishing period limits are announced before each period.
Incidental Salmon Troll Fishery – March 1st
The commercial fishery during the salmon troll fishery operates off Washington, Oregon, and California. In-season actions may be taken by management agencies and landing restrictions may change several times. The season is typically open in May/June/July, or until quota has been filled (season opening date to be determined by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in late April).
Incidental Longline Sablefish Fishery – March 1st
The commercial fishery during the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery operates north of Pt. Chehalis (46° 53.18’ N). In-season actions may be taken by management agencies. A NOAA Fisheries limited entry groundfish permit with a sablefish endorsement is required in this fishery.
Permit Expiration Date: Valid for one calendar year, expires on December 31 annually.
Fishing Area: IPHC Regulatory Area 2A
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS): Recreational Fishery: None; Incidental Sablefish and Salmon Fisheries: See the requirements for those fisheries; Directed Commercial Fishery: None
- A Pacific halibut permit is required for vessels that fish for Pacific halibut or possess Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A.
- The permit must be on board the vessel (paper or electronic) and available for inspection by an authorized officer, except that if the permit was issued while the vessel was at sea, this requirement applies only to any subsequent trip.
- A permit is valid only for the vessel for which it is registered. A permit not registered for use with a particular vessel may not be used.
- If an incomplete or improperly completed application is filed, the applicant will be sent a notice of deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.
West Coast Regional Office