Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for a Regulatory Amendment to Implement Guideline Harvest Level Measures in the Halibut Charter Fisheries in IPHC Area 2C

November 27, 2007

Analyses of a series of potential changes to the prevailing management of the Pacific halibut charter fishing sector in Area 2C to reduce charter harvests to a level below the Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) in 2008.

The analyses contained in this document examine a series of potential changes to the prevailing management of the Pacific halibut charter fishing sector in Area 2C. In addition to the requisite No Action Alternative, the Council considered eleven options under Alternative 2, to reduce halibut harvests by this sector to the 2C Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) of 1.432 Mlb in 2008. The Council’s preferred alternative includes a combination of measures that would reduce charter harvests to a level below the GHL in 2008. These include: 1) retaining the two-fish daily limit, with one of those fish required to be 32 inches or less; 2) mirroring in Federal regulation the State of Alaska prohibition on halibut harvest by skipper and crew while clients are onboard; 3) mirroring in Federal regulation the State of Alaska line limit of six per vessel, not to exceed the number of paying clients onboard; and 4) an annual limit of four halibut, per charter angler.

The Council’s preferred alternative also includes a different set of measures, if the Area 2C GHL is reduced below 1.217 Mlb in 2008, as a result of IPHC action. These include (1) a one-fish daily limit for the entire season, when fishing from a charter vessel; (2) a prohibition on halibut harvest by skipper and crew while clients are onboard; and (3) line limits of six per vessel, not to exceed the number of paying clients onboard. The proposed rule will notify the public of the two paths the final regulations could take. If approved by the Secretary, the final rule would implement one set of measures in accordance with the 2008 GHL.

Appendix IV describes adjustments to the predicted harvest savings of the alternatives based on the final 2006 harvest estimate from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 01/14/2021

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