NOAA stall in D.C. causes fishing delays for halibut IFQ holders

Delays at the highest level have kept AK halibut fishermen still waiting for their quota shares since March 15 opener.

by | April 1, 2024

Many still waiting for their fishing quota as prices drop at the docks

The Pacific halibut fishery opened on March 15 but fishermen who hold quota shares of the catch are still waiting to get them in hand so they can head out.

This is from the Fish Ticket by Maddie Lightsey at Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer on March 28:

“Many fishermen that were hoping to be able to take advantage of the higher opening ex-vessel prices are still waiting for quota transfers to be completed as they continue to watch prices drop at the dock. If you’re one of them, you’re no doubt frustrated. The Secretary didn’t sign off on the numbers until just days before the March 15 season opener, preventing NMFS/RAM from processing transfers any earlier. Since then, RAM, a chronically understaffed agency, has been inundated with transfers, seeing more temporary transfers than ever. I don’t have any advice, but I can say that calling RAM to nag only slows things down for everyone (please don’t do that) and the NPFMC IFQ committee is expected to take a look at this issue before next season.”

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Halibut prices sinking; ditto black cod

The Fish Ticket’s round up of halibut and black cod prices:

03-21-24 Sitka: $6.00 straight
03-23-24 Yakutat: $5.00/$5.25/$5.50
03-26-24 Akutan: $3.25/$3.50/$4.00  
03-28-24 Homer: $4.60/$5.00/$5.25
04-01-24 Kodiak: Below $4 all sizes

Black cod:
03-21-24 Sitka: <2 $.25, 2-3 $1.05, 3-4 $1.50, 4-5 $2.15, 5-7 $4.00, 7 ups $7.00
03-23-24 Yakutat: <2 $.40, 2-3 $1.00, 3-4 $1.50, 4-5 $2.25, 5-7 $3.90, 7 ups $6.40
03-25-24 Dutch Harbor: <2 $0.15, 2-3 $0.90, 3-4 $1.30, 4-5 $1.85, 5-7 $4.45, 7 ups $6.20
03-26-24 Akutan: <2 $.20, 2-3 $.70, 3-4 $1.05, 4-5 $1.70, 5-7 $2.15, 7 ups $4.00

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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