Halibut fishing restrictions are a hot topic this week, as charter operators work with federal regulators on a management plan for the flatfish in Alaska waters.
Anglers fear further restrictions will cripple business. While Southeast Alaska has a daily limit of one fish under 37 inches which was implemented this year, Southcentral Alaska is still at two fish of any size per day -- but that could change.
A catch-sharing plan was on the table, but after a public outcry it was put on hold. The National Marine Fisheries Service asked the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to take a look at other options.
For the 2012 fishing season, the Guideline Harvest Level will remain the same, but the way the fish are harvested could change.
After a committee meeting on the issue Wednesday, anglers in Southcentral decided to take a look at what the effects would be if they went to a daily limit of one fish of any size and one fish under 37 inches.
Southeast charter operators are looking at slot limits, reverse slot limits, and restricting the number of fishing days.
Suggestions will be forwarded to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to take a look at during it's December meeting.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org