Baranof Blog & Fishing News

IPHC Fixes 2024 Guided Halibut Harvest Measures

The International Pacific Halibut Commission’s (IPHC) wrapped up its annual meeting this week in Anchorage setting stock-wide and area specific regulations for the Pacific halibut fishery. The Commission took another round of cuts in Catch Limits for 2024 citing low stock levels and uncertainty in environmental factors and recent recruitment.

Guided Angler Limits for the 2024 season:

Area 2C

  • Daily bag limit of one halibut
  • Max lower size limit of 40” through July 14th
  • Max lower size limit of 36” on or after July 15th 
  • An upper limit fixed at 80” or greater all season
  • Fridays closed to halibut retention between July 19th- September 13th 
  • Guided Angler Fish (GAF) halibut retention allowed on closed days
  • No angler may exceed the recreational limit of two halibut per day per angler

Area 3A

  • Daily bag limit of two halibut
  • One halibut of any size and a second fish no greater than 28”
  • All Wednesdays closed
  • One trip per charter vessel per day

*Always check the officially posted regulations before going fishing.
SEAGO’s executive director Forrest Braden sits on both the IPHC’s Management Strategy Advisory Board (MSAB) and Conference Board (CB). Braden attended this week’s meeting working with longline and charter representatives from across the state as well as IPHC staff and leadership to arrive at recommendations for coastwide removals and regulatory area allocations favorable to Southeast Alaska.
Braden argued that although the halibut stock is at a low level, the cuts being considered would harm Southeast fisheries while not providing a meaningful benefit to stock increase which relies largely on good recruitment events. “It’s a waiting game.” Braden said. “The stock is not overfished or below any critical levels. We just need to make reasonable choices in removals that keep it that way while supporting the harvest needs of fisheries while we wait for some good year classes to enter the fishery.”
SEAGO would like to thank all those who wrote public comments to support the work Braden was doing in person offering the IPHC Commissioners the perspective of industry members when it comes to the challenges we face on limited, and lowering, halibut allocations. Nine of the fifteen stake holder written comments provided to the IPHC Board for this meeting came from Southeast sport representation. A clear majority. Showing Southeast Alaska is involved in this process and invested in the outcomes. A large thank you for all those who contributed! 
We appreciate those who attended SEAGO’s Halibut Training meeting in January where industry members were trained on how allocation is decided, history of the halibut fishery, and how to get involved in the process. It is the position of SEAGO that as we band together, become educated, and advocate for our businesses and way of life we will be able to impact long-term sustainable policies that will support the gold standard of fishing that Southeast is known and loved for. 
Stay tuned for an exciting upcoming announcement on the NEW SEAGO membership model, benefits package, and how you can get more involved. 

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