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IPHC recommends catch limits for 2009
The result of the International Pacific Halibut Commission Staff Preliminary Catch Limit Recommendations 2009 is out.
According to IPHC the recommendations for catch limit for 2009 has been considered by the staff with the results of the analytic assessment, changes in the commercial and survey indices used to monitor the stock, estimated recruitment of incoming year classes, and a harvest policy that reflects coastwide policy goals. It is said that the staff drew on the outcome of both the September 2008 Biomass Apportionment Workshop and recent regional meetings with industry.
The commission informed that ongoing tag returns from the coastwide PIT tagging program continue to demonstrate that regulatory areas cannot be treated as closed management units. It is told that the changes in the stock biomass as indicated by our analytic assessment as well as changes in relative abundance indices from our surveys and the commercial fishery were also influential in our recommendations for 2009.
The staff examined multiple alternatives, including industry suggestions, for apportioning the estimated coastwide exploitable biomass among regulatory areas and concluded that the use of the IPHC setline survey data offered the most standardized and consistent data with which to achieve this partitioning. In the assessment the staff also recognized some regional differences in hook competition with other species and applied an adjustment to accommodate that feature.
The staff recommendations totaling 54.01 million pounds for 2009 are presented in different table. The use of a coastwide assessment and apportionment of coastwide biomass based on survey estimates of distribution creates some substantial changes in Total Constant Exploitation Yield (Total CEY) and recommended catch limits among areas, compared to previous assessments.
The staff continues to recommend a slow rate of increase in catch limits when estimated CEY is increasing and a more rapid reduction of catch limits when CEY is decreasing (a Slow Up - Fast Down policy).
WorldFishingToday d. 27-11-2008