Fishermen brace for more cuts to halibut harvest next year; plus, a look back on the 2018 salmon season

Alaska fishermen are bracing for more cuts to their halibut harvest next year. The results of this year’s surveys showed that the Pacific stock from California to the Bering Sea continues to decline, and will likely result in lower catches.

The results of this year’s surveys showed that the Pacific stock from California to the Bering Sea continues to decline, and will likely result in lower catches.

“We estimate that the stock went down until around 2010 from historical highs in the late 1990s. It increased slightly over the subsequent five years and leveled out around 2015 or 2016, and has been decreasing slowly in spawning biomass (total weight of mature fish to catch) since then,” said Ian Stewart, lead stock assessment scientist with the International Pacific Halibut Commission at its interim meeting last week in Seattle.

The IPHC oversees the Pacific halibut resource and sets annual catch limits for the U.S. and British Columbia.

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