Catch Sharing Plan bad for Homer

  The proposed halibut Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) will be tough on Homer. It will hurt many tourism-related businesses beside halibut charters. The proposed rule will result in a one halibut limit which will result in fewer fishermen and fewer visitors to Homer. That extra day stay to fish in Homer will not be as enticing as in the past. That extra night’s stay, those extra meals, that stroll through the shops in town will all be diminished as a result of the one fish limit. 

Even though the guided fishermen’s halibut catch has declined by more than 40 percent since 2007 the council says it will take another 30 percent just because it can. The guided sport fisherman is currently under the federally imposed Guideline Halibut Level (GHL) that sets step-down  levels when resource declines are predicted. Fewer charters, fewer fishermen, smaller fish and the Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) reductions have all contributed to the declining catch.  

Now the CSP proposes to take even more of a public resource away from the public for no other reason than to enhance profits of other users. This proposal shows the unjust reasoning at play at the commercially dominated federal fisheries councils. The International Pacific Halibut Commission has allowed over-harvest and over-wastage for  years and now they say it is the public’s obligation to pay.

All Alaska sport fishermen should be alarmed by the precedent this type of fish grab will set.  

We are fighting to keep a two fish limit for all sport fishermen, not just  those that step onto a charter boat. If you lose that fish now you will never see it again without paying a premium price. 

Let’s start here. Check out the SAVEYOURBUT.COM web site for more info. Write your letters to:  

Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator 

Sustainable Fisheries Division, 

NMFS Alaska Region Attn: Ellen Sebastian 

P.O. Box 21668  

Juneau, AK 99802-1668                                         

RE: FDMS Docket Number NOAA NMFS-2011-0180 

Gary Ault, president

Homer Charter Association