by Gina Clark, Muskeg News
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 3:35PM EDT
At the beginning of the year, a debate broke out between the recreational and commercial fishing industries over the allocation of halibut, which at times was quite acrimonious. While charter fishermen were concerned about their share of the total allowable catch, it seems that after the mid-point of the fishing season, the commercial fishery has actually landed less halibut this year than at the same time last year.
According to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the halibut fisheries opened on March 12 and will close on November 18. Through July 20, 49 per cent of the 2011 commercial fishery quota from B.C. waters had been caught, in comparison to 63 per cent at the same time last year.
In spite of that drop, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said that there is no change from previous years with regards to the number of fishermen out on the water. Lara Sloane, a media relations officer with DFO , said there is nothing different from what the fishery usually sees, although there has been some bad weather, so some boats that wanted to go out were not able to. She said that there is usually a push in the later months of the season, such as September and October, but that is typical.
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