After Rebound, Halibut Harvests May Drop Again
by Laine Welch, Fish Factor/For the Journal
Posted: 2017-12-06 16:57:24 EST

It’s going to be a tough year for many Alaska fishermen.

Following on the heels of announcements of a massive drop in cod stocks, the industry learned last week that Pacific halibut catches are likely to drop by 20 percent next year, and the declines could continue for several years.

That could bring the coastwide catch, meaning from Oregon to British Columbia to the Bering Sea, to about 31 million pounds for 2018.

Scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission interim meeting in Seattle revealed that survey results showed halibut numbers were down 23 percent from last summer, and the total biomass (weight) dropped 10 percent. The surveys are done each year from May through September at nearly 1,500 stations from Oregon to the far reaches of the Bering Sea.

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