An uptick in halibut stocks along much of the Pacific coast means increases in total catch limits in every region of Alaska this year.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission decided in its annual meeting last week to increase catch limits in every management region except for 2A — which covers the California, Oregon, and Washington coast — with an overall coastwide increase of nearly 6%. The total removal limit is set at 41.2 million pounds, with 33.7 million of those going to United States fishermen.
The increase comes after IPHC researchers informed the commission that halibut stocks were showing signs of rebounding from lows in the last five years, in part due to a large age class from 2012 becoming mature. The long-term trends of decline seemed to end in 2013, when the stocks began to climb again.
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