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ANCHORAGE - The application period has been announced for getting a permit to run halibut charters in Southeast Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries says charter operators must apply between Feb. 4 and April 5 to get access to the new limited entry license program, which takes effect next year.
Doug Mecum, acting administrator of NOAA Fisheries' says the application period is a one-time opportunity, and those that don't apply will lose out even if they qualify for a permit.
NOAA says the limited entry program is needed to keep the growing number of charter boats from overfishing for halibut.
Charter boat operators will be required to carry their permits on board beginning Feb. 1, 2011.