Charter fleet needs to live with its piece of pie

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2007

Opinions are cheap and so here is mine. Charter operators need to stay in their catch ranges. Being a commercial halibut fisherman and individual fishing quota holder, I stay within the limits set by the rules all halibut fishers must follow if they want to keep fishing. Taking charter overages from the commercial fleet is not fair to fishing families and communities.

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Biomass goes up and down, and so does my quota. Those are the rules that the fleet lives by. The charter fleet needs to live with its piece of the pie and not be suggesting that commercial halibut fishing families are wasteful, greedy or of no value to coastal communities.

In Haines, where I live, I like to think the fleet is the heart of the city. In Haines, when the fleet's in, the community comes to the docks for its catch of the day. The most asked question on the docks is "Do you know what boat has some halibut?" The commercial fleet feeds the community with its share of the pie. Reallocating halibut from the fleet does not serve communities.

Norman Hughes


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