I agree with Otto Florschutz's letter in Monday's Juneau Empire. It is silly for a charter operator to keep a client's fish. I've never done it when I charter, and honestly, the paperwork required to legally transfer sport fish from one fisherman to another is a pain.
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Otto has missed the point of the charter operators' complaints, however. When the International Pacific Halibut Commission recommended a one-halibut-per-day bag limit, it only applied to guided sport fishermen. The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act (upon which the majority of Alaska fisheries management is based) clearly states that charter boats carry sport fishermen, not commercial fishermen.
That's where the taxi analogy comes into play. If you're on a charter boat fishing, you need to follow the same rules and regulations as if you were on your own boat or fishing from shore. This is where the problem lies. When someone pays to sport fish from my boat, there is one set of rules to follow, but if that individual fishes from their own boat (or I don't charge that person to come aboard mine) then there is an entirely different set of rules.
When someone drives their own car to the airport, they must abide by the 55 mph speed limit. Just because someone hops in a taxi doesn't mean the speed limit should be any different.
Case E. Harris
Captain, Alaskan Marine Adventures LLC
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