Halibut charters sue over one-fish limit

Posted: Wednesday, June 04, 2008

JUNEAU - A group of Alaska charter fishing operators is challenging the new Southeast halibut bag limit in a Washington, D.C., district court.

Federal fisheries managers ruled in May that guided fishermen in Southeast Alaska would be limited to one halibut per day instead of the two they've been allowed for years.

Despite resistance from the charter fleet, fishery managers said it was the only way to keep charter clients' overall catch to the guideline harvest level this year.

Commercial fishermen praised the bag limit, saying the charter fleet's clients have exceeded their allocation of fish for the last four years.

Charter industry representatives said the rule unjustly hurts their businesses.

The Charter Halibut Task Force filed the suit in Washington, D.C., on Monday. A memorandum asks for a temporary restraining order and injunction to invalidate the one-fish rule.

A hearing on a restraining order was scheduled for 10 a.m. today in Washington, D.C., according to the Charter Halibut Task Force Web site.



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