Halibut stocks must be preserved. The charter boat fleet must not be allowed to continue to overfish its guideline harvest level.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association tried to curtail overfishing by implementing harvest controls. A federal judge decided it was more important for rich clients to get all the fish they want than to conserve or preserve stocks. I disagree.
It's most of the way through the summer season and the guideline harvest level is close to being reached or has been reached. Charter clients need to go to nonretention management as soon as the harvest level is reached to conserve stocks.
The effects of declining halibut abundance has been devastating to coastal communities, particularly those off the main transportation corridors. We need action now.