KETCHIKAN - Southeast Alaska's commercial fishing fleets face what could be the lowest catch limit for halibut in a quarter-century.
A 4.47-million-pound cap was recommended by International Pacific Halibut Commission staff for the area in 2009. That's 28 percent below this year's commercial limit of 6.21 million pounds, and less than half the 2006 limit of 10.63 million pounds.
The catch limit could also affect the area's charter fleet.
The commission sets limits of halibut for Alaska, British Columbia and the West Coast of the lower 48 states.
Its coastwide fishery catch limit - including sport fisheries in the lower 48 states and British Columbia, but not Alaska - is 54.01 million pounds. That's down from 60.4 million pounds this year.