HomeIndustryAtlantic halibut fishery now open

Atlantic halibut fishery now open

The Atlantic halibut allocation for the P.E.I. fixed gear fleet in 2017 will be 51.982 metric tonnes, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced.

That amount includes the initial allocation for this fleet (51.42t) as well as a carry forward of 0.562 t remaining from the 2016 season. Based on the number of registered participants, an individual catch limit of 182 kg will be implemented.

The season takes place every Wednesday and Thursday, ending on Aug. 31. There will be no fishing on Aug. 9 and 10. As in previous years, fishing will not be permitted between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. There will be no consideration of delaying the fishery due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable circumstances.

If more than 10 per cent of the quota remains after Aug. 31, a list of eligible fishers will be created and the quota redistributed based on the initial individual catch limit. The reallocation fishery will be held on Tuesday to Thursdays each week starting Sept. 12. A new group of fishers will participate each week until 90 per cent of the quota is caught.

The maximum number of hooks permitted to be fished or on board a vessel at any time is 300. There’s also a maximum individual by-catch limit of 50kg of cod for each fishing period. All Atlantic halibut caught over the seasonal catch limit must be returned to where it was taken in a manner that causes it the least harm.

When it comes to bycatch, there is a maximum fishing period limit of 50kg for cod, a maximum daily limit of 10 per cent for white hake and 25 per cent for other species of groundfish. Once the cod bycatch is reached, the licence holder is required to stop fishing. There will be 100 per cent dockside monitoring.