The IPHC Commission today approved a four year halibut quota of 1.65 million pounds TECY for 2019 through 2022. Prior to the 95th annual IPHC meeting in Victoria the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay submitted a written proposal for Area 2A to receive 1.65 TCEY million pounds of quota prior to the IPHC meeting. Their proposal benefited all of Area 2A including California, Oregon and Washington. Their basis for the long term quota strategy would solve several unique issues in Area 2A, most notably the Treaty Tribe rights which guarantees the Tribes a harvest of 35% of the allowable harvest. This number is derived from the 1974 Boldt decision that grants the Treaty Tribes co-manager status and 50% of harvested fish. Because only 70% of the halibut in 2A are within “Usual And Customary” grounds the Tribes were given 35% of the harvestable quota.
The tribes choose to submit this regulatory proposal in hopes of not taking quota from other user groups and working together with all user groups in the area. Several of the Makah fisheries managers I spoke with were adamant that everyone in Area 2A should benefit from their proposal. Their proposal also had support from the IPHC fisheries managers.
Everyone here at the meeting from Area 2A is proud to have worked with all users groups in unity and grateful to the IPHC Commission for recognizing Area 2A’s unique situation and siding with the Makah’s and other representatives to create a long-term solution to stabilize the halibut fishery for all user groups.
Projected Washington sport fishing quota of about 277,000 pounds, an increase of roughly 52,000 pounds as follows.
Puget Sound — 77,549 pounds
North Coast (Neah Bay La Push) — 128,187 pounds
South Coast — 62,894 pounds
Columbia River (Ilwaco) — 8,467 pounds