BRITISH COLUMBIA

International Pacific Halibut Commission reels in 2014 catch limits off B.C.

01/23/2014 11:27 EST | Updated 03/25/2014 05:59 EDT
TERRACE, B.C. - Halibut catch limits off the British Columbia coast have been set for 2014, and the totals continue to fall.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission has set limits for this year at 6.85-million pounds, down from 7.4-million pounds set in 2013.

Sport Fishing Institute executive director Owen Bird is optimistic that recreational fishermen will be allocated 15 per cent of the total halibut catch, similar to last year.

He says the 15 per cent share is much better than the 12 per cent assigned in 2012.

A spokesman for commercial fishermen says the 2014 allotment reflects continued low abundance and Chris Sporer says U.S. and Canadian commercial fleets are feeling the pinch all along the northwest coast.

He says commercial quotas have been cut by 50 per cent since 2006 but adds the number of halibut hauled in over the last three years has stabilized. (CFTK)