IFQs & Federal Fisheries

September 21, 2023

Heyooo, the quota market has a pulse! As with permits, the quota market typically starts to wake up sometime in late September or October after the summer lull. But, as with permits, the quota market certainly doesn't look "typical" right now. This week saw a couple 3A halibut quota sales, both at prices I'd consider record lows for the last decade or so: $34.50 for unfished 3ABU and $23.00 for a 2500 pound block of unfished 3ADB. That sounds harsh, I know, but it is encouraging to see some movement, at least.

In less optimistic news, delivering black cod has gotten so difficult that one boat, turned away by every buyer in Homer this week, resorted to selling their catch off the dock themselves... at around $1.00 per pound for whole fish and $2.00 for H&G. 

Sharing more from the grounds this week (edited for brevity):

"Only two fish out of approx 1300 fish (13lb average, 17,000) were above 40#. I was surprised seeing such grim reports as my sole trip was great. Anyway I am optimistic. Over 90% of our pounds were under 20 lbs and we probably shook off more than we kept. I am a newbie so my opinion don't count but that's my observation. Also caught lot of fish sport fishing. All small."

"Just finished a 3B trip, delivered in Kodiak last weekend, and a 3A trip that we brought to Homer. Here’s what I’ve seen in the past 11 days. 3B was spotty but better than expected fishing. Ran to Kodiak assuming it would be easy to find buyers and sell to the highest price. Wrong.. nobody really wants halibut in Kodiak. APS and Trident didn’t want any outside boats from their usuals that they have already committed to. Their prices were 4.00-4.75 range. OBI is not buying. Only option was North Pacific who didn’t seem excited about buying halibut and were and still are paying 4.00 straight. That was a painful delivery after having 5.00 minimum in our heads during the trip. Kodiak has really changed, never thought I’d see it so difficult to sell halibut in the fall. During our 3A trip we stayed more in touch with buyers both in Kodiak and Homer. Same story from Kodiak."

Want to share your thoughts? Please do! Email us, call us, text us, whatever you prefer. We appreciate all of your insight, and it sounds like you guys like reading these fishing reports, too. Keep 'em coming!

The statewide sablefish TAC is 49% harvested, with AI at 10%, BS at 38%, CG at 56%, SE at 62%, WG at 62%, and WY at 71%. The statewide halibut TAC is 67% harvested, with 2C at 77%, 3A at 70%, 3B at 73%, 4A at 52%, 4B at 35% and 4C/4D at 50%. See the full report here