IFQs & Federal Fisheries

February 15, 2024

3A halibut is selling rapidly, with the price for unblocked quota settling in around the $30.00 mark. We have current offers of $30.00 for unblocked 3A - if you're interested in selling, give us a call! Southeast unblocked sold this week for $7.75, down slightly from recent sales at $8.00. We're seeing some increased interest in 2C quota. We aren't seeing much movement in other areas as buyers remain concerned about rumors of lower ex-vessel prices and processors' purchasing power this season.

ASMI's January Groundfish Harvest Update offers a great recap of groundfish harvests for the 2023 calendar year. The average price of sablefish H&G was down 15% from 2022. These low sablefish prices are devastating for fixed gear fishermen, but appear to be boosting demand in Japan.

The NPFMC February meeting wrapped up this week. In short, the Council took no further action on Bering Sea red king crab savings area closures, citing negative impacts on other bycatch species. (At what point are we robbing Peter to pay Paul?) The Council failed to pass a motion establishing a [very low] TAC for salmon in Cook Inlet's EEZ by a vote of 6-5, leaving NMFS to set a TAC themselves. The Council moved forward in the process of redefining pelagic trawl gear by establishing a purpose and need statement and list of alternatives. The Council requested an expanded discussion paper on GOA area closures for Tanner crab protection. A full recap will be available here soon.

In halibut news, the *very broke* IPHC announced their survey stations for the 2024 setline survey. They plan to survey 525 stations in 5 of the 8 regulatory areas this year. For comparison, in 2023, they planned for 958 stations in 7 of the 8 regulatory areas, and in 2022 they planned for 1,188 stations across all 8 areas. Everything's fine, nothing to see here. Who needs surveys, anyway?

Hey quota holders: are you looking for someone to catch your quota this season? Check out our improved IFQ Charters page for an up-to-date list of vessels looking to catch your quota.