Pacific Region halibut experimental recreational fishery program details presentation

Note

Please note that the content of this presentation may be changed or updated as more information becomes available.

Draft as of February 26, 2019

Overview

First Nations access

How to get started

  1. Fill in the expression of interest (EOI)
    • Available online
    • The EOI will allow the Department to get a sense of the scale of the experimental fishery, the location of participants, the amount of quota required, and the time of year fishing will occur
    • The Department will follow up with those named on the EOI to discuss operational details of the program and to start the process for licence issuance
  2. Experimental Licence Issuance
    • A formal application of licence is sent to the requestor
    • No fee, party-based licence (licence is associated with an individual or company, rather than a vessel)
    • Once the signed application is received, DFO will create an experimental licence
    • The licence and conditions are provided to the licence holder. The condition of licence apply to the licence holder, vessel master(s), additional harvester(s) of the licence, or client(s) of the licence holder
    • Groundfish Management Unit (GMU) will send a hardcopy logbook to the licence holder
  3. Licence holder submits a temporary Request for Reallocation of Quota
    • An arrangement between the experimental licence holder and a commercial licence holder or broker is made through a market-based mechanism
    • Once the licence has been issued, a request for temporary reallocation is submitted to the GMU Reallocation Request form
    • This reallocation request will detail from which licence the quota is coming from and to which licence it is being transferred to (authorizing signatures are required for the licence it is coming from)
    • The GMU processes the reallocation and once the fish has been transferred to the experimental licence a new amendment to the conditions is created that indicates, in pounds, the amount of halibut that has been acquired by that licence
    • Once you have an amendment with quota, fishing can begin

Management measures

Who can apply for a licence?
Answer:
  • Individual recreational harvesters
  • Lodges, charters, guides
  • Marinas
  • Non-residents are not eligible to hold an experimental licence, but may fish under the authority of a licence held by a resident individual harvester, lodge, charter, guide, marina, etc.
  • If a business entity applies for a licence, only one licence is required per business
  • A copy of the conditions of licence, including a current licence amendment with an original signature by the licence holder, must accompany every individual fishing under the authority of the licence.
When does the experimental recreational fishery start?
Answer:
  • Licence issuance based on expressions of interest received will commence in March
  • The experimental recreational halibut fishery will commence April 1 and close December 31
What does this licence allow you to do?
Answer:
  • Allows you to fish concurrently with your regular 2019-2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence to retain halibut in excess of the 2019-2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence provisions, which can be found in the BC Sport Fishing Guide
  • Allows you to continue to fish (until December 31) even if the regular recreational fishery has closed
What does this licence NOT allow you to do?
Answer:
  • Not permitted to use other gear types; only angling gear is permitted
  • Not permitted to sell the fish caught under the experimental fishery
  • Not permitted to permanently acquire halibut quota
  • Does not permit the retention of non-halibut species beyond the limits of the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence
What are the rules with respect to quota limits and transfers?
Answer:
  • A licence must have at least 20 pounds on it to commence fishing
  • No maximum amount of pounds
  • The minimum pounds permitted to be transferred at any time is 1 pound
  • Quota may be transferred from:
    • Commercial/communal-commercial groundfish licence to an experimental recreational licence
    • Experimental recreational licence to an experimental recreational licence
    • Experimental recreational licence back to a commercial/communal-commercial groundfish licence
  • Each time a transfer occurs an updated amendment is provided to the licence holder with the amended quantities of quota, these updated amendments should be provided to any individual fishing under the authority of your licence
  • All quota weights are net pounds (head-off, dressed weight). One round pound = 0.75 net pounds
What happens if I catch more fish on a trip than I have quota for? Who can apply for a licence?
Answer:
  • The reconciliation of quota can occur anytime throughout the year.  The licence must be reconciled by January 31, 2020.  Reconciliation means ensuring catch equals the quota on the licence.  
What happens at the end of the year?
Answer:
  • The licence applicant is responsible for the catch and quota on his/her licence
  • If the licence holder, vessel master(s), client(s) of the licence holder or additional harvester(s) under the licence have caught in excess of the quota the licence holder has until January 31, 2020 to reconcile the licence
  • If the licence holder has quota in excess of catch the licence holder is permitted to carryover up to 10% or 200 pounds (whichever is greater) of their uncaught halibut quota; this equivalent poundage will be added to the licence quota in 2020 should the licence holder apply (and receive a licence) to participate in the fishery in the following season
  • Any remaining quota can be reallocated to the commercial sector or to other experimental halibut licence holders before January 31, 2020, or will be forgone
  • No overage provision is provided at this time

Conditions of licence

What are the conditions of licence?
Answer:
  • Details the amount of quota available on your licence
  • The areas permitted to be fished
  • Fishing gear permitted to be used
  • The persons permitted to harvest fish under the authority of the licence
    • The licence may be issued to an individual or business; however the conditions will permit the harvest of fish by those guided by a vessel master, onboard an authorized vessel, or fishing in the presence of the licence holder.
  • Records that the licence holder, vessel master or client of the licence holder shall keep
    • Mandatory paper logbook submission
    • Mandatory electronic logbook report submissions
  • Timeframe within which catch records must be submitted
  • Disclosure of catch to DFO officials or designate when asked (this is to address the possible testing of a dockside monitoring program)

Monitoring requirements

Questions and answers

Do I need a regular Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence as well?
Answer:

Yes. The regular 2019-2020 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence will allow for the retention of non-halibut species, as well as the maximum 2 possession of halibut within the regular recreational fishery

Can I catch all my quota in one day?
Answer:

Yes and if you catch in excess of your quota, reconciliation can occur throughout the fishing season. Final reconciliation must occur by January 31, 2020

What happens if I am stopped by an enforcement officer on the water?
Answer:
  • Your regular Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence must reflect all halibut catch taken under the authority of the regular recreational fishery
  • If you are in possession of more than the permitted number and sizes of halibut as per the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence, you must have proof of participation in the experimental recreational halibut fishery:
    • Licence conditions and amendment with original signature by the licence holder
    • Up-to-date records of halibut catch in your logbook
  • It is recommended that you follow the halibut packaging guidelines to ensure halibut are packaged in such a manner that the species, number, and length of the fish can be readily determined; halibut packaging guidelines can be found online.
What do I give my clients to show they are permitted to transport more than 2 halibut or halibut larger than the size limits?
Answer:
  • Anyone transporting fish caught under the authority of this licence must be provided with a transport slip by the licence holder. The transport slip must detail the number of fish and weight of fish being transported. A template transport slip will be made available to licence holders.
  • It is recommended that you follow the halibut packaging guidelines to ensure halibut are packaged in such a manner that the species, number, and length of the fish can be readily determined; halibut packaging guidelines can be found online.
Can I catch my halibut under the regular recreational fishery and then more under the quota fishery?
Answer:

Yes. Halibut caught first that are within the 2019 recreational size limits, will count against the regular Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. Any halibut in excess would be attributed to the experimental recreational halibut licence.

Do I have to physically differentiate between the halibut from the standard recreational fishery and the experimental recreational halibut fishery?
Answer:

No. However, all catch from both the regular and the experimental fishery, must be accurately reported in your logbook.

How do I find quota?
Answer:

Contact information

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