Halibut Quotas Mostly increased by IPHC for 2nd Year in Row
The International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday approved a coast-wide catch limit of 31.4 million pounds of the valuable bottom fish. That’s an increase from just under 30 million pounds last year. “What we’re seeing this year is slightly flatter trends than we saw last year,” said fishery scientists Ian Stewart. “The stock assessment itself has come down just slightly in its estimate of overall spawning biomass. But the projections, the 1-3 year projections are still suggesting that removals of around 40 million pounds are pretty close to the overall surplus production that’s available from the stock.”
John Sackton writes of the grave risk that the US Fisheries sector is faced with over federal attempts to stifle scientific research. The commentary is a response to two stories today, one from Canada, and one from Seattle, about the impacts of government suppression of scientific research for political purposes. "Dismantling or crippling the science that undergirds our ability to have sustainable fisheries ends up limiting harvests, undermining consumer trust, increasing fish population volatility and boom and bust, and in short driving down the value of our entire wild capture industry," Sackton writes.
In other news, targeted and scientifically established Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Pacific waters would have a better chance of attaining specific environmental goals according to Kitty Simonds, the Executive Director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Simonds comments explaining this position were published last week on Professor Ray Hilborn’s Cfood blog. They were in response to three specific questions Cfood posed to fishery scientists about the US government’s use of MPAs. The questions were: What is the utility of setting MPA targets? Do MPAs need to be No Take Zones (NTZs)? and What is the utility and wisdom of creating large ocean MPAs?
Meanwhile, Indian shrimp and seafood producer and exporter WestCoast Group says India needs to set up tax incentives to spur investment in its aquaculture and seafood supply chain industries. The operators said there is plenty of opportunity for India to expands its farmed shrimp and seafood output but investors need incentives to build out the industry.
Finally, we have a couple stories from Vietnam. First, is a report about the possibility that Vietnam might not meet the USDA's September 1 deadline to have all of its pangasius production standards compliant, which could lead to a country-wide ban on exports. The other story reports an expectation from Vietnam's Ministry of Trade that the number of anti-dumping lawsuits against its exports will increase dramatically once Vietnam becomes a World Trade Organisation member.
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