Last updated on 30 June 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Hippoglossus stenolepis

SPECIES NAME(s)

Pacific halibut

 


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Spawning Biomass is above target levels. Managers have suspended management actions that were not conducive to conservation

Weaknesses

Harvest rates when bycatch included are too high. Exploitable biomass falling. Model over estimates biomass and underestimates mortality relative to the terminal year. As such stock is lower then what the scientific advice suggests.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

6 to 10

Managers Compliance:

7.7 to 10

Fishers Compliance:

5.6 to 10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

7.6 to 9.8

Future Health:

3.5 to 7.8


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs here.
2. Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs here.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Canada Pacific Halibut (British Columbia):

    MSC Recertified

  • US North Pacific Halibut:

    MSC Recertified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
NE Pacific Alaska/IPHC Regulatory Areas 2C, 3A, 3B and 4A-E United States Bottom-set longlines
British Columbia/IPHC Regulatory Area 2B Canada Bottom-set longlines
US West Coast/IPHC Regulatory Area 2A United States Bottom-set longlines
Pole-lines hand operated
Vertical Lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Strengths

Spawning Biomass is above target levels. Managers have suspended management actions that were not conducive to conservation

Weaknesses

Harvest rates when bycatch included are too high. Exploitable biomass falling. Model over estimates biomass and underestimates mortality relative to the terminal year. As such stock is lower then what the scientific advice suggests.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 7 November 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs here.
2. Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs here.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

Last updated on 11 July 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable).

Last updated on 11 July 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Monitor fishery and management system for any changes that could jeopardize MSC re-certification.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Support the sustainability achievements of this fishery by sourcing this product, and ensure that the producers are aware that sustainability certification played a role in your decision to source this product.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Model has a persistent and moderate retrospective pattern.Model over estimates biomass and underestimates mortality relative to the terminal year(Hare 2011).

Last updated on 6 April 2011

Scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission use an age and sex-structured model initially written in 2003 (and updated continuously), with data inputs from annual setline surveys, port sampling, logbooks, and catch reports.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Harvest rate with bycatch included is too high (Hare 2011)

Last updated on 16 December 2011

Biological advice for target catch is expressed as a Constant Exploitation Yield (CEY) for each regulatory area. Harvest policy uses threshold and limit reference points and the assessment evaluates stock status relative to standard fishery reference points. Since the early 2000s, the harvest policy has also incorporated a measure designed “Slow-Up Fast-Down (SUFD)”, where catch limit responds more strongly to decreases in biomass than to increases (Hare, 2010).

In recent years, the continued declining catch rates in most regulatory areas has motivated the International pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) to recommend a reduction in the harvest rates. For 2011, IPHC recommended catch limits for the US fishery totaling 334.2 million pounds (15.2 thousand tonnes), a 22.5% decrease from 2010 catch limit for the US regulatory areas (IPHC, 2011b).

Reference Points

Last updated on 16 Dec 2011

The policy for this fishery has been to keep an harvest rate of 20% of the estimated exploitable biomass when spawning biomass is above target B30% (i.e. 30% of the unfished biomass, B0). When biomass is below B30%, harvest rates decrease linearly to 0 as biomass reaches 20% of the unfished level, B20% (Hare, 2010). In 2011, target biomass B30% was estimated at 256.5 million pounds and B[20%] at 172 million pounds (Hare, 2010) (Hare, 2011).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Spawning Biomass is above target levels. Harvest rates when bycatch included are too high (Hare 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 10 Jul 2011

Stock has only been briefly below target biomass.However, exploitable biomass has fallen in the last few years due to high removal rates (Hare 2011).

Last updated on 16 December 2011

In 2012, Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) is estimated to be around 351 million pounds (160 thousand tonnes), at (B43%) and above the target levels. Stock seems to be healthy relative to management goals. Harvest rates (HR) have been decreasing in the last years, but in 2011 were estimated as still above the target HR of 0.2 (Hare, 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 16 Dec 2011

SSB shows an increasing trend in recent years and is currently at B43%. A retrospective analysis shows that SSB did drop below the B30 level between 2005 and 2009, although on an annually estimated basis the stock was never below B30. Harvest rates increased steadily until 2008, to around 0.32, and have been decreasing since; but the harvest rate in 2011 was estimated as still above the target HR of 0.2 (Hare, 2011). Catches have been gradually decreasing since 2004 (IPHC, 2011c).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Recently Managers initiated a method to reduce the variability in harvest quotas (the slow up fast down approach) in previous years. This method has not been successful and the scientific advice is to suspend this policy given current stock conditions (Hare 2011).

Last updated on 6 April 2011

Managers set precaution quotas in line with scientific advise.Quota setting at precautionary levels has allowed this stock to increase over time.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 06 Apr 2011

A rebuilding plan is not in place.Stock is well above threshold levels in terms of spawning stock biomass

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 10 July 2011

Bycatch in other fisheries and other areas attributes to removals above set levels(Hare 2011).

Last updated on 16 December 2011

Commercial harvest by are is strictly monitored and overages, if they occur, are removed from the following years quota. Catches since 2005 have been always below the catch limits (IPHC, 2011c,d). Some growing concern exists about the recreational fleet, which has exceeded their quota in recent years, and effort remains unregulated.Bycatch of juveniles occurs but the discard rate is unknown.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 16 December 2011

The short-tailed albatross ( Phoebastria albatrus, IUCN: “Vulnerable”) is the only protected species potentially affected by the pacific halibut fishery, as its distribution overlaps considerably with this fishery. Mandatory seabird avoidance practices and bycatch limits have substantially reduced bird impacts, though observer coverage in the halibut fishery is still recognized as insufficient to determine the level of bycatch of PET species. Researchers have recommended improved bycatch monitoring and data-gathering on seabird sightings (Daume et al., 2011).

Other Species

Last updated on 16 December 2011

The main bycaught species are demersal fish such as giant grenadier, long nose and big skates, spiny dogfish, sleeper sharks, salmon sharks, and seabirds. For fish, the best available information suggests that the current bycatch levels do not pose a risk to the stocks. The available data for seabirds is limited, though the adoption of seabird avoidance devices has proven to be effective in reducing seabird interactions with the fishery (Daume et al., 2011).

HABITAT

Last updated on 4 April 2009

Due to its contact with the seafloor, the bottom longline can harm at some extent benthic habitats, particularly habitat-forming coral species, but the impact is not assumed as significant (Daume et al, 2011).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 04 Apr 2009

Waters of Glacier National Park and Edgecumb Pinnacles Marine Preserve (3.1 sq. mi) are closed to all bottomfish and halibut fishing to protect vulnerable nursery grounds of lingcod and rockfish. In addition, all of Southeast Alaska is closed to bottom trawling.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

STOCK HEALTH:

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

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DATA NOTES

Last updated on 19 December 2011

Advised catch, catch limit, and catch data from 2000 to present include commercial, sport, and Treaty Tribe shares for area 2A (California, Oregon, and Washington) (IPHC, 2011b-d). Data from Canadian waters, Area 2B (British Columbia), are not included. *2)* The lower values for the future health of the stock (score #5) between 2005-2009 are related with an over-estimation of SSB in previous assessments. This has led to an over-estimation of the catch limits and, consequently, higher harvest rates (Valero, 2011). *3)* Every year SSB and other parameters are re-estimated retrospectively (Hare, 2010), thus 2011 target B[~30%~] and Limit B[~20%~] biomass reference points (Hare, 2011) in the scores data sheet were extended back for comparative purposes.

Last updated on 6 June 2014

1) "F" shown here is exploitation rate as estimated by IPHC from survey distribution of exploitable biomass.

2) F at low biomass is not reported. However, the harvest policy reduces harvest rates when spawning biomass declines to 30% of unfished level, and harvest rate drops to zero if biomass falls to B20%.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Canada Pacific Halibut (British Columbia)

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 30 September 2009

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 88.8
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 97.8

Sablefish started a expedit assessment in September 2016 to join to this certification.

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. Balsiger, James, DiCosimo, Jane and Baker, Rachel, 2011. Regulatory Amendment for a Catch Sharing Plan For the Pacific Halibut Charter and Commercial Longline Sectors in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A: DRAFT FOR SECRETARIAL REVIEW. North Pacific Fishery Management Council/National Marine Fisheries Service. Anchorage, Alaska. 200 pp.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/analyses/cspea062011.pdf
  2. Chaffee, C., 2007. US Halibut Fishery: 2007 Annual Surveillance Report as Required Under the Marine Stewardship Council Program. Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. 29 pp.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/assessment-downloads-1/Surveillance_Report_No1_2007.pdf
  3. Chaffee, C., Deriso, R., Furness, R. and Shepard, M., 2006. MSC Assessment Report: The United States North Pacific Halibut Fishery. Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. March 2006. 221 pp.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/assessment-downloads-1/USHalibut_FinalAssRpt.pdf
  4. Chaffee, C. Turris, B. 2009. MSC Assessment Report: The Canadian Halibut Fishery off the Coast of British Columbia. Scientific Certification Systems, Inc.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/Canada-Pacific-halibut-bc/assessment-downloads-1/27.08.2009%20BC%20Halibut%20Final%20Report.pdf
  5. Clark, W.G. and S.R. Hare, 1998. Accounting for Bycatch in Management of the Pacific Halibut Fishery, IPHC Scientific Report No. 78, 1998.jbycatch.doc
  6. Clark, W.G., and Hare, S.R. 2006. Assessment and management of Pacific halibut: data, methods, and policy. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 111 pp.http://www.iphc.int/papers/sr83.pdf
  7. Daume, Sabine, Martell, Steve, Essington, Tim and Sutinen, Jon, 2011. MSC Public Certification Report for the US Pacific Halibut. v.5. Scientific Certification Systems. July 2011. Emeryville, CA. 122 pp.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/reassessment-documents/04.08.2011_RPT_PublicCertReport_PacificHalibut.pdf
  8. DeAlteris, J., Morgan, S., Turris, B., and Vincent, A., 2015. Marine Stewardship Council Re-Assessment of the Canada Pacific Halibut (British Columbia) Hook-and-Line Fishery (Including Bottom Long line, Troll line, and Hand line). Final Certification Report v 5.0, June 2015. 294pphttps://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/Canada-Pacific-halibut-bc/reassessment-downloads-1/20150630_PCR_HAL26.pdf
  9. DFO Integrated Fisheries Management Plan 2008http://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/xnet/xIndex.cfm?pg=welcome&lang=en&targetPage=content/mplans/mplans.htm&targetURLParams=&StopCookieTest=1
  10. Gilroy, Heather L and Williams, Gregg H, 2011. The 2011 Commercial, Sport, and Subsistence Halibut Fisheries. In: International Pacific Halibut Commission’s 2011 Interim Meeting, November 30 - December 1 2011 Seattle, Washington.http://www.iphc.washington.edu/meetings/2011im/Fishery2011IMv3hg.pdf
  11. Hare, S.R., and Clark, W.G. 2007. IPHC harvest policy analysis: past, present, and future considerations. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 26 pp.http://www.iphc.int/papers/hp07.pdf
  12. Hare, S.R., and W.G. Clark, 2007 IPHC harvest policy analysis: past, present, and future considerations, IPHC 20072007_harvest_policy.doc
  13. Hare, S.R. and W.G. Clark, Assessment of the Pacific halibut stock at the end of 2008, IPHC 2008http://www.iphc.int/pubs/rara/2008rara/2k8rara04.pdf
  14. Hare, Steven R., 2010. Assessment of the Pacific halibut stock at the end of 2010. International Pacific Halibut Commission. Seattle, Washington. 91 pp.http://www.iphc.washington.edu/papers/sa10.pdf
  15. Hare 2011 Assessment of the Pacific halibut stock at the end of 2010. International Pacific Halibut Commission.http://www.iphc.washington.edu/papers/sa10.pdf
  16. Hare, Steven R., 2011. 2011 Halibut Assessment. In: International Pacific Halibut Commission’s 2011 Interim Meeting, November 30 - December 1 2011 Seattle, Washington.http://www.iphc.washington.edu/meetings/2011im/SA2011.pdf
  17. IPHC, 2008.  News Release November 25, 2008http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/newsrel/2008.htm
  18. IPHC, 2008. IPHC Workshop on Biomass Apportionment, Sept. 4, 2008, IPHChttp://www.iphc.washington.edu/HALCOM/meetings/workshop2008/baw2008.htm
  19. IPHC, 2011a. Pacific Halibut Fishery Regulations. International Pacific Halibut Commission. Seattle, Washington. 27 pp.http://www.iphc.int/publications/regs/2011iphcregs.pdf
  20. IPHC, 2011b. Halibut Commission Completes 2011 Annual Meeting. 31 January 2011. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) website. [Accessed on 14 December 2011]. http://www.iphc.int/news-releases/159-nr20110131.html
  21. IPHC, 2011c. Pacific Halibut Commercial Catch by Regulatory Area and Year. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) website. [Accessed on 14 December 2011].http://www.iphc.int/commercial/catch-data/197-comm-cat-yr.html
  22. IPHC, 2011d. Pacific Halibut Commercial Catch Limits by Regulatory Area and Year. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) website. [Accessed on 14 December 2011].http://www.iphc.int/commercial/184-comm-limits.html
  23. Jagielo, T., and S. Morgan, 2015. US North Pacific Halibut (AK, WA). 2014 MSC Third Surveillance Visit Report. Scientific Certification Systems, June 2015. 109pphttps://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/reassessment-documents/20150611_SR_HAL123.pdf
  24. Jagielo, T., Morgan, S., 2013. US North Pacific Halibut (AK,WA). 2013 MSC Second Surveillance Visit Report. Scientific certification Systems, September 2013. 80pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/reassessment-documents/20130911_SR_HAL123.pdf
  25. Morgan, S., Turris, B., 2013. Canada Pacific Halibut (British Columbia) Hook and Line (Including Bottom Long line, Troll line, and Hand line) Fishery. 2013 Fourth Annual MSC Surveillance Visit Report. SCS Global Services, December 2013. 98pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/Canada-Pacific-halibut-bc/assessment-downloads-1/20131212_SR_HAL26.pdf
  26. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 2011. Sport Halibut Fishing in Alaska. National Marine Fisheries Service website. [Accessed on 16 December 2011].http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm
  27. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 2009. Pacific Halibut–Sablefish IFQ Report, Fishing Year 2008. 83 p.http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ram/rtf08.pdf
  28. SCS, 2011. MSC Public Certification Report US Pacific Halibut v.5, July 2011. 122 pp.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/us-north-pacific-halibut/reassessment-documents/04.08.2011_RPT_PublicCertReport_PacificHalibut.pdf
  29. Valero, Juan, 2011. Harvest policy considerations for 2012. In: International Pacific Halibut Commission’s 2011 Interim Meeting, November 30 - December 1 2011 Seattle, Washington.http://www.iphc.washington.edu/meetings/2011im/Harvestpolicyconsiderationsfor2012_IMv2.pdf
  30. Vincent, A., Turris, B., 2012. Brithish Columbia Canada Pacific Halibut. 2012 MSC Third Surveillance Visit Report. Scientific Certification Systems, October 2012. 59pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/Canada-Pacific-halibut-bc/assessment-downloads-1/20121218_SR_HAL26.pdf
References

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