More on halibut

Here is the official press release from last week's International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting in Seattle, where the scientific staff recommended catch limits for the 2012 season.

Evidently, at least one prominent Alaskan, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, was none too pleased with the proceedings and issued this statement:

"It is disappointing to hear further reductions are likely, and that the IPHC is suggesting potentially drastic model changes may be needed that would cause steeper reductions. Whether the changes are incorporated this year or in future years, the discussion creates more uncertainty for the commercial fishing industry, sport charter businesses, and Alaska's fishing communities that have already taken a serious economic hit from reduced harvest levels and changing management measures.

"I'm also concerned at the manner the commission staff presented its findings and data. Conflicting information, lack of clear recommendations, topped off by an abrupt end to the public portion of the meeting combined to leave important questions unanswered about the crucial steps needed to ensure the health of our halibut resource and fisheries."