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Council Passes Halibut RQE!

Article from Southeast Alaska Guides Organization

Council Passes Halibut RQE!

We’ve been talking about this for a while now, and it’s finally happened – SEAGO is pleased to announce that the Council voted 8-3 to pass the RQE!

The Council process can be confusing and overwhelming, but SEAGO was pleased to see and hear your comments through letters and testimony. SEAGO Board members Tom Ohaus, Russell Thomas, Seth Bone, and Stan Malcom all came in to Anchorage to testify in support of the program alongside Executive Director Samantha Weinstein. Before the final vote, our industry received recognition from multiple Council members for its professionalism and input to the Council throughout the RQE review.

Of particular note in this decision is Council member Andy Mezirow, renown Seward charter captain. He put in many a sleepless night preparing for this meeting in addition to thousands of hours of work over the past two years. He represents and serves our entire fleet extraordinarily well, and is invaluable to us as part of the Council. SEAGO extends our thanks on behalf of Southeast Alaska, and encourages you to do the same.

Some of you have been following the RQE since its conception, and have weighed in on specific aspects of the program during the Council process. These elements had the potential to make or break the RQE. For example, a low annual transfer limit would require years of purchasing quota to make a difference in management. If you want to see how it all turned out, a breakdown of the final motion passed by the Council can be found at http://www.seagoalaska.org/catch/.

The next step in this process is for the National Marine Fisheries Service to make the final rule reflecting the Council’s decision.

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