Halibut opening dates announced

The recreational halibut fishery opens March 1, allowing anglers to catch one halibut per day and have two in their possession. The commercial fishery begins on March 12. Landing prices have not yet been negotiated.

The recreational halibut fishery opens March 1, allowing anglers to catch one halibut per day and have two in their possession. The commercial fishery begins on March 12. Landing prices have not yet been negotiated.

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced Tuesday the commercial halibut fleet will keep an 88 per cent share of the catch in 2011 and the sports fishery 12 per cent under a formula set in 2003.

Individuals in the recreational sector, however, can lease quota from the commercial sector at market rates. Next year’s allotment also remains in doubt.

The recreational sector has been fighting for a bigger share of B.C.’s total allowed halibut catch. The group represents individual anglers and groups like charter boat owners and fishing lodges.

Commercial fishermen are battling any share reduction in favour of anglers.

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