SEATTLE – The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking to charter longline vessels to conduct its Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS) in 2021. The primary purpose of the FISS is to collect standardized data for use in the Pacific halibut stock assessment. This information collected is also used to study aspects of the Pacific halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized Pacific halibut and Pacific halibut less than 32 inches in length that have been sampled, as well as incidentally caught fish (byproduct) that will die upon release will be retained, sampled for biological data and sold by the IPHC to offset FISS expenses.
The 2021 FISS will cover 25 charter regions within the IPHC Convention Area with a standard grid of stations from Oregon to the northern Bering Sea, including the Aleutian Islands. The FISS must be completed between 29 May and 31 August 2021.
The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have recent (within five years) Pacific halibut fishing experience. The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel prior to awarding the charter.
Vessels need not be licensed for Pacific halibut fishing in Canada or the USA to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any region as long as customs and immigration regulations are followed.
Interested vessel owners are invited to submit tenders based upon the 2021 IPHC Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS) Vessel Tender Specifications. The Tender Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be downloaded and accessed directly from the IPHC website: Vessel Recruiting | IPHC.
The IPHC will not be obligated to accept the tender with the lowest bid or any tender received, and will contract according to its best interests. Vessels will be rated using the following criteria:
1) seaworthiness and general condition of the vessel and its equipment,
2) the vessel’s availability within the schedule determined solely by the IPHC Secretariat,
3) the vessel captain’s experience and fishing record,
4) the qualifications of the selected crew,
5) IPHC operating costs (tender amounts)
6) Previous interactions with the IPHC and its Secretariat, experience with the IPHC FISS, scheduling flexibility, and ability to take additional Secretariat are other factors to be potentially considered in the decision-making process.
Submissions must be completed no later than 23:59 (Pacific) on 31 January 2021.
For further information please contact the IPHC Secretariat at Secretariat@iphc.int or 206.634.1838.