Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program in Alaska
The primary objectives of the Alaska halibut and sablefish IFQ Program are to eliminate gear conflicts, address safety concerns, and improve product quality.
The Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program is the largest catch share program in the U.S., and was adopted by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under Amendment 15 to the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Fishery Management Plan and Amendment 20 to the Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan in October 1992. The final rule was published on November 9, 1993.
Participation in the IFQ Program is limited to persons that hold Quota Share (QS), although there are several very limited provisions for “leasing” of annual IFQ. QS is a transferable permit that was initially issued to persons who owned or leased vessels that made legal commercial fixed-gear landings of Pacific halibut or sablefish in the waters off Alaska during 1988-1990.
Annually, NOAA Fisheries issues eligible QS holders an IFQ fishing permit that authorizes participation in the IFQ fisheries. Those to whom IFQ permits are issued may harvest their annual allocation at any time during the eight plus-month IFQ halibut and sablefish seasons.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council Requests for Emergency Actions
On February 10, 2021, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) made four recommendations to NOAA Fisheries for emergency or expedited changes to Federal fishing regulations.
- Effective March 30, 2021 through September 27, 2021, IFQ Temporary Transfers were available to individuals holding B, C, or D class QS.
- Effective May 26, 2021 through December 31, 2021, limits are removed on the maximum amount of halibut IFQ that may be harvested by a vessel, commonly known as vessel use caps, in IFQ regulatory areas 4A (Eastern Aleutian Islands), 4B (Central and Western Aleutian Islands), 4C (Central Bering Sea), and 4D (Eastern Bering Sea) for the 2021 IFQ fishing year.
See the Questions and Answers page for more information.
This program information constitutes the Small Entity Compliance Guide required under section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.
IFQ Permits for the 2021 Fishery Season Issued
- IFQ Permits and can be accessed through NOAA Fisheries online permit portal eFISH.
- To login to eFISH, permit holders must have a valid email address on file. Users that have forgotten their passwords can use the Forgot Password? link located on the eFISH login page.
- If you don’t know what your NMFS Username is, please contact us at 1-800-304-4846 (option #2) or send us an email at RAM.Alaska@noaa.gov
- An eFISH User Guide is also available on our website
- Applications, Forms and Reporting Forms
- Monitoring and Reporting
- eLandings: Make landings for IFQ/CDQ halibut and sablefish. (Operations and users must be registered to use this on-line reporting program)
- eFISH: Check a permit or vessel balance; print an IFQ or Hired Master permit; print a receipt for a previous landing; make an ex-vessel volume and value report; renew an annual registered buyer permit; pay cost-recovery fees; pay observer program fees; view an IFQ landing ledger report; view a registered buyer landing ledger report and a quota share holdings report; print annual permits; report a Guided Angler Fish (GAF) landing and check a GAF permit balance; submit a Registered Buyer Landing Report (for IFQ catcher sellers) and out-of-state IFQ landings.
- Observer Program
- Recordkeeping and Reporting
- Longline Pot Gear for the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish IFQ Fishery: Frequently Asked Questions
- Catch Sharing Plan and Guided Angler Fish (GAF) Program
- Cost Recovery Fee Payment (due January 31)
- Standard Prices and Fee Percentage Notices
- Fishery Seasons
Regulations and Management Actions
- 50 CFR Part 679
- Federal Register Rules and Notices
- Regulations, Acts, Treaties, and Agreements
- Alaska Fisheries Figures, Maps, Boundaries, Regulatory Areas and Zones
- Seabird Avoidance Gear and Methods
- Sitka Sound Local Area Management Plan (LAMP)
- Fishery Management Plan Amendments
- Restricted Access Management (RAM) Program
- North Pacific Fishery Management Council IFQ Committee
- International Pacific Halibut Commission
- Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program
- IFQ Loan Information
- Stock Assessments
- Sport Halibut Fishing
- Subsistence Halibut Fishing
- Guided Angler Fish (GAF) Program
- Catch Share and Limited Access Programs
- Federal Fisheries in Alaska