ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A new permit process begins this February for halibut charter businesses in Southeast Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska.
The permit is to help limit the number of halibut charters to prevent an over-harvest of the resource.
Boats need the permit by February 2011.
Passed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, to qualify, halibut charter boats had to participate in the 2004, 2005 and 2008 seasons.
The 60-day application period is expected to begin next month.
"That period will afford people the opportunity to apply for one of these permits or however many permits they feel that they are eligible for. It's not just one permit; you can get multiple permits for your business," said Jay Ginter, the Chief of the Alaska Region National Marine Fisheries Service.
For halibut charter operators who do not meet the qualifications, the only way to get a permit is to purchase one from someone who no longer wants it.