Fishing Charter Going Out of Business

Van Saun Charters in Ninilchik Alaska will be going out of business because of new proposed Government regulation. Letter from the Captain:

Hello Everyone,

Twenty one years ago I started my charter business.  I had no money to advertise, very little for my start up costs and I had to get a co-signer to secure the loan buy a boat.  I was on a wing and a prayer.  When I started I was living in a beat up camper and filleting fish on the tailgate of my truck.  It has been through blood sweat and tears that I am still in business now.  But more than that, Van Saun Charters is still here because of the amazing people who return to fish with me year after year.  I am so thankful for your support and the incredible friendships forged through more than two decades of fishing with you.

Now the Powerful Commercial Halibut Fishing Sector has manipulated the Politics of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council to create what they call the Catch Share Plan.  There is a 30 day public comment period on the Federal Register.

This Catch Share Plan (or as those of us who understand it call it "The Catch Taking Plan) will take fish traditionally caught by you the guided angler and reallocate it to Commercial Fishermen.  It will decrease your limit to one halibut a day and likely one halibut under 32 inches.  Then it allows you to purchase the right to catch a second fish from the Commercial Sector.  You would have to pay an additional 150-200 dollars to have a chance to keep two fish.

This plan will in effect put me out of business.  It will hurt our industry to the point it is unlikely there will be boat launches in Ninilchik or Anchor Point.  It will close down our local fish processors. 
The Catch Share Plan has nothing to do with conservation.  It only has to do with Allocation.  The Commercial Industry wants to take your fish away and catch and sell them for a profit.

One sad point is a huge percentage of the Commercially caught halibut do not even get processed in the United States.  They get hauled into Canada, processed, then sold into the Canadian Market.  Very little of the money from Commercial Halibut stays in the United States let alone in Alaska.
To help with this you have till August 9th to make a Public Comment.  It only takes 5 minutes.  Go to the below link and comment that you oppose the Catch Share plan and believe the Guideline Harvest Level is an appropriate way of managing halibut sport fishing.

Thanks for your help.  If the Catch Share Plan becomes law I hope to remain in contact with you even if I am no longer in the halibut charter business.

I also ask you to please forward this to as many people as you can and help through use of social media or etc. 

Rod Van Saun,

Here is the Link:


Captain Rod Van Saun
Van Saun Charters
PO Box 39622
Ninilchik AK 99639

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