The purpose of this survey is to provide fishery-independent data for the Pacific halibut stock assessment; to examine Pacific halibut distribution and abundance; to provide stock dynamics data that is not available through commercial fishery statistics; to log marine mammal sightings; and to collect data for other agencies. The IPHC will survey up to 27 stations off the coast of northern California using demersal (bottom) longline gear, without steel leaders, between the California/Oregon border and Point Arena, California (39 degrees North Latitude) in waters 60-2400 feet (18-732 meters) deep. At each station, 7 skates of gear will be deployed. Each skate is anchored to the bottom and has 100 hooks on individual breaded poly gangions 24-48 inches (61-122 centimeters) in length, with each gangion spaced 18 feet apart (5.5 meters).
The Project involves research and the collection of information pertaining to Pacific halibut which will not result in a serious or major disturbance to white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, a candidate species for listing as threatened or endangered.