The general sentiment in the Pacific Northwest halibut industry is relief. Yes, the 2010 quota is down, as expected, but not as low as initially feared.

Still, a 6.3 percent reduction in halibut landings will have a moderate to significant impact on fresh halibut supplies and prices, which more than likely will rise, especially in the days after the 6 March kickoff. Fishing is scheduled to run through mid-November.

At its annual meeting in Seattle in early February, the International Pacific H…