But there’s good news for some fishermen: ex-vessel prices are increasing slightly around the state.

“We did see the ex-vessel price for halibut perk up a bit where we’re at $6.25, $6.50, $6.75 here in Homer today,” said Doug Bowen, who tracks halibut prices around the Gulf of Alaska for Alaska Boats and Permits, a vessel-and-fishing permit broker in Homer.

Those prices have a significant influence on the halibut quota Bowen sells for fishermen.

Five dollars per pound at the start of the season is the lowest price Pacific halibut fetched on the docks in several years.

Prices at the beginning of the season usually start high, McDowell Group fish economist Garrett Everidge said, and trend downward through the spring.

The recent spike in dock prices reflect typical market fluctuations, Everidge said.

“Maybe the market is working through some uncertainty that was present at the beginning of the season,” he said. “Around this time of the year, a lot of salmon fishermen who’ve done halibut are busy. It’s typically the slowest time of year and that could be why prices have appreciated a little bit.”