Halibut Quota Leasing

As a recreational fisher or stakeholder, you can use AccessQ to lease your halibut quota over the web or by phone.

Step 1: Obtain an Experimental Licence from DFO

The easiest way to do this is by filling in DFO’s online Expression of Interest for the Halibut Experimental Recreational Fishery – 2016 Season. Once DFO receives and processes your submission they will send you a licence application form. There is no charge for the experimental licence.

If you participated in the Halibut Experimental Recreational Fishery in 2015 and are re-applying for the program, you do not have to complete an Expression of Interest form. Instead, please provide DFO with your contact information and their Groundfish Management Unit will contact you.

Once you have received your licence application, sign it and return it to DFO who will create an experimental licence and licence number for you within their management system. They will also send you your licence and conditions, along with a paper log book for keeping track of your catch throughout the season.

An experimental licence must have at least twenty (20) pounds of quota on it to commence fishing.

Step 2: Contact AccessQ to obtain your quota

2016 Recreational Halibut Fishing in British Columbia

Please consult the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada website for the most up to date information regarding the current halibut limits for fishing halibut in BC.



    • Available 24/7 beginning early April
    • Requests and credit card payments processed immediately
    • Quota transferred when payment confirmed

Online Service



  • Available weekdays 9am-4pm, except statutory holidays
  • Requests and credit card payments processed immediately
  • Quota transferred when payment confirmed

Step 3: When your transaction is completed

IQMI provides you with a Provisional Record of Quota Lease (PRQL) which you print and keep with you. We then notify DFO and they send you an updated licence amendment reflecting the amount of halibut quota transferred onto your experimental licence.

In cases where you have leased unused quota back to the commercial sector, IQMI sends you a completed Temporary Transfer Request Form which you print, sign and fax to DFO. Once DFO notifies us that that they have transferred the quota off of your experimental licence, IQMI sends payment directly to you.


Prices of quota for lease by recreational stakeholders under the 2016 Halibut Experimental Recreational Fishery are updated regularly throughout the season. Current pricing can be seen by downloading our Recreational Halibut Quota Request Form.

You should also know…

Our ability to fulfill a request for commercial quota depends on how much quota remains in our quota ‘pool’ at any given time

We start the season with a significant amount of quota in hand and work continuously with commercial halibut fishers to replenish the pool as quickly as demand requires.

If we run out, we will post a notice telling our customers whether and when we expect to have more quota available.

Our ability to fulfill a request to return quota requires us to first find someone to lease that quota

We work continuously with commercial halibut fishers and so far have been able to return quota consistently and on terms that work for all parties.

However, demand for halibut quota in both commercial and recreational sectors varies throughout the season. Hence, although we will always offer the best terms we can, those terms may vary.

There are upper limits on the amount of each transaction

However there is no limit to the number of transactions you can request.

One limit is set by the maximum transaction amount that PayPal will process. The dollar value of each transaction is also determined by quota lease price, which can change weekly.

We also place put a poundage limit on each transaction to help ensure that we can make quota available for as long as possible to recreational customers, large and small. We embed these limits in the system and manage them throughout the season.

We publish a lease price for commercial-to-recreational transfers each week and show it to you up front

We work continuously with participants in the halibut sector who estimate a likely quota price range for each week.

We use that information to publish a fair lease price that normally remains fixed for seven days. We provide that price to you up front, along with the date on which it will expire. We use the number of pounds you request and calculate your total lease cost for you, at which point you can choose whether to proceed.

If you come back to us again before the date that price expires, your lease cost per pound will be the same. Everyone who uses AccessQ during the same period will see the same lease price per pound of quota.

AccessQ is a completely confidential service

We do not share your identity or personal details with other recreational stakeholders, commercial fishers or their representatives. We must send details of each transaction to DFO for validation and recording, but that’s it.

We do not retain any of your credit card information. Automated credit card payments are managed within the secure PayPal system, which is separate from the AccessQ platform.

Each transaction requires payment before quota can be transferred onto a recreational licence

AccessQ is set up to get you the quota you need, when you need it, as quickly and conveniently as possible.

The convenience of real-time credit card payments is obviously an important part of this. We will also accept payments by cheque or bank transfer, but must remind customers that we cannot transfer quota or provide a Provisional Record of Quota Lease until those payments are received and funds have cleared.

We make every effort to ensure that the transaction details you provide are correct.

We also provide detailed Terms of Use for you to review as part of each transaction, so that you will know what happens if errors should occur.