February 23,2016
 
This is Fish Radio. Stephanie Mangini. Seven elements to be considered for any catch share plan. That’s up after this –
 
The At-sea Processors Association’s contributions to Alaskan universities represent the largest privately funded marine research program in Alaska’s history. Learn more at  www.atsea.org
 
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Like it or not, catch share programs are a preferred tool for federal fishery managers. For any program, seven topics should drive the decisions that will change fisheries forever.  A straightforward list has been compiled by Duncan Fields, a lifelong Kodiak fisherman and a North Pacific Council member. Here is a sampler: Alaska Fishing Regions
 
  Issue one:  Who gets the fish and why – vessel owners only? Directed species only?  Bycatch species only?  Would you distribute only by history, if so why, if not, why not. If you distribute only by history, how do you address the concern about rewarding fishermen who have generally fished dirty?  Can you talk about equal distribution based on participation?  
 
The second major question is what kind of access right would be given to the resource. 
 
 Is it both the quota share and the annual IFQ?  Or could they be separated and the annual ifq given in one way and the quota share retained, would access only be through co ops?  Why? Would you preserve any open access fisheries as a way to address issues of entry level fishermen.
What how will you limit or restrict consolidation. What about caps?  Would the number of vessels be reduced? Who would you qualify to hold the access right to the quota?  Would there be a qualification based on vessel ownership, and for experience or active participation.   What about leasing issues? And transfer issues, who can, for what period. Assess a transfer tax being used to achieve another goal in the program.
 
Number three is who gets to process the fish and why?  The next consideration is community interests.
 
What do we protect – infrastructure? Jobs – volume, taxes, local businesses, residency, new community opportunities – should Kodiak only forever be the only single port that trawl groundfish is processed in the Central Gulf.  
What about gear conversions?  How do we motivate and integrate gear conversions, and recognize the economic impact those conversions could have.  And don’t we have a responsibility as stewards of the resource to also think about habitat protections? 
 
How does the new program change the industry relationships we’ve built over time, between fishermen and their crews or processors and fishermen?  Finally, Fields says number seven is of utmost importance: what is the mechanism for programmatic review and change? He brings it home —
 
These programs are all about tradeoffs.  All about making these policy decisions about what is possible within the overall structure of the program. 
 
 
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com . In Kodiak I’m Stephanie Mangini.  

 

 

 

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