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Saturday, December 15, 2007
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Friday, December 7, 2007
C-1 Charter Halibut Management
AP Revisions to Halibut Stakeholder Revisions to Staff-Recommended Revisions to
October 2007 Council Motion
Charter Halibut Interim Measures: Initial Allocation and Future Reallocation
between charter sector and commercial sector in Area 2C and Area 3A
Alternative 1. No Action.
Alternative 2. Establish a catch sharing plan that includes sector accountability
Element 1. Initial allocation
Option 1: Fixed percentage. of combined charter and commercial catch limit.
Area 2C Area 3A based on:
a. 13.1 13.09% 14.00% 125% of the 1995-1999 avg charter harvest (current GHL formula)
b. 17.3 17.31% 15.4 15.44% 125% of the 2001-2005 avg charter harvest (GHL formula updated thru 2005)
c. 11.7 11.69% 12.70% Current GHL as percent of 2004
d. 15.1 15.14% 12.7 12.65% 2005 charter harvest
Option 2: Fixed pounds. to be deducted from a combined charter and commercial catch limit
Area 2C Area 3A based on:
a. 1.43 Mlb 3.65 Mlb 125% of the 1995-1999 avg charter harvest (current GHL)
b. 1.69 Mlb 4.01 Mlb 125% of the 2000-2004 avg charter harvest (GHL updated thru 2004)
c. 1.90 Mlb 4.15 Mlb 125% of the 2001-2005 avg charter harvest (GHL updated thru 2005)
Option: Stair step up and down. The allocation in each area would be increased or reduced in stepwise increments based on a change in the total CEY. If the halibut stock were to increase or decrease from 15 to 24 percent from its average total CEY of the base period selected for the initial allocation at the time of final action, then the allocation would be increased or decreased by 15 percent. If the stock were to increase or decrease from at least 25 to 34 percent, then the allocation would be increased or decreased by an additional 10 percent. If the stock increased or decreased by at least 10 percent increments, the allocation would be increased or decreased by an additional 10 percent.
Deferred to Interagency Staff regarding pros and cons of setting formulas v pounds in regulation
Option 3. 50% fixed/50% floating allocation. of a combined charter and commercial catch limit.
Area 2C Area 3A
50% of: and 50% of: 50% of: and 50% of:
a. 13.1 13% 1.43Mlb 14.1 14% 3.65Mlb
b. 15.9 16% 1.69Mlb 15.4 15% 4.01Mlb
c. 17.3 17% 1.90Mlb 15.4 15% 4.15 4.14Mlb *
*error discovered in the AP minutes
Element 2. Annual regulatory cycle
The initial charter allocation would be a common harvest pool for all charter limited entry permit holders. It would not close the fishery when the charter allocation is exceeded. Instead, the allocation would be linked to an annual regulatory analysis of management measures (delayed feedback loop) that take into account the projected CEY for the following year and any overages by the charter industry in the past year(s). This system would work best if there is not a time lag between the overage year and the payback year. The Council will not revisit or readjust the sector split. An allocation overage would trigger the regulatory process automatically, in contrast with current GHL management. Any underages would accrue to the benefit of the halibut biomass and would not be reallocated or paid forward. The Council assumes (and would request) that the International Pacific Halibut Commission set a combined charter and commercial sector fishery catch limit CEY and would apply the allocations between the two sectors that would be recommended by the Council in a type of catch sharing plan to the combined fishery catch limit CEY.
Element 3. Management toolbox.
Tier 1 measures will be utilized by the Council to try to manage the charter common pool for a season of historic length and a two-fish daily harvest limit. Tier 2 measures will be utilized if Tier 1 measures are inadequate to constrain harvest by the charter common pool to its allocation. Due to the delayed feedback loop in implementation of management measures, management measures will, in general, be more restrictive to ensure that the charter sector allocation is not exceeded. In providing predictability and stability for the charter sector, it is likely that charter fish may be left in the water.
Tier 1 management measures include:
• 1 trip per vessel per day
• No retention by skipper or crew
• line limits
• Second fish of minimum size
• Second fish at or below a specific length.
Tier 2 management measures include:
• Annual catch limits
• 1 fish bag limit for all or a portion of the season
• Season closure
Suboption: seasonal closures on a monthly or sub-seasonal basis
Element 4. Timeline. The current timeline for the proposal is as described below. [Staff should discuss what would be needed to implement February Council action for June (the same year)]
Example scenario 1: 4–year feedback loop
• Charter fishery ends 2007
• October 2008: Council receives ADF&G report on final charter halibut harvest estimates for 2007. If the ADF&G report indicates that an allocation overage occurred in 2007, the Council will initiate the analysis of management measures necessary to restrict charter halibut harvests to its allocations.
• December 2008: Council reviews staff analysis (possibly in the form of a supplement) that updates the previous year’s analysis with final 2007 harvest estimates.
• January 2009: IPHC adopts combined catch limits for 2009.
• February 2009: Council takes final action on management measures that would be implemented in year 2010.
• Winter 2009: NMFS publishes the rule that will be in effect for 2010.
Example Scenario 2: 3–year feedback loop (Staff response to Council request)
• Charter fishery, with in-season monitoring, ends 2007
• October 2007: Council receives ADF&G report on final charter halibut harvest estimates for 2007. If the ADF&G report indicates that an allocation overage occurred in 2007, the Council will initiate the analysis of management measures necessary to restrict charter halibut harvests to its allocations.
• December 2007: Council reviews staff analysis (possibly in the form of a supplement) that updates the previous year’s analysis with final 2007 harvest estimates.
• January 2008: IPHC adopts combined catch limits for 2008.
• February 2008: Council takes final action on management measures that would be implemented in year 2009
• Winter 2008: NMFS publishes the rule that will be in effect for 2009
Element 5. Supplemental individual use of commercial IFQ to allow limited entry permit holders to lease commercial IFQ in order to provide anglers with additional harvesting opportunities, not to exceed limits in place for unguided anglers
A. Leasing commercial IFQ for conversion to Guided Angler Fish (GAF).
1. A LEP (Limited Entry Permit) holder may lease IFQ for conversion to GAF for use on the LEP.
2. Commercial halibut QS holders may lease up to 1500 pounds or 10% (whichever is greater) of their annual IFQ to LEP holders (including themselves) for use as GAF on LEPs. A CQE may lease up to 100% of its annual IFQ for use as GAF on their own LEPs. Commercial halibut QS holders may lease up to 10% of their annual IFQs to LEP holders for use as GAF on LEP. Dual permit holders are constrained to leasing only 10% of their QS whether to themselves or someone else
3. LEP holder per vessel may not lease more than 200-400 fish.
Suboption: vessels with LEP w/endorsement for more than 6 clients may not lease more than 400-600 fish.
4. Commercial Halibut QS holders who also hold an LEP may convert all or a portion of their commercial QS to GAF on a yearly basis if they own and fish it on their own LEP vessel.
Suboption: allow commercial QS holders that holds 500 lb. to 1000 lbs. to lease up to 50 to 100% of their IFQs to the charter sector.
B. LEP holders harvesting GAF while participating in the guided sport halibut fishery are exempt from landing and use restrictions associated with commercial IFQ fishery, but subject to the landing and use provisions detailed below.
C. GAF would be issued in numbers of fish. The conversion between annual IFQ and GAF would be based on average weight of halibut landed in each region’s charter halibut fishery (2C or 3A) during the previous year as determined by ADF&G. The long-term plan may require further conversion to some other form (e.g., angler days).
D. Subleasing of GAF would be prohibited.
E. GAF holders may request NMFS convert unused GAF into IFQ pounds for harvest in compliance with commercial fishing regulations provided the GAF holder qualifies under the commercial IFQ regulations.
F. Conversion of GAF back to commercial sector
1. GAF holders may request NMFS convert unused GAF into IFQ pounds for harvest in compliance with commercial fishing regulations provided the GAF holder qualifies under the commercial IFQ regulations.
2. Unused GAF may revert back to pounds of IFQ at the end of the year and be subject to the underage provisions applicable to their underlying commercial QS.
G. Guided angler fish derived from commercial QS may not be used to harvest fish in excess of the non-guided sport bag limit on any given day.
H. Charter operators landing GAF on private property (e.g., lodges) and motherships would be required to allow ADF&G samplers/enforcement personnel access to the point of landing.
I. Commercial and charter fishing may not be conducted from the same vessel on the same day.
Element 6. Catch accounting system
1. The current Statewide Harvest Survey and/or logbook data would be used to determine the annual harvest.
2. A catch accounting system will need to be developed for the GAF fish landed in the charter industry.
3. As part of data collection, recommends require the collection of length measurements when supplemental IFQs are leased for use and compare to the annual average length to make sure that accurate removable poundage is accounted for and to allow length measurement information gathered to be used in the formulation of the average weight used in the conversion of IFQs to GAF.
Problem Statement: The absence of a hard allocation between the longline and the charter halibut sectors has resulted in conflicts between sectors and tensions in coastal communities dependent on the halibut resource. Unless a mechanism for transfer between sectors is established, the existing environment of instability and conflict will continue. The Council seeks to address this instability while balancing the needs of all who depend on the halibut resource for food, sport, or livelihood.
In establishing this catch sharing plan for the commercial and sport charter halibut sectors, the Council intends to create a management regime that provides separate accountability for each sector. The management of the commercial sector remains unchanged under the plan, and new management measures are provided for the sport charter sector.
These new measures for the sport charter sector are designed to address the specific need of the sport charter sector for advance notice and predictability with respect to the management tools and length of season that will be used to achieve the allocation allotted to that sector under the plan. In order to achieve the allocation, it is the Council’s intent that management tools and season length would be established during the year prior to the year in which they would take effect, an d that the tools selected and season length would not be changed in season.
The Council will evaluate its success in achieving the sport charter sector allocation each year, and will adjust its management tools as needed. In designing this regime for the sport charter sector the Council recognizes that providing advance notice and predictability may result in a charter harvest that does not precisely meet the sector allocation for that particular year. Therefore, the Council intends to adjust its management measures as needed to ensure that the sport charter sector is held at or below its allocation on average over a rolling five-year period. In meeting its conservation mandate while accommodating the charter industry’s need for predictability and stability, the Council will necessarily err on the side of conservation in the selection of management tools and season length, with the result that the sport charter sector may not be able to harvest its entire allocation.
One of the critical issues for successful implementation of a successful interim management regime for charter halibut operators is to shorten the feedback loop for collection of data regarding charter harvests. The Council has requested that staff include in their report a discussion of options for shortening the feedback loop, and the Stakeholder Committee would like to suggest three options for discussion and analysis in the staff report.
Any data collection option should be made as simple as possible, minimize inconvenience to clients, and be conducted in a machine readable or electronic format.
It is also the intent of the Stakeholder Committee in proposing these options that the real time collection of data should not be used for in-season management changes or in-season closures; rather it is the intent of the Stakeholder Committee that these options be used to shorten the data collection feedback loop to facilitate the timely advance adoption of management tools designed to achieve the charter sector allocation without in-season changes or in-season closures in order to maintain, to the extent possible, a season of historic length with a minimum two fish bag limit.
Option 1. Electronic Reporting. Each GSM permit holder would be assigned a unique reporting number and would use that number to electronically report the number of halibut caught by clients that day on a daily basis. The electronic reporting would be done either through an Internet website or a dial-in telephone system. As additional verification each client would sign the mandatory logbook next to the entry containing their name, license number, number and type of fish caught, and any other required information. Logbooks would continue to be submitted weekly.
Option 2. Harvest Tag. Uniquely numbered harvest tags would be distributed to each GSM permit holder at the beginning of the season and additional tags would be available throughout the season if needed. The number of harvest tags would be greater than the number of fish allocated to the charter sector for that year (i.e., the tags are not a management tool for restricting or closing charter fishing in-season). When a halibut is landed the harvest tag would be required to be inserted in the jaw and the harvest tag number recorded in the log book entry for the angler license number of the person who caught the fish. When the fish is processed the tag would be removed and mailed in using pre-addressed, stamped envelopes supplied for that purpose. GSM operators would pay a fee to cover the cost of the envelopes and tags. Harvest tags would preferably be bar coded to enable machine reading, with peel off bar code stickers for placement in the log book.
Option 3. Punch Cards. Each GSM permit holder would be issued a supply of uniquely numbered punch cards with punch outs equal to any daily bag limit for that year or six halibut (whichever is fewer). The cards would issued at the beginning of the season and additional cards would be available as needed (i.e., the cards are not a management tool for restricting or closing charter fishing in-season). Each day every client angler would be assigned a punch card and that punch card number would be entered in the log book next to the license number. As each halibut is landed by a client their respective card would be punched, and at the end of the day the client would sign the punch card in the space provided. The punch card would then be sealed in a supplied stamped and addressed envelope, which would be mailed by the permit holder. GSM permit holders would pay a fee to cover the cost of the punch cards and mailing envelopes. Any log book entry for which a signed punch card is not received would be corrected to read the maximum number of fish printed on a punch card (i.e., the daily bag limit or six fish).
Posted by CaptBob at 3:25 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Charter halibut allocation/compensation - Final Action
Charter Halibut Long-term Solution- Discuss
3A GHL management measures- Final Action.
Time line for Implementation:
Proposed Rule April 08
Comment Period May 08
Final Rule November 08
30-day delay effectiveness late December 08
60 day application period January – February 09
Evidentiary period February – March 09
60-day appeals process and resolution of appeals April - rest of year 09
STAKEHOLDER COMMITTEE MOTION
Staff has been requested to revise certain sections for conformity with other alternatives (not yet completed)
ALTERNATIVE 2. Angler Day Program - Common Pool Allocation
Alternative 1. Angler Day Program with Common Pool Management
• Limited Entry program permits would remain in place with this program.
Alternative 1, Element 1 implements measures to allow market-based reallocation between the
commercial sector and the charter sector using a common pool management regime.
Element 1:1: Holder of Additional Quota Share, Method of Funding and Revenue Stream (How
to increase the initial allocation
A. State of Alaska Common Pool
Bonding (funding source)
Option 1: Charter sportfishing license surcharge (stamps) (revenue source)
Option 2. Business license fee/surcharge or limited entry permit holder
suboption 1. fee is based on number of anglers
suboption 2. fee is based on number of fish
B. Regional Non-Profit Association Common Pool
Loan (funding source)
Self assessment fee (revenue source)
Element 1.2: Method of compensation
Option 1: Willing seller, willing buyer
Option 2: Pro-rata reduction
Suboption 1: one time purchase
Suboption 2: annual leasing
Revenue streams will be for a defined period and end after the loan or bond is paid off, i.e.
continuous open-ended revenue streams are to be avoided.
TABLEDElement 3. Allocation of the common pool is administered by conversion to angler
days. An angler day would be used once fishing starts for the day regardless of whether the
angler catches a fish or not.
Element 4: Restrictions on transferability of commercial quota share by charter sector, with
grandfather clause to exempt current participants in excess of proposed limits
Element 4.1: Total limits on transferability by Area with a common pool allocation
A percentage of the combined commercial and charter catch limit will be available for transfer
Option 1. Limit transferability between sectors to a percent of the commercial quota
share units available by area at time of implementation of the program by area (2C & 3A).
Sub-option 1: 10 percent
Sub-Option 2: 15 percent
2_ALT 2_Angler Day Program F.doc Page 2 of 3
Sub-Option 3: 20 percent
Sub-Option 4: 25 percent
Element 4.2: Annual limits on QS purchase by area by entities purchasing for a common pool:
Option 1. Limited annually to a percentage (30-50%) of the average amount of QS
transferred during the previous five years.
Option 2. No limits to the amount that can be transferred annually
Option 3. Restrictions on vessel class sizes/blocked and unblocked/ blocks above and
below sweep-up levels to leave entry size blocks available for the commercial
market and to leave some larger blocks available for an individual trying to
increase their poundage.
(These options are not intended to be mutually exclusive.)
Element 4.3: (Annual) limits on IFQ leasing by a common pool entity
A. The common pool may only lease 0-15% of IFQs back to the commercial sector.
B. Commercial quota share holders may lease up to 10% of their IFQson an annual basis
to the charter industry.
a. Sub-option: Quota share holders that hold less than 500 lbs to 1,000 lbs may
lease 50-100% of their IFQs to the charter sector.
Element 5: Angler Days, Initial issuance, leasing, transfers
Check that these options match previous committee language
Element 5.1: Percentage-based assignment based on Angler-days1
Initial issuance - award number of angler day units from ADF&G logbooks which
Suboption 1. Total angler-days during 1998-2005
Suboption 2. Average angler-days during best 3 years from 1998 – 2005
Suboption 3. Total angler-days during best 3 years from 1998 – 2005
Suboption 1. Allow transfers, limited to angler day endorsement caps
Suboption 2. Allow unlimited transfers
Suboption 1. Angler days not transferable
Suboption 2. Angler days fully transferable:
1. Permanent: must go through NMFS (RAM division)
2. In-season transfers: allowed between charter businesses
1 Permit endorsement of an angler day for every client fishing bottomfish/halibut in a day
2_ALT 2_Angler Day Program F.doc Page 3 of 3
Element 5.2: Limited Entry Permit Leases (in-season only; reverts to permit holder at beginning of
Option 1. not allowed, except for “unavoidable circumstance”2
Option 2. allowed, limited to use cap and not more than 2 out of 5 years
Element 5.3: Permit use caps, individually and collectively, with grandfather provision
Same as under limited entry program
Issue 6. Communities
Tabled (how many angler days should a CQE moratorium permit holder receive or
should a % of the charter allocation be set aside if necessary for use of CQE moratorium permits
to access as angler days?)
2 Acceptable circumstances will be adjudicated on a case by case basis through the National Marine
Fisheries Appeals Division, but includes medical emergencies, military exemptions, constructive losses. An
individual who was assigned to active military duty during 2004 or 2005 and who qualifies as “active ”
during the year prior to implementation7 and who demonstrated an intent to participate in the charter fishery
in Area 2C or 3A.(prior to the qualifying period) shall be eligible for a moratorium permit.
Program effective February 2010
The committee unanimously passed a motion that the Council request
Posted by Flatfish at 10:31 AM
Gov. Sarah Palin nominated Alaska fisheries veterans Ed Dersham, Mike Heimbuch and Roland Maw as candidates to fill the North Pacific Fishery Management Council seat vacated by Ed Rasmuson.
Dersham, a longtime charter boat operator in Lower Cook Inlet, served on the Alaska Board of Fisheries for more than eight years, including three years as chair and two years as vice chair. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Oregon and is a retired from a career as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency. Dersham is Palin's recommendation for appointment.
Heimbuch, a commercial fisherman from Homer, has fished for halibut, herring, cod, shrimp and salmon around the state since 1963. He has served on a variety of civic and local government commissions, including the fish and game advisory committee and the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Association. He is an active political writer in Alaska newspapers and is currently a member of the Homer City Council. He majored in music and education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Maw, a Kasilof resident, is executive director of United Cook Inlet Drift Association and is co-owner of a charter and salmon research business based in Homer. He has served on the United Fishermen of Alaska's board of directors, on the Kenai Peninsula Fish and Game Advisory Committee and on the Joint Legislative Salmon Task Force Governance Committee. Maw has a doctoral degree in forestry and wildlife management from the University of Alberta.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the 1976 Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, later renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, to oversee management of the nation's marine fisheries.
The council has jurisdiction of more than 900,000 square miles of ocean from 3 to 200 miles off Alaska's shores, and the primary responsibility for managing pollock, cod, halibut, sole and other groundfish.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires governors of specific coastal states to provide a minimum of three candidates for each applicable vacancy, from which the Secretary of Commerce makes the final selection.
Posted by Flatfish at 9:05 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
What a summer season! All kinds of industry nuances have been presented. More on that later. Take a few minutes to read the proposal book. I am sure you will see more than a few worthy of comment. Proposal 18: Dogfish! Address the ballooning population. Proposal 211. Pohibit dipnetting in the Kenai river until the Biological Escapement Goal is met.... residents collecting food should wait until the commercials have their fish? The commercials are trying to stop personal use at all venues. There are more than a few proposals awaiting your attention. Board of fisheries meetings scheduled for Homer November 13-15. Lands End. Comment deadline, 10/26/07. Be There, Aloha.
Posted by Flatfish at 3:50 PM
Monday, May 7, 2007
This is the latest offer from those in the industry that realize an individually controlled management plan is what is necessary to continue keeping harmony in the coastal communities between all halibut user groups and gives each charter business control on their business model and marketing.
PROPOSAL ONLY - NOT AT THE COUNCIL YET
GUIDED ANGLER FISH (GAF) PROGRAM
SUMMARY: HALIBUT GAF PROGRAM
The GAF program would replace the Moratorium program approved by the Council in April 2007. However, participants in the GAF program will be limited to those holding Moratorium Permits. The 2-fish daily bag limit or 2-day possession limit for charter anglers would remain in place. The GAF program could be implemented as early as 2010 if adopted by the Secretary of Commerce. Major features of this proposed program includes:
1. The action does not restrict non-charter recreational anglers. It only affects charter operations.
2. The action does not permit a charter operator to sell fish. Fish caught by charter clients belong to the client.
3. The halibut GAF program would be integrated into the existing halibut commercial IFQ program.
PREAMBLE: Due to the lack of halibut harvest recording on 2002 through 2005 logbooks, this proposal uses a business’s 2006 logbook for ground truthing earlier years by applying a formula to obtain an individual harvest rate (number of fish per angler day) based on the 2006 "verifiable" logbook. An individual's harvest rate derived from the 2006 logbook will be applied to the past logbooks days of bottom fish effort. This gives each business its own success ratio for determining their initial issuance of GAF.
Example: 1150 halibut harvested in 2006 divided by 620 halibut angler days = a ratio of 1.85 halibut per angler day.
Someone who was not as successful would receive a ratio that would reflect their efforts. Example: 750 halibut harvested in 2006 divided by 620 halibut angler days = a ratio of 1.21 halibut per angler day.
For someone with very little halibut effort, the same process would apply.
Example: 10 halibut harvested in 2006 divided by 7 halibut angler days = a ratio of 1.4 halibut per angler day.
2006 logbook data would be used to ground-truth past logbooks only. They would not be used for determining qualification for GAF, as the Control Date of December 9, 2005 would apply. The initial allocation (amount of fish) would be ascertained by the Council and has not been determined.
1. Charter allocations can grow over time through purchase of commercial QS. Initially issued GAF shares may not be transferred (sold) to the commercial sector.
2. GAF shares may be transferred within the charter sector. Commercial quota shares may be transferred to the charter sector. They also may be transferred back to the commercial sector. Restrictions on those commercial quota shares would continue to be applied while they are used in the commercial fishery. (Commercial QS would retain original designations when transferred back to the commercial sector.)
4. Twenty percent (20%) of GAFs (a GAF is the amount which can be harvested in any one year based on a person’s number of GAF shares multiplied by the charter quota) may be leased within the charter sector for the first three years of the program.
5. A small percentage (2, 3 or 4%) of GAF shares will be set aside for underdeveloped Gulf coastal communities to develop additional charter operations (the Council will identify those communities who are eligible for developing new operations. Details of the program will be determined in a subsequent action).
6. GAF will be issued to a charter vessel owner, or to a person who leased a vessel from an owner. A Moratorium permit will be required for participation the GAF program, but once the GAF program is fully implemented the Moratorium would sunset.
7. A GAF share use cap of 1 percent in Southeast Alaska and 1⁄2 percent in South Central Alaska as well as a cap of 1⁄2 percent for both areas combined is proposed, however, anyone who is initially issued quota shares above those levels would be grandfathered into the program at their qualifying level and in years of low abundance, would be able to buy-up to their original grandfather level.
8. A delay of one year between the issuance of GAF shares and fishing under the GAF program to allow for GAF holdings and customers to be synchronized.
9. GAFs would be issued in numbers of fish (compared with pounds in the commercial program) to allow current fishing practices to continue using ADF&G area (3A, 2C) averaging for fish weight.
10. An agency and charter industry committee will develop an implementation plan to address reporting, monitoring, and enforcement.
11. The Council is an advisory body to the National Marine Fisheries Service, which manages Pacific halibut in State and Federal waters off Alaska jointly with the International Pacific Halibut Commission under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982.
Proposed by the Alaska Halibut Charter Fleet
April 12, 2007
Incorporate a Guided Angler Fish (GAF) program from the charter sector into the existing commercial halibut IFQ program. IFQs and GAFs are an access privilege, not an an ownership right. They may be revoked or limited at any time in accordance with the North Pacific Halibut Act as well as the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other federal laws.
GAF halibut may not be sold into commerce - i.e., all sport regulations remain in effect.
Issue 1. Qualification Criteria: Persons holding a halibut Moratorium Permit would qualify for the GAF Program
Issue 2. Distribution of GAF may be based on:
1. Applying the harvest rate (success rate) determined from the 2006 logbook (number of fish/angler/day in 2006) to the past logbook number of angler days of bottomfishing effort. This gives each boat its own rate. Example: 750 halibut harvested in 2006 divided by 500 clients = a ratio of 1.5 halibut per angler day. 2006 logbook data would be use to ground truth past logbooks only.
2. Qualifying years:
Option #1: Pick the 3 best years from 1998 to 2005 ADF&G logbooks and average the number of bottomfish days. If a charter has only 2004 and 2005 logbooks then a “0” for the third year would be averaged in. In years of recorded harvest only the effort would be used, not the halibut listed.
Option # 2: Pick the 2 best years from 2002 to 2005 of the ADF&G logbooks and average the number of bottomfish days. If a charter has only 2004 or 2005 logbooks then a “0” for the 2nd year would be averaged in.
Option # 3: The Charter business would receive 90% of the average the 2004 and 2005 year logbooks bottomfish effort. Then a charter would receive 20% of the 10% not distributed for each year of participation prior to 2004: Example: If a Charter business has been in business from 1995 and is still currently qualified in the Charter Moratorium then he would qualify for the 5 years from 1999 to 2003 at a rate of 20% of the 10% not distributed for each year of participation. This could result in this business receiving slightly more than 100% of the charter pool.
Option # 4: Pick the best year of recorded bottomfish effort from 1998 to 2005 of the ADF&G logbooks.
Option # 5: Average of 2004 and 2005 logbook bottomfish effort. If a charter has only 2004 or 2005 logbooks then a “0” for the 2nd year would be averaged in.
Harvest rate is determined at the boat level, or logbook level, which are the same.
Each business will be issued their number of fish resulting from formula above and the charter GAF holders will be included in the existing commercial halibut IFQ program.
Issue 5. Transferability of GAF Shares (permanent) and GAFs (on annual basis [leasing])
GAF is non-leasable to the commercial sector
1. Initially issued GAF is fully transferable within the charter sector.
2. For purposes of transfer to commercial sector, 100% of an individual’s initially issued charter GAF is permanently nontransferable
3. Commercial QS purchased by charter operator is fully transferable (two-way) across sectors and retains original commercial designations.
1. 20% of a charter operator’s annual GAF is leasable within the charter sector for the first 3 years of the program.
2. Leasing is defined as the use of GAF on a vessel which the owner of the QS has less than a 50% ownership interest.
3. 10% of a holder's GAF may be leased to the commercial sector.
Allow splitting of commercial blocks to transfer a smaller piece to the charter sector - split blocks retain original designations.
Vessel class restrictions:
From A, B, C, and/or D commercial vessel category sizes to charter sector, except that no charter business may own or control more than 1 “D” category block equal to or above the sweep-up level.
Issue 6. To receive halibut QS and GAF by transfer: For the charter sector, must be a halibut Moratorium Permit holder
Issue 7. Caps
1. Use cap for charter GAF owners only of 1 percent of combined QS/GAF units in Area 2C and 1⁄2 percent of combined QS units in Area 3A (for all entities, individually and collectively) and grandfather initial issuees at their initial allocation.
2. Use caps for charter GAF owners only of 1⁄2 percent of combined GAF units for combined Areas 2C and 3A (for all entities, individually and collectively) and grandfather initial issuees at their initial allocation
Issue 8. Miscellaneous provisions
1. 10% underage provision of total GAFs.
2. A one-year delay between initial issuance of GAF and fishing GAFs.
3. Halibut harvested aboard a charter vessel continues to be the property of the angler who caught the halibut provided the charter owner possesses sufficient GAF.
Issue 9. GAFs associated with charter quota shares may be issued in:
Numbers of fish (based on average weight determined by ADF&G)
Issue 10. Reporting:
The Council defers design of the reporting and enforcement strategy to a GAF technical implementation team, comprised of agency and industry. It is the intent of the Council that a more comprehensive reporting system will address the following items. The Council has noted in the past that ADF&G logbooks would not be considered sufficient for monitoring and that the team should consider fish tags and other reporting systems suggested by industry.
1. More timely, verifiable reporting of catch;
2. Enforcement concerns;
3. More accurate geographic referencing of catch location which provides for analysis of halibut harvest in LAMP districts.
Issue 11. Community set-aside (revised)
1. Set aside 2, 3, or 4% of the combined commercial and charter halibut quota to communities with 1 percent annual increases if utilized, to a maximum of 4 percent.
2. Source of the set-aside: Equal pounds from the commercial and charter sectors.
3. Sunset provisions: 5 years (starting in the first year of issuance). Persons currently participating in the set-aside program at the time of sunset would be allowed to operate within the guidelines of the program.
THIS IS A DRAFT ONLY.
Stakeholders Committee will have further work to do on this proposal at the October, 2007 meeting and will present this to the council at the November or December, 2007 meeting.
Other proposals for a permanent solution are also being considered
Posted by CaptBob at 8:23 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
From, mike heimbuch
Moving the Halibut Controversy Forward
This position paper is written in the hope of attracting moderate voices and leadership to the controversy surrounding the halibut charter industry in Alaska. In spite of federal control and management of the halibut resource, it is Alaska’s communities that are being divided by the shrill and undisciplined voices of debate. We should have the right, and responsibility, to secure peace amongst our commercial industries without the influence of those whose views of public resources have no regard for the history and delicacy of coastal Alaska economy.
In the halibut charter controversy much has been made about the public owning this resource and having the highest priority for access to it. This is widely accepted as true and to the extent that a person catches halibut, without being aided by any commercial business entity, there has been no attempt to diminish that access. It is also true that halibut plays a critical role in Alaska’s maritime economy. As a result, unregulated access public access to halibut, through any commercial enterprise, can be a threat to the stability of coastal communities.
For proof of this we need look no further than the fact that 100% of the maximum sustained yield of the halibut resource is caught every year. Commercial enterprises do this either by bring the resource to the public or bringing the public to the resource. Since both the commercial and the charter fleets provide public access to the resource for a fee, and most of the people who eat halibut don’t come to Alaska, it is hardly fair to construe either industry as having the strongest link to the public’s right of access. Either way, with 100% use, you cannot escape the fact that changing the proportion of harvest between 2 types of commercial enterprises cannot happen without economic damage. This is clearly what is happening with a regulated commercial fishing industry and an unregulated charter fishing industry.
But we cannot deceive ourselves that the halibut controversy today is strictly about this. Some people are promoting individual access rights to the resource as a logical extension of public ownership of the resource. This distortion ignores the absolute right of public government to limit individual acts. It also masquerades an unregulated and unlimited commercial charter industry as indispensable to public ownership of the resource regardless of the consequences to others.
For several decades our highest courts have wrestled with state programs that limit some public access to seafood in seemingly stark contrast to constitutional language which reserves Alaska’s fish and game resources ‘to the people’. It is perhaps unfortunate that a small number of justices have been allowed to determine the meaning of this based on legal precedents for interpreting the literal words of the constitution as opposed to a serious review of the historical intent and mind set of its framers and citizens at that time. The living memory and historical record of our first constitutional convention clearly display the widely popular public sentiment of removing control of the salmon resource from the monopolizing hands of lower 48 corporations. The control was to be reinvested in the public, conceived primarily as those people who worked in the commercial fishing industry in maritime communities of the state. Further proof of that mind set occurred during the early 70’s when Alaskans fully supported a constitutional amendment which allowed programs that limited public access to seafood for the purpose of promoting economic stability. In spite of reserving fish resources ‘to the people’ in the constitution, earlier Alaskans recognized that coastal economies could not withstand unlimited numbers of transient fishermen coming here for the summer and competing for the resource.
The high mobility of the world’s population and the increasing attraction of sport fishing in the growing tourism sector, have put the halibut resource industries in the same vulnerable spot that salmon was 40 years ago. Because the overall harvest is clearly limited some action must be taken. There is no alternative for the charter fleet except to limit themselves in some fashion or reallocate the resource from the traditional commercial fleet.
Significant numbers of Alaskans are involved in this controversy and it is important that our state leaders understand the debate. Regardless of past court decisions, questions of federal authority, or strong philosophical arguments in the media, we cannot hope for peaceful progress or wise leadership from the state without acknowledging one fundamental economic reality: Very simply stated, when a seafood resource is utilized at 100% of its capacity, reallocation of harvest opportunity between commercial business groups cannot occur without financial loss. The reality of that financial jeopardy should impose a sense of fairness on us, which transcends simplistic debate over public access issues that remain unsolved even at the highest judicial levels.
At this point there is movement toward limiting the halibut charter industry and it is likely that the state will have a role in designing and implementing a manageable program. If we are to make headway on this with some clarity of purpose and understanding, we must lower the volume of those voices who say that any tourist arriving here has a higher right to access halibut than a coastal community resident who has been selling halibut to the public for decades. That mindset is proving to be a major stumbling block at the NPFMC in solving the halibut access problem and does a grave disservice to the good faith efforts of long time charter and commercial fishermen trying to work things out.
here are very straightforward ways to move the charter fleet into fully regulated status while remaining in harmony with the public and the traditional commercial halibut fishing industry. The state can aid in this effort by promoting the same vision for Alaska’s seafood resources that our constitutional framers saw 50 years ago. That vision is relatively simple: Corporate interests will not dominate access to and control of our seafood resources; and some types of public access are justifiably limited to protect the seafood economy of coastal Alaska.
Elements of a workable halibut charter plan
1. Individual quotas (ITQ) can be adopted that recognize and reward different levels of charter activity over time. This must be done in as simple of a fashion as possible which leads either to establishing a system where qualifying participants are ranked individually and awarded rights according to personal history, or a system of several different classes of historical participation where individuals within each class are awarded rights equally.
2. The ITQ program must not be forced into the same monitoring, accounting and compliance program that the commercial fleet has under IFQs. It is far too burdensome to accomplish, extremely expensive to implement, are far too spread out to provide accuracy. Regardless of the license program adopted, a simple way to provide visual monitoring, compliance, and accounting – is to provide each authorized charter boat with lip tags for halibut which are fastened to the jaw prior to docking and must be left on until removed at processing. The tags would be designed to make re-use impossible. Research and monitoring efforts would be greatly enhanced – as the tags would be clearly coded and numbered for each business. The tags could also be colored to indicate the category of license awarded as discussed in #1 above. There could be great variety in the configuration and uses. It would make ITQs transferable to other qualified operator by the simple sale of lip tags and answer many problems associated with inability to fish or needing more ITQ quota during a season. Conversion of commercial halibut IFQ to a specified number of lip tags would also be possible if the program was designed around harvesting halibut according to numbers of fish and average weight – instead of actual weights such as in the IFQ program.
3. If the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council adopts a program that brings the charter fleet into compliance with the existing guideline harvest levels (GHL) there will be no reallocation from the commercial fishing fleet and the subject of compensation will be moot. If the council either forces reallocation by raising the GHL or makes provision for future conversion of halibut from the commercial long line fleet to the charter sector – the question of fair compensation will be a central point of controversy and certainly the subject for litigation considering all the conventional loans outstanding in the fishing fleets for halibut IFQs. If the notion of fair compensation prevails as a result of reallocation, the state may have to decide what role to play in imposing or collecting fees to cover the costs of such a program. Regardless of the mechanism, it would be helpful for the state leadership to declare an interest now in helping to implement a financial accounting program if it helps secure an ending to the halibut charter controversy.
4. Many long time commercial halibut fishermen and charter boat operators would support a system that is designed somewhat as follows:
ITQs based on (4-6) levels of active participation during the qualifying years.
Fee program to compensate IFQ fleet for reallocation into new ITQ system
Lip tags for annual ITQs determined by license category and transferable
Accounting system based on numbers of fish with average weights – not pounds
A set GHL % of the MSY adjusted strictly through numbers of lip tags issued
Mechanism for converting IFQs to ITQs through a lip tag conversion program
Posted by Flatfish at 5:51 PM
Friday, April 20, 2007
ADF&G, NPFMC, NMFS, IPHC, NOAA, ACA, NACO, RFA, WHAT THE HELL? NONE OF US WILL LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE AN END TO THIS.
Email your neighborhood commercial and tell them its time to push A modified IFQ plan and put this behind us. An entrepreneur friend of mine asked why he would invest in a fishery that wants to take fish from the commercials, customers from me and then tax me to help pay for it all! Heaven help us. I'm outa here if I can find a buyer.
Posted by Flatfish at 4:43 PM
RE: Charter Vessel Halibut Comments
Dear Ms. Salveson:
As a recreational fisherman, I object to the proposed regulations to reduce the guideline harvest level for Pacific halibut in the guided sport charter sector in Area 2C. The recreational halibut fishery in this area is critically important to the local economy and brings non-resident anglers from across the entire nation to Alaska. As it is currently written, the proposed rule will modify the daily bag limit from 2 fish per day to 1 fish any size and 1 fish smaller than 32 inches and stands to severely disrupt this important historic fishery. My opposition to this action is outlined in the following points.
1) Proposed rule is a misuse of guideline harvest limit (GHL). GHL’s set forth in 50 CFR 300.65(c)were established to monitor the halibut charter fleet not to restrict its activity or growth. Downward adjustments to GHL’s are only to be taken when there is a decline in Pacific halibut abundance.
2) Proposed rule is based on incomplete data. NMFS is using data developed through Alaska’s Statewide Harvest Surveys (SWHS) to support the proposed rule. At this time, SWHS data from the 2006 season are preliminary projections and will not be finalized until August of 2007. It is not appropriate for NMFS to take such drastic action using incomplete data.
3) Proposed rule will discriminate against non-resident anglers. The vast majority of non-resident anglers that travel to Alaska to fish for halibut do so in Area 2C. The proposed regulations will disproportionately affect the non-resident anglers that fish this area and damage the traditional charter fleet supported by these fishermen.
4) Proposed rule fails to take into consideration growth of the sector. When GHL’s were implemented, levels were set to accommodate growth in this sector. Since the GHL was put into effect in 2003, it has been exceeded every year; hence, it was never set appropriately and set to be exceeded.
Growth of the charter fleet harvest in Area 2C has increased, on average, less than 1% annually with only higher increases in recent years. This gradual and expected increase is consistent with discussion during the development of GHL’s.
5) Proposed rule fails to impose restrictions on commercial fishing sector. Under the proposed rule, fishing reductions will only be implemented on the charter sector of the fishery. The recreational halibut fishery is far more valuable than commercial halibut landings yet the guided sector is restricted
to an allocation less than 20% of the poundage allocated for commercial bycatch. A more efficient approach would impose management measures to reduce waste in the form of commercial bycatch and use the savings to accommodate the natural growth of the guided sector harvest.
Thank for your consideration,
Posted by Flatfish at 8:15 AM
Monday, April 9, 2007
Dear NACO Member,
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), has proposed a rule that would restrict the harvest of halibut by persons fishing on a guided sport charter vessel in International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Area 2C. The current sport fishing catch or bag limit of two halibut per day is proposed to be changed for a person sport fishing on a charter vessel in Area 2C to require that at least one of the two fish taken in a day
be no more than 32 inches in length and are requesting comments on the rule The intended effect of this action is a reduction in the poundage of halibut harvested by the guided sport charter vessel sector in Area 2C.
Current regulations applicable to sport fishing for halibut in all IPHC areas in Alaska are contained in section 25 of the 2007 annual
management measures ( 72 FR 11792 ; March 14, 2007). These regulations include the following restrictions per person sport fishing:
1. A single line with no more than two hooks attached or a spear;
2. A daily bag limit of two halibut of any size;
3. A possession limit of two daily bag limits; and
4. A sport fishing season of February 1 through December 31.
DATES: Written comments must be received by April 23, 2007.
ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS,
Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802 1668;
Hand deliver to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK;
Fax: 907-586 7557;
E-mail: 0648-AV47-PR-HAL@noaa.gov Include in the subject line of the e-mail the following document identifier:
"Charter Vessel Halibut 0648-AV47". E-mail comments with or without attachments are limited to 5 megabytes; or
Webform at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov
Follow the instructions at that site for submitting comments.
Copies of the Draft Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/RIR/IRFA) prepared
for this action are available from NMFS at the above address or from the NMFS Alaska Region website at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jay Ginter or Jason Gasper, (907) 586-7228 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Posted by Flatfish at 9:50 AM
Friday, April 6, 2007
ALASKA REGIONAL OFFICE
Home | News Releases | News
National Marine Fisheries Service
P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, Alaska 99802-1668
Sheela McLean, (907) 586-7032
April 6, 2007
NOAA Fisheries proposes regulations for guided sport halibut fishing in SE Alaska
NOAA Fisheries (National Marine Fisheries Service) today proposed new regulations in the Federal Register for guided sport halibut fishing in Southeast Alaska.
A public comment period on the proposed new regulations started today and ends April 23, 2007.
The proposed regulations would restrict the harvest of halibut by anglers fishing on a guided sport charter vessel in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 2C in Southeast Alaska. The proposed regulations would change the current sport fishing bag limit of two halibut per day to require that at least one of the two fish taken in a day be no more than 32 inches (81.3 cm) long.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates that the 32-inch maximum size restriction for one of two potential halibut taken by charter vessel clients would reduce the overall harvest in Area 2C by the charter vessel sector by about 425,000 pounds (192.8 metric tons).
Regulation language proposes the following change to regulations at 50 CFR 300.65 for anglers fishing from a charter vessel in Area 2C only:
Charter vessel anglers would be allowed a daily bag limit of two halibut per sport fishing client on a charter vessel operating in Area 2C provided that at least one of the two halibut retained is no longer than 32 in (81.3 cm) with its head on. If only one halibut is retained by the sport fishing client, it could be of any length. Note that a charter vessel is a vessel used for hire in sport fishing for halibut, but not including a vessel without a hired operator.
Charter vessel anglers would not be allowed to possess halibut on board a charter vessel in Area 2C that has been mutilated or otherwise disfigured in a manner that prevents the determination of size or number of fish. Filleted halibut may be possessed on board the charter vessel provided that the entire carcass, with the head and tail connected as single piece, is retained on board until all fillets are offloaded. This requirement allows enforcement officers to determine the size of landed halibut.
The regulation would be in place for the entire sport fishing halibut season which is authorized through December 31, 2007.
This proposed regulatory change is necessary to reduce the halibut harvest in the charter vessel sector while minimizing negative impacts on this sector, its sport fishing clients, and the coastal communities that serve as home ports for the fishery. The intended effect of this action is a reduction in pounds of halibut harvested by the guided sport charter vessel sector in Area 2C.
Methods for submitting public comments are in the proposed rule.
The Draft Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and other, related information can be seen at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov.
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, please visit our websites at www.fakr.noaa.gov or at www.afsc.noaa.gov.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
Posted by CaptBob at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
NORTH PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Area 2C and Area 3A Guideline Harvest Level Motion
April 1, 2007
Area 2C GHL Management Measures
Alternative 1. No action
Alternative 2. Implement one or more of the following management measures to reduce charter halibut
harvests to the Guideline Harvest Level.
Option 1. No more than one trip per vessel per day.
Option 2. No harvest by skipper and crew; line limits (number of lines = numbers of clients).
Option 3. Annual limits of four or five or six fish per angler
Option 4. Reduced bag limits of one fish per day for May, June, July, August, September, or the entire
Option 5. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish larger than 45” or 50”.
Option 6. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish less than 32 inches.
Option 7. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish either less than 32” or greater than
Option 8. Combination of Options 1, 2, & 5 (one trip; skipper/crew; trophy 2nd fish)
Option 9. Combination of Options 1, 2, & 6 (one trip; skipper/crew; <32” 2nd fish)
Option 10. Combination of Options 1, 2, & 7 (one trip; skipper/crew; <32” or trophy 2nd fish)
Option 11. Combination of Options 1, 2, 3, & 5 (one trip; skipper/crew; annual limits; trophy 2nd fish)
Option 12. Combination of Options 1, 2, 3, & 6 (one trip; skipper/crew; annual limits; <32” 2nd fish)
Option 13. Combination of Options 1, 2, 3, & 7 (one trip; skipper/crew; annual limits; <32” or trophy
Three options were considered and rejected for future action: 1) Closing the season after August 15,
Sept 1, or Sept 15; 2) Closing one or more days of the week to halibut fishing; and 3) A minimum size
limit of 32 inches.
The Council requested that staff compare options relative to status quo (Alt 1) and Option 6 (NMFS
preferred alternative for 2007) and discuss the possibility that the GHL step down provisions may be
triggered in 2008 as a result of a reduced CEY in Area 2C. This is to inform the public that the Council
may choose to select management measures to achieve a harvest of either the current GHL of 1.432 M
lbs or the step down of 1.217 M lbs for Area 2C.
Area 3A GHL Management Measures
Alternative 1. No action
Alternative 2. Implement one or more of the following management measures to reduce charter halibut
harvests to the Guideline Harvest Level.
Option 1. No more than one trip per vessel per day.
Option 2. No harvest by skipper and crew; line limits (number of lines = numbers of clients).
Option 3. Limits of four or five or six fish per angler.
Option 4. Reduced bag limits of one fish per day for May, June, July, August, or the entire season.
Option 5. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish larger than 45” or 50”.
Option 6. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish less than 32”, 34”, or 36”.
Option 7. A two fish bag limit with one fish any size and one fish less than 32” or larger than 45” or
Posted by Flatfish at 7:34 PM
NORTH PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Motion for Compensated Reallocation between Commercial and Charter Sectors in Areas 2C and 3A halibut resource. Unless a mechanism for transfer between sectors is established, the Council will continue to serve as the arbitrator and the existing environment of instability and conflict will continue. The Council seeks to address this instability while balancing the needs of all who depend on the halibut resource for food, sport, or livelihood.
Action 2. Implement measures to allow compensated reallocation from the commercial
charter sector to the charter halibut sector
Element 1 Entity/Structures to provide for compensated reallocation
Option 1. government - common pool
Suboption 1. state
Suboption 2. federal
Option 2. regional (2C or 3A) private non-profit (PNP) charter associations/entities - common pool
Option 3. individual - private
Suboption 1. persons holding a sport fishing guide business license from the state
Suboption 2. persons holding a guided sport halibut moratorium license (upon implementation)
Element 2 Method for Purchase/Lease
Option 1. state – common pool
Suboption 1. loan
Suboption 2. bonding
Option 2. federal – common pool
Suboption 1. loan
Suboption 2. buyout program (similar to SE seine buyback program)
Option 3. regional private non-profit – common pool
Suboption 1. loan
Suboption 2. commercial bond
Option 4. individual - private
Suboption 1. loan
Element 3 Revenue Stream
Non-self assessment revenue streams will be for a defined period and end after the loan or bond is paid off, i.e. continuous open-ended revenue streams are to be avoided.
There needs to be a link between the charter business operators and the cost of increasing the charter pool. (If the charter business operators do not experience the cost of increasing the charter pool, there
will not be a feedback loop to balance the market system.)
page 2 4/1/07
Option 1. state
Suboption 1. charter stamp
Suboption 2. self-assessment
option 1. fee is based on number of clients
option 2. fee is based on number of fish
Suboption 3. business license fee/surcharge
Option 2. federal
Suboption 1. federal halibut stamp
Suboption 2. moratorium permit fee
Suboption 3. self-assessment
option 1. Fee is based on number of clients
option 2. Fee is based on number of fish
Option 3. regional private non-profit – self assessment
Suboption 1. fee is based on number of clients
Suboption 2. fee is based on number of fish
Element 4 Sector Floor Ranges
The percentages are based on the combined commercial and charter catch limit. These are intended to establish a minimum amount that will always be available to each sector.
A. commercial: 60 – 75%
2C: 12 – 16%
3A: 13 – 15%
Note: These ranges should not be construed as endorsement of allocation ranges.
Element 5 Restrictions on transferability of commercial quota share
Option 1. Limits on purchase
A. entities purchasing for a common pool:
Suboption 1. limited annually to a percentage of the amount of QS transferred during
the previous year
option 1. during the first 3 years: 30 – 50%
option 2. after the first 3 years: 20 – 50%
Suboption 2. limitation would be based on block size. Block size restrictions may vary
based on vessel size class
(These suboptions are not intended to be mutually exclusive.)
B. individual: subject to the current ownership cap and block restrictions associated with
commercial quota share
Option 2. Limits on leasing
Suboption 1. an individual may not own or control more than the amount equal to the
current setline ownership cap converted to the number of fish in each area
(currently 1% of the setline catch limit in 2C or ½% in 3A)
Suboption 2. an individual may not own or control more than 2,000, 5,000, or 10,000
fish. (Note: examine this as a percentage of the catch limit once allocations are
page 3 4/1/07
Element 6 Mechanics for converting commercial quota share into Guided Angler Fish (GAF)
1. An entity must meet the eligibility requirement under element 2 to participate in the Guided Angler Fish (GAF) program. (i.e., an entity must have a sport fishing guide business license and/or a halibut moratorium license, or be a designated charter association/entity or branch of the government, to participate in the GAF program.)
2. These qualifying entities may purchase commercial QS and request NMFS the issue annual IFQs generated by these shares as Guided Angler Fish.
3. Qualified entities harvesting GAF while participating in the guided sport halibut fishery are exempt from landing and use restrictions associated with commercial IFQ fishery, but subject to the landing and use provisions detailed below.
4. GAF would be issued in numbers of fish. The conversion between annual IFQ and GAF would be based on average weight of halibut landed in each region’s charter halibut fishery (2C or 3A) during the previous year as determined by ADF&G. The long-term plan may require further conversion to some other form (e.g., angler days).
5. Commercial fishermen who do not hold a sport fishing guide business license and/or
moratorium permit may lease up to 10% of their annual IFQs for use as GAF.
6. Commercial fishermen who hold QS and a sport fishing guide business license and/or a halibut moratorium license may convert all or a portion of their commercial QS to GAF on a yearly basis if they own and fish it themselves on their own vessel. Commercial and charter fishing may not be conducted during the same trip.
7. Subleasing of GAF would be prohibited.
8. GAF holders may request NMFS convert unused GAF into IFQ pounds for harvest in
compliance with commercial fishing regulations provided the GAF holder qualifies under the commercial IFQ regulations.
9. Unused GAF would revert back to pounds of IFQ at the end of the year and be subject to the underage provisions applicable to their underlying commercial QS.
10. All compensated reallocation would be voluntary based using willing seller and willing buyer.
Suboption. Pro-rata reduction and compensation.
11. Guided angler fish derived from commercial QS may not be sold into commerce, i.e., all sport regulations remain in effect.
12. Guided angler fish derived from commercial QS may not be used to harvest fish in excess of a
2 fish total bag limit on any given day.
Posted by Flatfish at 7:07 PM
Council motion – Halibut charter moratorium 3/31/07
Council Motion on Charter Halibut Moratorium in Area 2C and 3A
March 31, 2007
The Council recommends the following as the final preferred alternative for the charter halibut moratorium (limited entry) action in IPHC Areas 2C and 3A.
Alternative 2. Implement a moratorium on entry into the charter halibut fisheries in Areas 2C and 3A using a control date of December 9, 2005.
Features of the proposed moratorium (limited entry) program:
Issue 1 Permits may be held by U.S. citizens or U.S. businesses with 75 percent U.S. ownership of the business. Businesses3 may receive multiple permits due to charter halibut activity by vessels reported by the businesses in ADF&G logbooks. Initial permit recipients may be “grandfathered” below the U.S. ownership level and above proposed use caps until any change in ownership of the business
Issue 2. Permit would be designated for Area 2C or Area 3A. If a business owner qualifies for a
permit in both areas based on the history from a single vessel, he/she would be issued a separate permit
for both areas. Only one permit could be used on any given trip.
Issue 3. Permit would be issued to an ADF&G licensed fishing guide business owner.
Issue 4. Permit applicant would be required to sign an affidavit attesting that all legal requirements were met.
Issue 5. Transfers of permits (permanent) for vessels that qualified at trip levels of 15 and above in Area 2C and Area 3A would be allowed up to use caps. Permits issued below trip levels of 15 in Area 2C and Area 3A would be non-transferable.
Issue 6. Leasing of permits would not be allowed.
Issue 7. Permit Endorsement for Number of Halibut Clients on Board
Highest number on any trip in 2004 or 2005, with minimum endorsement of 4.
Permits issued under the military hardship provision would receive a halibut client endorsement of 6.
Issue 8. Permits may be stacked up to use caps.7
Issue 9. Evidence of participation is ADF&G saltwater logbook entry with bottomfish statistical
area, rods, or boat hours.8
Issue 10. Qualification period
Option 10.1. Each licensed guide business owner(s) who reported a minimum of 5 bottomfish logbook trips during 2004 or 2005 and year prior to implementation9 would be issued a permit(s) based on the number of trips summed for all vessels in his best year of the qualification period, unless an unavoidable circumstance occurred. A business would be limited to the number of permits equal to the highest number of vessels used in any one year during the qualifying period.
Example: a business owner operated 3 vessels with 6, 10, and 8 trips, respectively (summed trips = 24) in his best year. He would be issued 3 permits under a 5 trip minimum (24/5 = 4, but the maximum number of vessels in that year is 3).
Issue 11. Use caps, with grandfather11 provision. The AFA 10% ownership rule for affiliation12 will be applied to determine the number of permits associated with an entity under the use cap.
Option 2. 5 permits
Issue 12. Community provisions for Area 2C and 3A communities previously identified under
GOA FMP Amendment 66
A Community Quota Entity (CQE), representing a community in which 10 or fewer active13 charter
businesses terminated trips in the community in each of the years 2004 and 2005 may request limited
Area 2C – use cap of 4 requested permits per eligible community.
Area 3A – use cap of 7 requested permits per eligible community.
Overall use caps for all CQEs in a management area are 2 times those selected for the qualifying
CQE requested permit use cap for each area. (Staff note: result is overall use cap of 8 permits for
each CQE in Area 2C and 14 permits for each CQE in Area 3A).
Provisions for CQE requested permits:
• Designated for the area in which the community represented by the CQE is located.
• Endorsed for 6 clients.
• Not allowed to be sold (i.e., permanently transferred).
• Under reporting requirements, the CQE must identify the recipient of the permit prior to issuance.
• The requested CQE permit must be used in the community represented by the CQE (the trip must originate or terminate in the CQE community).
The Council also recommends that NMFS issue interim permits to licensed fishing guide business owners appealing their permit status. (Staff note: NOAA GC will develop an approach to implement the Council’s intent with regard to interim permits and provide these recommendations as an informational report at the June 2007 Council meeting. The Council expressed an interest in limiting the issuance of interim permits only to those claims that have provided legitimate documentation and have a basis for success.)
This Post taken from the NPFMC website 4/3/07
Posted by Flatfish at 9:08 AM
Sunday, April 1, 2007
This is a preliminary report on the moratorium information in brief. I will pass on the complete Council Motion when I have an electric copy for ease of production. In a Nutshell this is what is covered in the moratorium.
Based on 5 or more trips in 2004 or 2005, and in the year prior to implementation (you have to still be active with more than 5 trips) you will get a permit. If you have less than 15 trips your permit may not be transferrable, but you can fish it forever or until you die (like we will probably have to do), or until a Permanent Solution supercedes it, like IFQ’s.
We are hoping it will pass through approval in time for implementation in 2009.
We now have to follow it into NMFS Juneau office and then on to Washington DC. to make sure it doesn’t get pigeon-holed somewhere. I will inform you where and when we need letters sent in support.
A moratorium permit is for Area 2C or 3A so you have to stay where you are at, or sell your 3A when you move to Sitka and buy a 2C permit. (Who would ever want to do that?)
The permit will be issued to the guide Business owner.
You cannot lease your permit to another person.
Your permit will be endorsed for the maximum number of halibut clients you carried on any trip in 2004 or 2005 and the minimum number is 4 people.
You can accumulate up to 5 permits in a business, those original businesses that have over that number will be grandfathered in but if any permits are sold from that business the permits sold will lose their grandfather rights and the rest of the permits will be still grandfathered. That business with the remaining grandfathered permits cannot then buy more permits up to their original number again, once any permits are sold the remaining number is limited up to the use cap of 5 permits.
Each business who reported 5 bottomfish trips during 2004 or 2005 and the year prior to implementation would be issued a permit based on the number of trips summed for all vessels in his best year (2004, or 2005) unless an unavoidable circumstance occurred. A business would be limited to the number of permits equal to the highest number of vessels used in any year during the qualifying period.
CQE program – the council allows communities with less than 10 active charter businesses in 2004 and 2005 to request up to 4 permits in 2C or 7 permits in 3A. These permits will not be transferable. They must be used in that community.
In my rough math (I am no Rex Murphy) I figure that of the total 662 boats in area 3A, 561 boats qualified for moratorium permits with 51 not qualifying and of the 561 boats qualified 90 will be non transferable. Some day we will have only 431 boats in area 3A
In 2C there are 761 boats total, 689 boats qualified and some day there will be only 562.
So we have a moratorium passed and now we wait until it is written and then approved in DC. by the Secretary of Commerce. This action passed the council with no dissention. A strong message.
The GHL analysis was revised for 2C to include more restrictions and should get final action in June at the Council meeting in Sitka. The council began an analysis for 3A and it may or may not have a review in June (more likely in October in Anchorage). We may see the GHL restrictions implemented here in 3A as early as 2008 under Emergency Rule by NMFS. In 2C they are proposing an Emergency Rule for implementation in June 2007 which will hold 2C charters closer to the GHL. Also in 2C the Total Catch for charters may be reduced due to the “Stair-Step Down” clauses in the GHL which takes more fish from the charters and makes the GHL restrictions even more harsh. We need to start thinking about what we want for 2008 Emergency Rule in this area, I testified against the analysis initiation now but then I had other officers (Tim Evers, Larry McQuarrie) in the Halibut Charter Coalition of Alaska testify that we had a change of heart (at lunch) to support beginning an analysis only because to start the analysis now will give us more time to prepare for it when it does happen. Kinda had to decide if we want to keep denying it is coming or if we want to know now so we can get ready. The latter became our choice of poison.
The Halibut Charter Coalition of Alaska of which Homer Charter Association is a sponsoring association, did not prepare any position on an allocation change and the stakeholder’s committee had a position but not enough according to Greg Sutter. We did not think there was much chance to see the council support another allocation adjustment beyond the Advisory Panel’s recommendation (the Stakeholder Committee’s recommendation I add) so we did not testify in any support outside the AP’s recommendation except to move it up some, no numbers were developed by us. We talked to several council members and commercial players and were told there was not much support beyond the AP’s recommendation which was moving 2C’s percentage of the combined commercial/charter catch level from 13% to 16% and to adjust 3A’s combined catch level from 14% to 15%. There was talk about making the GHL a floor, no less than what is is now, and there was Greg’s position for 2C’s to go to 18.2% and 3A’s to go to 15.3%. We know it ended up with Ed Rasmuson's approved motion to set up the Allocation Initial Review at the Oct 07 meeting and Final Review at the Dec 07 meeting. Under Element 1 they also added a Formula of 125% of average harvest of 2001-2005, translated to %: Area 2C = 17% and Area 3A = 15% (about exactly what we figired we were gonna get). Under Element 3 they also added something about the Commercial/Charter Working Group Recommendations on Compensated Reallocation, the work we took part in added below.
I was placed on a work group made up of 4 commercial and 4 charter members (2 from ACA and 2 from HCCA) to draft a start to the discussion of how to develop a recompensation program for any future reallocation from the commercial quota holders to us and in what ways we can do it. Attached is the outline we created for your review but I know we will have more work to do in explaining it and then it goes to the “Stakeholders Committee” and then to the Advisory Panel, and then to the council so it will not be black and white by then, probably black and blue if we can hold it together at all. This opportunity to look into the ways to create a program that lets us buy more fish, how we do it, and how we pay for it was right up our ally, We have kept informed of the workings of the group that met with the government loan program administrators and we do have some experience with the commercial IFQ program for both the program itself and the loans available in the federal government through our involvement on the original charter IFQ committee back in 2000.
The commercial group really wanted us to agree that after this council makes the allocation adjustment discussed above there will be full compensation to the commercial fleet from now on. we cannot make an agreement for you but the message was clear, they don’t want to see any more quota “Taken” from them in the future. We will probably see this one last adjustment of allocation and then that is it. How we buy more and then pay of it is still wrapped around either an individual IFQ “new charter program will be Guided Angler Fish or (GAF)” with individual ownership or a group or pool GAF with no individual ownership. We are still in the game.
I feel that with the regrouping of the original charter players of Tim Evers, Larry McQuarrie, and myself we made a real strong impression at this meeting. HCCA (DCCA and the Prince of Wales “Prince” and HCA) members are recognized as informed, reasonable, and credible and no other charters can claim the long history of involvement like we can. We missed John Goodhand, he was laid up in Fairbanks with a bad back, making his contribution via the phone, but Ken Larson from the Prince William Sound Charterboat Owners Association more than made up for John with his involvement. Ken kept all Valdez, Whittier, and Seward charters represented and was essential to us by his word processing, tireless energy, and mental support throughout this endeavor.
I want to thank Sean and Gerri Martin, Gary Ault, Mike Swan, Joe Svmberski, Mike Coates, Roark Brown, Chuck and Joanne Collins for taking time out of their schedules and attending, testifying and supporting the others and especially the team of Tim Evers, Larry McQuarrie, and myself. We arranged a meeting with the Director of Sport Fish, Kelly Hepler and some of his staff for informal discussions with the charter members present which was real informative, other conversations were made possible with the Commissioner of F&G with Chuck & Joanne Collins while in the council meeting which always impresses those decision makers when they hear “Your “ stories and concerns about the impacts of their decisions. This is how it works, and I really do thank you all for your continued support of my efforts, I always learn a lot from you during those discussions and it helps keep my energy up when I feel overwhelmed. Many council people were expressing surprise and gratitude for my involvement again. I forget how much headway we have made for this industry and even though I have my issues as a result of my involvement it was good to be “Back on the floor”. I have established a lot of credibility and many realize my knowledge of the industry is extensive. Thank you all for your support in every way.
Posted by CaptBob at 9:45 PM
Friday, March 30, 2007
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The rules for Alaska halibut charter fishing could be changing. This week, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering halting the growth of the industry by creating a moratorium on new halibut charter operators. For some, that's a great idea."Once we have the moratorium, we will define the fleet and we will have a more invested nature, or nature of the fleet," said Larry McQuarrie with Sportsman's Cove Lodge.Silver King Charters' Donald Westlund wants to see the changes made soon."We need to get this done, I'm getting too old," Westlund said.The council's advisory panel heard testimony today on a proposal that would give operators who fished in 2004 or 2005 a permit. Those who fished more than 20 days could sell the permit. Those who were under the 20-day mark, but still fished at least five days, are allowed to fish, but can't sell the permit. "Holders of restricted class permits will not be able to convert the value of their sizeable investments and retirement funding and will in fact be stuck with a valueless asset. It reminds me of Enron stock," said Rex Murphy of Winter King Charters.The proposal is in response to concerns that the charter catch in Southeast and Southcentral exceeded the guideline harvest level.For Whittier fisherman Rich West, it's potentially devastating. He started his business, Rich Adventures, last year."It's going to put me out of business. I won't qualify for any fishing rights for halibut if this moratorium goes through," West said.Those who oppose the moratorium would rather see charter operators get a bigger slice of the catch, likely at the expense of commercial fishermen. Charter companies are split. Some could leave the meeting hooking a valuable commodity, while others will be skunked. The advisory panel will make a recommendation to the full council, and the council is expected to hear more public testimony and make a decision later this week.
Posted by Flatfish at 7:20 PM
Charter operators say while they are pleased that the federal government did not accept and implement the proposal to cut the number of fish charter fishermen can bring home this summer, concerns about what the North Council will do instead continue to haunt the charter industry.
Commercial fishermen, however, counter that the growth of the charter fleet take has come out of their pockets, since the charter fleet has exceeded its harvest limits.
Homer’s charter fleet, one of the largest in the state, has been under the eye of the North Council for years as commercial fishermen have lobbied for some method of enforcing limits on the charter industry’s catch. A guideline harvest limit was put in place years ago, but the 3A fleet exceeded that harvest limit by 8.5 percent last year, and as yet, there are few methods in place for controlling the charter fleet’s take.
Earlier this winter, the Halibut Commission took the unusual move of imposing a one-fish bag limit for half of June in area 3A, and longer in Southeast Alaska, where the guideline harvest limit was exceeded by some 40 percent last year.
The Secretary of Commerce, however, did not approve the bag limit reduction.
Now the issue is volleyed back to the North Council, though given its lengthy public process for implementing regulations in the fishing industry, it would likely be several years from the date a decision was made before restrictions made it on the books.
The state of Alaska, which has little say in halibut regulation given that it is a federally managed fish, has restricted the number of fish captain and crew can take in both Southcentral and Southeast Alaska.
In addition, a laundry list of possible restrictions are at the council’s disposal, including the recently rejected one-fish-a-day limit. The council could also restrict the charter season, or the days in the week a charter could fish. An Individual Fish Quota Share program is still on the table, though a previous plan to get the charter fleet to join the IFQ program was rejected just prior to becoming law after a decade-long review process.
The North Council is likely to vote this week on a proposed moratorium on new charter boats until a decision is made. The moratorium, as it is currently written, would allow only those boats that were operating as of Dec. 9, 2005.
While charter fleet operators haven’t expressed much opposition to the moratorium, they have fought any restrictions on the charter industry that aren’t based on the total number of fish allowable for catch in any given year. While the commercial fleet’s allowable take rises and falls with the number of fish available for catch, the charter’s fleet’s allowable catch is capped. It can decrease if halibut stocks fall, but it can’t rise. This year, for example, the area 3A stocks expanded significantly, and the charter fleet’s allowable catch rose as a result. The charter fleet’s did not, and operators argue that if their allowable catch rose and fell with abundance at the same level the commercial sector’s did, the fleet would not have exceeded its limits in recent years.
The North Council is expected to take up the halibut charter issue on Thursday.
Posted by Flatfish at 7:11 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2007
"The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish is evaluating the option of recommending the establishment of a sport fish guide limited entry program, and we would like to hear your comments."
Posted by Flatfish at 5:34 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Proposed listing as species in danger would restrict B.C. haul to 15,000 tonnes
Larry Pynn, Vancouver SunPublished: Thursday, March 15, 2007
A diminutive shark that is despised at home and relished abroad as the fish with British chips is about to swim into the international political spotlight.
Long the scourge of sport and commercial fishermen in B.C.'s temperate coastal marine waters, the spiny dogfish is proposed for listing under the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species due to declining stocks in areas such as Europe.
SMALL SHARK, BIG CONSERVATION CONCERN
The spiny dogfish is coming under increasing fishing pressure in the world, prompting international calls for its protection through the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Dogfish are sometimes marketed as rock salmon and sold in Europe for British fish and chips and in Germany as smoked belly flaps. Tail and fins go to the Asian market for shark fin soup.
Size at maturity (length in cm)
75 NW Atlantic
93.5 NE Pacific
83 NE Atlantic
60 NW Atlantic
40-50 NW Atlantic
60+ NW Pacific
35 NW Atlantic
Average litter size: 1-20 pups 2-15 NW Atlantic 2-11 Mediterranean
Posted by Flatfish at 8:08 PM
(FAX No Later Than 21 MAR 2007).
NPFMC ANCHORAGE MEETING (25-31 MAR 07) ATTENDANCE IS CRITICAL!
This is a must: support letters to NPFMC must be received by 21 March 07 so try to FAX them (FAX: 907-271-2817). Show up to testify at the meetings on 28 & 29 & 30 March for North Council. NPFMC takes note of our letters and tallies them up for pro and con actions in the Federal Register. SO JUST DO IT!
Suggested Bullets to include in your 1-page Letters to NPFMC: (Assuming you agree with any or all)
1) Who you are and what your business is, and for how long and where at.
2) You support establishment of a Halibut Charter Moratorium, with a 9 Dec 05 Control Date, ASAP!
3) You support using a 5 day trip threshold (or 0, 10, 15, 20) for qualification for inclusion in the Moratorium, with a secondary 20 day trip threshold for moratorium permit transferability. Use of 2004 or 2005 LogBook data is preferred.
4) You want an initial allocation that represents a fair share and is adequate enough to allow for a permanent solution.
5) Fair Allocation numbers need to be developed.
6) NPFMC already has all the data they need to establish a Permanent Solution and don’t need to keep going forward for more data collection and studies.
7) You strongly oppose any allocation delegation to ADF&G because their potential in-season management decisions could devastate your business. Their best schedule if this happens is to let us know what restrictions we face on March 1 each year. How can we sell seats when we don’t know what we are selling?
8) You want NPFMC to move as rapidly as possible to a Halibut Charter Permanent Solution that allows for individual business choices. It’s already been 14 years in the process and you want it resolved!
Posted by Flatfish at 7:53 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2007
DRAFT by Ed Rasmuson
March 6, 2007
A proposed solution to the Halibut Charter Gross Harvest Level (GHL) issue
Many of us on the Council, as well as in the audience, have sat through endless testimony concerning the allocation of the halibut resources between the commercial fishermen and the charter halibut industry. Many different suggestions and scenarios have been put forward, but in my opinion, they just nibble around the basic problem which is a realistic allocation of this finite resource.
A brief history leading up to this problem is in order. In 1993, Individual Fish Quotas (IFQs) were given to the existing halibut fishermen. Between 1995 and 1999, a GHL for the growing charter fishermen was proposed and adopted. Since then, the charter fleet has pierced this GHL in both Southeast (Area 2C) and South Central (Area 3A). This has led to a very contentious allocation fight between both users of this resource.
We have to come to a final solution to this situation right away as it is only going to get worse with time.
In the next 10 to 15 years, almost all IFQs will have been bought by second generation fishermen which will greatly exacerbate the problem because every commercial fisherman will have a vested financial interest in their IFQ.
Therefore, I propose the following approach which certainly can be modified. I have no pride of authorship.
First, make the existing GHL reflective of the current halibut harvests. The existing GHL was set on 125% of the 1995-1999 average harvest. However, that level does not reflect either current halibut abundance or current CB usage by sport participants. Updating the CB GHL to reflect the 2001-2005 harvest would be 1.9 M lbs in Area 2C and 4.1 M lbs in Area 3A. This better reflects the current abundance and catch.
Additionally, consider setting the allocation as a formula – 125% of the average harvest of 2001-2005, translated to percentage (17% 2C and 15% 3A). This is another option.
Second, link the charter boat GHL to the halibut CEY. This would float the CB GHL with abundance, similar to the commercial fishery, and establish separate accountability for each sector. The question here – is it better to have the allocation as a fixed poundage allocation or floating with halibut abundance? I prefer the latter.
Third, consider establishing a mechanism to increase the allocation above the baseline set under step 1 to reflect future guided angler/tourist demand.
March 6, 2007
a) Option for CB operators to fund the purchase of commercial halibut QS (willing buyer/willing seller) and permanently add an annual equivalent (in IFQ pounds) to the CB allocation. For example, using a low interest loan to add QS equivalent to 200,000 pounds to the Area 3A allocation, and QS equivalent to 300,000 pounds to the Area 2C CB allocation, with CB operators retiring the debt. Either a commercial bank or the State of Alaska would loan $10M to purchase the needed quota share (0.5 million pounds at $20 a pound). The loan would be repaid from a “tax” on halibut pounds landed by the charter industry. The tax rate and payback period would be determined based on the duration of the loan. For example, a rate of 25 cents per pound would generate nearly $1.5 million annually from the CB catch. The note for this loan would be issued and held by the State of Alaska. The “taxes” would be collected by the State and used to repay the loan. The “tax” could be increased or decreased depending how much commercial QS is needed to generate surplus funds to buy additional quota when needed. This would allow for a compensated reallocation between the commercial and CB sectors.
b) Fund repayment of the loan (described above) used to purchase commercial
halibut QS through a $10/halibut angler as a tag on their fishing license. The increased quota would be released into the general CB allocation pool. There are 250,000 to 300,000 halibut fishers annually. A $10 marine sport fish/halibut tag would generate between $2.5 to $3.0 M/year.
A regulatory change would be needed to allow the purchase and holding of halibut QS and make it available to the charter sector. For the Council, an amendment to halibut regulations would be needed to allow for entity, other than a “qualified person” to purchase, hold and fish QS. Additionally, state legislation would be required to set up a state entity to collect and pay back the loan through the tax program.
The unused CB GHL QS pool could be sold to Commercial C and D size vessels for entry level access. If the QS is to remain within the CB GHL pool, a lease would be allowed if it was projected that the full amount of CB quota would not be used in a year. This would assure that halibut does not go unused and is available to the consumer. If the amount of QS had grown too large through purchases for the CB fleet to use, the excess would be sold to entry level fishers who are qualified to hold commercial halibut IFQ. This QS would be limited to C/D vessel size category.
What I am attempting to do is keep it simple. We basically need to drain the swamp, i.e. raise the GHL, through the purchase of commercial IFQ before we can address other problems such as area-wide depletion, new charter boat entrants, etc.
March 6, 2007
This proposed solution coupled with a moratorium for charter boat entrants would go a long way toward solving this contentious issue. This approach, obviously, would require a willing “seller” i.e. commercial fishermen, and a willing “buyer” the state of Alaska. If
we make the existing GHL reflective of the current harvests, then the amount of IFQs that need to be purchased would be a lot less.
As a long time Alaskan, we need to put this behind us. We need to immediately start the steps to a lasting solution to the problem before it gets even larger than it currently is. Finally, we on the NPFMC have a lot of other issues to contend with. We cannot spend an inordinate amount of time on this issue or we will be sadly neglecting other pressing issues that could have a very dynamic effect on our fishing industry.
Posted by Flatfish at 9:15 AM