Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prefered Alternative

For discussion purposes by the Charter Industry

The following plan now before the Stakeholders and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is under consideration by the industry as our primary alternative for the long term solution for management of our industry.

There are certain options that we will discuss where options must be chosen.

The proposal follows:

ALTERNATIVE 6. Limited Entry Plan with Angler Days and charter allocation with limited access to commercial QS (purchase) and IFQ (leasing) for charter operators

Action: Implement an Angler Day Limited Entry Plan with charter allocation and limited access to commercial QS (purchase) and IFQ (leasing) for charter operators

Halibut Charter Limited Entry Permits

Element 1. Permits may be held by a U.S. citizen or a U.S. business with at least 75 percent U.S. ownership of the business. Businesses 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.

Element 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.

Element 3. Permit would be issued to the holder of a Guided Sport Moratorium (GSM) Permit

Element 4. Permit applicant would be required to sign an affidavit attesting that all legal requirements were met.

Element 5. Permit would carry an Endorsement for Angler Days based on logbook history during qualification years to be determined prior to and including 2005 (the control date year for the moratorium).

Option 8.1. Actual Angler Days averaged over a period of qualifying years

Option 8.2. Classes of Permits based on a tight range of Angler Days averaged over a
period of qualifying years: Example:
A Class 750 Angler Days or more
B Class 600 - 749 Angler Days
C Class 450 - 599 Angler Days
D Class 300 - 449 Angler Days
E Class 150- 299 Angler Days
F Class 61 - 149 Angler Days
G Class 60 or less Angler Days

Option 8.3. Placeholder for other options
Permits issued under the military hardship provision would receive an Angler Day endorsement to be determined.
Note: Military (Morale, Welfare, and Recreational) boats are not required to meet the qualification requirements of the program, but harvests still count against the Allocation.

Element 6. Annual permit renewal criteria
Option 6.1. Does not require renewal
Option 6.2. Must be renewed annually.
Option 6.3. Not renewable, if permit holder lets it expire
Option 6.4. Emergency medical exception

Program Management

Element 7. Angler Days, Initial issuance, leasing, transfers.
Provide for share-based assignment predicated on Angler Days.
Evidence of participation for determining Angler Day Endorsements is ADF&G saltwater
logbook entry with bottomfish statistical area, rods, or boat hours.
Initial issuance: Award number of Angler Day units from ADF&G logbooks that correspond to:
Suboption 1. Total Angler Days during best year during 1998-2005
Suboption 2. Average Angler Days during best 3 years from 1998 – 2005
Suboption 3. Placeholder for other options
Permit Transfers: Permits and endorsements may be transferred and may be stacked, up to use caps.
Endorsement 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
Permit Leases (in-season only; reverts to permit holder at beginning of next season)
Suboption 1. leasing is allowed limited to use caps
Suboption 2. not allowed, except for “unavoidable circumstance”
Endorsement leases:
Suboption 1. Allow leasing, limited to Angler Day endorsement caps
Suboption 2. Allow unlimited leasing
1. Permit endorsement of an angler day for every client fishing bottomfish/halibut in a day
2. "Unavoidable circumstances" will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis through the National Marine Fisheries Appeals Division, but includes medical emergencies, military exemptions, and constructive losses.

Element 8. Use caps and grandfather rights. The AFA 10% ownership rule for affiliation will be applied to determine the number of permits associated with an entity under the use cap.
Option 1. 5 Permits
Option 2. Placeholder for other options
Option 3. Grandfather rights below the U.S ownership level shall expire upon any
change in ownership of the business. Grandfather rights above ownership and/or use caps shall pass to successors to the business, until and unless elements of the business, i.e., vessels, are sold or spun off from the business. Grandfathered businesses may not increase capacity above the grandfathered level, however in the event of restrictions, step-downs etc. a grandfathered business may acquire additional capacity up to but not exceeding the original grandfathered level.
Note from previous Council analysis: A business that owns/controls permits in excess of the use cap maintains the grandfather status for those permits that remain in its control after other permits are sold, but the sold permits lose the grandfather status in perpetuity. Grandfathered permits that are sold in total when a business owner sells his entire business/fleet maintain that grandfathered status. Grandfathered status refers to permits, not to vessels.

Element 9. Supplemental individual use of commercial IFQ
This element implements measures to allow Permit holders to purchase or lease commercial IFQ in order to provide anglers with additional opportunities, not to exceed regulations in place for unguided anglers.
A. Permit holders may purchase commercial QS or lease commercial IFQ for conversion to GAF.
B. Permit 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.
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. 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. GAF derived from commercial QS may not be sold into commerce, i.e., all sport regulations remain in effect.
H. GAF derived from commercial QS may not be used to harvest fish in excess of the non-guided sport bag limit on any given day.
I. 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.

Element 10. Limits on Holding Quota Share and IFQ
A. Commercial IFQ, when purchased or leased and converted to GAF for use in the guided halibut (charter) fishery shall not exceed the following limits in total holdings:
Option 1. An individual or entity holding a Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited
Entry Permits may not hold or control more IFQ and/or GAF in excess of an amount equal to the current setline ownership cap in each area (Currently1% of the setline catch limit in 2C or approximately 4,000 fish and 1/2% in 3A or approximately 6,500 fish.)
Option 2. An individual or entity holding Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited Entry
Permits in Area 2C or Area 3A may not hold or control more GAF than:
i. 1,000 fish
ii. 2,000 fish
iii, 5,000 fish
iv. 7,500 fish
B. Holding GAF on charter Limited Entry Permits:
Option 1. An individual or entity holding a Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited
Entry Permits in Area 2C may not hold or control more GAF per Limited Entry Permit than:
i. 200 fish
ii. 300 fish
iii, 400 fish
Note: In Area 2C a charter vessel is restricted to a maximum of six lines, regardless of the size or type of the vessel, or how many passengers the vessel carries.
Option 2. An individual or entity holding a Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited
Entry Permits in Area 3A and operating a "six-pack" charter vessel may not hold or control more GAF per permitted six-pack vessel than:
i. 200 fish
ii. 300 fish
iii, 400 fish
Option 3. An individual or entity holding a Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited
Entry Permits in Area 3A and operating a "super six-pack" charter vessel may not hold or control more GAF per permitted super six-pack vessel than:
i. 200 fish
ii. 400 fish
iii, 600 fish
Option 4. An individual or entity holding a Limited Entry Permit or multiple Limited
Entry Permits in Area 3A and operating a USCG Subchapter T "certified" charter vessel may not hold or control more GAF per permitted certified vessel than provided for in the following formula:
L x B x DBL x d = GAF
Where: L = documented vessel length
B = documented vessel breadth
DBL = daily bag limit for halibut
d = a range of multiples to be analyzed and to be determined by the Council at Final
Action which would approximate the number days that a charter operator might reasonably be allowed to extend his season in Area 3A, or alternatively, a multiple to simply determine a reasonable number of GAF that a certified vessel may hold that would correlate to the number of GAF allowed for a six-pack vessel in previous options. Suggested multipliers might range from 5, 10, 15 or 20.
The portion of the formula L x B is intended to represent a nominal number of
passengers the vessel might fish comfortably, as opposed to the number of passengers that a vessel might be certified to carry. (A vessel that is also engaged in tours could be certified to carry many more passengers than it would normally be able to fish.)
Example: Documented vessel length 40.4 feet
Documented vessel breadth 13.2 feet
Using 10 as the selected multiplier d
40.4 x 13.2 = 13 passengers x 2 fish x 10 = 260 fish (Approximately 5,000 lbs of IFQ)
Note: A similar formula using vessel dimensions for USCG Subchapter T certified charter vessels might also be used to determine a conversion to Angler Days.
(NOTE: Paragraph C. below is the same as the Council Interim Solution motion except for the additional text in bold.)
C. Commercial Quota Share Holders:
i. Commercial QS holders may lease up to 10% of their annual IFQs for use as
GAF on an individual basis.
ii. Commercial fishermen who hold QS and a Limited Entry permit:
Option 1. 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 Limited Entry permitted vessel(s). Commercial fishermen using their IFQ as GAF will be subject to the same caps, limits and restrictions on the use of IFQ for GAF as charter-only operators. Commercial and charter fishing may not be conducted from the same vessel during the same day.
Option 2. May lease up to 10% of their annual IFQs for use as GAF on an individual basis.
D. Catch accounting
a. The current Statewide Harvest Survey or logbook data would be used to determine the
annual harvest.
b. A catch accounting system* will need to be developed for the GAF fish landed in the
charter industry.
* NOTE: Monitoring and enforcement issue:
In 2003, NMFS contracted with Wostman and Associates to design a data collection program compatible with guided sport operations, yet robust enough to monitor a share-based management plan.
This system was based on logbooks and telephone or Internet call in and reporting numbers of fish.
This system was designed with the technology available to charter operators.

Element 11. Community provisions for Area 2C and 3A communities previously identified under GOA FMP Amendment 66
Placeholder for CQE provisions
Note: Previous Council text from Moratorium motion:
A Community Quota Entity (CQE), representing a community in which 10 or fewer active charter businesses terminated trips in the community in each of the years 2004 and 2005 may request Limited
Entry permits:
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).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

what a frickin mess

1. Thanks to ? (you know who you are) for putting our industry in this mess!
2. The GHL is an interim motion with no long term solution.
3. The moratorium has not been signed by Sec. of Commerce. Same as "ol IFQ" plan.
4. Is NPFMC interim motion going to be long term ghl/moratorium solution?
5. How can a moratorium that will allow growth keep us from ghl overages & facing major
repercussions. The GHL is Fixed! Why should there be growth allowed under
moratorium? As is you can do more trips, take more people, do more doubles
-all you need is a permit. What a joke! What about the GHL! knock knock! anybody home?
6. New charters want it all at long term charters expense. Will i need to lease fish to fish
the same number of clients as i have in the past 20 years?
7. Is there still a Stakeholders Committe? Why & When do they meet again?
8. 20 years as a charter, 15 years attending Council meetings, No Solututions, at who' expense?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What is your take on this?

Check out the revised halibut motion at the address below or click on the heading in the "related sites" list at right and let me know how we can survive in this business.