Thursday, May 15, 2008

Homer Charter Association Meeting 5/14/08

Subject: Questions and suggestions from Homer Charter Assn. meeting last night
Here are some answers to the questions posed at last night's meeting. I hope this helps.

1. Why do we collect information on clients that don't fish? This was a good question; best as anyone could recall, this was due to an interest in capturing economic information about the charter fleet. I'm still looking into this, and will let you know if I come up with a better answer.
2. Can we make the "Angler Name" box bigger next year?
Likely - this suggestion was recorded for future reference when designing next year's logbook. Without an annual limit in Area 2C next year, we can eliminate the "YTD Kept in 2C" column, and maybe condense the trip information on the left side.

3. Why the limits on the leasing provisions in the catch sharing plan?
The NPFMC analysis staff requested an explanation of this at the April meeting. here's an excerpt of the explanation was provided in the version of the state's motion that was distributed at the meeting. I'm guessing these are Jane DiCosimo's notes:
The commercial fleet supports tight leasing constraints in order to minimize disruption to their sector and not open up a leasing loophole. They are concerned about the 1500 pound level allowing for perpetual leasing instead of active participation in the IFQ fishery. The 10% leasing of individual quota holding limitation doesn't make sense from a business perspective. The average quota share holding in 3A is about 8,000 pounds; in SE it's between 3,500-5,000 pounds. the 1500 pounds was an attempt to balance out how many different people a charter operator would have to go to in order to secure a couple thousand pounds to augment their charter harvest. 10% was also used because of the IFQ 10% annual rollover provision.
There are a number of charter operators that also hold IFQ, usually less than 1,500 pounds. This language was crafted in order to attempt to provide equity between charter operators that already hold QS and those that don't. Commercial fishermen believe charter operators holding QS should be allowed to lease/use all their QS as GAF if they choose because they believe this will make approximately 200,000 pounds of IFQ available to convert to GAF. Community interests also got involved in the discussion. In 2C, so much of the QS is in such small blocks that a strict 10% limitation would be extremely cumbersome.
I also have a summary from the "Halibut Negotiating Group," (whatever that was), with "Points of Consensus not Discussed in the AP Motion" from 4/4/08. That summary contains the following bullet with regard to the leasing provision:
The GAF-leasing limits proposed for Area 3A are constraining; the Council may wish to expand the range of options to provide equivalent preservation of historic fishing opportunities as is provided for 2C.

4. Question about GAF fish being issued in pounds versus fish.
See Elements 5C and 5E of the state's motion, as well as discussion on pages 85-86 of the March 14 initial review draft of the catch sharing plan EA/RIR/IRFA. These clearly point out that leased IFQ is converted to numbers of fish for use as GAF, and converted back to pounds when unused GAF are returned to the IFQ holder.
The state's motion with regard to the catch sharing plan can be downloaded from the NPFMC web site:

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