Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guest Blogger: New Rule: Halibut PSC Analysis

"Let's say that the allowable halibut bycatch damage is overall 220 MT in the groundfish complex of rockfish and flatfish, two related serial killers of halibut. Now with only 12.5% coming out up front that is 27.5 MT savings put in the bank for halibut, not allowed as part of the trawl slaughter. That leaves 192.5 MT for prosecution of rockfish. Let's say they "use up" 92.5 MT of it (nearly 50%) to prosecute rockfish, that would leave a carry forward to the later flatfish season of 100MT. Under the 55% rule, 45% would be put in savings (not allowed for flats prosecution) so leaving 55MT which would likely get used up before flats would be shut down on that limit. With 27.5 and 45MT in the bank, that's 72.5MT out of the 220 originally, or an overall savings of around 33%, about one-third.

"That's why if it had gone the way the state and halibut fishermen wanted 25% taken out up front (the 75% rule instead of the new motion's 87.5% rule), so 55MT would be taken out first. Then say another 45% later, that is, if following 220 minus 55, equals 165, less let's say 90MT or so used for rockfish, leaving 75 MT times 45% or another 33.75MT dropped before flats are fished. The combination of 55 and 33.75 sums to 88.75, divided by the 220 original, is more like 40% halibut savings in the bank, instead of 33%. Or another way of looking at that is 88.75 less 72.5 is an additional savings of 16.25MT or 35,750 pounds, and if the small halibut in the bycatch were an average of 10 lbs, that would be 3,570 fish, which when grown to size of commercial fish in the longline halibut fishery at say 40 lbs. would be 143,000 lbs, which at $4.50 avg. would mean another $643,500 in the hands of halibut quota holders if all fished later.

"Point is that the savings are important and significant.

"Check my math."

Comment: But all this overly complex calculation reminds me of how some skippers pay when they lease or borrow for IFQ; baffle them with bullshit rather than just being truthful. Follow me here...rather than granting just enough halibut PSC bycatch needed for rockfish, the NPFMC gives them far more halibut PSC than they need so they can roll that over to filthy flatfish, because if they were to simply to give them a great pile of halibut PSC for flatfish, it would be unconscionable, too completely wrong. Then to cover their tracks (to baffle us with bullshit) they take some of the Rockfish Program halibut PSC back to show just how good they are about managing the resource. And we are supposed to feel very grateful, just like when you get a nickle back on your tax return. Wrong. The Council needs to make serious inroads into the halibut PSC allocation, not just couple of nickles. Wiglaf.

(Keep yer calculators dry.)

1 comment:

CMM said...

The 75% was the introduced motion at 11 a.m., but by the end of the day, with Dan Hull strangely not voting in line with the rest of Alaska's members and NOAA's Sue Salveson showing the agency is in on the math trick of giving too much PSC and clawing back too little, that an amending motion succeeded in changing that to 87.5%. So, footdragging and infighting kept the Council from banking 25% of an already too high allowance right up front.