Monday, June 14, 2010

HALIBUT! Rockfish Minority Reports-NPFMC Sitka June 2010

"Minority Report (Component 7.3): A seven member minority wanted a maximum rollover of 50% and a six member minority preferred a rollover of 30%. The Rockfish Program claims to reduce halibut bycatch and seafloor contact. The rockfish fishery has achieved these goals. However, if 100% rollover provision of unused halibut prohibited species was rolled over, it would undermine the fundamental intent of MSA (Magnuson Stevens Act) in reducing bycatch, thus something less than a 100% rollover is required. The minority believes that the majority choice of 75% is too high. Bottom trawl time and associated impacts to the habitat have significant impacts to the habitat around Kodiak Island in the fall. In order to provide some level of net benefit to the nation, a portion of halibut savings should truly be realised and left in the water. PSC allocations based on pre-program usage (should be the rule?) A 30% to 50% reduction fulfills commitments to reduce bycatch/halibut impacts while achieving program goals. Signed: Theresa Peterson, Jeff Farvour, Becca Robbins Gisclair, Chuck McCallum, Tim Evers, John Crowley."
"Component 16): A minority believes that a hard sunset for the entire rockfish pilot program is important. Both ten year and fifteen year sunsets were supported by the minority. The first line of the problem statement is: "The intent of this action is to retain the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains to the extent practicable..." and it is notable that the program has achieved the benefits of a rationalised fishery without giving away the 'property rights' of the fishery.

"The Rockfish Program began as a two year pilot program which was extended through an act of congress. In complying with the reauthorized MSA is has undergone fundamental changes such as no processor association. This program is part of a piece meal attempt to rationalize fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska in allocating a small rockfish fishery along with valuable secondary species. We have no idea what things will look like tens years down the line; especially with the number of Council agenda items addressing bycatch issues with crab, salmon, and halibut on the horizon. A program duration will create incentives to keep the program working so Council may choose to continue the program and the fleet will not have the expectation that the program will exist in perpetuity.

"All that is required for a limited access program to deliver the benefits of a rationalized program is that there be a meaningful quantifiable limit or a set quota on the amount of fishery resource that can be harvested. The public has zero incentive to design programs in such a way as to maximize the bottom line asset value of the resource quota. Quite the opposite, in fact, because the greater the value of the quota, the greater the negative impact on communities through higher barriers to entry into the fishery Limited program duration can serve to achieve the benefits of rationalization while delivering adequate business stability and trying to keep the barriers to new entrants lower than would otherwise be the case. Signed: Theresa Peterson, Becca Robbins Gisclair, Chuck McCallum."

Keep yer flippers wet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A 12.5% savings isn't much, probably my entire season. What is the rockfish halibut savings in pounds? What is the 55% about, you don't mention that?