NOAA's Catch Shares Program Yields Gains

press release
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

West Coast groundfish fleet sees higher revenue, lower bycatch in catch shares’ first year.


West Coast commercial fishermen who trawl for whiting and other valuable groundfish saw their revenues and efficiency increase substantially over the last year under a new fishery management system known as catch shares, according to preliminary data from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. Gross revenues increased in 2011 compared to the five-year average for the West Coast groundfish fleet, which targets either whiting or other groundfish. In the non-whiting fleet, revenue per vessel was up 34 percent, from an average of $216,000 over the previous five years to slightly more than $289,000 in 2011. October and December were particularly good months for the non-whiting fleet, with revenues about double the five-year average. The whiting fleet saw revenues climb even more, from about $273,000 on average over the last few years to $775,000 in 2011.
 

“We are very encouraged to see fishermen earning more for their catch and having more control over how they run their businesses under this new program,” said Sam Rauch, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Well designed catch share programs can sustain fishermen, maintain and rebuild fisheries, and support fishing communities and vibrant working waterfronts.”
 

The Pacific groundfish fleet supported the change to the new catch shares system, which took effect last year, after seven years of planning. Catch shares give individual fishermen more control by assigning each of them exclusive shares of a fleet-wide quota and letting them design their fishing operations in ways that work best for them. Under the older management system, in place since the mid-1970s, fishermen competed with each other in a race to catch fish as fast as possible – often during bad weather or less-than-favorable market conditions – before an overall quota was reached and the fishery was closed. Under the new management system, they can fish in safer weather, at more profitable times and fish in a more sustainable way, knowing that their shares cannot be caught by anyone else.
 

With the additional flexibility fishermen have gained, their choices about when and how to fish have led to their catching more target species and fewer of the fish they are trying to avoid because they have low populations or are unmarketable. For instance, in 2011, the non-whiting fleet retained the overwhelming majority of its catch and discarded only about five percent; in 2010, the discard rate was more than three times higher, at 17 percent.  
“That shift in discards means greater fishing efficiency, more money for fishermen and fewer unwanted fish thrown back dead into the water,” said Will Stelle, head of the NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Regional Office in Seattle. “That translates into better stock management and a more environmentally friendly fleet.”
 

Lower catches of unwanted species is also positive for the fish stocks managers are trying to rebuild. Of almost all of the eight categories of rebuilding stocks, fishermen in the non-whiting fleet reduced their catch. For example, the catch of darkblotched rockfish fell from more than 287 metric tons in 2010 to less than 90 last year. The whiting population has low bycatch already, as it does not mix extensively with other fish species.
 

The change in management also means the commercial fleet has full-time, trained observers on board all vessels to tally the size, species makeup and location of harvests. Increased monitoring, whether through observers or other means, provides scientists and managers with more confidence that the catch limits they set give the most opportunities for fishing, while maintaining sustainable fish populations.For the first two years, costs for the observers in the Pacific groundfish fleet will be paid mainly by the government, with the fleet paying an increasing percentage of the costs in coming years.
 

The fisheries service’s Northwest Region, in concert with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, manages commercial groundfish and salmon harvests in federal waters off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.
See the Northwest Region’s website at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Groundfish-Halibut/Groundfish-Fishery-Management/Trawl-Program/ for more information on the West Coast groundfish catch shares program.
 

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

DNV Type Approved Anchor Winch for the Arctic Prowler

JK Fabrication has landed DNV certification for its 40-30-3000-DNV series Anchor Winch. Culminating a two-year process, JK’s C-series winch was at last awarded

US Coast Guard Travelling Inspectors' Centenary

July 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the traveling inspection staff, originally created under the Steamboat Inspection Service. These travelers are highly

Pumps Reach Sinking Shrimper Just in Time

A commercial fishing vessel from Brownsville is slowly making its way back to port, thanks to some quick actions by its crew and Coast Guard units, informs the US Coastguard,

Environmental

Pumps Reach Sinking Shrimper Just in Time

A commercial fishing vessel from Brownsville is slowly making its way back to port, thanks to some quick actions by its crew and Coast Guard units, informs the US Coastguard,

Orica Fined Heavily for Australian Pollution Incidents

Orica Australia Pty Ltd has been convicted and penalised $768,250 in relation to charges brought by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for pollution

NYK Line Hosts Fleet Safety Conference

NYK says it has hosted a safety promotion conference for shipowners and ship-management companies at the NYK head office in Tokyo and at Imabari city in Ehime prefecture.

Marine Science

Huge Waves Measured for First Time in Arctic Ocean

As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend

Search for Flight MH370: Update

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) says that a bathymetric survey of the 60,000km2 search area is well underway, with two vessels, the Australian-contracted

ISS's Innovative Series of New Travel Apps for Cruise Industry

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) the world’s leading maritime services provider, has launched an innovative series of travel apps for the cruise industry in Greece,

Government Update

Mass Flow Metering System for MFO delivery in Singapore

As the world's leading bunkering port Singapore is to provide quality bunkering services to vessels lifting bunkers in the port. The use of the Mass Flow Metering

Iraq's Kurds Have Right to Sell Oil While Squeezed by Baghdad

Iraq's Kurdish region has the right to keep selling oil as long as the Baghdad government keeps cutting its budget, the head of the Kurdish parliament's energy committee said on Tuesday,

Russia, China May Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants

Russia and the world's top energy user China may jointly develop six floating nuclear power plants (NPPs), Russia's nuclear export body said on Tuesday, a further

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2168 sec (5 req/sec)