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 July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Egypt Says Finishes Work on New Suez Canal

Egypt has finished building its New Suez Canal, its overseer said on Wednesday, a project President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sees as a symbol of national pride and

CMA CGM to Resume Service to Iran

The world's third-largest container shipping group, France's CMA CGM, said on Monday it would resume operations to Iran following the deal between Tehran and world

Obituary: Yacht Designer Jörg Beiderbeck

Jörg Beiderbeck, recognized as a figure among the world’s top megayacht designers, has passed away at the age of 69 on the evening of Sunday, August 2, at his home in Bremen-Vegesack,

Environmental

Climate Change Boosts Galapagos Penguin Population

New study finds shifting winds and ocean currents helped double endangered Galapagos Penguin population   Shifts in trade winds and ocean currents powered a resurgence

Canada's First LNG Ferry Launches with Bestobell Valves

Bestobell Valves is celebrating supplying cryogenic valves to Canada’s first LNG-fuelled ferry – the MV Armand-Imbeau II, which has recently been launched.   It

Harper Government Invests in Naufrage Harbor

The Honorable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today an investment to improve safety and working conditions for fishermen at Naufrage Harbor, Prince Edward Island.

Marine Science

Climate Change Boosts Galapagos Penguin Population

New study finds shifting winds and ocean currents helped double endangered Galapagos Penguin population   Shifts in trade winds and ocean currents powered a resurgence

Renovated Research Vessel Sets Sail

French scientific research vessel completely renovated in life extension project. French research vessel Marion Dufresne II left Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (part

VARD SeaQ Bridge gets Lilaas touch

‘Finger-grip’ vessel control offering precise tactile feedback may seem radical for those accustomed to conventional levers, but the combination is proving a

Government Update

Egypt Says Finishes Work on New Suez Canal

Egypt has finished building its New Suez Canal, its overseer said on Wednesday, a project President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sees as a symbol of national pride and

ASEAN: China Shuns South China Sea Dialogue

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said on Monday the disputed South China Sea should not be discussed at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Contship Italia Signs Iran MoU

Contship Italia Spa, also on behalf of Eurogate GmbH & Co. KGaA, KG, recently signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) with Sina Port & Marine Company (SPMCO),

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1403 sec (7 req/sec)