The anatomy of a multispecies individual fishing quota (IFQ)
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The anatomy of a multispecies individual fishing quota (IFQ)

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    In 2011 an individual fishing quota (IFQ) system was implemented for the limited entry trawl component of the Pacific groundfish fishery in the United States as part of a fishery rationalization program that included cooperatives for the at-sea whiting component of the fishery. The IFQ system allocates quota shares (QS) for 29 IFQ stocks and individual bycatch quota (IBQ) shares for Pacific halibut. Each year quota share owners are issued quota pounds (QP), which can be used to balance their own catches of IFQ species or can be traded or sold. Transferability allows QP to be acquired by the fishermen who can generate the most value with it. The complex multispecies nature of this fishery and the requirement to balance all catch with QP makes QP transferability a critical part of this IFQ system, since fishermen have limited ability to control the species composition of their catch and may need to acquire QP to cover unplanned catch. Although a web-based system was created to enable QP transfers, this did not create a functional QP market automatically. Rather the market (and a variety of other mechanisms for distribution of QP) is developing organically as quota holders, fishermen, and intermediaries develop trading and contractual relationships, and as QP values are determined and evolve. We describe the structure of the QP market, how it has developed, and how it is performing. We discuss the impediments to QP market efficiency and make recommendations on how more efficient multispecies markets might be facilitated in this and other multispecies IFQ fisheries.
  • Content Notes:
    Daniel S. Holland and Karma Norman.

    "September 2015."

    System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Includes bibliographical references (page 30).

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