Performance of federally managed catch share fisheries in the United States
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Performance of federally managed catch share fisheries in the United States

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  • Journal Title:
    Fisheries Research
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    In 2011 the National Marine Fisheries Service began a systematic collection of performance indicators for U.S. fisheries managed under catch shares. Catch shares are a fishery management tool that dedicate a secure share of quota allowing individual fishermen, fishing cooperatives, fishing communities, or other entities to harvest a fixed amount of fish. Catch share design varies widely across different programs and regions. Many programs share similar biological, social, and economic management objectives even though these design features are tailored to accommodate particular fishery characteristics. This paper evaluates fisheries using standardized indicators to measure the basic economic performance, regardless of catch share program design. Data collected were used to evaluate the economic and distribution effects of U.S. catch share programs. Catch share fishery performance is compared to a baseline period prior to implementation of the catch share program. Overall, the majority of objectives to improve the economic performance of catch share fisheries were achieved. Catch share programs have been effective in reducing fishing capacity. However, catch share programs have had distributional consequences as there are indications that consolidation is occurring in a number of programs. For example, there have been considerable reductions in the number of active vessels and entities holding quota share in the Alaska Halibut and Sablefish and the Mid-Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog catch share programs. However, it is important to note that the accumulation of ownership share may be less of a concern than consolidation in the use of quota. Thus, to the extent that consolidation is considered a management problem, it may be more effective to consider caps on the use of quota than by imposing more restrictive ownership caps.
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    Fisheries Research, 179, 213-223
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