Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8401
Title: The Impact of Access Restrictions on Fishery Income Diversification of US West Coast Fishermen
Author: Daniel S. Holland, Stephen Kasperski
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Coastal Management
Keywords: diversification,catch share,limited entry,IFQ,cooperatives

Access to most fisheries on the US West coast was essentially open prior to the mid-1970s when state licenses were first limited for salmon fisheries. Subsequently, licenses to most fisheries on the West Coast have been limited and the numbers of licenses in many fisheries have been reduced with buyback programs. More recently, catch share programs, which dedicate exclusive shares of catch to individuals or cooperatives, have been introduced in several sectors of the federally managed Pacific groundfish fishery. As access to fisheries has become more restricted, revenue diversification of West Coast fishing vessels has generally declined. This is a source of concern, since diversification has been shown to reduce year-to-year variation in revenue and thus financial risk. However, catch share programs may create more security and stability in vessels’ landings which may offset effects of less diversification.   Nevertheless, there may be a tradeoff between the efficiency gains enabled by restricting access and risk reduction benefits associated with greater diversification.


Evaluation of changes in diversification of West Coast fishing fleets over time and, in particular, following implemenaton of catch share programs.

Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Foci: Support effective catch share management and evaluation
Official Citation:

Holland, D.S. and S. Kasperki. The Impact of Access Restrictions on Fishery Income Diversification of US West Coast Fishermen. Submitted to Coastal Management.