Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8496
Title: Initial Economic Impacts of Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Individual Fishing Quota Program
Author: Jerry L. Leonard, Erin Steiner
Publication Year: In press
Journal: North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume: 37
Issue: 4
Pages: 862-881
DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2017.1330784
Abstract:

In 2011, management of the limited entry trawl groundfish fishery on the Pacific Coast switched from a system of vessel entry restrictions, gear restrictions, seasonal closures, and bimonthly catch limits to an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. In addition to advancing a profitable and efficient groundfish fishery, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) objectives for the IFQ program included minimizing the adverse effects on fishing communities and promoting measurable economic and employment benefits. This paper develops counterfactual revenues and costs for the fleet and uses an input-output model to estimate the change in income and employment for the West Coast as a whole and for 12 different port areas. Our results indicate that alternative assumptions regarding the distribution of quota payments can substantially change conclusions about the economic impacts of the IFQ program. Under an assumption that payments to lease quota are distributed to homeports of vessels reporting revenue from the lease or sale of quota, income in most port areas and the West Coast as a whole increased. Alternatively, assuming that there are no quota payments, about half the port areas and the West Coast as a whole experienced an increase in income. Lastly, assuming that payments to lease quota are treated as a leakage, income decreased in most port areas and the West Coast. Regardless of the assumption on the distribution of lease payments, the employment in most port areas and the West Coast has declined due to the direct reduction in the number of employee positions on participating vessels. While increased income results in a boost to employment in some areas, it was usually not enough to completely offset the reduction in the number of vessel employees. 

Description:

In 2011, management of the limited entry trawl groundfish fishery on the Pacific Coast switched from a system of vessel entry restrictions, gear restrictions, seasonal closures, and bimonthly catch limits to an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. In addition to advancing a profitable and efficient groundfish fishery, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) objectives for the IFQ program included minimizing the adverse effects on fishing communities and promoting measurable economic and employment benefits. This paper develops counterfactual revenues and costs for the fleet and uses an input-output model to estimate the change in income and employment for the West Coast as a whole and for 12 different port areas. Our results indicate that alternative assumptions regarding the distribution of quota payments can substantially change conclusions about the economic impacts of the IFQ program. Under an assumption that payments to lease quota are distributed to homeports of vessels reporting revenue from the lease or sale of quota, income in most port areas and the West Coast as a whole increased. Alternatively, assuming that there are no quota payments, about half the port areas and the West Coast as a whole experienced an increase in income. Lastly, assuming that payments to lease quota are treated as a leakage, income decreased in most port areas and the West Coast. Regardless of the assumption on the distribution of lease payments, the employment in most port areas and the West Coast has declined due to the direct reduction in the number of employee positions on participating vessels. While increased income results in a boost to employment in some areas, it was usually not enough to completely offset the reduction in the number of vessel employees. 

Full Text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02755947.2017.1330784
Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.