Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A concise assessment

This letter to the editor in Sunday's Anchorage Daily News captures perfectly, it seems to me, the situation the commercial halibut industry faces in its perennial struggle with the competing charter halibut fleet.

First, allocate by half and half

When the halibut are allocated on a 50-50 basis between the sport fishery and the commercial fishery, then there should be talk about reducing the sport catch.

— Greg Svendsen, Anchorage


Anonymous said...

Under the proposed catch sharing plan NOTHING changes for the unguided sport fishermen - 2 fish, any size bag limit stays the same. The conservation burden is being placed on the folks who are making money off the halibut resource i.e. the commercial halibut charter industry & halibut longliners. What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

wow finally solution that makes sense! Thank you mr. Svendsen

Anonymous said...

how about the trawlers bycatch of halibut? shouldn't they have their allotted free quota be reduced?

Anonymous said...

The trawlers are doing an excellent job of self policing this year. They have plenty of quota left and it seems they won't exceed their allotment. Pulling in huge numbers of arrowtooth flounder and 1/3 of the shallow water flatfish.

They're raping the shit out of it with their 1/3 observer coverage. Easier to cover up the bad numbers when they do high volume.

Anonymous said...

It's really easy to cover up "bad numbers" especially if your stakeholders are passive and ignorant. That's called manipulating the illiterate who are mostly poor people needing the natural resources to survive.

Anonymous said...

Since it is a common resource and the commercial sector represents people who want to eat halibut but don't sportfish actually the commercial sector should get closer to 95 percent of the quota. This percentage would be the number of people who consume halibut divided by the total number of people who consume halibut plus the sportsfisherman plus the commercial fisherman,

Anonymous said...

Keith Criddle, PhD. economist and UAF professor, the vice chair of the SSC for the North Council, did a report that the maximum economic benefit to the nation and Alaska is at a 70% commercial and 30% recreational split.

Currently, it is a 85% commercial to 15% recreational split.

The Catch Sharing Plan advocates a further reduction up to 30% for anglers who choose to go fishing with a charter operator.

The job of Council members is to allocate fishery resources in large measure based on maximizing the economic benefits to the nation and Alaska. NOAA after all is part of the Department of Commerce.

The proposed CSP moves away from the direction of maximizing economic benefits to the nation and Alaska.

Hans Radtke, former chair of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and Ph.D. economist, testified in to the NPFMC stating that there is more than sufficient economic information and models available to the North Council and NMFS to do a thorough economic impact analysis, and concurred with the Criddle analysis that max benefits accrue to the nation and Alaska with a 70% commercial and 30% recreational sector allocation.

Council members who have IFQs for halibut or run non-profit commercial fishing advocacy associations with members who have IFQs for halibut were allowed to vote on the CSP and did not recuse themselves from the vote.

This is a direct financial conflict of interest.

In most parts of the national and state governments in the United States this direct conflict of interest is illegal.

In parts of the world where there are no prohibitions against such conflicts of interest are usually referred to as Third World countries, dictatorships, crony capitalism, corrupt or bankrupt systems.

In Alaska, it is "legal" and called the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy Here comes the Violins

Anonymous said...

Could the Anonymous poster or another poster post a link to the Criddle report that argues for the 70-30 optimal allocation? I'm really interested in reading it, a quick google search turned up nothing.

Anonymous said...

Criddle (2004) Economic principles of multi-use fisheries management - American Fisheries Society.

Criddle (2004) Property rights and the management of multiple use fisheries - PERC.

Hans Radtke - testimony before the NPFMC at the October 2008 meeting in consideration of Pacific Halibut Management.

Anonymous said...

Are their any proposals for permit stacking for the charter fleet. It reduces the fleet, the people with double permits can still catch two.and the permits will retain value .

Anonymous said...

Based on Alaska Supreme Court rulings, a limited entry permit system is not constitutional for charter operators in Alaska.

This conflicts with the new limited entry program for halibut charter operators.

The Federal law and State law are contradictory on this issue.

Under the new limited entry permit program, there has been a 30% reduction in the number of charter operator eligible to have anglers fishing for halibut.

Anonymous said...

You guys continue to pull nonsense out of your asses. Buck up and face the facts - the commercial halibut charter industry ia a non sustainable fishery until it agrees to conservation measures that other commercial fisheries have been living with for decades now.

Anonymous said...

IFQs might be sustainable but they're still a crock of shit.

Anonymous said...

THe IPHC has a slow up, fast down approach that allows commercial IFQ harvests above the recommended exploitable biomass. In 2C, commercial fishermen complain about charter operators overages of the GHL.

From 2006 - 2010, charter operators were over by 2.5 million - this is the main complaint by commercial IFQ holders.

However, during that same time, commercial IFQ holders harvests 7.67 million pounds above the commercial fishery CEY.

Yes, commercial IFQ harvests were THREE times higher than charter operator overages of their respective guideline harvest limits.

But hey, let's not look at that issue - let's just say only charter operators have an issue with staying with a guideline harvest level - even though commercial IFQ harvested three times than what they should have - compliments of a rigged process to favor their commercial interests.

Anonymous said...

Halibut was fully utilized before the commercial charter segment expansion. They want everyone to believe that they are the good guys watching out for the people when in fact they are doing everything they can to take fish from commercial fisherman. What other industry would stand for this? Don't blame commercial fisherman for defending themselves, they have provided seafood to eat for thousands of years.

Anonymous said...

Fully utilized - what a convenient term for legalized robbery.

According to the Criddle study, to fully utilize the resource by the allocating more than 70% to the commercial fishing industry is to diminish economic returns to the state and the nation.

Fully utilizing halibut exclusively for commercial fishing is a convenient method for a process stacked with commercial fishing interests to protect their own self interests, not those of the state and nation.

Anonymous said...

you sound like one of those blue nose tea beggers,twisting the truth to fit your facts!maybe you can find a friendly crooked federal judge to side with you all are better yet try the alaska state legeslature maybe you can steal something you have no right to.and by the way the commercial boys get and have earned 85 percent of th total catch!i solved the criddle riddle 85 for the commercial boys and 15 for the sport chrter and subsistence to split,that is 10 for subsistence 2.5 for charter 2.5 for sport there this is the common sense approach!

Tom Gemmell said...

From Sep 12, 2011 Halibut Coalition letter to Rep Thompson, Chair, House Special Committee on Fisheries.

The Alaska Charter Association (ACA) on page 6 of their Power-Point presentation 3rd slide states, “The Criddle study on Pacific Halibut found that benefit maximization occurs when the commercial sector has 71 percent and the recreational sector has 29 percent of the harvest pounds as compared to a 87 percent and 13 percent in 2007.” ACA gave this same interpretation of Dr. Criddle’s work in October, 2008, in testimony on the CSP.

When queried on the ACA reference to the paper, Dr. Criddle replied via email (dated Sunday September 28, 2008) and stated, “I’ve attached the papers that probably served as the background for the statements. The papers were not intended to serve as a specific review of an optimal allocation of halibut in Alaska. They were intended to demonstrate the kind of information that would be required if there were an attempt to determine an optimal allocation and to show the impracticality of trying to do the analyses needed to determine an optimal allocation. The papers are intended to make the point that a market-based transferable system is the only practical way to approach an optimal allocation over time as costs, prices, and demand for recreation services changes. It should be remarked that the papers use a description of the commercial sector published in 1994 - - - the pre-IFQ fishery. The description of the sport sector (self-guided and charter) is based on studies of lower Cook Inlet published in 2003. Neither are characteristic of the current longline or charter sectors. The use of those old studies in the attached papers was intended to be illustrative of the types of tradeoffs involved in determining the incremental net benefits of commercial and sportfishing. As to the “optimal” solution, that depends on the goals of society and on the standing level of biomass.” The papers attached to the email were: Economic Principles of Sustainable Multi-Use Fisheries Management, With a Case History Economic Model for Pacific Halibut – Keith Criddle, © 2004 by the American Fisheries Society; ; Property Rights and the Management of Multiple-Use Fisheries, Chapter 5 – Keith Criddle; Examining the Interface between Commercial Fishing and Sportfishing: A Property Rights Perspective, Chapter 6 – Keith Criddle. The Halibut Coalition would be happy to provide these papers to the Committee if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

Great points Tom - so why didn't the Council and NMFS follow up with the economic modeling and extensive economic analysis, as pointed out by Criddle?

In a recent news article, Dr. Roland Maw points out the obvious in that the incremental adjustment to longline IFQ shares through the proposed CSP won't make much a difference in the overall income for longliners in 3A.

But a one fish per day bag limit on charter boats will drastically impact both the sport anglers who fish on charters, the charter operators and the coastal communities in Southcentral Alaska.

So, again, in Southcentral Alaska - 3A, where the harvests by anglers who choose to fish on charter boats has not exceeded the GHL
on average during the past decade (one year slightly over, all other years under)- why are such anglers faced with a one fish bag limit starting next year?

None of these fish are staying in the ocean - only being reallocated to 3A IFQ holders.

Anonymous said...

From Seafood.com news alerts:

"In other news, we highlight a new US census report that shows median household income in the U.S. fallen to 1997 levels, adjusted for inflation. This follows three years of significant income erosion. In our video we highlight the issue this raises for the seafood industry -- the bifurcating of the market into a group of high end luxury seafood consumers who will pay $18 a lb. for halibut and $12.00 for salmon at Whole Foods, and a much larger group who's only affordable seafood will be $3.99 tilapia, and seafood on QSR menu's. We think that the importance of providing low cost, quality processed seafood will increase in the coming years."

Well so much for the concept that longliners are providing halibut to the dinner tables of the common man...

Anonymous said...

About 35,000 Southcentral resident anglers fished for halibut in 2010 - about the same number of Alaskans who dipnetted on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers for sockeye salmon.

Halibut fishing puts fish in the freezers of many Alaskan households - the majority of which fish in 3A - Southcentral Alaska.

Why is the proposed CSP allocating up to 30% less fish to 3A charter anglers than the current GHL?

Under this plan, charter anglers in 3A Southcentral Alaska get a one fish bag limit for the foreseeable future.