Perhaps you remember how, in 2007, the Bering Sea freezer longliner fleet took on a $35 million federal loan to buy out three vessels.
Well, the fleet is now proposing to shoulder an additional $2.7 million loan to retire a latent permit and its fishing history.
The fleet would pay for the permit buyout with a small landings fee collected over 30 years.
The permit isn't associated with a vessel, so an additional boat would not be removed from the fishery.
And why would freezer longliners want to retire a latent, or inactive, permit?
"All vessels ... would benefit from a permit buyback because there will be less potential competition for the harvest," says this notice published July 30 in the Federal Register.
The notice, so far as I can tell, does not identify the permit owner.
With more than 30 large vessels, the freezer longliner fleet is a major player in Alaska's groundfish industry. It targets predominantly Pacific cod.
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