The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is set to meet next week in Kodiak.
One of the items on the agenda is this 10-year review of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab rationalization program.
You remember crab ratz, right?
It was a revolution in crab fishery management, implemented in the fall of 2005. It involved assigning individual fishing quotas to what was a dangerously competitive crab fleet. The program also established processing shares for the companies that pack the lucrative catches of king and Tanner crab.
So, how has this program worked out?
That's what the 10-year review tries to tell us.
Deckboss imagines very few will care to read the full 244-page report. So you might want to skip straight to Page 226 of the document (Page 235 of the PDF) for the summary and conclusion.
One of the most interesting points in the conclusion is that "incremental consolidation continues in both the harvest and processing sectors."
This builds, of course, on the radical fleet consolidation we saw right after rationalization was implemented.
A deeper discussion of fleet capacity and participation begins on Page 69 of the PDF. Some really interesting details there.
And be sure to check out the section on crew employment and earnings beginning on Page 106 of the PDF. My impression from the discussion and tables in this section is that captains and crewmen — those fortunate enough to still have jobs in the reduced fleet — are making considerably more money than they did pre-rationalization. But perhaps you will read the data differently.
The council isn't expected to make any changes to the crab rationalization program at this meeting.
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