Catch Shares Overview
The Measuring the Effects of Catch Shares project focuses on a system of fisheries management, called catch shares, that has been used for many years in some parts of the world and recently has gained more attention in the United States. In the U.S., many fisheries have traditionally been managed by regulating fishing effort, meaning when, where, and how fishermen can catch fish. In contrast, catch share programs directly regulate the amount of fish that are caught. What are catch shares?
As of 2013, catch shares are used in the management of fifteen fisheries in the United States. The Measuring the Effects of Catch Shares project currently focuses on two of those fisheries — one on the West Coast and the other in the Northeast:
- The West Coast Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program began in 2011 and includes 90 different species of groundfish for the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery.
- The Northeast Multispecies Sector Program was implemented in 2010 and covers twenty stocks of groundfish for the Northeast Groundfish Fishery.