Pages Menu
Twitter
Categories Menu

Cost of Fishery Management

This indicator has two components (described below):

  • Cost of Fishery Management to Private Industry
  • Cost of Fishery Management to the Public

Access the West Coast Shorebased IFQ Program Interim Results and the Northeast Multispecies Sector Program Interim Results for Economic Indicators

Access the West Coast Shorebased IFQ Program Interim Results and the Northeast Multispecies Sector Program Interim Results for Administrative Indicators

Cost of Fishery Management to Private Industry

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the amount of money spent by the fishing industry to comply with catch share program regulations.

Why is this indicator important?

Under a catch share program, the fishing industry, including fishermen and processors, is likely to incur additional costs in order to comply with regulations. Compliance costs related to the catch share program may be one of the most prevalent reasons for vessels exiting the fishery, especially for smaller-scale fishing businesses. Moreover, these costs are largely outside of the fishing industry’s control; by definition, they are imposed on the industry by the government. Costs may include mandatory on-board observer coverage and other monitoring costs, and the government may impose a cost-recovery fee on fishermen to pay for administrative and enforcement costs under the catch share program. The effects of these additional costs will not be evenly distributed across segments of the fishing and processing sectors. For example, at-sea monitoring fees paid on a daily basis place a disproportionate adverse economic burden on smaller-scale fishing businesses because small vessels harvest fewer fish per day than large vessels and thus incur higher observer cost per landed pound.

How is this indicator measured?

One metric that we will use to analyze the fishery management costs incurred by the fishing industry is at-sea and dockside monitoring costs and cost-recovery fees as a percentage of average gross revenue by fleet and fleet segment, including vessel length group. In addition, we will estimate the proportion of total catch share fishery management costs incurred by the fishing industry.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

The focus of this indicator is on measuring the real out-of-pocket compliance costs of the catch share program. This approach does not include all costs that the fishing industry may incur as a result of the catch share program. For example, it does not account for the disruption the presence of observers may have on a crew’s normal work pattern, especially on small vessels with their limited space. Nor does it cover the costs of sector or risk pool membership fees. Nevertheless, it does cover the major management costs of the catch share program that will be incurred by the industry.

Cost of Fishery Management to the Public

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the amount of money spent by the government to develop, implement, and operate catch share programs.

Why is this indicator important?

One common expectation regarding catch share programs is that although government agencies may need to spend more on implementation at the outset (because of the need for larger and more complex data systems, increased amounts of monitoring information, and tracking of shares), costs to government may decrease over time as the private sector takes on more of the management responsibility (see Cost of Fishery Management to Private Industry above). Government budget documents cite economic benefits of catch share programs and point out that “they are also expensive to develop, implement and operate. One of the most significant cost increases that must be addressed by the Fisheries Management Program is the cost of implementing and operating LAPPs.

The focus of this indicator is on measuring the implementation costs of the catch share program, meaning the expenditure of time or money required for government to develop and carry out the management, regulatory, monitoring, reporting, and compliance components of the program. For example, costs to government may decline if management actions such as openings and closures become unnecessary as more operational decisions are made by catch share holders. In effect, some of the costs associated with the fishing industry would be shifted to the industry itself, instead of being paid with public funds. This indicator will show whether the amount spent by the government on management of the fishery decreases, increases, or remains the same after catch share implementation.

How is this indicator measured?

To measure changes in government costs, we will isolate to the degree possible the expenditures that are related directly to the catch share programs. Fishery research, stock assessment, council meetings, enforcement, and data management would be part of government costs regardless of a catch share program, but some costs specifically related to catch share programs can be identified.

We will obtain information from decision documents, budgets, staffing reports, grants and contracts to industry entities, and similar sources of expenditures. We will supplement review of documents with personal interviews.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

Identifying catch share costs to a specific program is possible to some extent, but many costs are incorporated in general government expenditures. Although budget requests beginning in FY2008 identified activities such as socio-economic studies, stock assessments, observers and enforcement as supporting catch shares, unless amounts were earmarked for specific, regional studies or activities, it is difficult to assign portions of the national budget to the New England and West Coast programs.

There are significant differences between the New England and West Coast programs. There is no cost recovery requirement in the northeast, where government expenditures also include grants and contracts to sector programs. In contrast, the Pacific program does require cost recovery.