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Access and Exclusion Effects

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures access to and exclusion from catch shares and fishing opportunities and how evenly catch shares are spread among the fleet.

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

Why is this indicator important?

The creation of catch shares can create opportunities for, and obstacles to, fishery participation. For example, the transfer of catch shares may lead to a concentration of participation and landings among a smaller group of individuals, corporations, or other entities. This concentration may have the effect of redistributing wealth among fishery participants and reducing diversity in the fleet. For example, the accumulation of catch shares by more profitable fishermen may result in the concentration of fishing privileges in those ports or regions where these fishermen operate their fishing businesses. Further, in addition to fishing their catch shares themselves, catch share owners may be able to use their shares to their advantage in other ways by, for instance, leasing them or using them as collateral for obtaining business loans. On the other hand, potential new entrants to the fishery, such as second-generation fishermen, may find entry into the fishery to be more difficult than in the past, if large amounts of money are needed to obtain catch shares.

How is this indicator measured?

The access/exclusion effects of the catch share program will be analyzed from a number of perspectives. Depending on the availability of data, for each major species for which catch shares are sold or leased, we will study the volume and prices of sales and leases, and how the leasing and selling prices relate to the value of the catch (ex-vessel price). In addition, we will determine how uniformly catch shares are distributed across the fleet and fleet segments.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

Information on access to and exclusion from catch shares and fishing opportunities and the concentration of catch shares across the fleet provides additional insights into how the costs and benefits of the catch share program are distributed within society. A potential limitation is the complexity and lack of transparency of the mechanisms for catch share transactions.