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Fishery Diversification

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the degree to which catch share fishery vessels also participate in other fisheries.

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?

Fishing vessels often participate in a number of different fisheries over the course of a year, and their participation may change after a catch share program has been implemented. This may be true both for vessels remaining in the catch share fishery and for vessels exiting the catch share fishery but remaining active in other fisheries. The diversity of fisheries, or fishing portfolio, that a vessel pursues may affect its own revenues and those of other vessels. For example, as a result of the increased flexibility in fishing season brought by the catch share program (Financial Viability of Active Vessels), fishermen may time their catch share trips to allow for greater participation in other fisheries. It also may be the case that some fishermen feel it is more profitable to lease out their catch share allocation and shift their effort toward other fisheries. While switching from one fishery to another is not without costs, the financial viability of vessels that diversify their fishing operations may improve. However, the non-catch share fisheries into which those vessels expand their fishing effort may experience “spillover effects” such as increased competition and congestion.

How is this indicator measured?

We are using an array of measurements to examine the extent and nature of fishery diversification. Examples include the number of active vessels with limited entry trawl permits in non-groundfish fisheries; the ratio of catch share gross revenue and effort to non-catch share gross revenue and effort; and single catch share species gross revenue and effort as a percent of total catch share gross revenue and effort. Each of these metrics will be split out by fleet segment, including vessel length group and home port, as the level of participation in non-catch share fisheries and the species targeted may vary across different segments.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

A strength of this indicator is that it encompasses both the positive effects for vessel owners of more flexibility to participate in non-catch share fisheries and the potential negative effects of this influx of activity on those fisheries. A potential limitation is the absence of data on the level of participation of vessels in various fisheries during a given year.