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Fleetwide Catch Versus Quota

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the amount of fish caught compared to the total catch limit that was set by the fishery management council.

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

Why is this indicator important?

This indicator will show whether the fisheries under catch share programs tend to stay within catch limits better than they did under the previous management system. Persistent catch overages will lead to depleted fish stocks, because it will result in harvest rates that exceed management targets. It also shows whether fisheries are better able to catch the entire quota on a species – in both ecosystems, low quotas on some stocks constrain the ability to catch other species that are captured in similar habitats.  If catch shares reduce the race-to-fish by allowing fishers to fish for their quota whenever they chose, the fishery may become better at catching abundant fish while avoiding stocks with low quota.

How is this indicator measured?

For each species, we will obtain the recommended catch limit and compare the actual total fleetwide catch at the end of the year to see how often catches exceed the limits, and by how much. Metrics will look at catch compared to 0.5 total allowable catch (TAC), TAC, and 1.1 TAC, this will provide an overview of substantial catch underages along with minor and major catch overages. Catch data can be obtained from state sources, while recommended catch limits must be gleaned from fishery council reports.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

Catch overages and underages are easy metrics of whether managers are able to fine-tune fishing to allow biological sustainability and to help fishermen harvest the full amount allowed.