Has the public cost of fishery management changed?

The primary catch share costs to the public during the baseline period (2002–2009) were expenditures related to the transition to sector management of Northeast multispecies groundfish beginning in 2008. Since the implementation of the Sector Program, NMFS reported spending $47.2 million on grants to states for permit banks, on cooperative research, direct support to sector managers and vessel operators, and dockside and at-sea monitoring.

Has the efficiency of fishery management changed?

Prior to the Sector Program, Council actions related to groundfish management represented an annual average of more than 40 percent of the actions discussed at Council meetings. Following implementation of the catch share program, actions related to groundfish have decreased to an average of 30 percent of the actions taken by the Council annually. This indicator also considers efficiency of management through an accounting of time as measured through the number of actions taken by NMFS to make in-season adjustments, which also have declined.

Annual Catch Limits

Trends in Annual Catch Limits

Catch share programs do not directly affect decisions about annual catch limits (ACLs), but they can indirectly affect those determinations because catch share programs are typically implemented coincident with enhanced catch accounting and monitoring requirements, which can reduce management uncertainty and scientific uncertainty.

Analysis and interactive charts of ACLs


How Has Litigation Affected Catch Share Programs?

Our examination of the public cost and management time associated with catch share fisheries raised the question of how litigation has affected these programs. To answer this question, we analyzed trends in litigation related to federally managed fisheries, with a focus on lawsuits concerning the West Coast and Northeast catch share programs, to describe the number and basis of lawsuits, who filed, who won, and how court decisions affected catch share program rules.

Analysis and interactive charts of litigation

Updated: June 2016