Has the public cost of fishery management changed?

The primary cost to the public during the baseline period (2002–2010) were expenditures related to development of what eventually was adopted as the Shorebased IFQ Program. These activities included planning, development of amendments and frameworks, regulatory analyses, and public process at both the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Council receives funding for its operations through a multi-year, cooperative agreement with NMFS. Public costs for development and implementation of the program at the Council level were $1.42 million during the baseline and $600,000 after implementation. At the national level, the public costs to develop catch share programs are not quantifiable because they were not formally budgeted for that purpose. After implementation (FY 2011), Congress did appropriate funds for a National Catch Share Program, but the amounts are not identifiable to any specific regional program.

Has the efficiency of fishery management changed?

Prior to the catch share program, Pacific Fishery Management Council actions related to groundfish management represented about half the actions discussed at Council meetings. Following implementation of the catch share program, groundfish decision-making has taken slightly more than 40 percent of the Council’s actions on an annual basis, and the IFQ program actions represent about 10 percent of the Council’s time.

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