Landings and Revenues by State and Port Group

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Have economic and social effects on local communities changed?

Indicator: Landings and Revenues by State and Port Group

This indicator measures changes in groundfish landings at the level of communities, as a component of effects on the economic and social life of communities.

Port groups represent combinations of individual communities based on geographic proximity.

Overview

Gross revenues from landings of IFQ species by the non-whiting groundfish trawl fleet have been in a declining trend since well before the project baseline period, as seen in fleet-wide revenue data analyzed for 1981–2012 (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Revenues). Since the beginning of the project baseline period in 2002, there has been more stability, albeit with reduced revenues compared to the levels seen in the 1980s to mid-1990s. Revenues were higher in 2011 (the first year of the Shorebased IFQ Program) than in any year during the baseline period. Increased revenues during the catch share period can be attributed largely to increased ex-vessel prices for Pacific whiting and sablefish.

Baseline Years: Prior to Catch Share Program

Graphics provided above cover the baseline period (2002–2010). An extended baseline that covers a longer time period and provides additional context is also available .

Revenues at the State Level
Gross revenue patterns within and between states varied over time. In the charts above, the patterns can be viewed by selecting specific states or hovering the cursor over data points. California dominated the groundfish trawl fishery in the early to mid 1980s (1982 gross revenue: nearly $54 million), but earnings have since dropped precipitously. Oregon, in contrast, became the focal point for groundfish trawl fishery gross revenues in the 1990s (with 1995 gross revenue at over $54 million) and has since remained dominant. During the 2002-2010 baseline period, Washington usually had the lowest revenues from the groundfish trawl fishery (between $26 million and $5 million), although in 2005 and 2006 Washington and California had similar revenues.

The trends in gross revenues in ports/port groups can be attributed largely to changes in the landings of different groundfish species. Relatively high-value species such as boccacio, chilipepper rockfish, and thornyheads, for example, were the source of a large amount of fishing revenue to California ports in the early 1980s. However, the decline in abundance of those species caused landings and gross revenues to decrease substantially by the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Conversely, Pacific whiting provided increased revenue to Oregon and Washington port groups as the shorebased fishery for that species developed through the 1990s and 2000s. An average of 61 percent of the landings of shorebased Pacific whiting during the 2006-2010 period occurred in Oregon ports, with Washington ports accounting for 34 percent during that period and California ports accounting for about 6 percent. Only a small portion of the annual Pacific whiting harvest is taken in California, as the stock has a limited window of availability due to its northward migration in late spring.

The relative importance of individual ports and port groups in the groundfish trawl fishery was also affected by the consolidation of West Coast processing groups that followed an earlier expansion in the processing industry. Landings began to be hauled from buying stations to general processing plants at a few locations along the central West Coast. A number of factors led to the centralization of processing plants including the expense for equipment and refrigeration to meet new quality standards and the development in certain ports of the infrastructure (utilities, docks and unloading facilities, cold storage, navigation channels, and ground and air transportation) required for processing.

Revenues at the Port Group Level
All California port groups experienced a drop in groundfish trawl gross revenue. The port group of Eureka experienced the highest revenue throughout the period of analysis from 1981, with revenues in the 1980s particularly high (over $16 million in 1981) compared to the rest of California port groups. Within Oregon, the port groups of Tillamook and Brookings experienced less revenue than Coos Bay, Newport, and Astoria. Coos Bay saw a sharp decline in revenues since the 1990s (a low of $3.8 million in 2005), though Newport and Astoria experienced increased revenues in 1990s following decreases in the 1980s. Despite the decreases in revenue across all port groups, Astoria was still the top port group in terms of groundfish trawl revenue throughout most of the analysis period, with a total of nearly $21 million in 1995, and over $15 million in 2012. Port group-level information was not available for Washington.

These trends in gross revenues in the ports/port groups can be attributed largely to changes in the landings of different groundfish species. Relatively high-value species such as boccacio, chilipepper rockfish, and thornyheads, for example, were the source of a large amount of fishing revenue to California ports in the early 1980s. However, the decline in abundance of these species caused landings and gross revenues to decrease substantially by the late 1990s and early 2000s. The relative importance of individual ports and port groups in the groundfish trawl fishery was also affected by the consolidation of West Coast processing groups that followed an earlier expansion in the processing industry. Landings began to be hauled from buying stations to general processing plants at a few locations along the central West Coast. A number of factors led to the centralization of processing plants including the expense for equipment and refrigeration to meet new quality standards and the development in certain ports of the infrastructure (utilities, docks and unloading facilities, cold storage, navigation channels, and product shipping ground and air transportation routes) required for processing. Additionally, as noted above for the state level, centralization of processing plants changed where landings were made and therefore shifted importance of individual ports and communities.

Catch Share Program

Total gross revenues for the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery were at $55.6 million in 2011, the first year of the Shorebased IFQ Program, which was higher than any annual gross revenue total since 2000, with a value 33.8 percent higher than the gross revenue in 2010 (the lowest value during the baseline years) and 9.7 percent higher than the gross revenue in 2008 (the highest value during the baseline years). Among the West Coast states, Oregon saw the most revenue in 2011 and 2012 (both years over $30 million), while Washington saw gross revenues near $10 million for both years. California continued its decades-long trend of declining groundfish trawl gross revenues into the first two years of the catch share program. Oregon and Washington saw increases in the overall value of groundfish landings in 2011 and 2012 as a result of higher Pacific whiting landings and ex-vessel prices (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Revenues).  However, the value of some species declined; for example, Oregon experienced a decline in Dover sole and thornyhead landings. Dover sole landings may have been constrained by the high prices and limited availability of quota pounds (QP) for sablefish, which co-occur with Dover sole (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Landings).  In 2011 and 2012, landings of Pacific whiting in California decreased sharply. The decline occurred because the holders of quota shares (QS) for Pacific whiting in California sold their Pacific whiting QP and purchased more valuable sablefish QP.  Many of these fishermen engaged in gear switching and made sablefish landings using fixed gears. As a result of this transfer of fishing effort from the high volume, low value Pacific whiting fishery to the low volume, high value sablefish fishery, the overall value of groundfish landings in the state increased despite the total volume decrease.

Almost all of the port groups had revenues under $5 million during the first two years of the catch share program, with the exception of Newport and Astoria, which became the dominant port areas for groundfish processing in the latter years of the baseline period and remained so through the first two years of the catch share program. Across Washington, Oregon and California, nearly all port groups, with the exception of Astoria and Newport, experienced revenues below $5 million during the first two years of the catch share program; though in some ports (e.g. San Francisco, Morro Bay) recent revenues were higher than those experienced in just prior to implementation of the Shorebased IFQ Program. The two dominant port groups for groundfish processing, Astoria and Newport, saw increases in the value of groundfish landings in 2011 and 2012 as a result of higher Pacific whiting landings and ex-vessel prices.  A similar revenue increase occurred in south-central Washington ports that are processing centers for Pacific whiting. A boost in the landings of sablefish and thornyheads led Morro Bay to also experience a substantial increase in groundfish revenue, with many Morro Bay fishermen engaging in gear switching and making sablefish landings using fixed gears. However, groundfish revenues fell in other ports; for example, Coos Bay experienced a revenue decrease due, in part, to a decline in Dover sole landings. While the average ex-vessel price for Dover sole was about 35 percent higher in 2011 and 2012 that it was in 2010, landings were 66 percent lower in 2011 and 75 percent lower in 2012. Dover sole landings may have been constrained by the high prices and limited availability of quota for sablefish, which are caught with both Dover sole and thornyheads (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Landings). A large drop occurred in landings in Eureka and Crescent City in 2011 and 2012, due to the lack of Pacific whiting landings. As noted in the discussion of Gross Revenues by State (above), holders of Pacific whiting shares in California sold their Pacific whiting quota and purchased more valuable sablefish quota.

Data Gaps and Limitations

The primary sources of data were the PFMC Groundfish Management Team Reports available online through the Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN). One limitation of the reports for the trawl fishery is that the data include commercial trawl landings from treaty fisheries, which are not included in the catch share program. Data on treaty landings obtained from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife were used to adjust the Groundfish Management Team Reports so as to exclude treaty landings. Another limitation of the reports is that monthly groundfish landings are not separated by gear type or by shorebased and offshore landings.

Specific to community-level information, port group data were aggregated (by PacFIN) to include multiple physical ports. The most striking example of this is the aggregation of all Washington ports as one port group. This has the effect of obfuscating the gross revenues for any individual port in the state.

Information Sources

Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN). 2013. PFMC Groundfish Management Team Reports, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Available online: pacfin.psmfc.org/pacfin_pub/pfmc.php.

California Department of Fish and Game. 2013. Status of the Fisheries Report 2011. Groundfish Highlight: Update on the New Federal Individual Fishery Quota Program. Monterey, CA. Available online: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/status/

Pacific Fishery Management Council and National Marine Fisheries Service. 2010. Rationalization of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Limited Entry Trawl Fishery; Final Environmental Impact Statement Including Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Portland, OR.

Pacific States Marine Fishery Commission. 2006. Review of the West Coast Commercial Fishing Industry in 2004. Pacific States Marine Fishery Commission. Portland, OR.

Radtke, H. and S. Davis. 2000. Description of the U.S. West Coast Commercial Fishing Fleet and Seafood Processors. Pacific States Marine Fishery Commission. Portland, OR.

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Revenues and Landings by State and Port Group (pdf) – February 2015 (minor editorial revisions)

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Revenues and Landings by State and Port Group (pdf) – September 2013 (initial release)

Updated: February 2, 2015