West Coast Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program

About the Fishery

The West Coast Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program is a catch share program that was implemented in the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery in January 2011. The fishery operates off Washington, Oregon, and California targeting a diverse set of species, including Pacific whiting, sole, flounder, rockfish, lingcod, sablefish, and more.

What Changes Have Occurred Since the Catch Share Program Began?

The Measuring the Effects of Catch Shares Project’s interdisciplinary team of scientists gathered and analyzed data on important aspects of the fishery before and after the beginning of the West Coast Shorebased IFQ Program. Focusing on a set of ecological, economic, governance, and social indicators, we looked for changes that occurred in the first five years of the catch share program and sought to determine whether the changes were a result of the program.

Ecological Indicators
Has the status of fish stocks changed? Biomass | Fishing Mortality
Have fleetwide catches stayed within quotas? Ratio of Catch to Quota
Have discarding practices changed? Discards | Bycatch
Has coverage by on-board observers changed? Observer Coverage
Has fishing effort changed in amount, timing, or where it occurs? Fishing Effort
Have fishing impacts on seabed habitats changed? Seabed Habitat Impacts

Economic Indicators
Has the financial viability of the fishery changed? Landings | Revenues
Has the number of active vessels changed? Active Vessels
Have opportunities or barriers to entering the fishery changed? Access and Exclusion Effects
Are fishing vessels participating in a different mix of fisheries? Fishery Diversification
Have private costs of fishery management changed? Private Cost of Fishery Management

Governance Indicators
Has the public cost of fishery management changed? Public Cost of Fishery Management
Has amount of managers’ time spent of groundfish changed? Management Time
Have trends in annual catch limits changed? Annual Catch Limits for Allocated Stocks
How has litigation affected catch share programs? Litigation

Social Indicators
Have economic and social effects on local communities changed?
Landings and Revenues by State and Port Group
Vessel Activity by State and Port Group
Fishing Vessel and Crew Safety
Crew Employment and Compensation
Support Service Employment
Seafood Processor Employment

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