Have economic and social effects on local communities changed?

Indicators: Crew Employment and Compensation

Key Findings

  • The total number of crew positions on non-whiting groundfish and Pacific whiting vessels declined after implementation of the Shorebased IFQ Program as the number of active vessels decreased. The average crew per vessel increased slightly during the first five years of the catch share program.
  • For non-whiting groundfish vessels, average crew compensation per day increased by about 61 percent from the pre-catch share program to the catch share program period. Although average days at sea in the catch share fishery fell by 27 percent, the increase in daily compensation made up for the loss of days.
  • Average crew compensation per day for shorebased Pacific whiting vessels increased by about 114 percent from the pre-catch share program to the catch share program period, although compensation fell substantially in 2015 due to a decrease in revenues. Average days at sea in for shorebased Pacific whiting vessels increased due, in part, to higher annual catch limits (ACLs) and fewer vessels fishing.

Interactive Chart Story

Metrics

This indicator measures the number of crew positions and the dollar amount of crew earnings.

Analysis

Baseline: Before Catch Share Program

As the number of active non-whiting groundfish vessels decreased during the baseline years (Vessel Activity by State and Port Group), the total number of crew positions decreased.

Most crew are paid a “crew share,” or a percentage of the total revenue earned by the vessel after certain expenses are deducted. During the baseline years, revenues generated by non-whiting groundfish vessels were generally stable (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Revenues), and crew wages and employment followed suit. As the number of active non-whiting groundfish vessels decreased, the total number of crew positions decreased from 279 in 2009 to 258 in 2010.

Crew wages on shorebased whiting vessels showed an increasing trend in the early baseline years, but they fell in the late 2000s when stock assessments showed a decreasing abundance and allocations were reduced (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Landings).

During Catch Share Program

The number of active non-whiting groundfish vessels continued to decline after implementation of the Shorebased IFQ Program (Vessel Activity by State and Port Group), resulting in a further decrease in the total number of crew positions. The average crew per vessel increased slightly during the first five years of the catch share program.

For non-whiting groundfish vessels, average crew compensation per day increased by about 61 percent from the pre-catch share to the catch share period. Although average days at sea in the catch share fishery fell by 27 percent due to various factors (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Landings), the increase in daily compensation made up for the loss of days, with compensation per year (estimated by multiplying average days fished per vessel by average crew compensation per day) increasing by about 17 percent from the pre-catch share program to the catch share program period.

The total number of crew positions on shorebased Pacific whiting vessels decreased substantially with the sharp drop in the number of vessels participating in the shorebased Pacific whiting fishery following catch share program implementation (Vessel Activity by State and Port Group). The average crew per vessel increased slightly during the first five years of the catch share program.

Average crew compensation per day for shorebased Pacific whiting vessels increased by about 114 percent from the pre-catch share program to the catch share program period, although compensation fell substantially in 2015 due to a decrease in revenues (Financial Viability of the Fishery: Revenues). Average days at sea in for shorebased Pacific whiting vessels increased due, in part, to higher ACLs (Annual Catch Limits) and fewer vessels fishing (Number of Active Vessels).

Information Sources

National Marine Fisheries Service. 2017a. West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program Five-year Review – Draft. Pacific Fishery Management Council. Portland, OR.

National Marine Fisheries Service. 2017b. FISHeries Economics Explorer (FISHEyE). Available online: https://dataexplorer.northwestscience.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheye/.

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.

Updated: May 2018

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