Salmon Avoidance in Alaska’s Pollock Fishery
Alaska’s largest fishery is pioneering new salmon bycatch avoidance technologies and practices.
Courtesy of SeaAlliance Campaign.
IFQs Work for Halibut Fishermen
The switch to individual catch shares ended a wasteful dangerous race for fish in Alaska’s halibut fleet, giving fishermen a chance to operate more safely, harvest more conservatively, extend their season, gain new markets, and earn much higher prices.
Positive Change Through Catch Shares
Alaska longliners report that IFQs have enabled them to look after the resource, reduce their bycatch, improve safety, and even develop their own retail markets. With better long-term prospects, young fishermen are buying into the fishery.
Catch Shares and Conservation
Once trapped into discarding much of their catch, some West Coast groundfish fishermen welcome Individual Fishing Quotas as a chance to improve resource stewardship. Says one: “A system that gives you the flexibility to not waste fish needlessly—who wouldn’t be for that?”
Former IFQ Opponents Embrace Catch Shares
Fishermen in Alaska, British Columbia, and Florida fought the transition to catch shares at first. “Thank god we lost that fight,” says one. After a rough start, the change has strengthened fish stocks, reduced bycatch, helped fishermen earn greater credibility in fishery management, and improved their earnings and market opportunities.
Halibut IFQs “Working For Us,” Fishermen Say
Alaska halibut fishermen report that switching to Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) allowed them to earn more, improve product quality and safety, and reduce waste. By ending the hectic “derby” that once compressed fishing into a few days a year, they can now fish when markets and weather are better, clean and handle fish carefully, and avoid glutting fish decks and plants. With better quality and access to high-end fresh markets during eight months of the year, their prices have tripled.
Fishing Families Are Safer With IFQs
The end of a dangerous, mandatory race for fish has made life safer for many fishing families in “catch share” systems. Famlies in Alaska and Gulf of Mexico fleets report that Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) now allow them to avoid dangerous weather, bring their kids out to sea, avoid bycatch and waste, and simplify compliance with catch limits. Fewer lives are lost. Wives worry less about husbands at sea, who are no longer compelled to fish in storms.
Catch Shares Can Strengthen Fishing Businesses
Fishermen embracing catch shares report greater economic stability, higher earnings, and a chance to build more successful fishing businesses. After years of poverty, delayed repairs, and scraping by in old-style “derby” fisheries, vessel owners who have switched to individual quotas see more stable harvests and access to profitable new markets. Their quota provides collateral for loans. Stronger prices and predictable earnings allow more investment, upgrading, and repairs. For the first time, many see themselves building businesses worth passing down to children or selling when they choose to retire.
Catch Shares at Work in Florida
Glen Brooks and Karen Bell of Cortez, Florida discuss why they are excited about the change to catch shares. Switching to a new fishing management plan can be scary. In Karen’s and Glen’s case they received half as much quota as they would normally catch each year, but they believe the economics of catch shares will allow for long-term growth. Fish prices will gradually increase, creating a long-term strategy that makes the fishery sustainable as well as profitable.
IFQs and Consolidation Within The Alaskan Halibut Fishery
For many fishing families, fishing is a way of life that goes back several generations. But in the age of consolidation, that tradition is at risk. In the past, Catch Share programs have failed to curtail the movement towards consolidation, but many fisherman in the Alaskan fisheries are trying to keep this tradition alive.
Saving Salmon – Bycatch Management
Saving Salmon – How fishing fleets in Alaska use “Catch Share” based management and “hot spot” analysis to avoid salmon bycatch, while still feeding the world and promoting sustainable fishing practices.
Courtesy: SeaAlliance Campaign
Saving Ocean Fisheries With Property Rights
Conservation Based Cooperative Fishing
The Alaska Seafood Cooperative represents the majority of the vessels operating in one of the first “Catch Share” programs developed for conservation purposes. This video examines how Cooperatives – rather than competition – can lead to innovations in ecosystem-based fisheries management.