Economic Considerations of Alternative....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA36FD0178           NMFS NUMBER:   92-AKR-001

REPORT TITLE:  Economic Considerations of Alternative Management Measures in the Alaska Red King Crab and Snow Crab Fisheries

AUTHOR:  University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Resources Management

PUBLISH DATE:  May 17, 1996

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Region, 709 W. 9th Street, 4th Floor, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99801.   PHONE: (907) 586-7224


This study examines an overview of the history and current status of Alaska's Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries.  Management history is covered and special management considerations emanating from biological characteristics of the crab stocks are examined. An econometrics evaluation of pot limits and proposed license limitations is presented and a theoretical overview of ITQs is provided.   Socio-economic outcomes of transferable quota management in Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia--the three nations with the oldest and most extensive ITQ systems--as well as the Mid-Atlantic surf clam and quahog fisheries-the first major ITQ experiment in the United States, are reviewed.  A theoretical scenario for IFQ management in the BSAI crab fisheries is set up.  A likely pattern of initial distributions is sketched, assuming that recipients of licenses under the newly adopted license program would be eligible for quota, and that the amount each receives would be based on his historical catch, using a formula similar to that adopted for the halibut and sablefish program.   An economic analysis of Individual Transferable Pot Quotas (ITPQs) was presented to the Council, as part of the Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review for the License Limitation Alternatives for the Groundfish and Crab Fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (NPFMC 1994). ITPQs were subsequently rejected by the Council as a possible option for comprehensive rationalization of the BSAI crab fisheries. What comes across in the crab management debate is that before selecting a management plan for any fishery it is important to define the goals of management: whether to ensure maximum profitability to the industry, to secure the fisheries competitiveness, to ensure weak profits to many of strong profits to a few, to maximize employment, to protect the integrity of isolated communities, to ensure consumers a steady supply of high quality fish, to focus on present-day problems or for managers to try to include the financial health of future generations of fishers in their calculations.

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