The Council took final action to allow eligible CQE residents in Area 3A to fish halibut IFQ derived from CQE-held D class QS on C or D class vessels in Area 3A beginning on August 15th each year. This action provides flexibility for CQEs to potentially avoid revenue loss and is intended as a fallback mechanism for CQEs that have unfished D-class quota late in the season should unforeseen challenges arise.
As of 2019, one CQE in Area 3A holds D class IFQ. Current Area 3A regulations that require D class IFQ to be fished on D class vessels have, in some circumstances, limited this CQE community’s ability to fully harvest their halibut IFQ. The Council’s preferred alternative to include a date after which this “fish up” measure can be utilized was in response to concerns that future CQE purchases of quota share could target D class QS with the intent of fishing it on C class vessels if this opportunity was allowed for the duration of the IFQ season. This action provides a way for the CQE to keep D class quota in the community, furthering the Council’s intent of encouraging CQE communities to secure long-term opportunities to access halibut.
Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.