The IFQ Committee met on February 5, 2018 to review two Council discussion papers and a set of 20 proposals for modifications to the IFQ program which were offered by members of the Committee. The discussion papers addressed use of IFQ lease provisions that cover medical hardship and survivorship beneficiaries and are summarized separately.
The Committee reviewed proposals that fell into six general categories: eligibility to own/purchase quota share (QS), use of the hired master provision, definition of an “owner-operator,” QS ownership/use caps and QS blocks, the creation of QS pools to support new entrants and/or rural community engagement, and the Federal loan program administered by NMFS Financial Services Division.
The Council made three motions to request discussion papers.
- Eligibility Requirement – The Council will consider whether to replace the Transfer Eligibility Certificate (TEC) to purchase QS with a requirement to demonstrate recent fishery participation in order to purchase or hold QS. “Sea-day” requirements could range from 30 to 90 days over a fixed three- to five-year period. The Council is considering this issue in light of public testimony and information in the 20-year Program Review that identifies arrangements that do not reflect the original program goal of an owner-operated fleet.
- Hired Master Use – The Council initiated a discussion paper that explores the use of the hired master provision relative to its original intent. The Council recognized the natural tension between the objective of an owner-operated fleet and the diversity of business arrangements that utilize hired masters in a net beneficial manner. The Council requested information on the use of the provision and a characterization of the various business arrangements.
- CQE Fish-Up Provision in Area 3A – The Council will consider whether to allow Community Quota Entities (CQE) to fish Category D halibut IFQ on Category C vessels after (options) August 15 or September 1. The Council received testimony that vessel size restrictions and poor weather and/or disabled small vessels has led to CQE IFQ going unfished by eligible residents.
In staff tasking, the Council noted its intent to consider other IFQ proposals at a future meeting and will reconvene the IFQ Committee as the discussion papers become ready for review. The Council plans to hold an informal IFQ outreach session concurrent with its June meeting in Kodiak, AK. Further information will be made available at www.npfmc.org or by contacting the Council at 907-271-2809.
Staff contact is Sam Cunningham.