The newly reconstituted IFQ Committee held its first meeting on Monday, January 30; the minutes from that meeting were subsequently reviewed by the Advisory Panel and the Council. The Committee provided comment on the initial review draft of the Area 4 halibut CDQ leasing action, and then addressed a list of items that the Council had previously tasked to the Committee during its deliberation on the IFQ Program 20-Year Review in October 2016. Those items included sweep-ups of small blocked QS units, medical transfers, survivorship QS leasing provisions, use of hired masters, and rural participation/QS ownership in the IFQ fisheries. On the last topic, the Committee received a presentation from Dr. Courtney Carothers of University of Fairbanks (UAF).
The Committee emerged from the meeting with recommendations for two discussion papers on NMFS regulatory items and specific data requests. The discussion papers will draft Purpose & Need statements and alternatives for action that could address medical leasing and survivorship beneficiary designation provisions in the program. The data requests, which will be reported to the Committee, will include a report on small amounts of QS that have been unused and unfished for an extended period of time and could be swept into blocks for viable use.
The Committee identified areas of key interest that will drive the group’s agenda as it plans to meet via teleconference in June 2017 and in person during October 2017. The thematic focus of the October meeting will be rural participation and entry level opportunity in the IFQ fisheries. The Committee will consider information gathered by its members and staff regarding the migration of QS via sale or individual relocation. Staff will also provide information on the itemization of the IFQ Program’s cost recovery fees relative to other North Pacific catch share fisheries. Staff contact is Sam Cunningham.