Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Back Issues August 2010 Fishing quotas spawn hope, concern

Fishing quotas spawn hope, concern

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
0810_ATS01cropped
Newport’s trawl fishermen and those along the entire U.S. West Coast will be affected by new regulations regarding groundfish proposed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The National Marine Fisheries Service will review the council’s plan and recommend to the Secretary of Commerce whether to approve the program.

A new plan that will drastically change how trawl fishermen operate off the coasts of Oregon, Washington and California is heading toward implementation in January after seven years of debate, discussion and hundreds of meetings.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council, which regulates over 90 species of groundfish with an estimated annual value of $61 million, two years ago adopted a system of individual fishing quotas (IFQs) for the Pacific Coast groundfish trawl fishery along with a system of structured harvest co-operatives for the at-sea whiting fishery. The final environmental impact statement on the program was released in late June and the council expects finalization of the process by January.

The so-called trawl rationalization program is under Amendment 20 and 21 of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. The council proposed the changes to “help increase economic efficiency, reduce excess capacity in the fishery, reduce the bycatch of overfished groundfish and Pacific halibut, create more individual accountability for harvest among participating fishermen, provide fishermen with more flexibility in their business operations, and reduce ecological impacts.”

An IFQ is a federal permit to harvest a given quantity of a particular species of fish. Right now, the West Coast trawl fishery is managed by a system of fleetwide two-month cumulative landing limits and other restrictions.

About 140 trawl vessels operate out of ports in Oregon, Washington and California.

0810_ATS02

“There is an illusion that the status quo is really good,” says Brad Pettinger, director of the industry-funded Oregon Trawl Commission (OTC). “One reason for the quotas is to eliminate bycatch. Basically, you don’t throw fish away any more. For the most part, if we don’t do something, we will get restrained more, and the groundfish could be restrained far more than they are now.” IFQs introduce harvester accountability into the fishery management system and provide incentives to reduce catch of protected species.

“Right now, everyone has the same limit,” says Pettinger. “There’s 50 to 60 species managed. During a two-month period, you’re hitting up against those limits placed on the fleet. So there is discord year-round. The new system gives fishermen their entire allocation of fish upfront. If you go over your limit, instead of throwing it away, you can sell it or trade it. Quotas are meant to be good stewards of the resource. Throwing away good fish is bad.”

Among those concerned about the quotas is the Newport Shrimp Producers group. Spokesman Nick Edwards, a shrimper based in Coos Bay, says that the largest spillover effect from quotas will be in the Oregon pink shrimp fishery. He says that the shrimp fishery has averaged 46 vessels per year and there are 141 eligible permits; quotas will force additional trawl vessels into an “already over-capitalized” shrimp fishery. He says there is no longer the processing infrastructure for the fleet to double in size.

But Fred Yeck of Seadawn Fisheries in Newport in a letter to the OTC in July urged support of the quotas. “Once fishermen have [IFQs], then fishermen will be in control rather than the processor … There is concern there won’t be enough bycatch for fishermen to harvest their target species. However, the [program] does not reduce the overall amount of bycatch, it simply divides it up and then distributes it to individual fishermen. This does not threaten fishermen, it simply puts them in charge of their own destiny.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD
 

More Articles

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS