A concern of the drafters of the Limited Entry Act was that limited fisheries would remain accessible to younger Alaskans. This section examines age patterns of year-end permit holders, transferors, and transferees over the 1975-1994 time period. Excluded from the data are nontransferable permits and permits which had been foreclosed upon by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development or the Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank and had yet to be transferred.
Yearly mean ages for all transferable permit holders, transferors and transferees are shown in Table 11. If no permits were transferred at all, the mean age of permit holders would logically increase by one year each year. However, the mean age actually declined from about 43 in 1975 to 41 in 1977 and continued at approximately that level through 1986. The mean age then began to slowly increase to a little over 44 years at year-end 1994. There are at least two possible explanations for this increase. There have been fewer transfers in recent years (and therefore less influence from younger people entering the fisheries), and the average age of the transferees has increased. During the 1975-1983 period, the statewide annual mean age of transferees was consistently between 32 and 34 years. Beginning in 1984 the annual mean age of transferees rose to approximately 35 years and has gradually increased since then. The 1994 mean transferee age of 38 years is the oldest in the series.
The statewide annual mean age of transferors was highest in 1975 at 52 years, shortly after the first limited entry permits were issued. It then declined to 41 years by 1979, then rose to stay in the range of 43-44 years from 1980 to 1987. Since then, the annual transferor mean age has gradually increased to almost 46 years in 1994.
Overall, the age difference between transferors and transferees was greatest in the early years of the limited entry program, particularly prior to 1978. Since 1984 the overall age difference has not varied much and has averaged between 7 and 9 years.
Annual mean ages for year-end permit holders, transferors and transferees in specific fisheries are presented in Table 12. At year-end 1994, the fisheries with some of the highest mean ages of year-end permit holders were the Southeast All King and Tanner crab (54 years), the Southeast herring seine (53 years), and the Upper Yukon gill net fisheries (52 years).
The Lower Yukon salmon gill net (40 years), the Kuskokwim salmon gill net (39 years), and the Bristol Bay herring spawn on kelp (38 years) were the only fisheries with year-end mean ages of 40 years or less.
The annual mean age of each resident type for year-end permit holders, transferors, and transferees is presented in Table 13. The highest mean age for year-end permit holders in 1994 was for Nonresidents and Alaska Urban Locals (46 years) and the lowest was for Alaska Urban Nonlocals (43 years) which has been the case for many of the years since 1975. At year-end 1994, the highest mean age of transferors was within the group of Alaska Rural Locals (47 years) and the lowest was within the Alaska Urban Non-locals (41 years). Generally, the annual mean ages of permit holders for each resident type changes in a pattern similar to the ages of all permit holders; that is, a relatively high average age in 1975, followed by years of declining average age, then a gradual increase beginning in the early 1980's and continuing through 1994.
Annual mean ages of transferees have also gradually increased within each resident type. Nonresidents tend to be a little older (34 to 40 years) and Alaska Rural Locals a little younger (29 to 36 years). Since 1975 Alaska Rural Locals tend to be the youngest recipients of transferred permits. The mean ages of the remaining Alaska resident types have ranged between 31 and 39 years. At year-end 1994, Nonresidents had the highest mean age of transferees (40 years) and Alaska Rural Locals had the lowest (36 years).
The annual age class distributions of year-end transferable permit holders are shown in more detail in Table 14. The figures in parentheses indicate the yearly percent each age class represents of all transferable permits held by a particular resident type (i.e., a row percentage). The percentage of 21-30 ear olds appears to be generally declining with time for most of the resident types. This decline is balanced by an increase in the percentage of permit holders in the 31-40 year old and 41-50 year old categories, and is probably related to the decreased numbers of transfers in recent years and the increase in the average age of transferees. Mean ages by resident type by year are provided for specific fisheries in Table 15.
TABLE 11. Mean Ages of Transferable Permit Holders, Transferors, Transferees, and Mean Age Differences Between Transferors and Transferees, by Year
TABLE 12. Mean Ages of All Transferable Permit Holders, Transferors, Transferees, and Mean Age Differences between Transferors and Transferees by Year, 1975-1994
TABLE 13. Mean Ages of Transferable Permit Holders, Transferors, and Transferees by Resident Type, 1975-1994*
TABLE 14. Age Class Distribution of Transferable Permit Holders, by Year and by Resident Type, 1975-1994*
TABLE 15. Mean Age of Transferable Permit Holders, by Fishery, Year and Resident Type, 1975 - 1994*