The number of fishing operations was expected to drop under the halibut IFQ program. This expectation appears to have been generally borne out in the first year of the program. The number of persons with landings dropped between 1994 and 1995 in six of the eight management areas, and the number of vessels with landings dropped in seven of the eight management areas.
The advocates of IFQs hoped that the decrease in the number of operations would reduce the capital and labor needed to harvest halibut TACs, reduce harvesting costs, and increase the net economic value that could be generated by the fishery. Capital and labor that would otherwise have been used in the halibut fishery would move into other productive activities and increase the net volume of goods and services produced by society.
Others, however saw the reduction in capital and labor usage as a loss of jobs and income for persons who were active in the fishery as crew or skippers. Such persons argued that there are costs to moving labor and capital into other activities, and that some resources, particularly labor in rural communities, might not be able to move into other productive activities easily. Thus the social gains might not be as large as program proponents hoped, and would be bought by placing a burden on those persons who would no longer have jobs and who would be excluded from the fishery without compensation.
These competing perspectives are reflected in the IFQ program. It provides some opportunities for consolidation of fishing operations but these opportunities are constrained by a number of program rules. Among these rules were limits on the QS that could be held by a person, limits on the amounts that could be fished off a single vessel, limits on the number of blocks and blocked and unblocked QS that could be held, and limits on the amount of QS that could be leased.
Other sections of this report have examined consolidation of QS holdings and QS holders during 1995 through transfer activity. This section looks at the consolidation of QS holders or lessees on fishing operations during 1995. By combining QS holdings on a fishing operation, a similar result can occur even though the QS has not permanently changed hands.
Table 6-1 provides data on halibut harvests from 1990 to 1995 by IFQ area. The 1990 to 1994 data are based on IPHC fish tickets, and the person counts reflect CFEC permit holders who recorded landings. The 1995 data were taken from the NMFS-RAM catch data base. Here, the person counts reflect unique persons with IFQ identifiers who recorded landings. The table shows the total harvests (excluding 1995 CDQ catches) in pounds of halibut, the number of unique persons recording landings, the number of unique vessels recording landings, the number of unique "vessel landing days," the number of unique "person landing days," the pounds per vessel, the pounds per person, and the persons per vessel. The number of persons with landings in 1995 are not necessarily only QS holders. They can include persons leasing QS and hired skippers.
The number of persons with landings in 1995 was down in most areas from the previous year. Drops from the previous year ranged from 10% in Area 2C to 44% in Area 4C (the number was down 100% in 4E where the entire TAC was set aside for the CDQ program). In four of the management areas, the number of persons with landings was the lowest in the six year period from 1990 to 1995 (not counting Area 4E). However, in two areas, 3B and 4A there were actual increases in the number of persons making landings; the increase in 3B was 33%.
The number of vessels used to make landings was also down in most areas in 1995 from the preceding year. Drops from the previous year ranged from 20% in Area 4A to 45% in Area 4C. In five of the management areas (excluding 4E), the number of vessels with landings was the lowest in the six year period from 1990 to 1995. There was a slight increase in the number of vessels in Area 3B over the number used in 1994.
The numbers of vessels tended to drop by more than the number of persons making landings. In five of the management areas (excluding 4E), the ratio of persons to vessels was the highest in the six year period, 1990-1995. In one more area it was the second highest.
The interpretation of these reductions is complicated by the fact that the TACs were generally below those of preceding years in 1995. This is reflected in the fact that, although the numbers of persons and vessels making landings were both generally down in 1995, the pounds landed per person or per vessel were also generally down in 1995. With constant TACs these should have risen as the number of persons and vessels dropped.
Table 6-2 provides more detail than Table 6-1 on landings in 1995. Table 6-2 shows landings by management area and vessel category. For each management area and vessel category combination, the table shows the same information as Table 6-1: harvest, persons with landings, vessels with landings, vessel landing days, person landing days, pounds per vessel, pounds per person, and persons per vessel.
A comparison of vessel numbers in Tables 6-1 and 6-2 will show that the number of unique vessels summed over an entire area is often less than the number of unique vessels in each vessel category, summed. There are two reasons this occurs. First, a given vessel may have been used as a freezer vessel on one trip and as a catcher vessel on another. Second, sometimes IFQ was landed from an inappropriate vessel. There were 74 vessels with landings of more than one category of IFQ within a given area.
<Back to Table of Contents>