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7.1 1990-1995 Harvest Data

This section examines underages and overages of halibut harvests by IPHC area over the 1990 to 1995 time period. An overage occurs when the harvest exceeds the total allowable catch (TAC). An underage occurs when the harvest is less than the TAC. The 1990 to 1994 data in the file comes from CFEC's version of a computerized fish ticket file prepared by IPHC. Harvest data for 1995 comes from the RAM catch file.

Table 7.1-1 compares actual harvests in each IPHC management area with the TAC, for the years 1990 to 1995. The 1995 TAC has been adjusted to exclude CDQ allocations for Areas 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E. The CDQ harvests within these areas were also excluded.

The table shows that harvests in the IFQ fishery systematically fell below the TACs for the IFQ fishery in 1995. Harvests, as a percent of the overall TAC, ranged from 67.5% in Area 4B to 88.7% in Area 3A (as noted, none of the TAC was available for harvest in Area 4E due to the CDQ program). Although harvests sometimes fell below TACs in the years before the IFQ program, they rarely fell as far below as they did in 1995.

Table 7.1-2 breaks the unharvested TAC shown in Table 7.1-1 down further to compare actual harvests in each management area and vessel class with an estimate of the total IFQs held by persons in that management area and vessel class.1 For each vessel class in each management area, the table shows the estimated IFQ holdings (after swaps), the harvest of the QS for that vessel class, the difference between the IFQ holdings and the harvest, the percent of the available IFQ that was harvested, and the percent of the IFQ that was not harvested.

There are several things to keep in mind about this table. The estimated IFQ holdings after swaps were calculated for this table by multiplying the QS held in that area and vessel class after swaps by the 1995 ratios of QS to IFQ for the area. The harvest data excludes CDQ harvests. The vessel category is derived from the type of QS harvested, not from characteristics of the vessel used to make the landing.

This table shows that the figures for unharvested quota for each management area, shown in Table 7.1-1, mask large variations among the different vessel classes within the management areas. Thus, in Area 2C, the small catcher vessel category only harvested about 67.7% of its available IFQs, while the medium catcher vessel category harvested about 91.4% of its available IFQs. Similar variations can be seen in other management areas.

Table 7.1-3 organizes the information in Table 7.1-2 differently. While 7.1-2 groups the vessel classes by area, 7.1-3 groups the data by vessel class, making it easier to see patterns within a vessel class.

The percentage of available IFQ taken by freezer vessels varied widely depending on the management area. Because of confidentiality rules, it is impossible to report on more than four of the seven freezer vessel categories. Among these four categories, harvests ranged from 87.4% of the TAC to 100.6% of the TAC. This small overage, in Area 3B, is permitted under rules which allow fishermen to harvest up to 110% of the current year's IFQs with the overage being deducted from the following year's annual IFQ accounts.2

There was also considerable variation in the percentages of IFQs taken among the different catcher vessel categories during 1995:

harvests by the large catcher vessels (over 60 feet) ranged from 74.5% to 93.3% of the available IFQs,

harvests by medium catcher vessels (36 to 60 feet) ranged from 53.3% to 91.7%,

and harvests by small catcher vessels (under 36 feet) ranged from 64.5% to 68.2%.

That the percentages are lower for the small catcher vessel class is not particularly surprising. The mean QS initially issued to the small catcher vessel category (see Table 3.4-3) converts to less than 2,500 pounds of 1995 IFQ in all areas. The mean in two areas (3B and 4A) is less than 800 pounds.

These underages represent lost current year gross earnings to the fishermen, but to some extent they may, at least in part, represent a transfer of gross earnings to future years. The fish are still in the water and subject to continued growth and reproduction as well as natural mortality. They may contribute to healthier stocks and increases in future total allowable harvests. In addition, under program regulations, fishermen are allowed to carry over underages of up to 10% of their annual IFQ accounts to the following year.3 So some, but not all, of these fish may be recovered during 1996.

TABLE 7.1-1. Comparison of total allowable catches (TAC) and harvests by IPHC management area and year, 1990 - 1995.

TABLE 7.1-2. Percent of 1995 IFQs landed by vessel class of the QS held

TABLE 7.1-3. Percent of 1995 IFQs landed by vessel class of QS held

7.2 Totally Unharvested QS Owned by Initial QS Recipients at Year-end 1995.

The previous section points out that there was a substantial underharvest in the 1995 halibut fishery. During 1995, a large number of persons who received an initial QS allocation did not transfer, lease, or alter their QS holdings, nor did they fish any portion of their IFQs. Table 7.2-1 and Table 7.2-2 provide information on this subject.

Table 7.2-1 shows the total amount of QS in each area. It also shows the total amount of QS holdings in each area that did not change in terms of number of QS units from initial issuance through year-end 1995 and the percentage this QS represents of the total QS in the area. In other words, these QS represent QS holdings by species, area, and category, that were not added to or subtracted from during 1995 by transfers. As can be seen, such QS holdings represent from 75% of the QS in the Southeast area to 91.6% of the QS in the Western Gulf area.

Some of the QS holdings that were constant during 1995 were fished and some were not. In Table 7.2-1 QS holdings are divided into "harvest" and "no harvest" groups. A constant QS holding was classified as "QS With Some Harvest" if any portion of the IFQ associated with the QS was fished either by the person holding the QS, a lessee, or a designated skipper. A constant QS holding was classified as "no harvest" if none of the IFQ associated with the QS was fished. For both classes of QS holdings, Table 7.2-1 contains the following information:

the amount and percent of QS,

the mean QS,

and the mean 1995 IFQ equivalent.

The portion of these QS holdings that did not change during 1995 and that were not fished at all ranged from 4.4% of the total QS in Area 3A to 21.6% of the total QS in Area 4C. The average QS and the average 1995 IFQ associated with these holdings was relatively small as shown in the table.

Table 7.2-2 provides similar information on the number of QS holders. The table shows the number of initial QS recipients in each area and the number of initial QS recipients who did not change their holdings of a particular type of QS defined by species, area, and category during 1995. In other words, this particular QS holding was the same at initial issuance as it was at year-end 1995 and was still held by the same person.

The percentage of initial QS recipients who did not change at least one QS holding during 1995 was quite large ranging from 75% of initial QS recipients in Area 2C to 100% of initial QS recipients in Area 4E.4 Again, these QS holders were divided into two groups, persons with some harvest of the IFQ associated with the QS holding and persons with no harvest of the IFQ associated with the QS holding. Note that if the QS holding was fished by a lease holder or a designated skipper it also was counted in the "some harvest" group.

The data indicate that the percentage of the persons who had unchanged QS holdings and did not fish those holdings was large, ranging from 32.6% of the initial QS recipients in Area 2C to 53.7% of the initial QS recipients in Area 4D. The percentage of such persons represented more than 50% of initial QS recipients in CDQ management Areas 4A through 4E. Again, the average size of these QS holdings was small when measured in terms of 1995 IFQ.

TABLE 7.2-1. Fished and unfished QS owned by initial issuees at year-end 1995, by area

TABLE 7.2-2. Number of initial issuees associated with fished and unfished QS at year-end 1995, by area

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