15.1 TACs and Harvests: 1991 to 1996
15 Overharvest and Underharvest of IFQs and TACs
Table 15-1 compares the sum of commercial and non-commercial sablefish harvests in each management area with the total allowable catch (TAC) for each year from 1991 through 1996. It shows the difference, in pounds, between the harvest and TAC, and shows the percent of the TAC that was harvested.
The 1991 to 1994 estimated harvests come from a computerized file that contains fish ticket records for catcher vessels and records derived from NMFS's Weekly Production Reports (WPRs) for catcher-processors.1 Harvest data for 1995 and 1996 come from NMFS-RAM catch records. Again, both commercial and non-commercial catch have been included in the harvest totals; therefore, harvest totals are slightly different than those shown in Tables 14-1 and 14-2.
The TACs and harvests in Table 15-1 do not include the portion of the quota allotted to trawl operations. In 1995 and 1996 the harvest represents commercial and non-commercial catch in the sablefish IFQ fishery only and the TACs exclude amounts allocated to the sablefish CDQ fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
Table 15-1 indicates that estimated harvests in the 1995 and 1996 IFQ fisheries fell below the TACs in all sablefish management areas. The estimated shortfall ranged from about 2.9% in the Central Gulf in 1996 to 34.1% in 1995 in the Aleutian Islands. The underharvest decreased from 1995 to 1996 in all areas.
Prior to implementation of the IFQ program in 1995, "overages," or catches that exceeded the TAC, were common in the Southeast, West Yakutat, and Central Gulf areas. In other areas, large underharvests sometimes occurred, particularly when sablefish fisheries were closed after halibut bycatch limits were reached.
15.2 Total Available IFQs and Actual Harvest by Vessel Category
Table 15-2 compares the sum of commercial and non-commercial sablefish harvests with available IFQs for the first two years of the IFQ program. The data are broken out by area and vessel category. The data for harvest and total available IFQs are somewhat different than Table 15-1 and other tables in this report.
Each year, NMFS-RAM holds out a portion of the TAC in a special "IFQ reserve" pool to cover QS claims in the administrative appeals process. If a person is awarded additional QS during the year through the administrative appeal process then IFQ is taken from the pounds set aside in the IFQ reserve pool.2 Consequently, the "current year IFQs" as shown in Table 15-2 consist of the TAC, minus the IFQ in the reserve pool, plus any IFQs that are taken out of the reserve for awards due to administrative appeals.
The IFQ program rules provide for adjustments to a person's current year IFQ assignment due to overharvests or underharvests in the previous year. Deductions can be made for a person's overharvest and a person can carry-over up to 10% of their unharvested IFQ to the following year.3 The total net carry- over from all QS holders is shown in Table 15-2. The carry-over in 1995 is zero because it was the first year of the IFQ program. The "total available IFQs" in the table is the sum of the "current year IFQs" and the previous year carry-over. The carry-over could be positive or negative.
Note again the harvest data in Table 15-2 consists of both commercial and non- commercial catches, whereas tables in Chapter 14 and 16 do not include non-commercial catch. The table also shows the total number of unique persons who recorded landings in each vessel category in the year.
Table 15-2 indicates that during 1995 and 1996 the harvest in most areas and vessel categories was less than the total available IFQ. The percentage of unharvested IFQ decreased from 1995 to 1996 in all areas except the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. In the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, the percentage of unharvested IFQ grew from 1995 to 1996 in the freezer vessel category, but decreased in the catcher vessel categories.
In the Western Gulf, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands areas, there were sometimes large differences between vessel categories in the percentage of harvested IFQ. For example, in the Western Gulf in 1995 the percentage of IFQ harvested in the freezer vessel category was 97.0%, but was 75.0% in the "60 foot or less" category. In the Southeast, West Yakutat, and Central Gulf areas, the differences across vessel categories were usually smaller.
Table 15-2. Available IFQs and IFQs Harvested, By Area and Vessel Category
15.3 Unchanged QS and Unharvested IFQ, 1995 and 1996
During the 1995 and 1996 fishing seasons there were persons who did not transfer, lease, or alter their QS holdings in any way, nor did they fish any portion of their IFQs. Tables 15-3a and 15-3b provide information on the extent of unchanged and un-used QS.
Table 15-3a shows, by area and year, the total amount of QS initially issued in the area. It is compared with the sum of QS holdings that belong to persons who did not alter their holdings by the end of the year. The portion of the "unaltered holdings" is divided into two groups for the year: QS that was used for some IFQ harvest, and QS that was not used for any IFQ harvest. The table also shows the mean amount of QS held by persons in each of the two categories, as well as the IFQ equivalent of the mean QS.
In Tables 15-3a and 15-3b, CDQ catches are not considered for the counts of persons who had sablefish harvest. The Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea are CDQ areas.
The amount and percentage of QS that belongs to persons who have not altered their holdings since the beginning of the program should decline each year. The percentage of QS that was held by persons who had not changed their holdings by the end of 1995 ranged from 75.0% in the Southeast area to 91.6% in the Western Gulf. These percentages declined from 1995 to 1996 in all areas and ranged from 60.9% in the Southeast area to 83.2% in the Aleutian Islands.
Some persons did not alter their QS holdings, nor did they fish in a particular year. The percentage of these persons declined from 1995 to 1996 in all areas except the Western Gulf. Their average QS holdings were considerably smaller than the average holdings of persons who did fish, but who also had not altered their holdings. This was true in both 1995 and 1996 and in all areas.
Table 15-3b provides similar information on the number of QS holders. It shows the total number of initial issuees in each area and year and compares them with the number of QS holders who had not altered their holdings by the end of the year. Initial issuees who had not changed their holdings are divided into two groups: the table shows the number and percentage that fished their IFQ during the year and the number and percentage that did not fish their IFQ during the year. The table also shows the mean QS and IFQ equivalent holdings for each group of persons.
The percentage of initial issuees who had not made changes to their QS holdings and who did not fish those holdings dropped from 1995 to 1996 in all areas. The 1995 percentage of initial issuees who had not changed their QS holdings and who did not fish ranged from 21.4% in the Southeast area to 40.7% in both the Western Gulf and Bering Seas. This percentage declined from 1995 to 1996 in all areas.
Table 15-3a Fished and Unfished QS Owned by Initial Issuees Who Had Not Altered Their QS by Year-end 1995 and 1996.
Table 15-3b Number of Initial QS Recipients Who Had Not Altered Their QS Holdings by Year-end 1995 and 1996: Persons With and Without Harvests