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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Amendment 80 Head and Gut Catcher/Processor Sector Economic Data Collection

Under the terms of North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (NPFMC) June 2006 motion to rationalize the non-American Fisheries Act (AFA) Trawl catcher/processing (CP) sector, a mandatory socioeconomic data collection program will be implemented for the entire sector, beginning in the second quarter 2009. During the third quarter 2008, Economics and Social Science Research (ESSR) Program economists held focus groups and interviews with the Amendment 80 sector to develop draft survey forms for collection of revenue, cost, employment, and capacity data required under the Amendment 80 regulations. Improved testing and development of data collection forms is anticipated to minimize reporting burden and improve data quality.

By Brian Garber-Yonts

BSAI Crab Economic Data Quality Review

As directed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) motions from February 2003 and December 2006, a rigorous set of procedures for assessing and documenting data quality of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Economic Data Reporting (BSAI Crab EDR) database have been developed and implemented by ESSR Program staff and contractors. Results of third party validation audits and extensive submitter feedback and data quality reviews have been documented in the form of a detailed metadata document, along with numerous database details intended to ensure long-term integrity of the database and access by data users.

Following presentation of the draft metadata document to the Council in February 2008 by ESSR economists, the Council issued a motion directing the Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee (PNCIAC) to participate in a formal review of EDR data quality and the metadata document. The ESSR economists met with PNCIAC in May and presented the draft metadata document for formal comments. The comment period ended 28 June, and replies to comments are being drafted and incorporated into the metadata document. Results of the review process will be presented to the Council at its October 2008 meeting.

By Brian Garber-Yonts and Ron Felthoven

Alaska Fisheries and Global Trade

International trade is an important component of several Alaska fisheries (see Quarterly Report, Oct-Dec 2006 issue). Our project aims to integrate international trade data that are associated with these Alaska fisheries into a global economic growth model that represents international trade (see Quarterly Report, Jan-Mar 2007 issue). Two versions of the economic growth model, pertaining to the effects of demographic trends on future demand in the United States and China under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, were cited in a feature article "The Population Problem" that appeared in the June 2008 issue of Nature Reports Climate Change (

As part of the construction of a suitable benchmark for the global economic model, a set of tables was recently completed that estimates bilateral trade flows in 2005 of crab, groundfish, and salmon among several Pacific Rim countries including the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, and Vietnam. These tables are based on the United Nations Commercial Trade Statistics Database ( and were adjusted to U.S. exports and imports using an estimation procedure for updating a transaction matrix. This adjustment procedure is an example of a bi-proportional technique in input-output analysis that has some desirable properties. In particular, it minimizes the sum of squared residuals in bilateral trade flows for a certain metric.

Adjustments are necessary to reconcile the U.N. trade data with data from the U.S. Merchandise Trade Statistics. For example, U.N. data reported by Russia for its exports of king crab to the United States are severely underestimated for 2005. U.S. trade data provides detailed information on the amount, in both kilograms and dollars, of important commodity groups that are directly related to Alaska fisheries. Trade statistics that were used to produce the bilateral trade flow estimates are available to AFSC economists through the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration's Trade Policy Information System ( Part of this work will be presented in July 2008 at the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade conference in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

By Mike Dalton

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