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Estimated production figures for
1 January through 31 March 2004.


Number Aged

Yellowfin sole


Arrowtooth flounder


Walleye pollock


Pacific cod




Atka mackerel


Pacific ocean perch


Northern rockfish


Total production figures were 10,362 new age readings, with an additional 1,299 test age readings. Nineteen readings of structure were determined to be unageable.   By Dan Kimura.

Economic & Social Sciences Research Program

Economic Data Collection for Crab Fisheries Rationalization

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (CAA) requires the Secretary of Commerce, by not later than 1 January 2005, to approve regulations for the Voluntary Three-Pie Cooperative Program for crab fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands approved by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. That program includes the data collection program proposed by the Council to evaluate the efficacy of the crab rationalization program and to determine its relative impact on fishery participants and communities. The data program will collect revenue, employment, variable cost data, as well as any fixed cost data necessary to analyze variable costs. These data will be collected from the harvesting and processing sectors for 3 years prior to the implementation of the crab rationalization program and then annually.

Information collection is further addressed in the following requirement contained in the CAA.

The Secretary, in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, shall develop and implement a mandatory information collection and review process to provide any and all information necessary for the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether any illegal acts of anti-competition, anti-trust, or price collusion have occurred among persons receiving individual processing quotas under the Program.

Center economists are working with Alaska Regional Office staff to implement both the data collection program proposed by the Council and the information collection and review process referred to above. The data collection program proposed by the Council will provide some, but not all, of the information required by Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). NMFS will assist in collecting the additional information in two ways. First, it will expand the data collection program proposed by the Council to include additional information requested by the DOJ or FTC. Second, it will implement recordkeeping and reporting requirements that will facilitate DOJ and FTC access to other types of information.

Proposals for Economic Research and Data Collection

Economic and Social Sciences Research Program staff prepared eight economic research proposals for commercial fisheries, one proposal for recreational fisheries, three data collection and research proposals for fishing communities, and three data collection proposals for commercial fisheries. All 15 proposals were completed as part of the annual process to develop spending plans for funding provided by the NMFS Office of Science and Technology. These proposals identify many of the research and data collection projects that program staff will participate in during the coming year. Many of these projects will be conducted in partnership with economists and other social scientists within NMFS and at universities. The proposal titles are listed below.

Economic research proposals for commercial fisheries:

  • Proposal 1.  Design of Multispecies IFQ Systems
  • Proposal 2.  Improving Estimates of Bycatch in Multispecies Fisheries
  • Proposal 3.  An Empirical Investigation of Information and Rationalization: Estimating Their Impact on Bycatch Levels and Location Choice in the Bering Sea
  • Proposal 4.  Estimating the Economic Impact of the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area: Developing and Applying New Methods for Evaluating Spatially Complex Area Closures
  • Proposal 5.  Improving and Integrating BSAI/GOA Commercial Groundfish Fisheries Data
  • Proposal 6.  Extension of Research on a Cap-and-trade System for Regulating Habitat Impacts of Fisheries
  • Proposal 7.  Improve Regional Economic Models for Select Regions Impacted by Alaska Fisheries
  • Proposal 8.  Developing A Dynamic Regional Economic Model for Alaska Fisheries

Economic research proposals for recreational fisheries:

  • Proposal 1.  The Economic Value of Sport Halibut Fishing in Alaska

Data collection and research proposals for fishing communities:

  • Proposal 1.  Joint Project (AFSC/NWFSC)/SWFSC for Fishing Community Profiles in the Western States
  • Proposal 2.  AFSC MSA Fishing Community Identification
  • Proposal 3.  National Standard 8 and the Emigration of IFQ Shares from Small, Remote, Fishing Communities

Data collection proposals for commercial fisheries:

  • Proposal 1.  Obtain Processing Sector Employment and Earnings Data by Residency Category and Obtain Improved Residency Data for the Harvesting Sector
  • Proposal 2.  Expand the Use of Electronic Logbooks to Improve the Economic Data Available for Alaska Groundfish Research and Management
  • Proposal 3.  Implement Mandatory Reporting Program for Economic Data from the Harvesting and Processing Sectors of the BSAI and GOA Groundfish Fisheries That Are Being Rationalized

Other Program Activities

Program staff have been involved in ongoing efforts to 1) implement the National Bycatch Strategy; 2) estimate the nonconsumptive value of Steller sea lions; 3) identify and profile fishing communities; 4) develop regional economic impact models; 5) assess the economic effects of the BSAI pollock fishery cooperatives; 6) measure economic performance for commercial fisheries; 7) assess vessel and permit buyback programs; 8) implement improved electronic reporting of fisheries data; 9) establish an improved program for observer funding and deployment in the Alaska groundfish fisheries; and 10) summarize fisheries data for NMFS, NPFMC, industry, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

NMFS Sea Grant Fellowship for Marine Resource Economics

Joshua Abbott from the University of California, Davis, was awarded one of two 2004 fellowships. Dr. Ron Felthoven will be his mentor. The goal of his dissertation research is to examine the implications of the current regulatory policy in many North Pacific/Alaskan fisheries of controlling harvest by season restrictions. The hypothesis to be tested is that season limits combined with strategic behavior and congestion externalities in the fishery may lead to significant distortions in terms of excess movement among fishing grounds and, in the long run, excess investment in fishing vessels. The other 2004 fellowship in this program was given to Leif Anderson from the University of Washington. His mentor is Dr. Todd Lee at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Alan Haynie, from the University of Washington, was awarded the fellowship last year, and Ron Felthoven was a recipient of the fellowship in 2000, while he was a graduate student at the University of California, Davis.

By Joe Terry


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