Posts Tagged catch-share

Dec 24 2013

California fishers say quota system is all wet

The skipper of a fishing boat that has trawled Monterey Harbor for decades says he’s been docked since spring, unable to earn a living.

Jiri Nozicka says a federal quota system enacted to protect both fish and the commercial fishing industry has problems that he can’t navigate.

“How do I plan anything?” he asked, recently standing on the deck of the San Giovanni. “I can’t. It’s impossible.”

He’s not alone in criticizing the “catch shares” system and calling for changes. Commercial fishers, industry experts and government officials are among those who say that while fish populations are recovering, too few people in California are benefiting from that rebound in part because there aren’t enough qualified monitors to oversee the program.

“Financially, I can only say that multiple trips have been cancelled due to a lack of availability of these monitors, millions of pounds of fish have not been caught, processed and sold to markets and this is a loss of millions of dollars,” said Michael Lucas, president of North Coast Fisheries Inc., in a letter to federal regulators.

After Pacific Coast groundfish populations dropped dramatically in 2000 a federal economic disaster was declared, leading to the strict new quota system. The goal was to boost populations of black cod and dover sole and to revive the flagging industry.

Read the full article here.

May 7 2013

‘Mystery fish’ turns out to be 125-pound opah, a rare catch aboard Southern California half-day boat

GrindTV Image

Anglers and crew aboard a Southern California half-day boat were astonished last week to see what the captain had reeled from the depths: a stunningly gorgeous moon-shaped denizen with a speckled body and bright-red fins.

It was an opah, a species more commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical waters much farther offshore. Opah catches are rare off California, and extremely rare in coastal waters. To have landed one of these pelagic beauties from a half-day boat, within view of the shore, might be unprecedented.

Opah2Capt. Jeff Patrick of the Western Pride hooked the 125-pound opah on a sardine at a depth of about 250 feet, while on a rockfish excursion out of Davey’s Locker Sportfishing in Newport Beach.

The “mystery fish” was so feisty that he thought he had hooked a shark. The fight lasted 45 minutes and at one point the captain contemplated cutting the line because the rockfish had stopped biting and he wanted to relocate to a more productive area.

Read the full story here.

Mar 14 2013

Catch shares leave fishermen reeling


SAN FRANCISCO – For centuries, men like Larry Collins, a garrulous crab and sole fisherman, were free to harvest the seas.

But sweeping across the globe is a system that slowly and steadily hands over a $400 billion ocean fishing industry to corporations. The system, called catch shares, in most cases favors large fishing fleets, a review of the systems operating across the United States shows.

“We’ve been frozen out,” said Collins, who docks near the Golden Gate Bridge. “This system has given it all to the big guys.”

More and more wild-caught fish species and fishing territories in the United States are managed under catch shares, which work by providing harvesting or access rights to fishermen. These rights – worth tens of billions of dollars in the United States alone – are translated into a percentage, or share, that can then be divided, traded, sold, bought or leveraged for financing, just like any asset.

Catch shares have been backed by an alliance of conservative, free-market advocates and environmental groups, some of which have financed scientific studies promoting the merits of the system, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Read the full story here.



Jul 24 2012

The Bite is On! Fishing for Salmon off California Coast is Best in Years

California Department of Fish and Game News Release

The Bite is On! Fishing for Salmon off California Coast is Best in Years

If your fishing gear has been in the garage collecting dust, now’s the time to pull it out because the salmon are here, and the bite is on!

Anglers and sport-fishing charters off the California coast are returning to the docks with full boats and happy customers as the strong ocean salmon bite continues, making 2012 one of the best salmon seasons in years.

Mild weather and good ocean conditions are contributing to what fishermen and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) officials hope will continue to be a robust year for ocean salmon fishing. Hopes are also high for big returns to California rivers this fall.

“Thanks to the favorable ocean conditions and plentiful food, all the reports we are receiving from the coast are very positive,” said DFG Northern Regional Manager Neil Manji. “The charter boats are coming back early enough to make two trips a day because everyone has been catching their limits.”

The daily bag and possession limit is two salmon per person and the minimum size limit is 20 inches.

To find out more visit the California Department of FIsh and Game.

Apr 25 2011

Congress Defunds Wasteful Catch Shares Program

Washington, DC – In a big victory for commercial and recreational fishermen, the U.S. Congress on April 14 voted to defund the “catch shares” program, a controversial and wasteful fisheries management fiasco.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said the program has been “blocking access to fish for thousands of smaller scale fishermen, destroying their livelihoods and our coastal and fishing communities.”

The widely-contested “catch shares” program on the East and West Coasts, a pet project of Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator and also under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, serves to privatize public trust resources by concentrating ocean fisheries in a few corporate hands.

This amendment, offered by Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, is part of the FY2011 budget that President Barack Obama signed into law on April 15.

Read the rest of the story here.


Apr 21 2011

Budget measure blocks new catch share programs

United States Capitolphoto © 2006 Jeff Kubina | more info (via: Wylio)

By Steve Urbon
April 20, 2011 12:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — As a budget amendment blocking catch share management from spreading in America’s fisheries makes its way to President Barack Obama’s desk, new concerns have cropped up about the arrival of private brokers of fishing allocations.

The measure in the budget prohibits the Commerce Department from funding the implementation of fisheries catch share programs such as the one imposed in the Northeast one year ago. It was introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and backed by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., among others.

The language in the amendment was softened somewhat in the budget deliberations. Originally, it stopped funding for even the study of new catch share systems. Now it simply prohibits their approval.

“This is a shot in the arm for fishermen and a shot across the bow of the National Marine Fisheries Service,” said Jones in a prepared statement. “The last thing our government should be doing in these economic times is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to expand programs that will put even more Americans out of work. NMFS would be wise to take heed of the opposition of fishermen, the public and the Congress to their catch shares agenda; we’re not going away.”

Catch shares and sector management are being blamed (or credited) with sharply reducing the size of the groundfish fleet in the Northeast and the rapid consolidation of catch into the top 10 percent of the boats. The measures are being challenged in federal court in a lawsuit filed by New Bedford, Gloucester and other fishing interests.

Read the rest on


Mar 21 2011

Judge hears catch quota arguments

March 19, 2011
Written by KIRK MOORE

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Some mid-Atlantic fishermen challenging a controversial system of catch quotas say that two-thirds of the fishing industry must vote in its favor before it can be imposed.

Their contention was raised during arguments in a federal court hearing in Boston. The New England case has been at the center of a legal and political battle over the catch quota system involving cod, haddock and flounder.

Fishing boat photo © 2009 Mike Baird | more info (via: Wylio)

When a federal judge, Rya Zobel, heard the arguments Tuesday, attention focused on one allegation raised by mid-Atlantic fishermen. They argue federal law says the catch quotas cannot be imposed without an industrywide referendum that wins support among two-thirds of the affected fishing boat owners, captains and crews.

“The arguments quickly zeroed in on the issue of catch shares being an ITQ (individual transferable quotas system) and needing a referendum,” said James Lovgren of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant Beach.

Read the rest of the story here.


Mar 3 2011

Caito Fisheries Letter to Rep. Mike Thompson

Mar 3 2011

Kerry still weighing catch-share stand

By Richard Gaines  Staff Writer

Pondering how he might vote on the so-called Jones amendment — should the House-approved cutoff of funds for future NOAA catch share programs come to a Senate vote — Sen. John Kerry announced Monday he would be holding a “due diligence” meeting Thursday with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

Lubchenco is the lead advocate for the catch share management program, which she began promoting while an academic scientist and officer of the Environmental Defense Fund before President Obama nominated her to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Kerry also said Monday he hoped to gain insight into catch shares via a field hearing he plans to schedule in Massachusetts for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Read the rest of the story here.