Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What's it Worth?

Measuring economic contributions of the marine recreational charter fishing sector using a resampling approach

- by Daniel K. Lew and Chang K. Seung

Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management Division, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA

LAST MONTH we linked to an article by journalist Craig Medred who investigated the value of Alaska's recreational charter fishing fleet.

As Medred reported, NOAA Fisheries sent out a press release describing their work on showcasing the economic contribution of sportfishing.

NOAA outlined the dollar value of the charter industry in Alaska but few details were provided.

Now we have received the advance copy the underlying economic study conducted by Dan Lew and Chang Seung. It's a technical paper and dense reading. They've put together a time series of economic data over the years when we've gone through some severe restrictions in the guided halibut fishery.

Now it should be possible to tease out the economic effects of regulatory changes over the past few years.

Due to copyright issues we can't share the full report at this time. Some highlights from the report:
  • The authors developed a way to look at the value of the charter fleet over a period of several years, showing how restrictions to the sector have resulted in declines in revenue to the state of Alaska. 
  • The study develops a new method to predict more accurately the economic impact of specific regulatory changes, as we manage future seasons. 
  • Total charter fishing industry output declined from 2011, when the Halibut Catch Sharing Plan was implemented, to 2012 by more than 100 million dollars.
  • Total output in for Alaska's charter fleet 2011 was $248 million, and climbed back up in more recent years to $166 million in 2015. 
  • Not in the report, but included here for comparison, in 2013 the commercial directed halibut fishery landed five times the amount of halibut with an ex-vessel value of $115 million. Of course there are other revenues associated with these commercial landings - but even so: is the state of Alaska receiving full value for these fish by restricting access to halibut for guided anglers?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Incidental Take Authorization: Hilcorp Alaska LLC Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska

NOAA Fisheries, upon request from Hilcorp Alaska LLC (Hilcorp), hereby issues regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, over the course of five years (2019-2024). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby additionally given that a LOA has been issued to Hilcorp to take marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities.

(Read more here.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Trump Administration Appoints Campbell & Kimball to North Council

We are pleased to hear the administration agreed with the Alaska Charter Association's nominations for appointments to the North Council.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council includes members from Alaska and Washington.

2019 appointees will fill two obligatory seats for Alaska.

Obligatory seats:

Cora J. Campbell (Alaska)

Nicole S. Kimball (Alaska)

Homer in October: We Tell the North Council to Reduce By Catch.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Homer, Alaska at Land's End Resort the first week of October.

Trawl by catch is on the agenda and the Alaska Charter Association is partnering with the North Pacific Fisheries Association and the Homer Charter Association to organize public comment.

We'll be there and would like to hear from any charter operators or halibut anglers who want to speak up on the issue of trawl by catch of Pacific halibut and salmon.

The North Council will have a block room rate available for attendees, at the Land's End Resort and Best Western Bidarka, where the Advisory Panel will meet. The Council and staff will be at Land's End.

Even if you can't make it, there will be opportunity for public comment in writing. The Council makes it easy to do online. The documents and agenda will be posted soon, and we'll let you know when that's available.

See you in Homer- for details about the meeting visit the North Pacific Fishery Management Council website for the meeting agenda, documents and online comment form.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It adds up to 7 million pounds of halibut this year

Shout out to Alaska Public Radio and all the local stations that keep us up to date on commercial and recreational fishing news.

Here's an example of one story about halibut bycatch in the trawl fishery. (Other fisheries too, but the bulk is discarded dead in the trawl fishery.)

Spoiler: it was a lot. Seven million pounds. Jeff Lockwood from www.kbbi.org reports:

"This Week in Bycatch - June 18"

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

NOAA Estimates $85 million loss to Alaska economy after Quota Grab from Charter Anglers

Craig Medred writes...

Or in other words, Alaska lost $85 million per year in tourism business after the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC), a federal entity dominated by commercial fishing interests, shifted quota from the charters to the commercial fishery in the years after 2011.


Monday, June 3, 2019

NOAA: Engaging with Recreational Anglers Is a Top Priority

From NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver:

National Fishing and Boating Week marks a fun and informal start to summer for me and many of us at NOAA Fisheries. During my 27 years in Anchorage, it was the start of a few short months of non-stop fishing with family and friends during long summer days.

As Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Fishing and Boating Week gives me a chance to highlight some of the great work our agency and partners are doing to promote sustainable recreational fishing and boating. For example, during the Miami Boat Show this past February, Fisheries and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries entered a formal partnership with the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and American Sportfishing Association. Over the next 5 years we’ll be working with these organizations to highlight and expand sustainable recreational saltwater fishing and boating opportunities, as well as marine ecosystems across the nation.

To kick off National Fishing and Boating Week 2019, NOAA Fisheries is releasing six region-specific saltwater recreational fisheries engagement plans highlighting where and how our agency will be working to better engage fishermen. Activities include everything from roundtable meetings to on-the-water events. Some of the activities our regional offices will undertake this year include: co-hosting fishing events for kids and veterans, collaboratively surveying fish populations with for-hire fishing boat operators, helping to train potential future fishery management council members, and conducting workshops with anglers to understand how regulatory changes might improve life on the water.

While our regional offices were developing engagement plans, our national recreational fisheries team joined with the Office of Habitat Conservation to identify and fund habitat restoration projectsfor recreationally important species of fish in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alaska. These projects will get underway in 2019 and directly include anglers in hands-on restoration work. They also developed a partnership with the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing Academy to teach local youths about ecology, fisheries science, and habitat conservation, while teaching valuable guiding skills that support local employment in southwest Alaska.

Fisheries’ great work supporting sustainable recreational fishing is only one facet of the support NOAA provides anglers. Wherever you fish in our coastal and ocean waters, NOAA’s tide tables, navigational charts, sea surface temperature data, weather radio, and forecasts provide critical information to help you find the bite and get you safely to and from your favorite fishing spot.

I encourage you to start your summer with a fishing trip during National Fishing and Boating Week 2019, and I’ll see you out on the water.