October 7, 2010 Fish News

Posted on: October 8th, 2010 | Author: General Manager | Filed under: Fish News - newsletter

Fish News

Oct. 7, 2010

Advisory Panel Presents Recommendations on Observer Program to North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The Advisory Panel (AP) presented its recommendations on the C-1 Observer Program at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting this afternoon (Oct. 7, 2010) . The AP recommends the Council adopt Alternative 3 and modified Options 1 and 2 below:

Alternative 3: Coverage-based restructuring alternative. Restructure the program for all fisheries and shoreside processors with coverage of less than 100 percent. Vessels in the restructured program would pay an ex-vessel based fee. Leave vessels and processors with at least 100 percent coverage under the current service delivery model.

(Modified) Option 1: For the first two years of the program, the fee would be 2 % of ex-vessel value. In the third year, the fee would automatically drop to one-half of the ex-vessel value based fee for halibut and sablefish landings. The Council and Scientific Statistical Committee (SSC) would assess whether the reduced fee level would generate sufficient revenue to maintain P2 coverage levels.
Option 1 was voted on separately and passed 13/6.

Minority report on C-1, Modified option 1: We the undersigned members of the AP oppose applying a full 2 % observer fee to IFQ/CDQ sablefish/halibut sectors during the first two years of the program before dropping to 1 %. The P2 cost estimate provided on page 168 and in Appendix 11 (Observer Program Public Review Draft October 2010) includes approximately 200 observer days at a cost of $1,000,000 for vessels under 40 ft. which are not scheduled for observer coverage in the first year(s) of the program. When these observer days are backed-out, a 2% fee on sablefish and halibut fleet generates $1 million more a year than the deployment plan requires. This million-dollar cushion comes at the expense of the IFQ/CDQ sablefish/halibut fisheries that are struggling under reduced quotas and high energy costs, which creates a significant barrier to entry. IFQ sablefish/halibut is the only fishery that is subject to the observer restructuring program, currently paying a monitoring and enforcement fee of up to 3%.
Applying Option 1 (one half the assessed fee) to the sablefish/halibut fleet from the beginning of the program will allow for P2 sampling to be achieved and still generate a small surplus (approx. $200,000) over projected costs. Additionally, the P2 analysis is based on using ride along human observers in all sectors at a cost of $467/day. Using electronic monitoring (EM) in lieu of human observers on some fleet segments may result in cost savings creating additional surplus.

Signed by: Anne Vanderhoeven, Chuck McCallum, Jeff Farvour, Julianne Curry, Tim Evers, Becca Robbins Gisclair.

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