Community Quota and License Programs for Community Quota Entities
Certain federal limited access programs provide eligible Alaskan communities an opportunity to improve their economies with special fishery-related privileges. In these programs, eligible communities can form nonprofit entities called Community Quota Entities (CQEs). If a CQE represents a community eligible for privileges under a particular management program, the CQE may request no-cost community permits or purchase commercial Quota Share (QS). All CQE's are required to submit an annual activity report to NOAA Fisheries by January 31st of each year.
Charter Halibut Limited Access Program (CHLAP): Community Charter Permits
Under the CHLAP eligible Community Quota Entities (CQEs) may request community charter halibut permits for use in International Pacific Halibut Commission Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). A CQE may apply at any time for community CHPs, issued at no cost. The CQE designates charter operators to use its community CHPs, although the CHP itself is retained by the CQE. A charter vessel operator using a Community CHP is subject to all charter fishing regulations and must either begin or end the charter vessel fishing trip within the community designated on the permit. More information is available below and on the sport halibut management web page which includes Frequently Asked Questions about the CHLAP and community permits.
Applications, Transfers and Limits
License Limitation Program (LLP): Community Licenses Program
The LLP authorizes CQEs for eligible communities to request non-trawl groundfish LLP licenses endorsed for Pacific cod in the central or western Gulf of Alaska. Information is available below, and on the LLP web page. The CQE must annually, in an Authorization Letter, assign each community LLP to a user and vessel and must provide a copy of the authorization letter, and any subsequent amendment to that authorization letter that is made by the CQE to both NMFS and the vessel operator prior to use by the person(s) designated. There are residency and other requirements for community LLP Users, and the CQEs have an annual reporting requirement on permit use.
Applications and Reports
- Permits issued
- State of Alaska CQE Program: assistance with funding and forming non-profit organizations.
- Eligible communities: 50 CFR Part 679: Table 21
- Federal Register Rules and Notices
- LLP regulations: 50 CFR 679.4(k) and annual reporting requirement: 50 CFR 679.4(k)(10)(vi)(G)
Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program: Community Quota Share Purchase
The IFQ Program authorizes CQEs to purchase commercial halibut and sablefish Quota Share (QS) for lease to residents of the eligible community. This privilege includes a CQE annual reporting requirement.
Applications and Transfers
- Questions and Answers about the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Requests for Emergency Actions: On February 10, 2021, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) made four recommendations to NOAA Fisheries for emergency or expedited changes to Federal fishing regulations. NOAA Fisheries will analyze the Council’s recommendations and, if approved by the Secretary of Commerce, will publish a rule in the Federal Register. This process typically takes five to six weeks but the exact timing may vary for each action.
- Applications and Transfers
- State of Alaska CQE Program for assistance with funding and forming non-profit organizations.
- Eligible communities: 50 CFR, Part 679, Table 21
- Approved IFQ Community Quota Entities
- Reporting: Under 50 CFR 679.5(l)(8), each CQE must report to NMFS annually on IFQ activities, including: nonprofit governance, QS holdings, IFQ recipient selection, landings, and other relevant information.
- Federal Register Rules and Notices: 2004-present, 1986-2003
- IFQ Program Regulations
- Report on Holdings of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) by Residents of Selected Gulf of Alaska Fishing Communities (CQE)
Crab Rationalization Community Protection Measures
The Crab Rationalization Community Protection Measures were established to protect the interests of nine communities that were historically dependent on crab revenues and fishing activity. The Community Protection Measures authorize NMFS-approved non-profit organizations that represent Eligible Crab Communities (ECCs) to exercise special privileges. These include the right to acquire Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands king and Tanner crab Quota Share (QS) for lease of the resulting Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) to residents of the ECC on whose behalf the QS is held; and the Right of First Refusal on sale of some Processor Quota Shares (PQS) and use of annual Individual Processing Quota (IPQ).
Community QS Purchase Program
Forming a Non-Profit Entity
The governing body of the Eligible Crab Communities (ECC) must designate the non-profit organization, which then must be approved by NMFS as an Eligible Crab Community Organization (ECCO).
The nine ECCs and their governing bodies are:
- Adak – City of Adak
- Akutan – Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association
- Unalaska/Dutch Harbor – City of Unalaska
- False Pass – Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association
- King Cove – City of King Cove and Aleutians East Borough
- Kodiak – City of Kodiak and Kodiak Island Borough
- Port Moller – Aleutians East Borough
- Saint George – Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association
- Saint Paul – Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association
- State of Alaska CQE Program for assistance with funding and forming non-profit organizations
- Federal Register Rules and Notices
- Crab IFQ Program Regulations
Crab QS and IFQ Transfers and Limits
Each year, the ECCO may transfer (lease) its crab IFQ to one or more eligible community residents of the ECC. Caps limit the amount of crab QS that can be held on behalf of each community and crab IFQ used by each resident. Eligible community resident means, for purposes of the Crab QS program, any individual who:
- Is a citizen of the United States;
- Has maintained a domicile in the ECC, from which the individual requests to lease crab IFQ, for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made and who is not claiming residency in another community, state, territory, or country; and
- Is otherwise eligible to receive crab QS or IFQ by transfer.
Under 50 CFR 680.5, annually by June 30, each ECCO must submit a complete annual report for the prior crab fishing year. The ECCO must submit a copy of the report to the governing body of each ECC it represents and to the Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region. Report content includes the ECCO's nonprofit governance, QS holdings, IFQ recipient selection, landings, and other relevant information.
Right of First Refusal (ROFR)
Eligible crab community (ECC) entity means a non-profit organization specified under 50 CFR 680.41(j)(2) that is designated by the governing body of an ECC, other than Adak, to represent it for the purposes of engaging in the ROFR of transfer of crab PQS or IPQ outside the ECC under contract provisions set forth under Section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The ROFR comes into play as part of transfer of PQS and IPQ and is governed by civil contracts between PQS holders and eligible communities. Relevant transfer regulations are at: 50 CFR 680.41.