Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Common Terms
Common terms used in the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper and Grouper Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Programs
Allocation is the amount of pounds gutted weight a shareholder is ensured the opportunity to possess, land, or sell in a calendar year. Allocation, by share category is released each year on January 1. Since allocation is annual, any unused allocation expires on December 31 of each year. The allocation received by shareholders is determined by multiplying the share percentage held by the quota at the time of release. Allocation received will increase or decrease proportionately as quotas are increased or decreased. Dealer accounts may not possess allocation.
A transfer of allocation from one shareholder account to another’s shareholder or vessel account or between a shareholder’s own vessel and shareholder account.
The price paid to the vessel owner/operator by a dealer per pound of fish before any deductions are made for transferred (leased) allocation, goods or services (e.g., bait, ice, fuel, repairs, machinery replacement, etc.).
IFQ Dealer Endorsement
The IFQ dealer endorsement is a document that a dealer must possess in order to receive Gulf of Mexico IFQ species. The dealer endorsement can be downloaded free of charge from the IFQ dealer’s account.
Landing means to arrive at a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp.
Landing Notification (3H#)
You must make a landing notification at least 3 hours but no more than 24 hours in advance of landing. When providing a landing notification, you will be asked to provide your vessel identification number, the location of landing, the name and address of the IFQ dealer, estimated landings in pounds gutted weight per share category, and the date and time of landing.
Landing Transaction (DL#)
The dealer completes the landing transaction after the fish have been weighed by entering the sale information into the Catch Shares online system. The fisherman confirms the transaction by entering the vessel signature personal identification number (PIN). Upon successful completion, a confirmation number or “DL#” will be generated, which allows those fish to be transported on land.
Offloading means to remove IFQ species from a vessel. IFQ species can only be offloaded between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., local time.
Accounts that do not have an associated Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit. Public participants may hold and transfer shares and allocation, but cannot harvest IFQ species.
Shares are a percentage of the commercial quota. Your percent share of the quota does not change unless you transfer shares into or out of your account. Dealer accounts cannot possess shares.
An account that holds a percentage of the commercial IFQ quota.
A type of IFQ account that may hold shares and/or allocation. This includes accounts that only hold allocation.
The maximum share allowed to be held by a person, business, or other entity, individually or collectively. The share cap prevents one or more IFQ shareholders from purchasing an excessive amount of IFQ shares per requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
IFQ shares are established for the following six categories:
- Deep-water grouper: snowy grouper, speckled hind, Warsaw grouper, and yellowedge grouper
- Gag grouper
- Other shallow-water grouper: black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper
- Red grouper
- Red snapper
- Tilefish: blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, and goldface tilefish
A transfer of shares from one shareholder account to another account. A shareholder must initiate the share transfer and the receiver must accept the transfer by using the Catch Shares online system. Share transfers must be accepted within 30 days of the initial transfer.
Vessel Account PIN
The unique series of letters, numbers, and special characters used to log into a vessel account in the Catch Shares online system.
Vessel Signature PIN
The unique series of letters, numbers, and special characters used to validate landing transactions. Note, in past years the Vessel Account PIN was used to validate landing transactions.
A shareholder with an IFQ vessel account landing the shareholder’s only remaining allocation, can exceed, by up to 10%, the shareholder’s allocation remaining on that last fishing trip, i.e. a one-time per fishing year overage. Any overage will be deducted from the shareholder's allocation for the next fishing year and the shareholder is restricted from selling shares that would prohibit this take back action. Fishermen may resume fishing after an overage, if they obtain more allocation from another shareholder.