Final Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis of a Provision Allowing Post-Delivery Transfer of Shares: Regulatory Amendment to Implement Amendment 28 to the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs Fishery Management Plan
In August of 2005, fishing in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island crab fisheries began under a new share-based management program, the “rationalization program”. Under the program, allocations of IFQ to harvesters and IPQ to processors are binding, without provision to cover any overage or compensate for any underage. This action considers allowing harvesters and processors to engage in post-delivery transfer of their respective shares to cover overages.
Precisely estimating catch at sea during the fishery is difficult and costly, due to variation in size of crab, and sorting and measurement requirements. Overages can result from mistakes, by participants attempting to accurately estimate catch. The inability to address overages also impedes flexibility in attempting to optimally harvest IFQ. A provision allowing for post-delivery transfer of individual fishing quota to cover overages could reduce the number of violations, allowing for more complete harvest of allocations, and reduce enforcement costs, without increasing the risk of overharvest of allocations.