RIR/IRFA of a Provision Exempting C Shares from Processor Share and Regional Landing Requirements for a Proposed Regulatory Amendment to Implement Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs
Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis of an action to indefinitely extend the exemption of C shares from regional and processor share landing requirements for the Crab Rationalization Program.
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”). The program is unique in several ways, including the allocation of a portion of the harvest share pool as “C shares” to qualified captains and crew, the allocation of processing shares in an amount corresponding to a portion of the harvest share pool, and the designation of certain harvest shares for landing in a specific region. Under the program, 90 percent of the annual catcher vessel owner harvest share allocation is issued as “Class A” individual fishing quota (IFQ), which must be delivered in a designated region and may only be delivered to a processor holding unused individual processing quota (IPQ). Under the rationalization program, the Council exempted catcher vessel C shares from the regional and processing share landing requirements for the first three years of the program. This exemption is scheduled to expire at the beginning of the 2008-2009 fishing season. When the Council adopted the rationalization program, it also tasked staff to provide a review of landing patterns of C shares to assess whether the exemption should be extended indefinitely. At its March/April 2007 meeting, staff delivered that review to the Council and the Council elected to task staff to prepare an analysis of an action to indefinitely extend the exemption of C shares from regional and processor share landing requirements.