A recent survey of trawl fishermen in Oregon is a good yardstick for the present outlook of West Coast trawl fishermen who will be moving to a catch share program in January 2011. The poll shows strong support for keeping the IFQ program on track for implementation:
- 40 supported actively working to ensure implementation in 2011, while 16 preferred a delayed implementation date.
- There were only 17 votes in opposition to the program out of a total of 73 who responded to the poll.
The significance of this vote is that even in the face of uncertainty about this new catch share program, the trawl fishermen of Oregon believe that the program is a significant improvement over status quo management, and a vital step to saving the groundfish fishery from its continued downward spiral.
In response to questions about the upcoming change in management of the Pacific groundfish trawl fishery, the Oregon Trawl Commission (OTC) conducted a membership poll asking the Oregon fleet to respond to three questions related to support for the Pacific groundfish trawl catch shares program. This new management program has been designed to generate millions of dollars more income at the fleet level, get rid of wasteful regulatory discards, and reward those fishermen who are best able to avoid sensitive overfished species. Since Oregon has the majority of trawl fishermen of all three affected West Coast states, the poll is a good measurement of fishermen sentiment.
The Oregon Trawl Commission is a state agency that works to support the trawl industry in Oregon, and is supported by assessments on all trawl-caught fish landed in Oregon.
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