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Pacific Catch Shares are Working to Reduce Discards and Improve Business


The November issue of Fishermen’s News includes in-depth look at the transformation of fishing for almost 100 species along the West Coast since catch shares were introduced last year.

The West Coast Groundfish Catch Share Program was first proposed by fishermen who realized that their fishery was on an unsustainable course. Design and development of the program took about seven years, and required a collaborative approach among diverse stakeholders: small-boat fishermen, large “mothership” trawlers, environmental groups, state officials, regional Council members and NOAA officials, just to name a few.

From the article by reporter Terry Dillman:

“Coos Bay-based trawler Rex Leach said he had ‘some pretty big reservations’ about catch shares, but after the first year, he’s ‘happy to say I was wrong.’ Discards are nearly non-existent and he can now plan groundfish landings when it’s convenient for his operation.”

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