Catch Share Design Case Study: Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Conservation Cooperation

Catch Share ConversationsOur last case study in this week’s Catch Share Conversation about harvesting cooperatives comes from the Gulf of Alaska. In 2007, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council implemented a five year pilot cooperative program in the commercial sector of the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Fishery. The program was designed to address problems of overcapacity and derby fishing and to meet various additional goals. After three years, the pilot program is meeting its goals of ending the race for fish, improving product quality, protecting shore plants and communities, and decreasing bycatch and discards.

Alaska OutlinePrior to cooperative formation, the fishery was plagued by problems due to traditional management approaches including overcapitalization, shrinking fishing seasons, decreased safety and poor product quality. The fishing season shrunk to a dismal derby-filled three weeks. Read the full case study of how the Rockfish cooperative combines a number of design features to meet their goals including shares for target and bycatch species, provisions for new entrants, limitations on trading and more.

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