Federal fisheries managers have taken final action on a regulatory amendment to allow community development quota groups to lease halibut quota shares in lease area 4B, 4C and 4D in years when catch limits are below certain thresholds.
The action came during the June meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Juneau, Alaska.
In Area 4B, this option would be available to groups if the catch limit was one million pounds or less. For Area 4C and 4D, it would be permitted when the catch limit in Area 4CDE was at or below 1.5 million pounds. The council said leased IFQ would be available to vessels less than or equal to 51 feet length overall, subject to the groups’ internal management. This action would not, however, convert IFQ to CDQ quota.
The council ruled that vessels harvesting leased halibut IFQ must follow all halibut IFQ regulations, with one exception—in Area 4D IFQ leased by a CDQ group would be permitted to be fished in Area 4E.
In addition, council members added some restrictive provisions to mitigate adverse impacts on other IFQ stakeholders and the quota share market and also acted to prevent individuals form buying quota shares with the specific intent of leasing it. This provision will not allow any individual to lease IFQ within the first three years after they have acquired it.
Finally, to discourage reliance on leasing of Area 4 quota share, quota share holders may not lease halibut IFQ on a consecutive basis for more than two years. The action intends that IFQ be leased by non-residents of CDQ communities for use by residents.