The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a catch shares system. It is believed that this will prevent over fishing and replenish depleted stocks. The proposal states it will not impose the system on any fishery but sees it as a good option for sustainable fishing.
Catch shares imposes a strict overall catch and then divides the catch among the buyers. It allows fishing companies to have ownership in the system. It is felt that this system will halt the race for fish where fisherman try to catch as much fish as possible before the season ends.
Whereas in a shared system they could take as much time as they liked and collect until their quota is reached. It also allows them to sell more fresh fish at a higher price. Currently there are more than a dozen such programs in the Country. But they take a long time to set up the committee wants to make this an easier and faster process.
Fishing groups so far like the draft especially the fact that fishing companies can choose whether or not this is a good option for them.
In Alaska catch share programs for sablefish and hailbut are a success but in the case of Crab it is not so clear cut.
We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.