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Parallel and Divergent Fishery Management Structures in State and Federal Waters


Keith Criddle Keith CriddleFisheries Division
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Gordon Kruse Gordon KruseFisheries Division
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks



Proposals submitted to the Alaska Board of Fisheries would, if approved, establish state-waters walleye pollock management plans for Cook Inlet, Kodiak, and Chignik management areas. Currently the viability of a state-waters fishery is uncertain, given temporal and spatial dynamics of the fishery, as well as the constraints on vessel size and proposed catch limits. At the same time, federal fisheries managers are considering a new catch-share management structure for the Gulf of Alaska walleye pollock and Pacific cod trawl fisheries. Implementation of catch-shares in federal waters will affect management, financial viability, and economic footprint of the parallel fishery in state waters. Individual-, sector-, or community-based catch-share systems patterned after those implemented for other federal fisheries in Alaska are unlikely to be options for management of trawl fisheries for walleye pollock in state waters due to strictures in the Alaska Constitution.

We propose to examine the viability of, and likely economic impact to, a nascent state-waters trawl fishery for walleye pollock as it relates to five federal management strategies (IFQs; LLP with the ability to form cooperatives; sector allocations; bycatch/prohibited species catch allocations; and catch-share system based upon community fishing associations) and four state management strategies (open access; limited entry; limited with super-exclusive registration, limited entry with catch shares) will be evaluated as to a “no action” scenario. It is anticipated that each combination of these management structures will have different impacts on fishery-dependent communities. We will use empirically based stochastic economic simulations to gauge the economic implications of each of these scenarios. This research is designed to be informative to stakeholders, the Alaska Board of Fisheries, and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.


The issue

As a bycatch reduction measure the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the managing body for federal-waters fisheries in Alaska, is considering changing the Gulf of Alaska management structure to grant participants designated portions of the total allowable catch (TAC). However, Article VIII of the Alaska Constitution bans state resource management agencies from enacting some management structures in state territorial waters that are otherwise afforded to federal managers in federal waters.

Why is this an Alaska Sea Grant project?

The economic sustainability of fishery management structures is of utmost importance to communities, users, and stakeholders. This work directly relates to Alaska Sea Grant Strategic Plan Goal 3 in that it is designed to “increase understanding by managers and stakeholders of community impacts from various fisheries management strategies.”

Research collaborators

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
North Pacific Fishery Management Council


What researchers learned

Model code has been finalized and validated against historic data. Policy simulations have been completed. A draft manuscript describing model structure and the policy simulations has been written and is undergoing review.