Steven E.Hughes, Christopher Woodley: Transition from open access to quo...

Start2007Steven E.Hughes, Christophe...

During the past 12 years fishery managers responsible for federal fisheries off Alaska have developed and implemented three new fishery management limited access/quota share programs in place of traditional open access management. The three limited access programs are unique but each provides for the allocation of quota shares to individual participants in the halibut and sablefish longline fishery, in the Bering Sea pollock trawl fishery and in the Bering Sea king and Tanner crab fishery, respectively.

New management programs are briefly described and contrasted with traditional management. For each of the three fisheries, management changes over time have generated substantial changes in fishing fleets, their operations, crew employment, economics and safety records. Under quota share management, fleet consolidations have occurred, particularly in the more over capitalized fisheries. The intense speed and inflexible timing associated with open access fisheries have greatly lessened as have the risk taking and incentives to maximize fishing power. Active vessel economic viability has strengthened due to a combination of increased efficiency, higher product yields, reduced costs, greater crew stability and safer operations.


Alaska fishery management, transition, open access management, limited access/quota share based management, commercial fishing impacts

Steven E.Hughes, Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.
1900 W.Nickerson Street, Suite 207, Seattle, WA 98119, Tel. (206)285-3480,

Chris Woodley, 13th U.S.Coast Guard District, 915 2nd Avenue, Suite 3584,
Seattle, WA 98174, USA, E-mail: