Significant mortality of the discarded fish often results (Chopin and Arimoto, 1995). An important issue of bycatch reduction is how much of the bycatch is behavioral (and amenable to proper incentives) and how much is technological and thus harder (but not impossible) to reduce with incentives.
Some bycatch is retained and marketed. Other bycatch is discarded at sea or after delivery to a processing facility. National Standard 9 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act states that "conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, (A) minimize bycatch and (B) to the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality of such bycatch" (Sec. 301[a]). The Magnuson-Stevens Act also includes provisions to encourage the development of bycatch reduction incentives and the full utilization of unavoidable economic discards (bycatch that has no market). Although the development of individual bycatch quotas (IBQs) is permitted, none of the regional councils have sought review by the Secretary of Commerce of fishery management plan amendments to implement IBQs. An example of a bycatch quota is the individual dolphin mortality limits issued under the 1992 Agreement for the Conservation of Dolphins in the eastern Pacific Ocean tuna fishery.
Bycatch quotas provide incentives for a fishing operation to reduce its bycatch in two ways: (1) reducing rates of bycatch (bycatch as a fraction of the targeted catch) means that more of the target species can be caught; (2) reducing total quantity of bycatch, so that a portion of the bycatch quota is not needed, means that some bycatch quota can be sold. Tradable IBQs mean that high-bycatch fishermen must pay extra costs to continue fishing, which may encourage them to exit the fishery or change their method of fishing or fishing areas to reduce bycatch. Effective implementation of IBQs requires the ability to account accurately for bycatch through onboard observer and sampling programs. IBQ programs could follow design principles employed in tradable emission quota or lobster trap certificate programs, with a portion on the quota shares attenuating over time as a means of reducing bycatch to a lower target.
Community development quotas (CDQs) are assignments of quota shares to individual communities for the purpose of enhancing fishery-based economic activity. Currently, CDQs are used only in coastal villages bordering the Bering Sea. Many of these communities have substantial Native Alaskan populations and lack opportunities for full employment. The goal of CDQs is to ensure that coastal communities receive a share of fishery benefits. The 1992 Bering Sea CDQ program allocated 7.5% of the walleye pollock quota to Bering Sea communities, requiring that the profits from the allocation of quota be used to improve and advance commercial fishing and related industries (Ginter, 1995; NPFMC, 1998). It is noteworthy that vessels operating in the CDQ pollock fishery achieve higher product recovery rates and lower bycatch rates than they