tives to waste other species caught in the process. The cyclical nature of the fishery left consumers facing gluts of fresh halibut for a few weeks each year and buying frozen fish for the remainder of the year.
The Alaskan IFQ programs for halibut and sablefish addressed and reduced these problems. Evidence from the Alaskan IFQ programs suggests that the derby has been eliminated, safety has improved, and ghost fishing has been reduced. At the same time, these IFQ programs have left the halibut and sablefish fisheries with fewer fishermen (as intended) and have enriched many of those whose catch history qualified them for quota shares.
The capacity of IFQs for transferability, consolidation, and leasing has led to a general concern that independent owner-operators of fishing vessels or crew members will be led into economic dependence on absentee owners as quota shares increase in value and small investors are excluded from the field. Consequently, some programs (e.g., Alaskan halibut and sablefish) have adopted owner-on-board and other provisions intended to prevent absentee ownership.
Other fisheries in which IFQ programs have been used—the Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog one, for example—were of somewhat different nature. However, even though that fishery did not have open access, the management situation through the 1980s created the equivalent of "derby" fishing, when boats were allowed to fish for very short periods of time in order to make the TAC stretch out over the year. A more striking difference from the Alaska IFQ programs is that the surf clam/ocean quahog IFQ program, the first in the United States, was based on free-market principles, with few restraints on ownership, transfer, or consolidation of shares. This program was extremely effective in eliminating economically excessive effort, but in so doing highlighted the tradeoffs involved in terms of the loss of jobs, and decreased opportunities for young people and hired captains to become vessel owners and for independent harvesters to find markets for their clams.
The National Marine Fisheries Service and other agencies routinely estimate the size of marine fish stocks to determine the amount of fish that can be harvested in a given year so that fisheries can be sustained; this amount is the allowable biological catch. The catch level that fishermen are allowed to take is the TAC, which must be equal to or lower than the allowable biological catch. TACs are set for most fisheries. Most other fishery management measures are designed to help fisheries meet, and not exceed, the TAC. Reliance solely on TAC-based controls can induce fishermen to apply excessive inputs of labor and capital to a fishery as they compete for their share. Thus, arguments have arisen in recent years for controlling fishing activity, restricting access to fisheries, and relying on input controls, such as gear restrictions, and output controls, such as quotas and trip limits. Without controls on the amount of fishing, many fisheries