implemented in 1995. Virtually every meeting of the NPFMC since January 1995 has addressed one or more amendments or refinements to the program. Pautzke and Oliver (1997) briefly describe the modifications:

  •  IFQs less than 20,000 pounds were issued as "blocks" with increased restrictions on transferability and accumulation.
  •  Changes in QS associated with an effort to equalize the impact of a CDQ setaside were exempted from "block" and vessel category transfer restrictions.
  •  IFQ in IPHC Area 4 was allowed to shift between subareas.
  •  Vessels were allowed to fish in multiple management areas on a single trip if they carried an onboard observer.
  •  Sablefish catcher-processor vessels were allowed to fish catcher vessel QS as long as there was no processed product on board while the catcher vessel QS was being fished.
  •  Large-boat QS could be bought and fished on small boats.
  •  The sweep-up provisions of the "block" restrictions were changed.
  •  Weight adjustments were standardized for slime and ice on landed fish.
  •  The use of pot-longlines was allowed in the Bering Sea.
  •  The Aleutian Islands sablefish season was extended to 12 months for vessels that hold enough halibut QS to cover anticipated bycatches.
  •  Heirs were allowed to lease QS for up to three years.
  •  Ownership requirements for using skippers to fish the owner's QS were modified.
  •  Halibut QS ownership limits in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands regions were increased.
Outcomes of the IFQ Program

Biologic and Economic Outcomes for the Fishery. Gilroy et al. (1996) provide a preliminary description of the initial conservation effects of the halibut and sablefish IFQ programs. The IPHC estimates that halibut fishing mortality from lost and abandoned gear decreased from 554.1 metric tons in 1994 to 125.9 metric tons in 1995. The discard of halibut bycatch in the sablefish fishery is estimated to have dropped from 860 metric tons in 1994 to 150 metric tons in 1995. However, Gilroy et al. (1996) caution that the uncertainty of bycatch discard mortality estimates has not been determined under conditions of the IFQ fishery, and it is unclear whether the estimated reduction is statistically significant. There is no clear difference in sablefish bycatch before and after IFQs were introduced. The discard of other groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands sablefish fishery was higher in 1995 than in the previous four years, but there was no discernible difference in the Gulf of Alaska. There is no evidence of significant underreporting of catches of halibut or sablefish. The frequency of overharvests was significantly reduced by IFQs (Table G.2).

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