both planning and evaluation. In addition to analyzing the impacts of regulatory actions, the data should be used to monitor the health of fisheries. Monitoring the status of the industry should be as routine and systematic as monitoring the status of the stocks. To date, the regional councils and NMFS have not had access to the data and studies required. Congress should ensure that funding is available to NMFS and the states for the routine and nationwide collection of social and economic information on U.S. marine fisheries in state and federal waters. Where possible, these efforts should be coordinated with cooperative statistics programs being carried out by the states and specific local studies funded through the National Sea Grant College Program and NMFS. It is crucial that all data collection and social and economic research be subject to objective, peer-reviewed selection processes.

Determine Rules for Foreign Ownership. Although foreign ownership was an issue on which comment was specifically requested by Congress, little concern was expressed over it at the committee's hearings. This may have resulted because extensive restrictions on foreign ownership in U.S. waters already exist (by virtue of limits on vessel registration) or because other legislative remedies are being sought to reduce foreign participation in U.S. fisheries (e.g., passage of the American Fisheries Act [S. 1221] in 1998, increasing the minimum ownership requirements for U.S. fishing vessels). It appears that the imposition of further limits on foreign ownership would have profound implications on the holding of quota by processors and harvesters in fisheries where significant levels of foreign ownership already exist. Assessing the extent to which profits from U.S. fisheries are expropriated by foreign nations is beyond the scope of this evaluation of IFQs and limited access systems. If Congress were to decide to control foreign ownership, criteria could be established for IFQ-based and other fisheries. Enforcement would require careful analysis of financial and corporate records and the economic conditions of the fishery, and improved access by regulators to certain types of proprietary data.

Delegate Decisions About the Transferability of Quota Shares. The decision about whether quota shares should be transferable, one of the most critical elements in the design of an IFQ program, should be delegated to the regional councils because it depends entirely on the specific goals and objectives of the management regime.

Define the Nature of the Privilege. Other amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act should include provisions to

  •  Make it clear that the nature of the interest embodied in an IFQ encompasses the right of a quota holder to protect the long-term value of quota shares through civil action against the private individuals or entities whose unlawful

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