Date posted: May 23, 2016
We receive many questions about the definition of sector separation, catch shares and the acronyms such as IFQ, MSY, ABC and more. Here are a few explanations and definitions that should provide you with some understanding.
Sector Separation – Sub-dividing the recreational sector’s allowable catch among charter and headboat owners. An angler has no say in the loss of 42% (in the case of Gulf Red Snapper) of their fishing allocation. The angler has no say in who controls a right formerly held by the angler. The angler can not fish off their own boat, but can engage in exactly the same activity on a paid-for boat ride, at a highly inflated price. Who is driving this push? It all starts with Environmental Defense Fund and their greed. It is not about the fish, it is about taking a public resource private, in order to profit from such a scheme. It does not help a fishery, in fact it harms the fisheries. But it makes money for EDF.
Sunset Provision – A three-year limit on sector separation. this provision was part of the final sector separation package. Its inclusion swung at least two Council votes, securing the sector separation amendment. Now the sector separation proponents are pushing to move back or eliminate this key provision. This is the focus of the current round of hearings.
IFQ – Individual Fishing Quota. The amount of fish, as a percentage of the allowable quota, that an individual OWNS. This is referred to as a catch share. It is gifted to participants when the IFQ program is set up (red snapper, then grouper, next up hogfish and mangrove snapper). Note the word ‘participants’. See Angler definition below.
MSY- Maximum Sustainable Yield. The estimate of the amount of fish that can be harvested in a year without harming the species. Now known as ABC.
ABC – Allowable Biological Catch. Maximum annual allowable catch of a species. See MSY.
ACL Annual Catch Limit. The limit of a species annual catch. Lower than ABC.
ACT – Annual Catch Target. The limit of catch used when developing regulations. Not that ACT can be 25-50% lower than that allowable catch. These lowered limits are referred to as ‘buffers’.
Angler – Person who fishes recreationally. Does NOT define where angler fishes from.
Charter Boat Owner – Engaged in transporting ANGLERS to fishing spots. Note that the owner is not considered the ANGLER.
Head Boat Operators – Engaged in transporting ANGLERS to fishing spots. Note that the operator is not considered the ANGLER.
Inter-Sector Trading – Allowing a charter boat owner to ‘lease’ shares of commercial red snapper IFQ in order to transport ANGLERS out to catch and keep fish which are currently closed to ANGLERS. Charter boat owner and commercial operator get paid by ANGLERS.
NOAA FISHERIES – Unauthorized name for National Marine Fisheries Service. This agency changed its own name. It was not authorized. The agency has to sign all legal documents and public notices with National Marine Fisheries Service. The arrogance required to assert a fake name is indicative and typical of the actions that National Marine Fisheries Service engages in on a regular basis.
400% Return On Investment – The big number used by Environmental Defense Fund to tantalize investors. EDF tells of a 4X (meaning 4 times) return on investment in fisheries that become IFQ or individually owned fisheries.
Every ANGLER needs to submit comments to the Gulf Council regarding this sector separation push. Read more about the public input for this issue