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The research section provides the background research and data analyses needed by the Commission. The section, coupled with the Commission's data processing section, also produce basic economic data on Alaska's fisheries which can be used to address many policy questions and to develop standard or specialized reports to serve the data needs of users outside the agency.
In 1992, the Commission's research staff was involved in many projects. These projects included efforts to monitor trends in Alaska's fisheries, to evaluate the need for access controls in particular fisheries, to provide other agencies and users with needed data, and to develop optimum number recommendations for the Southeastern Alaska roe herring purse seine fishery.
The staff also produced analyses on issues for the Legislature, the Office of the Governor, the ADF&G, and the Alaska Board of Fisheries. In addition, the staff answered numerous information and data requests from the general public. The following paragraphs provide brief highlights of 1992 activities.
Each year, as Alaska's unlimited fisheries face increasing fishing pressure, the Commission receives requests to limit entry into additional fisheries. When a petition is received, the Commission conducts research to determine if access limitation is needed and to evaluate whether or not the existing limited entry program would produce significant benefits.
The nature of the fleet and the applicable regulations are evaluated to determine the extent to which limiting the number of participants will serve to contain the growth in effort. Historical fishing patterns are analyzed and an effort is made to determine the best way to define the fisheries for limitation purposes to help prevent post-limitation effort increases.
In 1992, the Commission was again petitioned to limit the Cook Inlet crab fisheries. In response to the petitions, the research staff completed three reports on the Cook Inlet crab fisheries. These reports are The Cook Inlet Dungeness Crab Fishery (92-14N), The Cook Inlet Tanner Crab Fishery (92-15N), and The Cook Inlet King Crab Fishery (92-16N). All three reports were prepared by S. Shirley.
Another report, Prince William Sound Herring Spawn-on-Kelp Diving / Handpicked Fishery (92-9), was prepared by A. Tingley. This study was also conducted in response to a limitation petition. Analyses of other petitions occurred in 1992, but reports are not yet completed. CFEC non-confidential briefing reports are available upon request.
In 1992, the Commission's research staff completed an optimum number study for the Southeastern Alaska roe herring purse seine fishery. The results of the analyses are contained in Southeastern Alaska Roe Herring Purse Seine Fishery - Optimum Number Report (92-2) prepared by K. Schelle, B. Muse, and K. Iverson. This work was mandated by the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court in Johns v. State, CFEC, 758 P.2d 1256 (Alaska 1988).
The Johns case orders the Commission to make an optimum number decision in the Southeastern Alaska roe herring purse seine fishery. Johns recognizes that more permits could be created and sold as a result. Because Johns is premised on a constitutional issue, the same claim could be brought in any limited fishery where there has been a substantial change in conditions since the time the fishery was limited.
Based on the information and analyses in the study, the Commission has proposed an optimum number of 44 for the fishery. The public comment period for the proposal will run through June 1, 1993. Interested persons may submit comments to Sandy Samaniego, the Commission's Law Specialist.
Due to the size of the optimum number report, a $10.00 fee is being charged per copy to help offset the cost of copying and mailing. Persons who want copies of the optimum number report should send their request with payment to Ms. Samaniego.
In 1992, the Commission continued to monitor changes in the distribution of holders of Alaska's limited entry permits. This is a topic which continues to be an important concern to Alaskans and their legislators. The report Changes In The Distribution Of Alaska's Limited Entry Permits, 1975-1991 (CFEC Report 92-17), co-authored by R. Berning and E. Dinneford provides extensive data, information, and analyses on the topic.
This report updates previous studies by the Commission. For analysis purposes, the report defines five resident-types relative to each limited fishery. These include non-residents and four Alaskan resident-types. The four Alaskan resident-types are based upon whether a permit holder lives in a rural or urban community, and whether that community is considered local or non-local to the limited fishery.
The report provides data on the 48 limited fisheries for which permanent permits had been issued through year-end 1991. It covers the 1975 through 1991 time period and includes detailed information on the changes in the number and type of entry permits held by each Alaskan resident-type and non-residents.
The report provides fishery specific and statewide data on transfer incidence, the initial geographic distribution of permit holders, changes due to permit transfers, changes due to permit holder migrations, and the year-end 1991 geographic distribution of permit holders. Data are also provided on the age distribution of permit holders through time and age differences between transferors and transfer recipients.
Summary statistics are also reported from CFEC's transfer survey. These statistics provide information on the incidence of transfers between family members and business partners, transfer acquisition methods, and transfer financing methods. Copies of the report are available upon request.
During the year, the Commission's research staff produced many ad hoc reports for the Commission and small reports for the Alaska Board of Fisheries and Alaska's Legislature. The staff produced monthly permit value estimates for the Department of Commerce and Economic Development and other users. E. Dinneford produced a number of reports on wholesale production and value for both the Commission and outside users and produced reports for the Commission on changes in permit holdings in particular fisheries by village.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries frequently needs data or background reports on limited fisheries to help them analyze regulatory proposals. In 1992, CFEC's research staff prepared the following reports for the Alaska Board of Fisheries:
In December of 1991, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) passed Individual Fishing Quota programs for the halibut and sablefish fisheries off of Alaska. Many Alaskans remained concerned about the potential impacts of these programs, and some proposed amendments to the Council's plan. The Office of the Governor and ADF&G asked for the Commission's help in analyzing three proposed amendments.
Preliminary results of these studies were contained in two discussion draft reports which were distributed by the NPFMC. The first report was titled Analysis of the "1,000 Pound Minimum IFQ" Proposed Amendment To The Individual Fishing Quota Management Alternative For Alaska's Fixed Gear Halibut Fishery. The second report was titled Analyses of "The Sitka Block Proposed Amendment" and "The Full/Partial Block Proposed Amendment" To The Individual Fishing Quota Management Alternative For Fixed Gear Sablefish and Halibut Fisheries - Gulf of Alaska And Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands. These analyses were prepared by K. Schelle, B. Muse, and K. Iverson.
Copies of these discussion draft reports can be obtained from the NPFMC. Based upon public comments, the NPFMC decided to modify the alternatives and to expand and develop the report into Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses. At the request of the State of Alaska, CFEC will again take the lead in the expanded analyses which will occur during 1993.
The research staff also provided some assistance on a report prepared by D. Ackley of the ADF&G on another regulatory issue before the NPFMC. The report was titled Draft Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis For Amendment 21B to the Fishery Management Plan for The Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands: Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management In The BS/AI.
Alaska's Legislature also frequently asks the Commission for data or analysis of particular issues which they are considering. In 1992, the following analyses and reports were prepared at the request of Alaska's Legislature:
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