Potential Impacts of Proposed Changes to the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper IFQ Program Public Deposited


Suggested Bibliographic Reference: NAAFE Forum 2017 Proceedings, March 22-24, 2017. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver with assistance from Stefani Evers. North American Association of Fisheries Economists (NAAFE), Corvallis, 2017.


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  • The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper IFQ Program (Program) was the first catch share management program implemented in the Gulf of Mexico. IFQ management was implemented to reduce overcapacity and eliminate the problems associated with derby style fishing. The Program was successful, the number of vessels harvesting red snapper decreased and the fishing season became year-around with higher dockside prices. Although IFQ management ended derby style fishing and decreased overcapacity, issues have been raised over the Program's impacts on fishers and fishing communities. One issue often cited is the development and growth of lease dependent fishers and non-harvester quota owners and how the rise in these groups impact the sustainability and resiliency of Gulf of Mexico fishing communities. After a 5-year review of the Program and input from participants and other stakeholder groups, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council developed a scoping document that outlined several potential modifications to the Program. Our analysis examines some of the proposed changes to the Program and potential implications for Program participants. The proposals discussed included: changing program eligibility requirements, imposing caps on the use and/or possession of quota, the possible implementation of use-it or lose-it provisions with regards to quota, and adopting a roll-over provision for unused quota. The proposed changes are evaluated using a mix of publicly available data from, and research on, the Program and other IFQ fisheries.  
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