New Catch Share Program in Gulf of Mexico
NOAA’s Fisheries Service will implement catch shares in the Gulf of Mexico commercial grouper and tilefish fisheries beginning January 1, 2010, in an effort to reduce overcapacity and improve profitability and working conditions for commercial fishermen of these species.
NOAA is acting based on a recommendation from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to implement individual fishing quotas (IFQ), a type of catch share program, for these fish in the Gulf. This program does not alter the current allocations of fish between the commercial and recreational sectors, and it does not prevent the Gulf Council from requesting allocation changes in the future.
"Catch share programs are useful strategies to improve the environmental and economic benefits of our nation’s fisheries," said Dr. Roy Crabtree, southeast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries Service. "I applaud the council for working closely with commercial fishermen, environmental groups, and others on this significant accomplishment."