To assist in deliberations on individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, GAO determined (1) the extent of consolidation of quota holdings in three IFQ programs (Alaskan halibut and sablefish, wreckfish, and surfclam/ocean quahog); (2) the extent of foreign holdings of quota in these programs; and (3) the economic effect of the IFQ program on Alaskan halibut and sablefish processors.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Commerce||The Secretary of Commerce should, to ensure that quota holders meet eligibility requirements, such as being a U.S. citizen or entity, direct the Director of NMFS to collect and analyze information on quota holders, including who actually holds and controls the use of the quota and for whom financial institutions hold quota.|
|Department of Commerce||The Secretary of Commerce should, to help prevent an individual or entity from acquiring an excessive share of the quota in future IFQ programs, require regional fishery management councils to define what constitutes an excessive share for the fishery.|
|Department of Commerce||The Secretary of Commerce should, to assist the regional fishery management councils in defining excessive share for a particular fishery, direct the Director of NMFS to provide guidance to the councils on the factors to consider when determining what constitutes an excessive share in future IFQ programs.|