Skip to Highlights
Highlights

To assist in deliberations on individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, GAO determined (1) the methods available for protecting the economic viability of fishing communities and facilitating new entry into IFQ fisheries, (2) the key issues faced by fishery managers in protecting communities and facilitating new entry, and (3) the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the IFQ system and the fishery cooperative approach.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Marine Fisheries Service To protect fishing communities and facilitate new entry into new or existing IFQ fisheries, the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service should ensure that regional fishery management councils that are designing community protection and new entry methods develop clearly defined and measurable community protection and new entry objectives.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2007, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), published a technical guidance document called "The Design and Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs". In this document NMFS notes that when the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) was reauthorized in January 2007, it required that for limited access privilege programs (LAPP), which include individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, the regional fishery management councils (RFMC) must specify the goals of the program and include provisions for regular monitoring and review to ensure that the goals are achieved. In its guidance document, NMFS advises that the RFMCs should establish the fishery management objectives or goals that they wish to achieve with a fishery management plan, such as a LAP or IFQ plan. They also counsel that the objectives will be most useful if they are stated such that it is possible to measure the degree to which they are achieved. The guidance document further states that the RFMCs should develop monitoring protocols that can determine if the selected management measures are producing the desired results. According to NMFS, these requirements would apply to any management measures including the goals of community protection and new entry. As such, as future LAP or IFQ plans are developed that include the goals of community protection and new entry, they will be obligated to comply with the requirements of the revised MSA and NMFS guidance.
National Marine Fisheries Service To protect fishing communities and facilitate new entry into new or existing IFQ fisheries, the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service should ensure that regional fishery management councils that are designing community protection and new entry methods build performance measures into the design of the IFQ program.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2007, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), published a technical guidance document called "The Design and Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs". In this document NMFS notes that when the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) was reauthorized in January 2007, it required that for limited access privilege programs (LAPP), which include individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, the regional fishery management councils (RFMC) must specify the goals of the program and include provisions for regular monitoring and review to ensure that the goals are achieved. In its guidance document, NMFS advises that the RFMCs should establish the fishery management objectives or goals that they wish to achieve with a fishery management plan, such as a LAP or IFQ plan. They also counsel that the objectives will be most useful if they are stated such that it is possible to measure the degree to which they are achieved. The guidance document further states that the RFMCs should develop monitoring protocols that can determine if the selected management measures are producing the desired results. According to NMFS, these requirements would apply to any management measures including the goals of community protection and new entry. As such, as future LAP or IFQ plans are developed that include the goals of community protection and new entry, they will be obligated to comply with the requirements of the revised MSA and NMFS guidance.
National Marine Fisheries Service To protect fishing communities and facilitate new entry into new or existing IFQ fisheries, the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service should ensure that regional fishery management councils that are designing community protection and new entry methods monitor progress in meeting the community protection and new entry objectives.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2007, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), published a technical guidance document called "The Design and Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs". In this document NMFS notes that when the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) was reauthorized in January 2007, it required that for limited access privilege programs (LAPP), which include individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, the regional fishery management councils (RFMC) must specify the goals of the program and include provisions for regular monitoring and review to ensure that the goals are achieved. In its guidance document, NMFS advises that the RFMCs should establish the fishery management objectives or goals that they wish to achieve with a fishery management plan, such as a LAP or IFQ plan. They also counsel that the objectives will be most useful if they are stated such that it is possible to measure the degree to which they are achieved. The guidance document further states that the RFMCs should develop monitoring protocols that can determine if the selected management measures are producing the desired results. According to NMFS, these requirements would apply to any management measures including the goals of community protection and new entry. As such, as future LAP or IFQ plans are developed that include the goals of community protection and new entry, they will be obligated to comply with the requirements of the revised MSA and NMFS guidance.

Full Report