Crab Catch Shares
The Crab Rationalization Program allocates Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands(BSAI) crab resources among harvesters, processors, and coastal communities.The program was developed at a time that overcapacity in BSAI crab fisherieshad resulted in a frenzied race for crab. Harvesting and processing capacity hadexpanded to accommodate highly abbreviated seasons, and significant portions ofthat capacity operated in an economically inefficient manner or were idle betweenseasons. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) developed the rationalization program over a 6-year period to accommodate the specific dynamics and needs of the BSAI crab fisheries. The Program addresses derby fishing, high bycatch and associated discard mortality, safety, economic efficiency and product quality issues. It also includes an economic data collection component to assist managers as they review the Program's implementation.
On January 12, 2007, President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. The new law is groundbreaking in several respects: it mandates the use of annual catch limits and accountability measures to end overfishing, provides for widespread market-based fishery management through limited access privilege programs, and calls for increased international cooperation.
Our crab fisheries are co-managed by the State of Alaska through the Board of Fisheries and the federal government through the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 (which has been renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) to oversee management of the nation's fisheries.