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Thread: Why not let us non residents pay for the Halibut problem

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    Default Why not let us non residents pay for the Halibut problem

    Ok here is an idea and you can go ahead and shoot it full of holes but i have been thinking about it for a while. Right now com fish gets 88% of the halibut or there about. Why not put a surcharge on NR fishing license? 2.00 for a one day, 5.00 for a week, 10.00 for a 2 week and 25.00 for a yearly. Take that money and buy up comfish IFQ's when they become available. Add that allocation to the sport fish allowable catch as sport fish is paying for it. No one would be forced out of the com fish industry as no one would be forced to sell, sport fish would have more fish to catch. Prices would go up for com fish still fishing due to fewer fish going to market. As a NR angler i would not mind a bit if i paid more as a contribution to the state and people of AK. Maybe not a great idea but why not?

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    For SE AK to go back to a 2 fish, any size, they'd probably need to purchase almost all of the available IFQ out there, given the 2c fleet only has 2.3 million pounds in 2011. At $20 a share, it'd be more money than you could ever imagine.

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    Agreed! In the SE it would be tough but what about the rest of the state?

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    We put all kinds of different options out over the last 18 years and they where turned down. The only one which was talked about was leasing the IFQ. At one time the charters that fished in 1998 and 1999 where going to be given an IFQ but that got rejected just before the program was going to start. What ever you come up with send it to the North Pacific Management Council and they will look it over and put it on their schedule.

  5. #5

    Default great idea, but the price is high

    It would be great to see all commercial users pay equally by allowing charters to buy quota too, and it would level the playing field between users because the most economically efficient industry would grow. However, when you think about the ex-vessel value of a fish caught out of 3A, for example, the price is pretty steep. A 100 pound halibut is worth about $500 if sold on the commercial market, and at $25/lb, it would cost the charter operator about $2,500 for the right for his client to catch that one single fish.

    If both groups would agree to it, I'm all for that option. However, we have to realistically acknowledge the value of those fish. At current prices, you'd need to pay a minimum of $25/lb to buy or lease quota, or pay a minimum of $5/lb to lease any.

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    AKJOB is your math correct. My understanding of IFQ price of around 25 dollars a share is that once purchased it is yours forever. So the cost is one time and the cost per pound goes down as time goes on. Commercial fisherman who buy IFQ's get 5 dollars a pound for halibut so with your math they could not afford it either. What am I missing?

    I think if a commercial operator of any type - charter or commercial fisherman wants to buy an IFQ let them have at it. Not sure why this was rejected as an option for the sport charter fleet.

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    Over time the money would add up and it would make a difference. Sportfish brings in more money to AK so every one would win.

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    The price of IFQ would go even higher, as their would be plenty of demand buying it up, no matter the cost.

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    Default Nerka and 270

    Nerka,

    Yes the math is correct. The dock price was about $5 per pound last year, and the purchase price averages about $25 too. And that's per pound to buy. I'm thinking that at the very least, the surcharge would have to be $5 per pound for a fish caught (for that season only), because that's the amount the seller would make if he just caught his quota himself (otherwise, why not catch it yourself?).

    270 is also right, because it the laws of supply and demand hold true (and they would), there would be a lot of new buyers in the market, but the same supply of fish available.

    Still, I think it's a great idea, because it would allow the charters to serve their clients, without robbing fishermen who have quota loan payments to make, etc. But, they'd have to pay the same price as a commercial fisherman would. However, I'm doubtful that many charter anglers would be willing to pay upwards of $5 a pound IN ADDITION to what they already pay for a charter. Under that scenario, a $250 charter trip would become a $750 charter trip if you bring home 100 pounds of halibut.

    I don't know what the answer is, but we've got to come up with something. The current method isn't working for either sector.

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    It is all about allocation. The North Council and the National Fisheries are the ones that have control of it. There is a catch sharing plan on the boards but you will have to go to the North Pacific web site to read about it.

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    Well it was just a thought. I do think some thing needs to be done. I also think sooner or later bycatch will have to be addressed. Make them keep all halibut caught, sell it at market value and use that money as well. That would really add up. Also you would have to buy the permits so its a done deal and not just lease them. make it a permanant fix

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Non-resident sport fishermen are not the issue, or the "problem".
    Seattle based factory fish pirates are.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    sorry, charters up here rejected that idea outright
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I do not get it. Why not just let the free market decide the IFQ price and everyone can buy them. If you want to fish with clients to fill your IFQ so be it. If via longline so be it. Lets say that 100,000 pounds/year cost 25 dollars/pound for the initial IFQ. That is 2.5 million. Spread out over 25 years of a charter that would be 100,000 pounds per year harvested per year. The average weight of a halibut is around 25 pounds so that is 4000 fish. At two fish per client that is 2000 clients which is 50 dollars per client to pay off the initial cost of the IFQ. Factor in interest on the loan it may be 60 dollars. So the cost of a charter now is around 130 so it would go up to 190 which is not outlandish. Now a client who catches 50 pounds of fish is paying near 4 dollars a pound which is still cheaper than the market. Also they have the experience to factor into the costs.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    nerka,
    The charter season is, essentially, from May through August.
    Kind of tough for a single 6-pack boat to capture 2,000 paying clients in 120 days.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    If the average halibut weighs around 25lbs (in the round), there would only be about 12-13lbs of edible meat.

    As a ball-park estimate of live weight (round) to dressed weight, I normally use 50%. That is, 50% of the live weight is what I expect to get for edible meat. That's a little high for salmon, and a little low for halibut but it's okay as a ball-park estimate. So, for an angler to bring home 50lbs of filleted halibut, they'd had to catch two in the 50lb range (+/-). So, for a six pack boat, that would be 12 halibut in the 50lb range, every day. That's quite a feat for a charter boat captain. Even in Alaska.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    If the average halibut weighs around 25lbs (in the round), there would only be about 12-13lbs of edible meat.

    As a ball-park estimate of live weight (round) to dressed weight, I normally use 50%. That is, 50% of the live weight is what I expect to get for edible meat. That's a little high for salmon, and a little low for halibut but it's okay as a ball-park estimate. So, for an angler to bring home 50lbs of filleted halibut, they'd had to catch two in the 50lb range (+/-). So, for a six pack boat, that would be 12 halibut in the 50lb range, every day. That's quite a feat for a charter boat captain. Even in Alaska.
    But IFQ weight isn't for fillets - it is for headed and gutted fish. For a client to catch 50 lbs of headed/gutted fish isn't unreasonable on most charters. (25lb average, 30lb average live weight)

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    If that was the case, you could kiss goodbye to all charters. If you had enough shares of IFQ to get you 100k lbs, you could make a ton more money selling the fish at market. $5 a pound would gross you 500k a year. I don't know of any charter operation that could even get close to making that much. Even if halibut was selling for $2 a pound, it'd be easier for a charter guy to go out and catch his 100k, than to deal with clients.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I do not get it. Why not just let the free market decide the IFQ price and everyone can buy them. If you want to fish with clients to fill your IFQ so be it. If via longline so be it. Lets say that 100,000 pounds/year cost 25 dollars/pound for the initial IFQ. That is 2.5 million. Spread out over 25 years of a charter that would be 100,000 pounds per year harvested per year. The average weight of a halibut is around 25 pounds so that is 4000 fish. At two fish per client that is 2000 clients which is 50 dollars per client to pay off the initial cost of the IFQ. Factor in interest on the loan it may be 60 dollars. So the cost of a charter now is around 130 so it would go up to 190 which is not outlandish. Now a client who catches 50 pounds of fish is paying near 4 dollars a pound which is still cheaper than the market. Also they have the experience to factor into the costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    But IFQ weight isn't for fillets - it is for headed and gutted fish. For a client to catch 50 lbs of headed/gutted fish isn't unreasonable on most charters. (25lb average, 30lb average live weight)
    Brian,

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a "share" of IFQ, doesn't even equal a pound anymore. For example, if you own 20k of halibut IFQ in SE, you are probably allowed to harvest 5k #'s of halibut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Brian,

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a "share" of IFQ, doesn't even equal a pound anymore. For example, if you own 20k of halibut IFQ in SE, you are probably allowed to harvest 5k #'s of halibut.
    True, but generally the IFQs listed for sale on sites like dockstreetbrokers.com are listed as a price per pound based upon that year's quota as opposed to a price per share. The going rate of ~$25/lb is for a pound under the current quota, not a share.

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