Oregon sardine permits to go limited entry
Steve and I attended a recent meeting in Newport, OR. of the Developmental Fishery Advisory Board. This Board is made up of fishermen, processor representatives, and is in turn advised by ODF&W. The role is advisory only. The real changes are made by the Developmental Fisheries Board. Fish & Wildlife is also advisory at this upper level of beurocracy.
The goal of this board is to shepard developing fisheries through the initial stages until they become a viable commercial fishery. Oregon sardines meet the criteria of a fully developed fishery. Now the pie must be established and split. Whenever there is a valuable pie, there will be diverse opinions as to how it is split.
*Eighteen of twenty permit holders want to limit the permits to twenty.
*Half of the processors want to add more permits to the existing twenty.
*Several of the processors are adding capacity, so they want more boats to choose from.
*Kevin Hill of NMFS of NOAA has advised that the quota will be assessed down in the future.
*The Makah Indian Nation now wants 10,000 tons of the quota for itself. (That is out of a prospective 40,000 tons for the NW Coast.
So the PIE is being defined before it is split.
My fear is that the people who initially invested millions of dollars and years of time to develop this fishery will not be stomped on by well connected Johnnie-come-latelies.
The Developmental Fisheries Advisory Board appears to be leaning to the will of the processors. I hope they don't forget that independent fishermen risk not only their own fortunes to keep their boats up-to-date and safe, but also risk their lives every day.