Study looks at potential of buyback in Bristol Bay

Study looks at potential of buyback in Bristol Bay

The Bristol Bay salmon fishery is one step closer to a potential buyback program with the release of a report by Northern Economics, commissioned by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, exploring various possible scenarios and structures of a buyback.

The study is in response to a survey sent out a year ago in which 81 percent of permit holders who sent it back said they would be interested in further information.

While the report looks at the possible design and economic outcomes of a permit buyback, it does not address the socio-economic information necessary to fully evaluate the potential outcomes and impacts of a buyback program in the Bristol Bay drift fishery.

What it does do is give fishermen the tools they need to decide if the idea warrants collecting that information.

After members review and analyze the report, BBRSDA will survey them about proceeding.

There are 1,866 drift permits in Bristol Bay, and the latest analysis from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission places the optimal number at somewhere between 800 and 1,400.

However, not all the permits are active.

According to the report, about 80 percent of the permits have been active since the mid-2000s. 

The problem is that buyback programs tend to scoop up latent permits, which does nothing to reduce fleet size.

The report states that it is important to note that although it would be legally difficult to bar outright certain permit holders from participating in a buyback program based on their residency, level of fishing activity or some other factor, it is possible to design a buyback so as to favor the removal of permits with particular characteristics. 

The trick is to add program design elements, such as bid ranking systems, that make certain permits more likely to be removed from the fishery than others.

Other hurdles include the Alaska Constitution, which forbids creating an “exclusive” fishery, funding and the fact that there has never been a CFEC-administered buyback, so the regulatory framework is uncertain.

The Limited Entry Act allows for a voluntary buyback if it meets certain criteria, which are laid out in the report.

The BBRSDA will hold a panel discussion on the buyback at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle on Nov. 20. They would like to hear member comments before then at input@bbrsda.com. Find the report at www.bbrsda.com.

Cristy Fry can be reached at realist468@gmail.com.

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

.
Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read