IFQs & Federal Fisheries

July 20, 2023

The quota market is starting to show some signs of life (albeit small ones). Recent sales include unfished 3ACU at $38.00, the same price the last 3A unblocked sold for, and 4,900 pounds of fished 3ACB at $30.53. After factoring in the 18% cut in the catch limit for area 3A, these values are almost half of what 3A quota was worth last year. 

Scratchy fishing in 3A has many fishermen worried about the potential for another large cut in catch limits next year. In fact, halibut fishing has been slow statewide. In addition to slow fishing, increases in the cost of literally everything, including borrowing money, have also contributed to declining quota prices. 

ASMI published their July Groundfish Report, showing sablefish deliveries up 8% YTD, although down in the GOA, and halibut landings down 16% YTD. In the Bering Sea, the pollock B season opened last month, with harvest up 16% YTD - on par with the increased TAC. Pacific cod landings are down 26% YTD in the Gulf and 7% in BSAI. 

The statewide sablefish TAC is 37% harvested, with AI at 5%, BS at 26%, CG at 41%, SE at 52%, WG at 37%, and WY at 62%. The statewide halibut TAC is 38% harvested, with 2C at 53%, 3A is at 44%, 3B is at 38%, 4A is at 14% and 4B is at 15%. 4C/4D are still confidential. See the full report here