CHOIR: Coalition for the Atlantic Herring Fishery's Orderly, Informed, and Responsible Long-Term Development


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The Herring fishery does NOT have "Hard TACs"

December 16, 2006

CHOIR Update

At just about every meeting one or more of the midwater trawl lobbyists refer to their fishery as one managed by so-called “Hard TACs”. A Hard TAC fishery (Total Allowable Catch), in theory, is a fishery that has a strict quotas with a payback system. In other words, in such a fishery there are quotas that determine how much can be caught; if the fishery lands more than that amount in a given season, they would be penalized by having overage deducted from the next seaons’s quota.

(One fishery that has a true “Hard TAC” is the US bluefin fishery. There have been seasons when the yearly quota allowance was surpassed, meaning less fish for the fishermen the following season. This gives great incentive to stay within the yearly limits.)

But once again we are able to see that the herring fishery does NOT have Hard TACs; in fact, the herring fishery has the opposite: “Soft TACs”. This was made clear recently when the herring trawlers went well over their quota for Area 1B. (The herring fishery is divided up into 4 geographical areas, each with its own quota.)

Keep in mind that the Area 1B TAC is 10,000mt.

Landings (IVR) through December 16, 2006

Area 1A: 59,980 mt
Area 1B: 12,741 mt (127.4% of quota)
Area 2: 21,375 mt
Area 3: 4,444 mt

Thats over 6,000,000 pounds more than allowed in Area 1B.

Now, if the Area 1B quota is 10,000mt and they caught 12,741mt, that would mean that they should end up losing 2,741mt – or over 6,000,000 pounds – in 2007 since they are supposidly using Hard TACs, right?

Wrong. They do not have to pay this back in any way because they do not have HARD TACs and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Next time you hear someone say the herring fishery has Harc TACs, now you will know that they certainly do not have any such system and can go over their quotas- i.e. land more fish then they are allowed- without any ramifications.

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