Catch share programs set a biologically based annual catch limit for a fish stock and allocate a specific portion of that catch limit to entities, such as commercial fishermen, cooperatives or communities. With their share secure, commercial fishermen can be more selective about how and when they catch their allotment. When designed correctly, catch share programs help eliminate the race to fish, reduce overcapacity and bycatch, and improve economic efficiency.
Unfortunately, in fisheries where there is a large and growing recreational sector, exclusive fishing rights proposals maximize benefits to the commercial fishing industry while ignoring the participation and beneficial economic impacts of recreational fishing.
“Catch shares are obviously a major focus for this Administration and we are concerned not only about the impact they have on recreational fisheries, but also at the pace with which they are being pushed into the management system. Catch shares are on a fast track and we don’t feel we have the luxury to ‘just say no’ – we’ve never chosen that option in any fisheries management crisis. We didn’t do that during the debate over marine protected areas or open-loop LNG terminals and we are not going to do it now. Catch shares are a real threat to the future of a number of recreational fisheries and they are not going to just go away anytime soon. We are going to stay very active on this issue to make sure recreational anglers are not left out of the debate…and out of the fishery.”
Chester Brewer, Chairman
CCA National Government Relations Committee
CCA General Counsel
Robert G. Hayes retired in 2007 as a partner in the Washington DC office of Ball Janik. He is an alumnus of Boston University and received his law degree from Catholic University. After serving as a U.S. Army Infantry Lieutenant, he went on to serve as an attorney for both the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). During that time, he was NOAA’s Southeast Regional Counsel and NMFS’ Deputy General Counsel. Hayes’ vast international experience also started with his work in NMFS. During his time as Director of the NMFS Office of Industry Services, he negotiated for the U.S. on bilateral fishery negotiations with Japan, Korea, Spain, France and Portugal. He went on to serve as a member of the U.S. delegation on the U.S. – Japan Subcabinet Committee on Trade, and was the White House-appointed Recreational Fisheries Commissioner for the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
Hayes has been CCA’s National General Counsel since 1985 and is one of the most respected voices on state, federal and international fisheries management issues. He was recognized by Outdoor Life magazine as the Conservationist of the Year in 2007.