Tradable permit programs: What are the lessons for the new Alaska halibut catch sharing plan?
To address long-standing allocation conflicts between the Pacific halibut commercial fishing sector and recreational charter (for-hire) sector in Alaska, an Alaska halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) is being implemented in 2014 that has a provision allowing the leasing of commercial individual fishing quota to recreational charter businesses. This one-way inter-sectoral trading allows for the charter sector to increase its share of the total allowable catch while compensating commercial fishermen. This type of catch shares program is novel in fisheries. In this paper, the literature on non-fisheries tradable permit programs (TPPs) that have similarities to the Alaska halibut CSP program is examined. Several successful TPPs are discussed, including ones from emissions trading programs, water quality trading programs, water markets, and transferable development rights programs. They are then evaluated in terms of their similarities and differences to the Alaska CSP program. Characteristics not part of the current CSP that other TPPs have used and that may increase the likelihood for the CSP to be effective in achieving its primary goals (if they are implemented) are identified, such as allowing more flexible transfers (e.g., internal transfers), intertemporal banking, cooperative structures, and multi-year leasing.
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