Report to the Fleet: Possible Design and Economic Outcomes of a Permit Buyback Program in the Bristol Bay Salmon Drift Gillnet Fishery

Download the report: October 2014 Bristol Bay Buyback Economic Report

October 23, 2014

Dear BBRSDA members:

A year ago, 81% of the Bristol Bay salmon drift permit holders who responded to a survey sent out by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) said they would like to learn more about a potential buyback of Bristol Bay drift permits. Such a buyback would reduce the number of drift gillnet permits allowed to participate in the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

In response to the survey, BBRSDA contracted with Northern Economics, Inc. to develop a report that could assist the drift fleet in determining whether or not it wishes to further explore a buyback in the Bay drift fishery. The report provides objective economic information about the Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet fishery, as well as projecting how different buyback scenarios and associated payback schedules might impact gross and net revenues.

It is important to note that this report 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. Following membership review and analysis of this report, BBRSDA will survey its members as to whether or not BBRSDA should proceed with a socio-economic impact analysis of a potential buyback. Both analyses are necessary to provide comprehensive information upon which to base a decision regarding the pros and cons of a potential buyback.

The BBRSDA will sponsor a panel discussion regarding a Bristol Bay permit buyback at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Meeting Room C-1, from 10–11:30 a.m. Panel members will include representatives from National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the author of this report, Northern Economics Inc. The BBRSDA encourages any and all interested members of the Bristol Bay fishing community to attend and participate.

In order to facilitate the Expo conference, BBRSDA would like to hear your thoughts on this issue and this report in advance. Please email us atinput@bbrsda.com or send written comments to 800 E. Dimond Blvd., Suite 3-131 #158, Anchorage, AK 99515 by November 14, 2014.

We thank you for you interest and input.

Sincerely,

BBRSDA Board of Directors

Robert Heyano, President                                               Fritz Johnson, Vice-President

Mike LaRussa, Secretary/Treasurer                            Katherine Carscallen

Matt Luck                                                                             Matt Marinkovich

Larry Christensen