The Council voted to analyze alternatives to reallocate up to 5% of the combined charter commercial catch limit to the charter sector in Areas 2C and 3A. That translates to analyzing up to a 27% increase in the charter allocation in 2C and up to a 28% increase in the 3A charter allocation. In terms of pounds, that is 223,000 pounds (worth $11 million in quota share assets) in Area 2C and 603,000 pounds (worth $29 million in QS assets) in Area 3A.
The final statement of the motion did get amended to identify compensated allocation via the RQE as the Council’s preferred approach to reallocation, and to identify that the Council will table or “refine” the uncompensated reallocation alternatives if the RQE funding mechanism is authorized by Congress AND established by the Council. In other words, the commercial fleet is being held hostage to the RQE being implemented—and the Council STILL might vote to reallocate quota even with the RQE mechanisms in place—at least they have held open that option.
Council member Andy Mezirow, the charter operator on the Council, made the motion and led the charge. Cora Campbell identified factually incorrect statements in the purpose and need statement and led an effort to withdraw Area 2C from the reallocation action. Council members John Jensen, Kenny Down and Steve Marx voted with Cora on the 2C amendment. Of note, state representatives from Alaska, Washington and Oregon voted against Cora’s motion. After amendments, Cora, John and Kenny voted against the main motion and pointed out that further analysis of reallocation would destabilize the commercial sector and tear apart coastal communities. Every other Council member voted to analyze the alternatives for uncompensated reallocation.
Thank you to all who sent comments or provided testimony during the meeting. Every letter and every comment matters.
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