Friday, March 18, 2011

Fleet Consolidation/Board of Fish

While the NMFS Financial Services Division gave us assurances that we'd be done with the fleet consolidation by summer, it's dragging on... and on.

It looks like the odd-even cycle brought an increase of nearly 20% of new boats in 2009 then down 9% in 2010 and we see the fleet going up again in 2011 by around 15%.

So the math of paying 3% to keep 15-20% increases from occurring looks sound.

There's been talk of crew not getting anything out of the buyback.

Well, with an average of 240 boats catching 48 million dollars of fish, the average gross stock is $200,000. Almost identical to last year. The average crewshare in this scenario is around $15,000.

If 360 of the existing 380 permits were operating then the average gross stock would be $133,000 and crewshare would be $10,000. Or less.

So what's in it for crew? Higher crewshares.

And since almost all of us were once crew, it makes for a stable investment platform for the future. We all know that most of our investment is in the boat, skiff, net and other equipment, and maintaining and storing it all. The permit, while prices have indeed gone up significantly, is not the item that makes or breaks an operation. If you have a 58 footer, a net, a skiff, etc, you won't have a problem finding a permit. If you have a permit, you can't catch a fish unless you have the rest of the show.

Our permits, while having gone up significantly, are worth around the same price as it costs to purchase the right to harvest 6000 pounds of halibut or blackcod.

If we're too exclusive, then there must be other fisheries which are moreso.


Board of Fish proposals are due April 8th.


Early forecast. While the pink fry haven't headed out, the die is cast for a lousy winter in the north and mainland-central SE.

We may yet have some southern salvation and the island systems didn't have as bad a time as the mainland.

And ocean survival looks better the last couple years.

So, here goes. In 2012, we're looking at a 20 million harvest, with major gaps and rebuilding going on in the north. When the fry come out we'll know more. This is just the Bobbyt Juneau winter index.

The 2011 forecast has been downgraded to 71 million harvest from 76 million as the switch from 2-2 to a 5 day rotation will likely be slowly implemented. We may or may not need those 5 million-- methinks not-- but that's the way it is.

Have a good spring.


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