AT-SEA PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION (APA) -- A trade association representing companies that own and operate U.S. vessels that catch, process, package and freeze onboard, groundfish in the North Pacific and off the West coast.
AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT -- Legislation enacted in the fall of 1998 that increased the American ownership standards for U.S.-flag catcher/processor and catcher vessels, altered the pollock allocations (shifting more fish to CDQ and inshore processors), and established a vessel buyout program for nine catcher/processor vessels.
ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC) -- The ABC is a scientific calculation of the sustainable harvest level of a fishery as determined by federal fisheries biologists.
TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC) -- The harvest quota set by fishery management councils based on the Acceptable Biological Catch. In the North Pacific, the TAC is set at or below the ABC.
BYCATCH/DISCARDS -- Bycatch (or discards) refers to fish incidentally harvested by a vessel that are not retained. Fish are discarded either because federal regulations prohibit their retention (as is the case for salmon, halibut, crab, and herring) or because they are not a marketable species or are not suitable for processing.
CATCHER/PROCESSOR -- A combination fishing and processing vessel that uses trawl nets to harvest fish. Catcher-processors range in size from 100 - 375 feet. The ability to immediately process groundfish at sea, rather than delivering the catch to shore-based processing plants, allows catcher-processors to produce higher-grade seafood products.
CATCHER VESSEL -- A fishing vessel that delivers its catch either to motherships, shoreplants, or catcher-processors.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) PROGRAM -- A program that allocates a percentage of groundfish and crab to small communities along the Bering Sea which generally partner with experienced fish companies to harvest, process and market their quota.
FISHERY COOPERATIVE -- An agreement between participants within an industry sector to assign each participant a percentage of that sector's overall quota allowance. Such an agreement is in place among catcher-processors in the Pacific whiting fishery and in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. The arrangement eliminates the "race for fish" -- the slower pace allows fishers to improve their utilization of fish and to further reduce bycatch.
GROUNDFISH -- In the North Pacific, about a dozen species comprise the groundfish complex. They include Alaska pollock, Pacific cod, rockfish, yellowfin sole, and rock sole.
INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTAS (IFQs) -- A market-based alternative to the "race for fish". Under an IFQ system, fishing privileges are conveyed to individual participants in the fishery. A person's quota share represents a percentage of the Total Allowable Catch in the fishery and can be leased, sold or otherwise transferred. The harvest privileges can also be rescinded if the participant does not comply with federal fishing regulations.
MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT -- The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was passed by Congress in 1976 and created a 200-mile federal fisheries zone. The Magnuson-Stevens Act created eight regional councils to oversee the U.S. fisheries -- the councils operate under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
MOTHERSHIPS -- Vessels that process but do not harvest fish. Motherships operate on the fishing grounds receiving deliveries of fish from vessels engaged only in harvesting activities.
OLYMPIC-STYLE FISHING -- Also known as the "race for fish," refers to a management system that sets a quota and start date for the entire fishery and then individual boats "race" to get as much of the Total Allowable Catch as possible before the fishery closes.
METRIC TONS -- The measurement unit of groundfish catch, equal to 2205 pounds.
NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE (NMFS) -- A division of the Department of Commerce, NMFS is responsible for conserving and managing federal fishery resources and regulating U.S. fishermen.
NORTH PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL (NPFMC) -- One of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Act, the NPFMC develops management measures for the fisheries resources in the federal waters of the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. The NPFMC sets both the Allowable Biological Catch and the Total Allowable Catch quotas each year, subject to approval by the Department of Commerce.
OBSERVERS -- All catcher-processors in the North Pacific have two federally-trained observers on board to collect scientific data for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Funded by the fishing industry, the federal fishery observer program collects scientific information and measures harvest amounts to ensure that established catch levels are not exceeded.
PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL (PFMC) -- The PFMC has conservation and management responsibility for federal fisheries out to 200 miles off the coasts of California, Washington, and Oregon.