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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Bering Sea-Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Crab Annual Catch Limits and Rebuilding Analyses

Economic and Social Sciences Research (ESSR) Program staff have collaborated extensively with members of the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Crab Plan Team to develop and analyze alternatives for implementing the annual catch limits required under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act reauthorization and to develop rebuilding plans for eastern Bering Sea snow and Tanner crab stocks, and Pribilof Island blue king crab.

Extending earlier work performed for the Council, ESSR economist Mike Dalton developed time series vector autoregression price forecasting models for king and snow crab. Crab Plan Team member and ESSR economist Brian Garber-Yonts worked with stock assessment analysts to integrate simulations of crab population and directed catch forecasts with price forecasts to simulate economic outcomes and illustrate the tradeoffs between reducing the risk of overfishing and the attendant cost in foregone revenue under annual catch limits and rebuilding alternatives.

Economic analyses of revenue implications have been produced for each of nine BSAI crab stocks regulated under the Council's Crab Fishery Management Plans and incorporated into the preliminary Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility documents for SSC and Council review at the April 2010 meeting in Anchorage. Methods for analysis were presented to the SSC in February 2010, and the initial review documents will be formally released to the Council for the June meeting, with final drafts to be issued for the October Council meeting.

By Brian Garber-Yonts

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