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Groundfish Fleet Restructuring (GFR) - FAQ

Q: Who is Ecotrust?
A: A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the emergence of a conservation economy, working in urban and rural areas to support entrepreneurs whose work improves environmental, economic and social conditions. 'Eco' refers to ecology and economy. For information contact Astrid Scholz, Principal Investigator at .

Q: Who is Pacific Marine Conservation Council (PMCC)?
A: A West Coast, nonprofit organization seeking sustainable marine fisheries and healthy coastal economies. Sixteen board members include commercial and sport fishermen, marine scientists and environmentalists, representing communities from Santa Barbara to Seattle. This board conceived the project. For information contact Bob Eaton, Executive Director at bob@pmcc.org, or visit www.pmcc.org.

Q: What is the Groundfish Fleet Restructuring Information and Analysis (GFR) project?
A: A collaborative effort to develop a set of analytical tools for restructuring the West Coast groundfish fleet, to ensure a sustainable, diverse and economically viable fishery for coastal communities.

Q: What is the budget for the GFR project?
A: The rumor is that up to 4 million dollars in government money is being spent, when in fact $157,000 in funds from private foundations are pending. Funding for this project is in no way connected to the federal appropriations for West Coast groundfish disaster relief.

Q: Why is this project being done?
A: The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) adopted a strategic plan in which the #1 priority is fleet capacity reduction. Stakeholders need to understand the implications of fleet restructuring, and the government has not yet made this important effort. This project is a contribution that we can make to help improve the difficult decision-making as the fleet is downsized.

Q: How can we ensure confidentiality of data, and what is our commitment to confidentiality?
A: Ecotrust and PMCC have, and will continue to comply with all aspects of confidentiality policies at Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), as well as all other data sources. In assuring confidentiality, we will meet the full intent of the law. No one will have access to any confidential information that is used by Ecotrust/PMCC to develop analytical tools.

Q: Who will have access to the project's results, tools and recommendations?
A: Anyone who requests them. The results will be provided to the PFMC, hopefully of a form and substance useful for implementing their goal of reducing the groundfish fleet by at least 50%. Fishing and coastal community groups, ports and economic departments should find the results useful in analyzing local impacts of fleet reduction alternatives.

Q: How long will it take?
A: The estimated completion date is March 1, 2003.

Q: How will we account for data that's not available?
A: Only existing data from sources including - but not limited to - PSMFC, PFMC and NMFS are being used. We will point out gaps in available information, which should help focus future research.

Q: Some people think that Ecotrust and PMCC are environmental organizations that want to use this information to shut down the fishing industry. Do we have a hidden agenda?
A: On the contrary, both organizations have sustainable fisheries and healthy coastal communities as high priorities. The GFR project is intended to rationalize the downsizing of the groundfish fleet, a transition that will happen regardless of our recommendations. We have gone to the PFMC and will continue to seek the input of fishermen and scientists specifically because we want their understanding about the work that we are doing, and to improve the project results.

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Learn More

GFR Final Report

Frequently Asked Questions

The Ecotrust/Pacific Marine Conservation Council Team

Harvesting the Sea: Quotas Work to Protect Canada's Catch The Sacramento Bee

The Pacific Fishery Management Council provides information specific to groundfish management.

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission provides commercial, recreational, and economic data.

The Northwest Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service provides links to current groundfish regulations and management measures such as the groundfish fishery management plan.

"Commercial Fisheries Data Collection Procedures for US Pacific Coast Groundfish" details the process of groundfish data collection.

The October 2000 Groundfish Fishery Strategic Plan "Transition to Sustainability" is available through the Pacific Fishery Management Council website as a pdf.

A view of the groundfish fishery system.

Contact

Edward Backus
Vice President,
Fisheries
PO Box 2330
Newport, OR 97365
tel: 541.265.8508
cell: 503.939.5500
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Charles Steinback
Director of Marine Planning
tel: 503.467.0777
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