Glossary


Accountable – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, participants are required to stay within their allocated share of the overall catch and/or comply with other controls on fishing mortality. See SEASALT.

Age-length data – Data comparing the length of an individual fish with its age.

All sources – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, shares include all sources of fishing mortality (landed and discarded) and when combined do not exceed the catch limit(s) or other controls on fishing mortality. See SEASALT.

Allocation – Distribution of a secure share of the catch to individuals or groups.

Annual allocation unit (syn.: Quota pounds) – The measure used to determine the annual amount of fish each participant is allowed to catch, usually defined as total weight. It is often calculated as a percentage of the catch limit based on a participant’s holdings. In the case of area-based programs, the unit is a specified area.

Area-based catch share –­ See Territorial Use Rights for Fishing

At-sea monitoring – The collection of information on fishing activities taking place at sea, including harvesting, catch handling, biological sampling, fishing methods and interactions with protected species. At-sea monitoring is conducted with onboard observers or an electronic monitoring system.

Breeding strategy – Provides an indication of the level of natural mortality that may be expected for offspring in the first stages of life. Includes placement of larvae, level of parental protection and length of gestational period (Patrick et al., 2009).

Biological functional unit – In reference to designing Territorial Use Rights for Fishing, the geographical range of a self-sustaining stock or sub-stock of fish.

Bycatch (syns.: Incidental catch, Non-target catch/species) – Fish other than the primary target species that are caught incidental to the harvest of those species. Bycatch may be retained or discarded. Discards may occur for regulatory or economic reasons (NRC, 1999).

Carrying capacity – The maximum population of a species that an area or specific ecosystem can support indefinitely without deterioration of the character and quality of the resource (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Catch (syn.: Harvest) – The total number (or weight) of fish caught by fishing operations. Catch includes all fish killed by the act of fishing, not just those landed (FAO, n.d.).

Catchability (syn.: Vulnerability) – 1. The extent to which a stock is susceptible to fishing. Catchability changes depending upon fish behavior and abundance and the type and deployment of fishing gear (Blackhart et al., 2006). 2. The fraction of a fish stock which is caught by a defined unit of the fishing effort (FAO, n.d.).

Catch accounting – The tracking of fishermen’s catch, including landings and discards, against their share holdings.

Catch limit (syn.: Total allowable catch) – The scientifically determined, acceptable level of fishing mortality.

Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) - The weight or number of fish caught with a specific unit of fishing effort (e.g., time and/or gear used).

Catch share (syn.: Catch share program) – A fishery management system that allocates a secure area or privilege to harvest a share of a fishery's total catch to an individual or group. Programs establish appropriate controls on fishing mortality and hold participants accountable.

Co-management – A process of management in which government shares power with resource users, with each given specific rights and responsibilities relating to information and decision making (FAO, n.d.).

Community – The populations that live and interact physically and temporally in the same area (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Community Development Quota (CDQ) – A catch share program in western Alaska under which a percentage of the total allowable catch is allocated to eligible Alaskan villages to ensure continued opportunities to participate in western Alaskan fisheries and to provide economic and social benefits (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Community Fishing Quota (CFQ) (syn.: Community Quota) – Catch share program in which shares are allocated to a specific community with certain rules and stipulations that tie the share, or the proceeds of the share, to that community.

Concentration – A measurement of the percent of privileges held by one entity.

Concentration cap (syn.: Accumulation limit) – The limit on the percentage of shares that any one participant or entity can hold and/or fish.

Consolidation – The accumulation of shares by a relatively small number of shareholders.

Controls on fishing mortality – Management measures such as catch limits, gear restrictions and seasonal and spatial closures that limit the total amount harvested each year.  When set at appropriate levels, they ensure long-term sustainability of stocks.

Cooperative – 1. A group of fishery participants that is allocated a secure share of the catch limit or a secure area, and collectively manages its allocation. 2. A group of people who come together to coordinate activities in some way.

Cooperative catch share – A type of catch share in which one or more groups of fishery participants are allocated a secure share of the catch limit or a secure area, and accept certain fishery management responsibilities, including ensuring compliance with controls on fishing mortality.

Cost recovery – Partial or full recovery, by the government or management authority, of the costs of management, monitoring and/or enforcement of a fishery.

Customary marine tenure (syns.: Traditional marine tenure, Customary sea tenure) – A traditional fisheries management approach in which access to a marine territory is limited to a defined local group. Traditional authorities and local community members are responsible for decision making, monitoring, enforcement and other management roles (Ruddle, 1996).

Derby-style fishing (syns.: Olympic-style fishing, Race for fish) – Fishing conditions characterized by short seasons and severe competition for fish, often resulting in low profits and harvests that exceed sustainable levels.

Discard (syns.: Regulatory discard, Economic discard) – To release or return a portion of the catch, dead or alive, before offloading, often due to regulatory constraints or a lack of economic value (FAO, n.d.).

Dockside monitoring – The monitoring of activities taking place upon a vessel’s landing, including weighing or counting offloaded catch, biological sampling and identifying species composition.

Economic discard (syn.: Commercial discard) – Fish that are not retained because they are of an undesirable size, sex or quality, or for other economic reasons (16 U.S.C. 1802).

Ecosystem-based management – An approach that takes major ecosystem components and services—both structural and functional—into account in managing fisheries. Goals include rebuilding and sustaining populations, species, biological communities and marine ecosystems at high levels of productivity and biological diversity (FAO, n.d.).

Ecosystem services – The benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services, such as food and water; regulating services, such as flood and disease control; cultural services, such as spiritual and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth (FAO, n.d.).

Effort (syn.: Fishing effort) – The amount of time and fishing power used to harvest fish; effort units include gear size, boat size and horsepower (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Effort accounting – The tracking of fishermen’s use of effort units against their share holdings.

Effort-based – Fishing privileges based on a percentage or absolute number of the total effort units available, often allocated as days, pots or trawl tows. Effort-based programs do not qualify as a catch share.

Effort cap (syn.: Total allowable effort) – The scientifically determined acceptable level of fishing effort, defined as the number of effort units allowed in a given fishery. Effort caps are often based on target levels of fishing mortality.

Effort unit – A unit of fishing effort. In reference to designing transferable effort share programs, a unit defined by a fishing input or set of inputs and the frequency or duration of their use; for example, the use of a trap for a season, the length of a trawl tow or the use of a vessel for a fishing day.

Electronic monitoring – A technique employed to monitor at-sea fishing activities, often consisting of cameras, sensors and Global Positioning System (GPS) units that record vessel and fishing location, fishing activity, catch (retained and discarded) and compliance with fishing rules.

Eligibility – Standards or guidelines that qualify individuals or entities for allocation of catch shares.

Enforcement – Measures to ensure compliance with fishery regulations, including catch limits, gear use and fishing behavior.

Enterprise allocation – A type of catch share program in which shares are allocated to and managed by a fishing company. This term has been used in Canada.

Exclusive – 1. In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, secure privileges are assigned to an entity (individual or group) and are clearly recognized and defendable by law. See SEASALT. 2. A program or privilege that permits only assigned users to participate, thereby ensuring that benefits and costs of the privilege will accrue to the holder.

Ex-vessel value (syns.: Dockside value, Landed value, Gross landed value) – A measure of the monetary worth of commercial landings, usually calculated as the price per pound for the first sale of landed fish multiplied by the total pounds landed.

Export value –­ The value of fishery products exported to a foreign nation. Export value is often higher than landed value due to value-added processing.

Fecundity ­­– The potential reproductive capacity of a fish species, usually represented by the number of eggs produced in a reproductive cycle.  Fecundity often increases with age and size (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Fish – Used as a collective term that includes finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and any aquatic plant or animal that is harvested.

Fish stock – The living resources in the community or population from which catches are taken in a fishery. Use of the term fish stock usually implies that the particular population is more or less isolated from other stocks of the same species and hence self-sustaining. In a particular fishery, the fish stock may be one or several species of fish but here is also intended to include commercial invertebrates and plants (FAO, n.d.).

Fish tag – A physical tag or marking placed upon a harvested fish, often used to monitor catch, ensure compliance, reduce illegal fishing and assist in traceability.

Fish ticket – A record of purchase and documentation of harvest of a public resource. The fish ticket often records the species landed, the weight of each species, the gear used to catch the fish, catch dates, the fishery, the processor, the price paid for the fish and the area fished (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, n.d.).

Fishery – The combination of fish and fishermen in a region, the latter fishing for similar or the same species with similar or the same gear types (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Fishery information – The information needed in a fishery for science and compliance, which can be collected through various forms of monitoring and self-reporting.

Fishery Management Council (FMC) – A regional fisheries management body established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to manage fishery resources in eight designated regions of the U.S. (16 U.S.C. 1852).

Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – A document prepared under supervision of the appropriate fishery management authority for management of fish stocks judged to be in need of management. Generally, the plan must be formally approved. An FMP includes data, analyses and management measures (FAO, n.d).

Fishing community – A community that is substantially dependent on or engaged in the harvest or processing of fishery resources to meet social and economic needs. Includes fishing vessel owners, operators, crew and processors that are based in such a community (16 U.S.C. 1802).

Fishing effort (syn.: Effort) – The amount of fishing gear of a specific type used on the fishing grounds over a given unit of time (e.g., hours trawled per day, number of hooks set per day or number of hauls of a beach seine per day) (FAO, n.d.).

Fishing inputs – The resources used to catch a species or group of species, often including fishing vessels, vessel type and power, gears used, fuel and more.

Fishing mortality (syn.: Mortality) – A measurement of the rate of fish removal from a population by fishing. Fishing mortality can be reported as either annual or instantaneous. Annual mortality is the percentage of fish dying in one year. Instantaneous mortality is the percentage of fish dying at any given point in time (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Group-allocated – A catch share program in which privileges are allocated to a clearly defined group of people, often a community or fishing association.

Growth overfishing – Occurs when juvenile fish are harvested before their growth potential is fully reached. Restricts fisheries from producing their maximum poundage (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Hail in/Hail out (syn.: Hail program) – A monitoring approach that allows vessel operators to communicate their fishing activity to a central clearinghouse. Reporting often includes commencement and completion of a fishing trip, location of fishing activity and the intended point of departure and offloading of harvest.

Harvest – The total number or poundage of fish caught and kept from an area over a period of time (Blackhart et al., 2006).

High-grading (syn.: Economic discards) – Selectively sorting fish so that higher value, more marketable fish are retained and fish that could be legally retained, but are less marketable, are discarded (NRC, 1999).

Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) – A type of catch share program in which shares are allocated to individuals or individual entities. Recipients are generally fishermen and shares may or may not be transferable.

Individual Quota (IQ) – A type of catch share program in which shares are allocated to individuals or individual entities. Recipients are generally fishermen and shares are not transferable.

Individual Transferable Effort Quota (ITEQ) (syns.: Effort-based, Transferable effort share) – A percentage of the total allowable effort allocated to individuals, often in the form of days-at-sea or a set amount of gear. ITEQ is tradable between eligible participants.

Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) – A type of catch share program in which shares are allocated to individuals or individual entities. Recipients are generally fishermen and shares are transferable.

Individual Vessel Quota (IVQ) – A type of catch share in which shares are allocated to an individual vessel. Shares are attached to the vessel rather than the vessel owner and shares may or may not be transferable. This has been used most commonly in Canada.

Individually-allocated – A catch share in which privileges are allocated to individuals or individual entities.

Input controls (syns.: Input regulations, Input-based regulations, Input-based controls, Input measures) – Management instruments used to control the time and place, as well as type and/or amount, of fishing in order to limit yields and fishing mortality; for example, restrictions on type and quantity of gear, effort and capacity and closed seasons (FAO, n.d.).

Landings – The number or weight of fish offloaded at a dock by fishermen. Landings are reported at the locations where fish are brought to shore (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Large Marine Ecosystem – A geographic area of an ocean that has distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity and trophically dependent populations (FAO, n.d.).

Length at maturity ­See: Size at maturity.

Length-based data – Data based on the length of fish (e.g., length at maturity and maximum length).

Life-history parameters – Basic biological information such as size and age at maturity, natural mortality and fecundity for a specific species.

Limited – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, controls on fishing mortality are set at scientifically appropriate levels.  See SEASALT.

Limited access (syns.: Controlled access, License limitation, Limited entry) – A fishery management approach that limits the number of fishermen participating in a fishery, usually by issuing a limited number of licenses.

Limited Access Privilege (syn.: Limited Access Privilege Program) – In the U.S., a federal permit issued as part of a limited access system under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to harvest a quantity of fish. That quantity is expressed by a unit or units representing a portion of the total allowable catch of the fishery that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person (16 U.S.C. 1802). All Limited Access Privilege Programs are catch shares, but not all catch shares are Limited Access Privilege Programs.

Logbook (syn.: Logsheet) – A detailed, usually official, record of a vessel’s fishing activity registered systematically onboard the fishing vessel. It usually includes information on catch and species composition, the corresponding fishing effort and location (FAO, n.d.).

Macroalgae – Large, multi-celled, photosynthetic algae. Commonly called seaweed.

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act – The primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq).

Marine reserve (syn.: Marine protected area) – A geographically defined space in the marine environment where special restrictions are applied to protect some aspect of the marine ecosystem including plants, animals and natural habitats (Blackhart et al., 2006). No-take reserves are a type of marine reserve.

Maximum Economic Yield (MEY) – The catch level that corresponds to the highest amount of profit that could be earned from a fishery (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Maximum length – The biggest fish, length-wise, in a sample or catch, or the biggest fish recorded for a specific species.

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) – The largest average catch that can be taken continuously (sustained) from a stock under average environmental conditions. This is often used as a management goal (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Megaspawner – A highly fecund, older female fish (Froese, 2004).

Monitoring (syn.: Catch control) – The collection of fishery information for the purposes of science, including setting catch limits and assessing stocks, and ensuring accountability, including catch accounting and enforcing fishery regulations.

Mortality – A measurement of the rate of death of fish, resulting from several factors but mainly predation and fishing.

Multi-species fishery – A fishery in which more than one species is caught at the same time. Because of the imperfect selectivity of most fishing gear, most fisheries are “multi-species.” The term is often used to refer to fisheries where more than one species is intentionally sought and retained (NRC, 1999).

No-take reserve (syn.: No-take zone) – A defined marine area in which fishing and other extractive activities are prohibited.

Non-target species (syns.: Bycatch, Incidental catch) – Species not specifically targeted as a component of the catch but which may be incidentally captured (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Onboard observers (syn.: Observers) – A certified person onboard fishing vessels who collects scientific and technical information on the fishing operations and the catch. Observer programs can be used for monitoring fishing operations (e.g., areas fished, fishing effort deployed, gear characteristics, catches and species caught, discards, collecting tag returns, etc.) (FAO, n.d.).

Open access – Condition in which access to a fishery is not restricted (i.e., no license limitation, quotas or other measures that would limit the amount of fish that an individual fisherman can harvest) (NRC, 1999).

Optimum Yield (OY) – The harvest level for a species that achieves the greatest overall benefits, including economic, social and biological considerations. Optimum yield is different from Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in that MSY considers only the biology of the species (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Overcapacity – A level of fishing pressure that threatens to reduce a stock or group of stocks below the abundance necessary to support Maximum Sustainable Yield and allow an economically sustainable fishing industry (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Overcapitalization (syn.: Excess capacity) – In the short term, fishing capacity that exceeds the level required to capture and handle the allowable catch. In the long term, fishing capacity that exceeds the level required to ensure the sustainability of the stock and the fishery at the desired level (FAO, n.d.).

Overfished – A state in which a fish stock is below a scientifically determined target biomass (e.g., one half of the biomass that produces Maximum Sustainable Yield).

Overfishing – A rate of fishing mortality that, unchanged, will result in an overfished state.

Permit bank (syns.: Quota bank, Community license bank) – Collection of harvesting privileges in which certain rules and stipulations govern the use of the privileges and the distribution of benefits.

Public resource (syns.: Public good, Common resource) – A resource that is held collectively by all people and often managed by the government on their behalf.

Quota – The maximum number of fish that can be legally landed in a time period. Quota can apply to the total fishery or an individual fisherman’s share under a catch share program (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Quota-based catch share – A catch share program in which secure shares of the catch limit are allocated to individuals or groups and participants are held accountable to their share.  Shares are based on the number or weight of fish.

Quota pounds (QP) – See Annual allocation unit.

Quota shares (QS) – The percentage of the annual catch limit to which a catch share privilege holder has access to harvest.

Race for fish (syns.: Derby-style fishing, Olympic fishing) – A pattern of fishing characterized by an increasing number of highly efficient vessels fishing at an increasing pace, with season length becoming shorter and shorter (FAO, n.d.).

Recruit – An individual fish entering the fishable stage of its life cycle.

Recruitment – The number of fish added to a fishable stock each year due to growth and/or migration into the stock.

Recruitment overfishing – When high rates of fishing mortality result in low annual recruitment, a reduced spawning stock and decreased proportion of older fish in the catch. May result in stock collapse (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Regulatory discards – Fish that fishermen are required by regulation to discard whenever caught, or are required by regulation to retain but not sell (16 U.S.C. 1802).

Scaled – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, management units are set at the appropriate biological level, taking into consideration social and political systems. See SEASALT.

SEASALT – A mnemonic that describes commonly occurring attributes of catch shares (Secure, Exclusive, All sources, Scaled, Accountable, Limited, Transferable).

Sector – 1. A specific division of a fishery with unique characteristics including management regulations, gear types, fishing locations, purpose of activity or vessel size. 2. A type of group-allocated catch share program, most commonly used in New England.

Secure – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, the tenure length of shares is sufficiently long for participants to realize future benefits. See SEASALT.

Shareholder (syn.: Privilege holder) – An individual or entity holding a secure share in a catch share fishery.

Single-species fishery – A type of fishery in which fishermen target only one species of fish, although it is usually impossible not to catch others incidentally (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Size at maturity – The weight or length at which 50% of fish of a given sex reach reproductive maturity.

Social cohesion (syn.: Social capital) – The social resources (networks, memberships of groups, relationships of trust, access to wider institutions of society) upon which people draw in pursuit of livelihoods (FAO, n.d.).

Social functional unit – In reference to designing Territorial Use Rights for Fishing, a group of people with the capacity to organize and participate in managing their fishery.

Spawning potential ratio – The number of eggs that could be produced by an average recruit in a fished stock divided by the number of eggs that could be produced by an average recruit in an unfished stock (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Stewardship – Responsible management of resources for future generations, such as maintaining populations of target and non-target species, protecting wildlife, conserving key habitats and strengthening ecosystem resilience.

Stock – A part of a fish population usually with a particular migration pattern, specific spawning grounds, and subject to a distinct fishery. A fish stock may be treated as a total or a spawning stock. Total stock refers to both juveniles and adults, either in numbers or by weight, while spawning stock refers to the numbers or weight of individuals that are old enough to reproduce (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Sustainable fishing – Fishing activities that do not cause or lead to undesirable changes in the biological and economic productivity, biological diversity, or ecosystem structure and functioning from one human generation to the next (FAO, n.d.).

Sustainable harvest (syns.: Sustainable catch, Sustainable yield) – The biomass or number of fish that can be harvested without reducing the stock biomass from year to year, assuming that environmental conditions remain the same (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Tag-based – A system of catch shares in which a set number of tags are allocated in the beginning of the year based on an individual’s holdings, and every fish or standardized delivery weight must be tagged to be accepted for delivery.

Target species (syn.: Directed fishery) – Those species primarily sought by fishermen in a particular fishery. There may be primary as well as secondary target species (FAO, n.d.).

Tenure length of shares – The duration for which an individual’s or group’s share is allocated.

Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURF) (syn.: Area-based catch share) – An area-based management program that assigns a specific area to an individual, group or community. To meet the definition laid out in the Design Manual, one or more species in the area must have a scientifically based catch limit or other appropriate controls on fishing mortality.

Total allowable catch (TAC) (syn.: Catch limit) – The annual recommended or specified regulated catch for a species or species group (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Total allowable effort (TAE) (syn.: Effort cap) – The annual recommended or specified effort level applied to catch a species or group of species.

Total catch – The landed catch plus discard mortality (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Transferable (syns.: Transferability, Tradable) – In reference to the attributes of a catch share program, shareholders can buy, sell and/or lease shares. See SEASALT.

Transferable effort share (syn.: Transferable effort share program) – A fishery management system that sets an effort cap based on fishery inputs and their use, allocates shares to individuals and allows trading.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) – A satellite communications system used to monitor fishing activities; for example, to ensure that vessels stay out of prohibited areas. The system is based on electronic devices, which are installed onboard vessels. These devices automatically send data to a shore-based satellite monitoring system (Blackhart et al., 2006).

Vulnerability (syn.: Catchability) – Equivalent to catchability, but usually applied to a specific part of the fish stock, such as individuals of a specific size or length (Blackhart et al., 2006).