NOAA 2004-R109
Contact: Connie Barclay

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) will be holding information meetings in Seattle, Washington and Kodiak, Alaska, to discuss the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island crab buyback program. The meetings are open to the public. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NOAA Fisheries opened the bidding in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island crab buyback March 5. Crab fishing permit holders will have until April 23 to bid for buyback payments.

NOAA Fisheries will pay volunteers to retire their fishing permits, histories and vessels. The buyback’s objective is to pay those who choose to stop crab fishing, and increase crab allocations for those who want to remain.

Bidders determine the amount offered to retire their crab fishing capacity. Once a fisher makes an offer, he/she is committed to participate in the buyout process. After bidding closes, NOAA Fisheries will state each bid as a percentage of the bidder’s landed crab values, and accept bids with the lowest percentages until a ceiling of $100 million is reached for the buybacks.

A referendum will follow the buyback process to determine if crab license holders will accept a crab-fishing landing fee to repay the $100 million used for the buyback program. If they do, NOAA Fisheries will advise accepted bidders and complete the buyback. If not, the buyback is discontinued, and bidders have no further bid obligation.

The first information session will be held 9:00 a.m. March 16 in Seattle, Washington at Leif Erikson Hall, 2245 NW 57th Street. A second session will be held 2:00 p.m. March 18 in Kodiak, Alaska at Kodiak High School, as part of ComFish.

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources, and the habitat on which they depend, through scientific research, management and enforcement. Our stewardship of these resources benefits the nation by supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, while helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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