Broader Issues and Considerations
This committee was asked to comment on the potential applicability of the Community Development Quota (CDQ) concept to areas beyond western Alaska, specifically whether the concept might be used in the western Pacific. Both the relative novelty of the CDQ concept in fisheries management and the initial promise of the western Alaska CDQ program contribute to this interest in the broader application of the CDQ concept. At the broadest level, what is of interest is the general idea of community allocations and also community management.
What emerges from a review of the western Alaska CDQ program is an appreciation for how specifically that program was tailored to the region in which it was applied. The very specificity of the Alaska program is useful in identifying critical characteristics, or design features, that must be addressed by anyone exploring the possible application of the more generic CDQ concept. The CDQ program offers insight into the interaction of state and local managers, the use of quota-based management, and the role of oversight in community-based development. These components, and other components of the CDQ program discussed in this chapter, are likely to be important when considering any community-based approach to development and fisheries management. Thinking about the broader applications of CDQ-style programs also addresses many issues of interest to Congress regarding harvest privileges. The following sections examine specific features of the western Alaska CDQ program for both their implications in the context of the Alaska program and for illustrations of more generic issues.
Some Influential Characteristics
The western Alaska CDQ program is based on four critical concepts: quotas, communities, corporations, and oversight. These three concepts are familiar to participants in the North Pacific Fishery Management Council process and are reviewed briefly here.
Quotas are the most fundamental aspect of the CDQ program. Quota management has different meanings throughout the world of fisheries management. In the context of the North Pacific, quotas are a derivative of total allowable catch (TAC) management. TAC management has a long history in the North Pacific region and is almost uniformly accepted as the legitimate underpinning of subsequent management measures. For those wishing to follow the specific example set by the Alaska CDQ program, a critical feature is the existence and acceptance of TAC management. In contrast, in some regions introduction of TAC management itself is likely to be as controversial. Conceivably, in other regions not using a TAC alternative management, techniques such as permit allocations and restrictions, special areas, gear restrictions, or limits on the number of fishing days could be used to allocate a portion of a fishery to a CDQ-like program.
The fact that the CDQ program is based in TAC management conferred an important element of legitimacy to the program by grounding it within the Council process. TAC management provides the basis for a wide manner of allocations that have been employed by the Council in addition to the collective quotas of the CDQ program, including, for example, the individual fishing quotas (IFQs) for halibut and sablefish and the inshore/offshore allocation in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Like other TAC-based allocations adopted by the Council, the CDQ program was designed to bestow economic opportunity, not to challenge the Council's management authority and functions.
Basing the CDQ program on the familiar grounds of a sub-allocation of the TAC provides more, however, than just a measure of legitimacy within the larger political dynamics of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council process. The bestowal of economic opportunity provides a characteristic focus on access to the economic benefits available through resource exploitation. The western Alaska CDQ program was designed to achieve a goal of inclusion. The coastal communities of western Alaska were perceived to be excluded from the ongoing development of the commercial fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. Further, there was an apprehension that specific management allocations would institutionalize and perhaps exacerbate existing patterns of acute underdevelopment and marginalization of the local population. The form of inclusion fashioned under the Alaska CDQ program is one in which the CDQ groups receive a
harvesting privilege and control of any economic benefits associated with that privilege.
Those interested in future applications of the CDQ concept should note just how specifically the North Pacific Fishery Management Council designed the nature of this form of inclusion. Sharing in economic benefits is not the same as, for example, sharing in management responsibilities. One can imagine a program with different mechanisms of inclusion such as a direct allocation of voting seats on the Council, direct control over setting the TAC itself, or even some form of autonomous participation in the subject fisheries completely outside the Council process. In contrast, the western Alaska CDQ program appears as a program crafted along much more familiar lines that bestowed economic opportunity while remaining within the overall framework of the Council.
Much like the acceptance of TAC/quota management, the existence of a commonly accepted view of "community" contributed to the prompt initiation of the western Alaska CDQ program. The relative ease with which target communities were identified in the Alaska case may tend to obscure an important point in terms of the broader interest in CDQ-style programs. Implementation of a community development program requires a definition of "community" and the ability to direct program benefits to the defined community. The concept of community involves both the idea of a geographic community (a community of place) and a social community (a community of interests). To the extent that there is a lack of correspondence between target interests and target places, substitution of one form of community for the other in the design of a program may be problematic.
The western Alaska CDQ program is defined in terms of 57 geographic communities. Any potential discord with the programmatic interest in providing benefits to the Alaska Native peoples of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands is minimized because of the nature of the communities themselves and because of internal and external recognition of these communities. The Alaska CDQ communities are overwhelmingly small villages of Native Alaskans with a strong sense of community identity and with well-recognized problems of development. From an external perspective, the Alaska Native villages are recognized as such in federal law. These factors make a geographic community basis seem like a natural choice in the western Alaska context. As noted earlier in this report, tensions are present in the Alaska program within those communities with significant non-native populations and ambiguities arise over who are the eligible residents within the eligible communities defined in the federal regulations.
The Alaska CDQ program suggests an obvious lesson for architects of any future CDQ program: framing a program in terms of geographic communities will be most effective when these communities are, or are nearly, synonymous with the intended beneficiaries. Where the intended beneficiaries are dispersed
among relatively large heterogeneous populations, a geographic community basis is likely to be unsuccessful (as for example when a target population is effectively lost among the general population of a large metropolitan area).
While defining the program in terms of geographic communities works because of the specific circumstances of western Alaska, this same context poses a challenge. The 57 communities are extremely isolated (usually even from one another) and are broadly dispersed in geographic and cultural terms. This dispersion presents a logistical problem which was addressed in the Alaska program through the creation of private corporations.
A third characteristic of the Alaska CDQ program is organization around nonprofit corporations representing collectives of the eligible communities. Like using quotas as a key element in the program, the mandatory basis in a corporate organizational form was partly a decision based on familiarity, in this case familiarity with the regional and local native corporations formed in response to Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The experiences of Native Alaskans with the corporate organizational form have been both positive and negative, and the negative experiences have influenced some CDQ group leaders to approach the CDQ program with a measure of fiscal conservatism. The experiences of Native Alaskans with the corporate organizational form gives them knowledge that may not be present in other areas where CDQ-like programs may be of interest. Even with this prior experience, the learning curve is substantial and, as noted in Chapter 4, the education of the CDQ groups in corporate management continues.
The corporate model contains an inherent challenge to the emphasis on community development: the corporation is not the community. Although the committee did not see evidence of this in the current groups, diversion of program benefits to the corporation may introduce new and perhaps unintended beneficiaries. In the Alaska CDQ program, the corporate organizing model has helped address the logistical hurdle posed by the extreme dispersion of the CDQ communities. The corporate organizational form has also complemented an initial focus on capital accumulation necessary to sustain a variety of development activities over the long term. Still, the committee observed that community residents are sensitive to the distinction between community development and corporation management and there is some tension between the villages and the corporate entities that constitute the CDQ groups.
It is important to distinguish the various types of corporate structure that may be used. In the ANCSA corporate models, the stakeholders are a fixed group of beneficiaries who retain their vote and benefits wherever they move. In the case of the CDQ corporate structure, the groups are operated by an elected board from the designated communities. These corporate models can be expected to produce
differing interactions between the villages and the corporate entities. The Alaska CDQ program may be at a crossroads in respect to the balance between attention to developing a strong corporate structure and community development. Heavy emphasis on development of a strong corporate structure may be appropriate during the start-up phase, but as time passes and the program matures, that kind of emphasis on the corporation as beneficiary can become entrenched to the detriment and displacement of the originally intended beneficiaries.
For future CDQ-like programs, two lessons stand out. First, the corporate governance structure may not be as familiar, efficient, or as relatively easy to adopt as in Alaska. Second, there may be a delicate balance between governance structures operating at one level (the corporation) and program goals targeted at a different level (the community). The balance struck between the development achieved at these different levels may ultimately affect what it means for a community development program to be "successful."
A final characteristic feature of the western Alaska CDQ program is the formal oversight role assigned to the state of Alaska and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The distinctiveness of the oversight role in the Alaska CDQ program is illustrated by comparison to other allocations effected by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council—other allocations are not accompanied by a formal oversight role. A CDQ-style program could be fashioned without an oversight role, thus one question confronting those interested in possible application of the CDQ concept is whether to mimic the oversight functions of the Alaska program.
Experience with the Alaska program suggests that decisions about the appropriate level of oversight may be challenging. On one hand, the committee repeatedly heard from the CDQ groups that "state oversight is a good thing." Among the benefits attributed to external oversight were the sense of a level playing field among the six CDQ groups and protection against bad investments that might tarnish the entire program let alone the particular group involved in such an investment. The presence of the oversight role also seems to have significantly contributed to the legitimacy of the program, particularly in the beginning when the program was perceived as a radical creation and was more controversial than it is now.
On the other hand, as has been discussed in the previous chapter, oversight (or the carrying out of oversight functions) is a continuing source of irritation and confusion within the program. The challenge that the Alaska CDQ program poses is that oversight appears as beneficial, appropriate, irksome, and puzzling all at the same time. Determining what kind and how much oversight is appropriate is a significant balancing act. The subsequent carrying out of such oversight in a consistent and coherent manner requires further skill and attention. Finally, it
should not be expected that the balance point will remain stationary as the program matures. These challenges will continue to confront the Alaska CDQ program and any future application of the CDQ concept.
Rules of Inclusion and Exclusion
In any resource management regime based on the allocation of property or privileges, the rules of inclusion and exclusion are likely to be controversial to design and implement. The Alaska CDQ program has experienced fewer controversies associated with the initial allocation of privileges than the individual fishing quota program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska. However, the CDQ program is clearly not free of the vexing distributional issues associated with determinations of who is included and who is excluded.
In the western Alaska CDQ program rules of inclusion and exclusion are determined at two distinct levels, the local level and the overall program level. At the local level, rules governing the distribution of benefits and opportunities are addressed by the internal governance structures of the CDQ corporations and the villages themselves. Again, the relationship between the villages and the CDQ corporations present some instructive issues for those interested in CDQ-like programs. On one hand, the role played by the CDQ corporations in decisions affecting the local distribution of benefits (including participation opportunities) suggests an incomplete devolution of authority to the local level (a distinction of critical relevance to any interest in community management). On the other hand, the leadership of the villages frequently overlaps the leadership of the CDQ corporations. This can be advantageous, but also raises some concerns about separation of responsibilities and opportunities for broad participation in the CDQ organizations.
Whether local level decisions are truly determined locally or by some proxy, one remaining issue is the potential problem of domination by a local elite. Political power is rarely, if ever, evenly distributed across a community of any size. Complaints inevitably arise that the consequences of allocation decisions are not evenly distributed across the spectrum of affected participants nor is access to the decision-making process equal. However, mere devolution of authority over allocation decisions does not in itself resolve the potential problem of distributional inequities. Rather, the problem is simply shifted to the local level. Communities can be highly factional, small communities perhaps particularly so, which can magnify disparities in the distribution of political power. Further friction can arise in a governance structure involving a collective of communities if one community has, or appears to have, more voice than others.
Although many of the Alaska CDQ villages are characterized by factionalism, it was not apparent to the committee that this has led to substantial problems in the western Alaska CDQ program. One area where the problem of factionalism may emerge concerns the distribution of fishing opportunities in CDQ fisher-
ies that are conducted locally (or could be conducted locally) such as the halibut fishery. To date, these fisheries have been conducted as local open access fisheries and the communities and the CDQ groups are wrestling with the challenges of allocating these participation opportunities. Daily trip limits, IFQ-like individual total catch limits, and full-time residency requirements have all been explored or used in allocating access to the CDQ halibut fisheries. As demand for local participation opportunities grows, one can expect the potential for intra- and intercommunity tension to increase and the issue of control over local access policies to become more critical.
At the overall program level, significant rules of inclusion and exclusion are established in the authorizing federal regulations in the form of criteria for determining eligible communities (criteria that have now been incorporated into the Magnuson-Stevens Act). For example, the community eligibility criteria state that an eligible community must be within 50 miles of the Bering Sea coast and cannot be located along the Gulf of Alaska. Both of these criteria create ''edge-effects" in the form of intercommunity friction as communities are divided by boundary lines into haves- and have-nots. Some of the CDQ groups have tried to address these effects by opening their training and scholarship programs to the residents of neighboring villages beyond the 50 mile boundary, but capital projects may not be undertaken in these villages and they have no direct role in the governance of the proximate CDQ group.
The exact rationale behind the particular geographic limitations on the Alaska CDQ program is not clear. The committee received testimony suggesting that the program's design was related to a unique combination of poverty, underdevelopment, lack of established fisheries infrastructure, and indigenous populations. With particular reference to the program's geographic boundaries, this uniqueness is questionable. There are clearly other communities with similar profiles that lie outside the program's boundaries. Review of the historical record associated with the program suggests that the program's boundaries reflect political dynamics within both Alaska and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. For example, the 50-mile boundary rule was originally conceived as a 30-mile boundary rule and changed to 50 miles during Council deliberations. Institutional structures also influenced program boundaries as evidenced by the exclusion of all coastal communities north of 66°N latitude for the simple reason that the Council's fishery management plan for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands terminates at that latitude. The Council has no fishery management plan for the Chukchi Sea region, thus no active authority in the region and no ability to apply the CDQ program in the region (Oliver, 1993).
Examination of the historical and traditional patterns of fishing and trade activities by the region's communities reveals that the rule requiring CDQ communities to be within 50 miles of the Bering Sea has implications for patterns of traditional relationships among communities in different regions of western Alaska. For instance, the application of the 50-mile rule in the Bristol Bay region
prevented at least 10 communities, all ANCSA villages with Alaska Native residents, from CDQ membership Some of these communities have participated in salmon and herring fisheries in Bristol Bay, in many cases since World War II. This has created a new division of communities not based on their previous commercial fishing histories and cultural practices but by an arbitrarily imposed geographic boundary.
The limited geographic application of CDQs in Alaska presents some interesting challenges to those interested in broader application of the CDQ concept. The specific geographic boundaries of the Alaska program serve to emphasize how particular that program is and how it was fashioned in the specific context of the politics of fisheries in Alaska and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Others may be interested in the application of CDQ-style programs on a more expansive basis. For example, CDQs hold some appeal as a fishery management tool independent of their utility as a development tool. Those interested in broader use would need to address how eligible communities be selected and what the program boundaries would look like. This question addresses the subject of threshold criteria to be used in determining eligibility to a program.
The threshold criteria for determining communities suitable for a CDQ-style program depend in large part on the nature of the program itself. It is not possible to establish threshold criteria for some hypothetical situation devoid of both context and intent. Assuming that a geographic community basis even makes sense in the first place, and that the emphasis is on community development for indigenous peoples, and that one wishes to address the distributional equity aspects of previous fishery development efforts, then community eligibility criteria similar to those employed in the Alaska program may be appropriate.
In contrast, a program focused on community allocations as a fishery management tool (perhaps even applied to the entire TAC) might feature a relatively unrestricted pool of eligible communities. The Alaska CDQ program does not really offer much instruction to this latter type of program, except to present another challenge: could a CDQ program be applied to coastal communities throughout a state rather than just to a particular portion of a state?
In response to a comment in the final rule for the original pollock CDQ program, the National Marine Fisheries Service articulated an interesting legal theory associated with the limited geographic range of the Alaska CDQ program:
[T]he CDQ program does not discriminate between Alaskans and non-Alaskans on the basis of residency. The impact of the CDQ program in setting aside a pollock reserve for use by western Alaska communities . . . falls equally upon similarly situated Alaskans and non-Alaskans. Regulations that are determined to discriminate among residents of different states, based on their residence, would not be approved. (FR vol. 57, No. 248:61329, 1992)
Again, the Alaska CDQ program appears as a very particular construction of what could be a very general concept, this time in terms of the program level rules
of inclusion and exclusion. In the 1996 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Congress placed a moratorium on consideration by the Council of any change to these rules. The clash between Congressional action and what appears to be growing interest in expansion of the CDQ program will no doubt be mediated in the normal political processes affecting fisheries in the North Pacific.
One area in the North Pacific that has been proposed to be included if the CDQ concept were to be extended to other areas within Alaska would be communities in the Gulf of Alaska. Two possible ways to extend the CDQ concept into the Gulf of Alaska have been suggested. The first approach focuses on providing potential new CDQ groups in the Gulf of Alaska with Bering Sea pollock quota because the Gulf of Alaska does not have a comparable unallocated stock of size and value. This approach might be problematic. First, it severs the philosophical association of quota with access to the collective resources of a proximate marine ecosystem. Second, accommodating any new program by increasing the current 7.5 percent overall CDQ allocation would face substantial industry objections. Third, redirection of a portion of the existing 7.5 percent CDQ pollock allocation would face substantial industry objections. Finally, redirection of a portion of the existing 7.5 percent CDQ pollock allocation to new CDQ groups/communities would result in diminishment of benefits to western Alaska and also provoke resistance. These latter two problems are testimony to the potent sense of entitlement associated with fisheries allocations.
A second suggested possible way to extend the CDQ concept to the Gulf of Alaska and southeast Alaska focuses on the IFQ halibut and sablefish fisheries of the Gulf. These suggestions have been made recently by a number of organizations representing Native Alaskan interests in the region. Because both halibut and sablefish stocks in the region have been fully allocated into an IFQ program, this proposed route would be somewhat different than the current CDQ program. Currently, regulations in the halibut and sablefish IFQ program limiting the amount of quota share that any one entity can hold restrict the ability of CDQ-like groups to form and hold quota. These rules may have to be modified if communities were to hold quota share. It would authorize the creation of CDQ-like groups, comprised of one or more communities. This would not require a reallocation by the Council to the new groups; rather, these proposed groups would be authorized to purchase IFQ from present individual owners. This quota could then be leased or allocated to group members thereby creating new fishing opportunities in these communities.
This second route could preserve the linkage between communities and nearby resources and requires a significant degree of organization and entrepreneurial commitment be demonstrated to achieve group status. Given the evident underdevelopment difficulties of many smaller Gulf of Alaska and southeast Alaska communities, the possibility of creating some kind of CDQ-like organization might be worth additional consideration within the normal framework of the
North Pacific Fishery Management Council process. The committee did not evaluate the historic dependence on fisheries in these communities, the potential boundaries and criteria that could be used to define those communities, or the level of development, employment, or alternatives to fishing in the communities where the CDQ program is being considered, but the state might wish to do so before any expansion is planned. Recently, some efforts have been made to examine the holdings of limited access permits and IFQs in Gulf of Alaska communities, but the committee did not evaluate those findings or their potential implications for the expansion of the CDQ program (CFEC, 1998). It should be noted that this proposal is controversial and there is some concern that extending the authority of communities to hold quota could create a market advantages that could be disadvantageous to existing IFQ holders.
These potential impediments to the implementation of a new CDQ-like program point to a critical area of study in the realm of right-based fishing regimes. The IFQ and CDQ programs are related and those interested in expanding the CDQ concept must understand it and the IFQ concept.
The sequence of adoption of IFQ and CDQ programs has implications for the probability of success. If the TAC is completely assigned via an IFQ program, there is little opportunity for a CDQ program. But on the other hand, CDQ programs use only a portion of TAC, not the entire amount available, so there is room for subsequent adoption of an IFQ program. The CDQ programs in Alaska were introduced either prior to or contemporaneous with the introduction of the IFQ program. In contrast, the IFQ program for the sablefish and halibut fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska allocated 100 percent of the available TAC. Expectations associated with the IFQ program are already strongly entrenched and subsequent reallocation of the TAC away from IFQs to CDQs would be politically contentious, if not impossible. Whether or not an IFQ program based on a partial assignment of the TAC is feasible (leaving flexibility for future adoption of a CDQ program) is a question we will leave to our companion study committee.1 But careful attention should be given to the potential for sequentially binding, and perhaps non-reciprocal, relationships between CDQ and IFQ programs. Given the nature of the two approaches to allocation, it would seem that CDQs may precede but not follow IFQs, at least in the political landscape associated with commercial fisheries off Alaska.
One possible resolution to the sequencing problem evident in the Gulf of
Alaska halibut and sablefish fisheries is to convert IFQs to CDQs. Rather than reassigning TAC from the existing IFQ program to a new CDQ program, IFQs could be converted into CDQs through market transactions. Communities could combine to purchase IFQs for the purpose of conversion to a CDQ. Once created, this CDQ could be treated as a royalty engine for capital accumulation, as a participation block for local fishers, or could be divided into individual allocations on a locally determined loan basis similar to options being pursued in the existing western Alaska CDQ program. Community eligibility criteria could be devised and oversight mechanisms instituted. Sources of initial capital for IFQ purchases would need to be identified and existing regulatory constraints on purchases by non-initial recipients of quota shares (which are designed to limit corporate ownership of quota shares) would need to be relaxed to permit community ownership of quota shares.
Another possible means of incorporating community-based concerns in an IFQ program is to allow communities to pool capital resources to purchase access rights (IFQs) that could then be used by members of the community. The role of the community in this approach differs from the conversion of existing IFQs into a CDQ-like program. However, under this pooling of capital resources, the community would maintain control over the use of the quota rather than a fishing vessel owner or specific crew member in the community. This approach would require clear guidelines to establish who within the community could use the IFQ, how the IFQ would be leased to those community members, as well as modifications in the existing halibut and sablefish programs to allow communities to purchase, hold, and lease quota to members in its community.
What are the distinctions between these two types of quota-based fishing regimes—the CDQ and IFQ—that might lead to a choice of one over the other? There are several important distinctions. The principal difference concerns the role of place: IFQs are nongeographic while CDQs are fundamentally geographic. By definition, a CDQ program contains a central emphasis on a geographic location. In contrast, geographic location is not a consideration in the conventional theory of IFQs. Mobility is to IFQs what the sense of place is to CDQs. Communities (in the geographic sense) are the conceptual heart of the CDQ program.
One additional difference between CDQ and IFQ programs concerns who receives the windfall associated with the initial allocation of harvest-access opportunities. In the IFQ program a subset of individual fishing firms receives a valuable asset in the form of current and future expected harvesting outcomes. The original recipient can retain this harvesting outcome or sell it. This means that new entrants into an IFQ fishery must "buy their way in"—reinforcing the extent to which the IFQ program represents a windfall to the original recipients of potential harvesting opportunities.
In the CDQ program the asset value accrues to the corporate entity (the CDQ group) which then manages it and allocates the resultant income stream to members of the local community. There is no opportunity for the CDQ group to
alienate (sell) the asset and its expected income stream as in the IFQ program. New entrants into the CDQ program may not purchase their access from existing groups but would need to be allocated a share of the total CDQ harvest by the State of Alaska and the National Marine Fisheries Service. This share for new entrants would likely reduce the harvest available for current CDQ groups. In this sense, the CDQ allocation represents an income stream to recipient CDQ groups and communities but it is not a marketable asset in the same sense as the IFQ.
Greater intergenerational equity may be attained under a CDQ program because it preserves future options for the community at-large. The emphasis on the community over the individual carries with it a recognition that future generations have a claim on present assets. The CDQ program, unlike an IFQ program, prohibits the sale of the future stream of economic benefits from the quota to other potential participants. In this way, the CDQ program strengthens the claim in the fishery of future generations of community residents.
Vesting a community with specific access to fishery resources permits that community (or collective of communities) to react to circumstances that are perceived as common problems. Community goals and problem definitions can change as local circumstances change. For instance, population growth is one of the changing circumstances that often requires attention, as are shifts in economic opportunities within the community. A CDQ program can provide a source of capital for addressing changing circumstances. Another form of intergenerational adaptability inherent in the CDQ program is that a community can change the contemporary rules of access to the resource according to community conditions. These forms of adaptability mean that a CDQ-style program provides a dynamic mechanism for a community to pursue the community's conception of "development." Given that many CDQ communities require time and expenditures to learn to operate profitably, the CDQ program provides a way to assemble capital and experience that gives participants a better position in the fisheries sector. A CDQ program can enlist the services of the community's best leaders to work for the community's benefit, rather than toward private accumulation of wealth.
Various transferability restrictions could be placed on an IFQ program to address intergenerational equity issues and the loss of community access. However, such restrictions either move an IFQ program toward the CDQ end of what is an IFQ/CDQ continuum, or fail to match the ability of a CDQ program to ameliorate these community and equity concerns. The idea of an IFQ/CDQ continuum warrants closer attention than it has received in public debate over harvest privileges and quota-based fishing regimes. For example, at what point would a CDQ program be more appropriate than a heavily restricted IFQ program if community and equity concerns are strong? Conversely, when would an IFQ program make more sense than a relatively unregulated CDQ program if emphasis on the business environment of individual firms is paramount? These are rhetori-
cal questions, but they underscore critical areas for consideration during the design stages of future programs.
The differing emphasis on place and intergenerational equity suggests a basis for another distinction between CDQs and IFQs that should be considered during discussions of transforming one type of program into the other. The goals of the CDQ program—economic and social development in communities—would not be advanced by transformation of CDQs into IFQs. This assessment reflects both the conditions that prevail in western Alaska communities and the fundamental distinction between a community and an individual.
Simultaneous exploration of the conversion of IFQs to CDQs and rejection of the reverse may provoke a charge of paternalism. But the charge only holds if centered on the interests of the present generation of individuals. If place and the claim of future generations are recognized as legitimate policy factors, then the inalienability of CDQs is a virtue, not a vice. Thus, if place and intergenerational equity are no longer policy concerns, then the transformation of CDQs should be contemplated.
Finally, there is one additional aspect of the CDQ/IFQ relationship worth noting for future program designers. As evident in the royalty fisheries of the western Alaska CDQ program, there is no need to formally transform a CDQ into an IFQ to gain some of the operational benefits offered by an IFQ program. CDQs may be treated as IFQs for an interim period of time while the community/ governing body retains the ultimate control over the underlying allocation. In addition to this critical retention of control (and thus maintenance of the inalienable character of resource privileges involved), the ability to conduct a shadow IFQ fishery within an overall CDQ program presents the possibility of semipublic collection of economic benefits and economically efficient auction arrangements. Public collection of benefits (via auctions and other mechanisms) is currently prohibited under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. But there is no prohibition of the private collection of benefits. The CDQ corporations capture fishery resource benefits just like other corporate entities capture economic returns under the IFQ program. The promise of the CDQ program, however, is that the CDQ corporations are not just like any other private corporation in that there is a specific tie back to the communities (a larger public) through the program structure.
In the field of natural resources management, there is much interest in co-management and community management regimes—that is, management structures where communities have a direct role in decision-making about management of the resource, such as timing of fishing seasons, amount of available catch, and similar issues. The western Alaska CDQ program should be carefully distinguished from these exercises in local management authority. If "management" is
understood as management of the resource (not business management), then the Alaska CDQ program is not co-management (sharing of management with a higher governmental authority) and not yet community management (full devolution of resource management authority). The CDQ program assigns rights to economic benefits via a quota share of the TAC but there is no assignment of resource management authority.
Some have argued that the CDQ groups have a management role in the coming multispecies CDQ fisheries in that they are expected to stop fishing when they have attained their prescribed harvest levels. Reliance on the holder of the harvest privilege to stop fishing (rather than relying on removal from the fishing grounds by federal agents) is the same mechanism that is employed in the IFQ program for the halibut and sablefish fisheries, and no one would seriously suggest that the IFQ program is an exercise in co- or community management. As noted earlier, the CDQ program was crafted to operate within the existing resource management structure of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
However, a management role could evolve in the CDQ program by two pos-
sible routes. The first route lies in the adjustment of the existing management regime to the complex catch accounting demands presented in the multispecies CDQ fisheries. Individual vessel level catch accounting on a species-by-species basis presents a severe challenge to existing management procedures and the CDQ groups are already being called on to devise new methods of catch measurement and reporting. Given current federal and state budgetary climates, it is conceivable that the CDQ groups will increasingly be relied upon to fill resource management needs such as being involved in catch measurement and reporting.
The second possible evolutionary route to a management role for the CDQ program is through the Council process itself. The CDQ program would not be the first time that economic empowerment led to political empowerment. While the CDQ program did not directly confer any representation in the Council process, there has been a significant evolution in the Council structure since the inception of the CDQ program. Currently, CDQ group representatives and CDQ group harvesting partners occupy 4 of the 11 voting seats on the Council and 7 out of 23 seats on the industry Advisory Panel. In essence, co-management of the management process could lead to co-management of the resource.
What emerges from a review of the western Alaska CDQ program is an appreciation that the program represents an example of a broad concept adapted to very particular circumstances. These circumstances include the existing embrace of TAC management, an existing management structure with widespread legitimacy, existing community definitions, and existing familiarity with the corporate organizational form. In light of these circumstances, the Alaska CDQ program seems to be quite well tailored to the local context.
Others interested in the application of CDQ-style programs may have different aspirations and different contexts. Community allocations and community management may be appropriate as fishery management tools quite apart from their utility in contexts associated with development goals and indigenous peoples. In the broader debate over harvest privileges and quota-based fishing regimes, fishery management aims may not necessarily be synonymous with social and economic development aims. In this broader context, CDQ-style programs might be important policy options wherever issues of community and intergenerational equity are important.
As future programs are contemplated, it will be important to understand that the Alaska CDQ program is not a general model. The Alaska CDQ program is a very particular application of a largely unexplored, much more general concept. Wholesale importation of the Alaska CDQ program to other locales is likely to be unsuccessful unless the local context and goals are similar to those in Alaska.