Factors Affecting Local Permit Ownership in Bristol Bay and an Evaluation of the BBEDC Permit Loan Program: An Analysis of Based on Interviews with Local Residents
MetadataShow full item record
Since the first Bristol Bay Limited Entry salmon permits were issued in 1975, many have been sold to non-local residents, resulting in declining numbers of permits held by local residents and eroding the economic base for many Bristol Bay communities. The primary goal for this thesis research project is to gain insights about why people in the Bristol Bay region choose to enter or exit the fishery and what can be done to increase local permit ownership in the commercial salmon fishery. The Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC) has been trying to create economic opportunities in some of these communities and has started a Permit Loan Program to assist Bristol Bay watershed residents in buying permits. This program has not been meeting its targets for the number of people assisted with buying a permit. A secondary goal for this thesis is to understand factors affecting the success of the BBEDC loan program. For this research, I interviewed 124 Bristol Bay residents, including people of a wide range of ages, with differing degrees of fishing experience and with a focus on four communities. The interview responses indicate that fishing knowledge and participation is strongly tied to family, but as permits have been leaving the region, this knowledge is being lost. The most successful fishing families are buying permits for their children to expand their "operation." Fishing is an expensive industry and successful participants are financially savvy think of fishing in business terms rather than in traditional ways, and (perhaps most importantly), have supplemental non-fishing income. The Bristol Bay region faces a big problem of ongoing permit loss. The BBEDC Permit Loan Program appears unable to stop the loss of permits. There are no obvious ways to expand permit ownership and retaining permits remains a big challenge for the region.
- Marine affairs