Questions and Answers About the
1999 Alaska Pollock Commercial Fisheries
Cost, Earnings and Employment Survey

 



What is the principal purpose of the survey?
Who is conducting the survey?
How is the survey connected with the Council's efforts to improve socio-economic data?
Who is being surveyed?
Is this a one time survey?
How will this information be collected?
What types of information will be collected?
How will the surveys be developed?
What are the other expected uses of the survey data?
Will this information be used in allocation decisions?
Why should my company participate? Is the survey voluntary?
How will NMFS verify the accuracy of the data collected?
Is the information confidential?
How will the survey results be distributed?
Who can I contact if I have questions?

What is the principal purpose of the survey?
NMFS and the Council have recognized the increasing need to collect economic data on a regular basis. The survey will provide data that can be used to track the economic performance of the groundfish fisheries over time.

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Who is conducting the survey?
The survey is being conducted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), NMFS in cooperation with Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

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How is the survey connected with the Council's efforts to improve socio-economic data?
The survey is part of a coordinated effort by NMFS and the Council to address deficiencies in socio-economic data.

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Who is being surveyed?
Catcher vessels, catcher processors, motherships and shoreside plants involved in the pollock fishery will be surveyed in 1999. Head & gut factory trawlers will be surveyed early in 2000. Catcher vessels, catcher processors, and shoreside plants involved in select fixed gear groundfish fisheries will be surveyed early in 2000. The groups to be surveyed in 2001 and beyond have not been identified.

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Is this a one time survey?
No, each industry sector will be surveyed periodically.

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How will this information be collected?
We anticipate using mail surveys with in person follow-ups to collect data. In the future, other data collection procedures may be used to minimize the time and resources used to collect the information.

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What types of information will be collected?
The types of information collected include costs, earnings and employment data. The cost section will include questions about your operating and capital costs. The earnings section will consist of questions about your revenues by species, product and grade. The employment section will include questions about numbers of employees and their compensation.

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How will the surveys be developed?
The surveys will be developed by AFSC staff who will be seeking input from industry to design a useful survey that will minimize the time burden on you and your company.

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What are the other expected uses of the survey data?
The information will provide an improved basis for evaluating the economic effects of past, present and future fishery management measures.

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Will this information be used in allocation decisions?
This information will be available to NMFS and the Council staff for use in evaluating all types of management actions including allocations.

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Why should my company participate? Is the survey voluntary?
While the survey is voluntary, it is important that you assist in this work. The lack of economic data has hindered industry and analysts in management decisions and made it difficult for the Council and NMFS to consider objective economic criteria in its analyses. Your participation in this survey effort will enable NMFS and the Council staff to design policies to achieve economic as well as biological objectives.

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How will NMFS verify the accuracy of the data collected?
NMFS and the Council are aware of the importance of having credible data and will work with industry to identify methods to verify the accuracy of the data.

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Is the information confidential?
It is NOAA's position that the requested information be treated as confidential and not be released to the public1. Only survey results aggregated at a level that will not compromise individual confidentiality will be reported.
1 Exemption 4 of FOIA states that information which is commercial or financial and privileged or confidential is generally exempt from disclosure. It is NOAA's position that the requested information be treated as confidential because its release would cause substantial competitive harm to the person submitting the information and NOAA would vigorously oppose releasing it.

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How will the survey results be distributed?
Survey results , including measures of economic performance for the fisheries, will be published annually in the SAFE and in the Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska.

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Who can I contact if I have questions?
Contact Dan Holland or Todd Lee of NMFS if you have any questions or concerns:
By phone:
By email:
By mail:
(206) 526-4114 or (206)526-4252
dan.holland@noaa.gov or todd.lee@noaa.gov
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115-0070

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