What is a CQE

What is a CQE?

A Community Quota Entity (CQE) is a Non-Profit Corporation that has been authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) to acquire and hold fishing privileges for the exclusive use of specific small fishing dependent communities of Alaska.

Community Halibut and Sablefish Quota Share hold and lease Program

The CQE program was established in 2004 and allowed 42 eligible communities in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) to form non-profit entities to purchase and hold halibut and sablefish (black cod) quota share (QS) (69 FR 23681).  The non-profit corporate CQE must be approved by NMFS as meeting certain minimum criteria and also must be approved by a CQE eligible community to operate as the communities CQE.  Only community residents may fish halibut or sablefish quota held by the communities CQE.   Since the federal action that authorized the CQE program did not grant any halibut or sablefish QS the CQE is expected to purchase QS and service the debt incurred through leasing at favorable rates to community residents.  The CQE holds the QS in perpetuity for the benefit of the stability of the communities’ traditional economic foundation rather than suffer the inevitable out-migration of fishing access rights that generally occur under ‘rationalized’ fisheries that have no community protection measures in place.  The definitive description of the CQE program is found in the federal register at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/frules/fr23681.pdf.  More information can be found on the NOAA website at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/cqp.htm#ch.

Community Charter Halibut Permits (at no cost) to CQE communities in IPHC areas 2C or 3A

In IPHC areas 2C and 3A the charter halibut fishing effort has been limited and charter halibut permits (CHPs) are now required on charter fishing vessels operating in areas 2C and 3A.  These permits are bought and sold in an open market but a CQE in areas 2C and 3A may purchase CHPs on the open market or obtain community CHPs from NMFS at no cost.  Community CHPs are non-transferable, designated for area 2C or 3A only, and have an angler endorsement of 6.  Other restrictions and requirements apply and the definitive description of the program is found in the federal register at:  http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/frules/75fr554.pdf.  More information can be found on the NOAA website at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/cqp.htm#ch.

Caps on CHPs held by CQEs are as follows:

CQE Holding Caps CQEs in Area 2C CQEs in Area 3A
# of Community CHPs 4 7
# of CHPs (Community CHPs and Purchased CHPs) 8 14

Community License Limitation Program (LLP) Program for CQEs in the Central and Western Gulf

In order for a vessel to legally fish commercially for pacific cod in the Central or Western Gulf of Alaska a cod endorsed LLP (limited license program) permit must be held by the vessel.  Communities in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska CQE’s may obtain from NMFS at no cost LLPs endorsed for cod in the in the region in which they are located.  Eligible communities and the number and type of LLP are described at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/rr/tables/tabl50.pdf.  The definitive description of the community LLP program is found in the federal register at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/frules/76fr15826.pdf.  More information can be found at the NOAA website at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/cqp.htm#ch.