TODAY: Seminar with Brad Gentner

4:30 PM, Fishery Sciences Auditorium


Brad Gentner

President, Gentner Consulting Group, LLC

Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good: the current state of inter-sectoral allocation in US fisheries management


Allocation has become a hot issue for every fishery management council in the country. In mixed use fisheries, those with both a recreational and commercial component, recreational anglers have been seeking a higher percentage of the total quota. Hard total allowable catches and hard rebuilding timelines have increased conflicts between user groups. The National Marine Fisheries Service’s and the Environmental Defense Fund’s desire to put catch shares in every commercial fishery in the US has also exacerbated these conflicts. Because of these institutional shifts and pressures from recreational advocacy groups, the last Magnuson reauthorization included the requirement to examine economic values in making allocations and the NMFS official Catch Share Policy requires the examination of allocation using economic metrics before the institution of a catch share program and an update of the allocation every five years. These policies have prompted economic study after economic study showing that, using the traditional and accepted equimarginal principle, recreational values are much higher than commercial values across the most important recreational fisheries. State managers in the South Atlantic and Gulf States have already decided to manage most inshore species as entirely recreational fisheries because they understand recreational fishing generates more value from the public resources. However, these studies and the state experience with inshore species are being ignored in the management process. Councils complain that the recreational data is not certain “enough” to make these decisions, yet they set quotas using very uncertain data at nearly every meeting. Academics have started publishing articles, funded by catch share supporters, which state recreational fisheries need to be “rationalized” and limited entry must be instituted before allocations can be changed. “Rationalization” is completely antithetical to the creation of value and the generation of economic activity for a private recreational anglers. This seminar will focus on this rusted shut policy process. The councils and NMFS are currently letting the perfect defeat the good that is possible in reallocation.


Brad Gentner has over 18 years of experience in fisheries and natural resource management. Before starting GCG in 2007, Brad Gentner worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a Senior Research Economist in the Office of Science and Technology. While employed by NMFS, Brad Gentner ran the recreational economic data collection program designing and conducting expenditure surveys, demand surveys, and industry surveys to supply the data necessary to fulfill NMFS policy analysis mandates. Brad Gentner also chaired the economic impact working group for NMFS developing national standards for fisheries economic impact modeling; for both commercial and recreational sectors, developing the standards and guidelines for regulatory impact reviews within NMFS. Gentner Consulting Group conducts economic analysis for private sector business clients, environmental NGOs and Federal Government Agencies. Brad Gentner has conducted allocation studies for government, fishery management council and private advocacy clients. Brad Gentner has a M.S. in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from Oregon State University, has a B.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University and has completed the Ph.D. core at the University of Maryland. Brad Gentner has published over 27 journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports on commercial and recreational fisheries in the United States.

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