Measure Twice, Cut Once
National Fisherman
September 2010
The article discusses the need for more rigorous analysis of the impacts of the National Marine Fisheries Services’ major regulatory initiatives. The authors use the example of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s recent vote to suspend its “groundfish retention standard” (GRS) for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands head-and-gut fleet. Although the objectives of the North Pacific program were valid, since its implementation more then two years ago, the program imposed significant compliance costs upon industry participants that were ultimately deemed unnecessary. The authors suggest that these problems were not unforeseeable, and if they had been fully vetted prior to implementation of the program, it is likely that those costs and operational inefficiences would have been avoided.