Part II of this Comment provides a brief overview of the history of the Magnuson Act. Part III describes the current status of the BSAI crab fisheries and the need for crab rationalization. In Part IV, this Comment examines NPFMC's preferred alternative—the three-pie voluntary cooperative program as set forth in its Bering Sea Crab Rationalization Program Alternatives: Public Review Draft (May, 2002) and Summary of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program Submitted to the United States Congress, August, 2002. Part V looks at the legal issues surrounding processor quotas, focusing specifically on the possible equal protection, takings, and antitrust concerns that a processor quota system raises. After concluding that NPFMC's IPQ program should withstand any legal challenges, this Comment, in Part VI, examines the benefits and costs of rationalization to harvesters, processors, consumers, and the environment. Although NPFMC's three-pie voluntary cooperative program will likely benefit processors at the expense of harvesters, this Comment, in Part VII, argues that this trade-off is necessary in order to protect the economic stability of coastal fishing communities. Finally, this Comment concludes that as an environmental mechanism for ensuring the sustainability of the crab fisheries, NPFMC's three-pie voluntary cooperative program should be regarded as a step, but not the final step, towards that goal.
Avi Brisman, A Less Tragic Commons?: Using Harvester and Processor Quotas to Address Crab Overfishing, 26 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 929 (2003).