State working on flatfish tax fix to capture foregone revenue

A state tax rate glitch let groundfish trawlers off the hook for more than $10 million of fishery taxes in the last half decade, and there’s no concrete fix just yet. The fishery resource landing tax taxes groundfish based on ex-vessel price. Processors turn flatfish caught as bycatch into low-value fishmeal, so the only known ex-vessel price for certain flatfish species is artificially low. Nine species have this price uncertainty, but most flatfish volume comes from yellowfin sole and Atka mackerel. By only having an ex-vessel value based on the price paid for bycatch turned into fishmeal, the state has no idea what the ex-vessel value is for the direct flatfish fishery that has annual harvests measured in hundreds of thousands of metric tons. Read the article here 08:23