Summary of Decisions Regarding Interim Measures for the
Nearshore Finfish Fishery by the Fish and Game Commission
at its Meeting in Eureka on December 8, 2000.

The Commission adopted an optimum yield set at 50% of commercial and recreational catches in 1994-1999 for cabezon, greenlings, and sheephead. The OY for each species then was allocated to commercial and recreational sectors based upon their share of catches in the periods 1980-89 and 1994-1999. The OYs and allocations were as follows, as well as the percent reduction from 1999 catches in parentheses:

SHEEPHEAD: OY was set at 223,483 pounds. The recreational allocation is 135,524 lbs (a 22% reduction), and the commercial allocation is 87,959 lbs (a 30% reduction).
CABEZON: OY was set at 178,728 lbs. The recreational allocation is 111,596 lbs (no reduction), while the commercial allocation is 67,132 lbs (a 79% reduction). Note that between 1994 and 1999, commercial landings of cabezon increased FOURFOLD(!), while recreational catches fell 21%.
GREENLINGS: OY was set at 39,823 lbs. The initial recreational allocation was 34,651 lbs (a doubling over 1999 catches), while the initial commercial allocation was 39,823 lbs (an 84% reduction). (Commercial catches increased more than fourfold in 1994-99 while recreational catches fell by 75%.) The Commission effectively reallocated part of the sport allocation to the commercial sector by not adopting two measures for the commercial fishery: a 13-inch size limit and a 50-pound monthly cumulative trip limit. Based on the Department's estimates, this amounts to roughly 7,649 pounds.

To keep catches within these allocations, the Commission adopted several measures recommended by the Department. These are as follows:

SHEEPHEAD: Set a recreational size limit of 12" and reduce the bag limit from 10 to 5 fish. For the commercial fishery, set a minimum size limit of 13" and close commercial fishing January-February south of Point Conception.
CABEZON: Set a commercial and recreational size limit of 15". Close commercial fishing January-February south of Point Conception and March-April to the north. Close commercial fishing Thursday-Sunday.
GREENLINGS: Close commercial fishing January-February south of Point Conception and March-April in the north. Close commercial fishing Thursday-Sunday.

Among other actions, such as adding fish to the list of nearshore species and defining the nearshore, as outlined in the Department's recommendations, the Commission also eliminated the exemptions to hook limits within one mile of shore in two areas. The Commission also adopted the recommendation to develop alternatives to transportation receipts.

Finally, the Commission adopted measures consistent with recommendations of the Pacific Fishery Management Council regarding nearshore rockfishes. These included the cow-cod closures in southern California, the reduction of bag limits for bocaccio, expanded seasonal closures in some areas for some species.