Moratorium on Nearshore Fishery Permits Approved

California Fish and Game Commission
October 23, 2000

CONTACT: Maria Melchiorre
License and Revenue Branch, (916) 227-2284

The Office of Administrative Law has approved a new regulation adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission which establishes a moratorium, effective as of Friday, Oct. 13, 2000, on the issuance of Nearshore Fishery Permits. These commercial fishing permits are required for taking nine marine fish species. During the 1999-2000 license year, a total of 1,130 permits were issued by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Commercial fishermen who held 1999-2000 Nearshore Fishery Permits have until March 31, 2001 to renew their permits for the 2000-2001 permit year. The new regulations also provide that effective April 1, 2001, applicants for the renewal of Nearshore Fishery Permits must have held such a permit during both the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 permit years, and must renew their permits by June 30 of each permit year. Applications received between July 1 and July 31 each year will be assessed a $50 late fee. Applications postmarked after July 31 each year will not be renewed.

These new regulations set the stage for the subsequent adoption of a formal nearshore fishery restricted access program. This program will reduce the number of permits issued in future years to a number consistent with the ability of the resources to sustain a harvest. The regulations set Dec. 31, 1999 as a control date for future restricted access provisions for this fishery. This action puts commercial fishermen on notice that initial participation in this fishery after Dec. 31, 1999 does not guarantee their participation in a future restricted access program.

The moratorium will expire on March 31, 2002 unless extended by the Fish and Game Commission.