Ban all commercial fishing for groundfish inside State waters (groundfish to include all species of the genus Sebastes, lingcod, greenling, sculpins, cabezon, sheephead, eels (pricklebacks), and flatfish, but not including California Halibut). State waters are all waters inside three (3) nautical miles distant from the mainland shore including offshore rocks and islands. This ban should remain in effect until groundfish species can be scientifically demonstrated to be in excess of the reasonable needs of the sport fishery (as provided by F&G Code 7055(c)).
This proposed alternative management measure was presented in concept to the Department of Fish and Game by numerous members of the public at the Draft Nearshore Fishery Management Plan public hearing held April 3rd, 2001 in Oakland, California, however to our knowledge the Dept. has never responded to that public request.
The basis for the alternative is as follows:
This proposal is modeled after the commercial groundfish ban implemented by the State of Washington in 1997 and 1999. It is our understanding that individual States have the authority to manage groundfish species within State waters if they choose to do so. Further, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) has made it their policy to allow the States to manage fish within States waters as stated in item 10 and 11 of the General Allocations Principles of the PFMC´s Final Groundfish Strategic Plan as follows:
10 Structure allocations considering both the north-south geographic and nearshore,shelf and slope distributions of species and their accessibility by various sectors and gears.
11 In addressing recreational/commercial rockfish allocation issues, use the following fishery priorities by species group: for nearshore rockfish, states may recommend a recreational preference, with any excess to be made available for commercial use; for shelf rockfish, the Council may set a recreational preference only on a species-by-species basis; and for slope rockfish, commercial allocation.
Washington State Commercial Fishing Regulations.
(1) Otter trawl and beam trawl.
(a) It is unlawful to use, operate or carry aboard any fishing vessel otter trawl gear having meshes measuring less than 3 inches anywhere in the net.
(b) It is unlawful to use or operate any bottom roller or bobbin trawl having meshes less than 4.5 inches anywhere in the net. Rollers, bobbins, or discs used in roller or bobbin trawls must be a minimum of 14 inches in diameter.
(c) It is unlawful to use or operate a pelagic trawl with meshes less than 3.0 inches anywhere in the net. Footropes of pelagic trawls must be less than 1.75 inches in diameter, including twine necessary for seizing material. Sweeplines, including the bottom leg of the bridle, must be bare. (d) For at least 20 feet immediately behind the footrope or headrope, bare rope or mesh of 16-inch minimum mesh size must completely encircle the net. A band of mesh may encircle the net under transfer cables, lifting or splitting straps (chokers), but must be: Over riblines and restraining straps; the same mesh size and coincide knot-to-knot with the net to which it is attached; and no wider than 16 meshes.
(e) Chafing gear may encircle no more than 50 percent of the circumference of any bottom, roller, bobbin or pelagic trawl except as specified in (d) of this subsection. No section of chafing gear may be longer than 50 meshes of the net to which it is attached. Except at the corners, the terminal end of each section of chafing gear must not be connected to the net. Chafing gear must be attached outside any riblines and restraining straps. There is no limit on the number of sections of chafing gear on a net.
(f) It is unlawful to use double wall codends in any trawl gear.
(g) Licensing: A food fish trawl -- non-Puget Sound fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section. Additionally a federal limited entry permit is required in Areas 59A, 59B, 60A-1 and 60A-2 and that portion of Area 58 within the Exclusive Economic Zone.
(h) Area restriction: It is unlawful to use otter trawl or beam trawl gear in state territorial waters (0-3 miles) within Areas 58A, 58B, 59A, 59B, 60A-1 or 60A-2.
(2) Set lines.
(a) It is unlawful for the operator of set lines to leave such gear unattended unless marked as provided in WAC 220-20-010
(5). Set lines must be attended at least once every seven days. Set lines must be marked at the surface at each terminal end with a pole, flag, light, radar reflector, and a buoy displaying clear identification of the owner or operator.
(b) Licensing: A food fish set line fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.
(c) Area restriction: It is unlawful to use set line gear in state territorial waters (0-3 miles) within Areas 59A, 59B, 60A-1 and 60A-2 and that portion of Area 58 within the Exclusive Economic Zone.
(3) Bottomfish pots.
(a) It is unlawful for the operator of bottomfish pots to leave such gear unattended unless marked as provided in WAC 220-20-010
(5). Bottomfish pots must be attended at least once every seven days. Bottomfish pots set individually must be marked at the surface with a pole and a flag, light, or radar reflector, and a buoy displaying clear identification of the owner. Bottomfish pots laid on a groundline must be marked at the surface at each terminal end of the groundline with a pole and a flag, light, and radar reflector, and a buoy displaying clear identification of the owner or operator.
(b) Licensing: A bottomfish pot fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.
(c) Area restriction: It is unlawful to use bottomfish pots in state territorial waters (0-3 miles) within the catch areas provided for in this section.
(4) Commercial jig gear.
(a) Licensing: A bottomfish jig fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.
(b) Area restriction: It is unlawful to use commercial jig gear in state territorial waters (0-3 miles) within the catch areas provided for in this section.
(5) Troll lines.
(a) Licensing: A bottomfish troll fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.
(b) Area restriction: It is unlawful to use bottomfish troll gear in state territorial waters (0-3 miles) within the catch areas provided for in this section.
(6) Incidental catch.
(a) It is lawful to retain bottomfish taken incidental to any lawful salmon fishery, up to a daily limit of 100 pounds or 30% of all fish on board, whichever is greater. No more than one trip per day provided the bottomfish could be lawfully taken.
(b) It is unlawful to take salmon incidental to any lawful bottomfish fishery.
(c) It is lawful to retain sturgeon taken incidental to any lawful bottomfish fishery, provided the sturgeon could be lawfully taken.
(d) It is unlawful to retain any species of shellfish taken incidental to any lawful bottomfish fishery, except that it is lawful to retain octopus and squid.
AL TAUCHER'S PRESERVING HUNTING AND SPORT FISHING OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
Through statutory policy, the California Legislature has directed the Department of Fish and Game and the Fish and Game Commission to maintain diversified recreational uses of wildlife, including the sport of hunting. California's hunters and sport anglers have assisted in the management and wise use of fish and wildlife resources since before the inception of the Commission in 1870. Sporting men and women of California have historically provided the major portion of the Department's financial base through payment of license fees and taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and by direct donations. Dollars from hunters and anglers have played a major role in the management, protection and preservation of fish and wildlife that are enjoyed by all Californians, including campers, hikers, bird watchers, photographers and other members of the public. Therefore, it is the policy of the Fish and Game Commission that: The Department shall emphasize programs that ensure and enhance hunting and fishing opportunities. These activities shall be integrated into all Department programs. In its review of federal, state and local plans, special plans and proposed projects to determine consistency with Commission policy and the goals and objectives of the Department's management plans and programs, and in meeting its responsibilities as trustee for the State's fish and wildlife resources, the Department shall establish the goal of preventing loss of hunting and sport fishing opportunities. To meet the objective of this policy, the Department shall establish a working group to develop enhancement strategies and shall meet semiannually with a Fishing and Hunting Opportunity Subcommittee of the Commission and its staff and members of the interested public to review program progress and future plans. <http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm/compolcy.html#MISCELLANEOUS> (Adopted 6/16/94) COOPERATION It is the policy of the Fish and Game Commission that: The Commission, its staff, and the Department shall cooperate with local, state and federal agencies and with all interested persons, groups or organizations in every way to further the aims and purposes of fish and game conservation, preservation, propagation, protection, management, and administration. To this end, agreements may be entered into with such agencies, groups or persons when authorized by law. ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES It is the policy of the Fish and Game Commission to: Protect and preserve all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction; or those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation. The Department will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats.