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AB-2363 Commercial fishing: Dungeness crab.(2011-2012)

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AB2363:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2363
CHAPTER 546

An act to amend Sections 8276.2, 8276.5, 8280.3, 8280.6, and 13103 of, and to add and repeal Section 9002.5 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to commercial fishing, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  September 25, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 25, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2363, Chesbro. Commercial fishing: Dungeness crab.
(1) Existing law authorizes the Director of the Department of Fish and Game to authorize one or more operators of commercial fishing vessels to take and land a limited number of Dungeness crab for the purpose of quality testing, as provided. Existing law prohibits the department from approving a testing program unless it is funded by the entity authorized to conduct the testing program and prohibits the sale of the crab taken for testing. Those provisions become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and are repealed on January 1, 2020.
This bill would delete the above prohibitions, and, instead, would specifically authorize the sale of tested crab meat and the use of sale revenues for purposes of managing the testing program. The bill would require that the sale revenues be deposited in an account managed and overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. The bill would require the department, in consultation with specified entities, to develop suggested guidelines for the management of the funds from the sale, among other guidelines.
(2) Existing law requires the director to adopt a program, as provided, for Dungeness crab trap limits for all California permits, that includes 7 tiers of Dungeness crab trap limits based on all California landings receipts under California permits, as specified. Existing law authorizes an individual to submit an appeal of a trap tag allocation by March 31, 2014, as provided. Existing law requires the individual requesting the appeal to pay all expenses, including a nonrefundable filing fee, as determined by the department, to pay for the department’s reasonable costs associated with the appeal that is heard and decided by an administrative law judge. Those provisions become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and are repealed on January 1, 2020.
This bill would authorize any Dungeness crab permitholder to apply to the administrative law judge for a waiver of these appeal fees. The bill would authorize the administrative law judge to consider certain factors when making this determination, including medical hardship. This bill would require the department to decide an appeal to revise downward a trap tag allocation.
(3) Existing law regulating the Dungeness crab fishery permits the owner of a vessel to whom a Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued, upon the written approval of the department, to temporarily transfer the permit to another replacement vessel for which use in the Dungeness crab fishery is not permitted, for a period of not more than 6 months during the current permit year, under specified circumstances. Existing law also permits the transfer of a permit to another vessel in the event of loss or destruction of a permitted vessel, within 2 years after the loss or damage of the original vessel.
This bill would require the owner of a vessel to whom a Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued to have had California Dungeness crab landings made with trap gear documented on department landing receipts and to have had California Dungeness crab landings of not less than 5,000 pounds cumulative for the past 2 Dungeness crab seasons to translate the permit. The bill also would require the replacement vessel to be equivalent in size and capacity, as specified, to the vessel from which the permit is transferred. The bill would require specified proof of loss, theft, damage, mechanical breakdown, or destruction to be submitted for a vessel permit to be transferred. This bill would require a vessel owner to sign an application for transfer and certify that the information included is true to the best of his or her information and belief. By expanding the definition of the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) Existing law regulating commercial fishing traps makes it unlawful, except as specified, to willfully or recklessly disturb, move, or damage any trap that belongs to another person and that is marked with a buoy identification number.
This bill would authorize the department, in consultation with the Dungeness Crab Task Force, to develop regulations as necessary to provide for the retrieval of lost or abandoned commercial crab traps. Those provisions would become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and would be repealed on January 1, 2020.
(5) Existing law authorizes expenditures from the fish and wildlife propagation fund of any county to be made for specified purposes, including for reasonable administrative costs, as provided. Existing law defines “reasonable cost” as an amount that does not exceed 3% of the average amount received by the fund during the previous 3-year period, or $3,000 annually, whichever is greater, as provided.
This bill would instead define “reasonable cost” as an amount that does not exceed 15% of the average amount received by the fund during the previous 3-year period, or $10,000 annually, whichever is greater.
(6) Existing law requires the department to charge a specified fee for each Dungeness crab vessel permit and for certain transfers of permits for the reasonable regulatory costs of the department.
This bill would provide for these fees for each transfer of a permit.
(7) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
(8) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8276.2 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8276.2.
 (a) The director may order a delay in the opening of the Dungeness crab fishery after December 1 in Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 in any year. The delay in the opening shall not be later than January 15 of any year.
(b) (1) On or about November 1 of each year, the director may authorize one or more operators of commercial fishing vessels to take and land a limited number of Dungeness crab for the purpose of quality testing according to a testing program conducted by, or on behalf of, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission or an entity approved by the department.
(2) (A) The meat extracted from Dungeness crab tested pursuant to paragraph (1) may be sold by the entity approved by the department and revenues from that sale may be used for purposes of managing the testing program. Revenues shall be deposited in an account managed and overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
(B) For purposes of the testing program, the department shall develop guidelines after consulting with representatives of the California Dungeness crab industry, which shall include California delegates to the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Commission or members of the California Dungeness Crab Task Force, or both. The guidelines shall include the following:
(i) Suggested guidelines for the management of the funds received from, but not limited to, the sale of the crab meat pursuant to subparagraph (A), including the suggested guideline that funds in excess of the program costs may be donated for charitable purposes.
(ii) Guidelines for the testing program.
(iii) Guidelines that establish measures to track crab caught for purposes of the testing program, including, but not limited to, the guideline that all crab caught and sold for the testing program shall be canned.
(c) The director shall order the opening of the Dungeness crab season in Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 on December 1 if the quality tests authorized in subdivision (b) indicate the Dungeness crabs are not soft-shelled or low quality. The entity authorized to conduct the approved testing program may test, or cause to be tested, crabs taken for quality and soft shells pursuant to the approved testing program. If the tests are conducted on or about November 1 and result in a finding that Dungeness crabs are soft-shelled or low quality, the director shall authorize a second test to be conducted on or about November 15 pursuant to the approved testing program. If the second test results in a finding that Dungeness crabs are soft-shelled or low quality, the director may order the season opening delayed for a period of 15 days and may authorize a third test to be conducted on or about December 1. If the third test results in a finding that Dungeness crabs remain soft-shelled or of low quality, the director may order the season opening delayed for a period of an additional 15 days and authorize a fourth test to be conducted. This procedure may continue to be followed, except that tests shall not be conducted after January 1 for that season, and the season opening shall not be delayed by the director later than January 15.
(d) This section shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8276.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8276.5.
 (a) In consultation with the Dungeness crab task force, or its appointed representatives, the director shall adopt a program, by March 31, 2013, for Dungeness crab trap limits for all California permits. Unless the director finds that there is consensus in the Dungeness crab industry that modifications to the following requirements are more desirable, with evidence of consensus, including, but not limited to, the record of the Dungeness crab task force, the program shall include all of the following requirements:
(1) The program shall contain seven tiers of Dungeness crab trap limits based on California landings receipts under California permits between November 15, 2003, and July 15, 2008, as follows:
(A) The 55 California permits with the highest California landings shall receive a maximum allocation of 500 trap tags.
(B) The 55 California permits with the next highest California landings to those in subparagraph (A) shall receive a maximum allocation of 450 trap tags.
(C) The 55 California permits with the next highest California landings to those in subparagraph (B) shall receive a maximum allocation of 400 trap tags.
(D) The 55 California permits with the next highest California landings to those in subparagraph (C) shall receive a maximum allocation of 350 trap tags.
(E) The 55 California permits with the next highest California landings to those in subparagraph (D) shall receive a maximum allocation of 300 trap tags.
(F) The remaining California permits with the next highest California landings to those in subparagraph (E), which are not described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 8276.4, shall receive a maximum allocation of 250 trap tags.
(G) The California permits described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 8276.4 shall receive a maximum allocation of 175 tags. The tags in this tier shall not be transferable for the first two years of the program.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the director shall not remove a permitholder from a tier described in paragraph (1), if, after an allocation is made pursuant to paragraph (1), an appeal pursuant to paragraph (6) places a permitholder in a tier different than the original allocation.
(3) Participants in the program shall meet all of the following requirements:
(A) Pay a biennial fee for each trap tag issued pursuant to this section to pay the pro rata share of costs of the program, including, but not limited to, informing permitholders of the program, collecting fees, acquiring and sending trap tags to permitholders, paying for a portion of enforcement costs, and monitoring the results of the program. The fee shall not exceed five dollars ($5) per trap, per two-year period. All of the trap tags allocated to each permit pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be purchased by the permitholder or the permit shall be void.
(B) Purchase a biennial crab trap limit permit of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per two-year period to pay for the department’s reasonable regulatory costs.
(C) Not lease a crab trap tag, and transfer a tag only as part of a transaction to purchase a California permitted crab vessel.
(D) A Dungeness crab trap that is fished shall contain a trap tag that is fastened to the main buoy, and an additional tag provided by the permitholder attached to the trap. The department shall mandate the information that is required to appear on both buoy and trap tags.
(4) The department shall annually provide an accounting of all costs associated with the crab trap limit program. The department shall use excess funds collected to reduce the cost of the crab trap limit permit fee or tag fee in subsequent years of the program.
(5) Permitholders may replace lost tags by application to the department and payment of a fee not to exceed the reasonable costs incurred by the department. The department may waive or reduce a fee in the case of catastrophic loss of tags.
(6) (A) Any Dungeness crab permitholder may submit to the director an appeal of a trap tag allocation received pursuant to this section, by March 31, 2014, on a permit-by-permit basis for the purpose of revising upward or downward any trap tag allocation. Any appeal to revise upward a trap tag allocation shall be based on evidence that a permit’s California landings during the period between November 15, 2003, and July 15, 2008, inclusive, were reduced as a result of unusual circumstances and that these circumstances constitute an unfair hardship, taking into account the overall California landings history as indicated by landing receipts associated with the permit. The director shall initiate the appeal process within 12 months of receiving an appeal request. The appeal shall be heard and decided by an administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings, whose decision shall constitute the final administrative decision. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any Dungeness crab permitholder requesting an appeal to revise upward the permitholder’s trap tag allocation shall pay all expenses, including a nonrefundable filing fee, as determined by the department, to pay for the department’s reasonable costs associated with the appeal process described in this paragraph.
(B) Any Dungeness crab permitholder requesting an appeal may apply to the administrative law judge for a waiver of the appeal fees. In making the determination, the administrative law judge may only consider medical hardship or military service occurring during the tier qualifying window period of November 15, 2003, through July 15, 2008.
(C) An appeal to revise downward a trap tag allocation shall be decided by the department.
(b) (1) In addition to criminal penalties authorized by law, a violation of the requirements of the program created pursuant to this section shall be subject to the following civil penalties:
(A) Conviction of a first offense shall result in a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per illegal trap or fraudulent tag.
(B) Conviction of a second offense shall result in a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per illegal trap or fraudulent tag, and the permit may be suspended for one year.
(C) Conviction of a third offense shall result in a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) per illegal trap or fraudulent tag, and the permit may be permanently revoked.
(2) The severity of a penalty within the ranges described in this subdivision shall be based on a determination whether the violation was willful or negligent and other factors.
(3) The portion of monetary judgments for noncompliance that are paid to the department shall be deposited in the Dungeness Crab Account created pursuant to subdivision (e).
(c) For the purposes of this section, a proposed recommendation that receives an affirmative vote of at least 15 of the non-ex officio members of the Dungeness crab task force may be transmitted to the director or the Legislature as a recommendation, shall be considered to be the consensus of the task force, and shall be considered to be evidence of consensus in the Dungeness crab industry. Any proposed recommendation that does not receive a vote sufficient to authorize transmittal to the director or Legislature as a recommendation shall be evidence of a lack of consensus by the Dungeness crab task force, and shall be considered to be evidence of a lack of consensus in the crab industry.
(d) (1) The director shall submit a proposed program pursuant to this section to the Dungeness crab task force for review, and shall not implement the program until the task force has had 60 days or more to review the proposed program and recommend any proposed changes. The director may implement the program earlier than 60 days after it is submitted to the Dungeness crab task force for review, if recommended by the task force.
(2) After the program is implemented pursuant to paragraph (1), the director may modify the program, if consistent with the requirements of this section, after consultation with the Dungeness crab task force or its representatives and after the task force has had 60 days or more to review the proposed modifications and recommend any proposed changes. The director may implement the modifications earlier than 60 days after it is sent to the Dungeness crab task force for review, if recommended by the task force.
(e) The Dungeness Crab Account is hereby established in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund and the fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in that account. The money in the account shall be used by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for administering and enforcing the program.
(f) For purposes of meeting the necessary expenses of initial organization and operation of the program until fees may be collected, or other funding sources may be received, the department may borrow money as needed for these expenses from the council. The borrowed money shall be repaid within one year from the fees collected or other funding sources received. The council shall give high priority to providing funds or services to the department, in addition to loans, to assist in the development of the program, including, but not limited to, the costs of convening the Dungeness crab task force, environmental review, and the department’s costs of attending meetings with task force members.
(g) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department, the council, and the Dungeness crab task force work with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Tri-state Dungeness Crab Commission to resolve any issues pertaining to moving the fair start line south to the border of California and Mexico.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, the resolution of issues pertaining to the fair start line shall be limited to assessing the positive and negative implications of including District 10 in the tri-state agreement, including working with the Tri-state Dungeness Crab Commission to amend Oregon and Washington laws to include District 10 in the regular season fair start clause, and discussion of providing different rules for District 10 with regard to preseason quality testing.
(h) For purposes of this section, “council” means the Ocean Protection Council established pursuant to Section 35600 of the Public Resources Code.
(i) This section shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8280.3 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8280.3.
 (a) Notwithstanding Article 9 (commencing with Section 8100) of Chapter 1 and except as provided in this section, a Dungeness crab vessel permit shall not be transferred.
(b) The owner of a vessel to whom a Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued shall transfer the permit for the use of that vessel upon the sale of the vessel by the permitholder to the person purchasing the vessel. Thereafter, upon notice to the department, the person purchasing the vessel may use the vessel for the taking and landing of Dungeness crab for any and all of the unexpired portion of the permit year, and that person is eligible for a permit pursuant to Section 8280.1 for the use of that vessel in subsequent years. The person purchasing the vessel shall not transfer the permit for use of that vessel in the Dungeness crab fishery to another replacement vessel during the same permit year.
(c) The owner of a vessel to whom the Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued may transfer the permit to a replacement vessel of equivalent capacity, except as specified in this section. Thereafter, upon notice to the department and payment of the transfer fee specified in Section 8280.6, the replacement vessel may be used for the taking and landing of Dungeness crab for any and all of the unexpired portion of the permit year and that person is eligible for a permit pursuant to Section 8280.1 for the use of that replacement vessel in subsequent years.
(d) The owner of a permitted vessel may transfer the permit to a vessel of greater capacity that was owned by that person on or before November 15, 1995, not to exceed 10 feet longer in length overall than the vessel for which the permit was originally issued or to a vessel of greater capacity purchased after November 15, 1995, not to exceed 5 feet longer in length overall than the vessel for which the permit was originally issued.
(e) The department may authorize the owner of a permitted vessel to transfer the permit to a replacement vessel that was owned by that person on or before April 1, 1996, that does not fish with trawl nets that is greater than five feet longer in length overall than the vessel for which the permit was originally issued, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) A vessel of a larger size is essential to the owner for participation in another fishery other than a trawl net fishery.
(2) The owner held a permit on or before January 1, 1995, for the fishery for which a larger vessel is needed and has participated in that fishery.
(3) The permit for the vessel from which the permit is to be transferred qualified pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 8280.1.
(4) The vessel to which the permit is to be transferred does not exceed 20 feet longer in length overall than the vessel for which the permit was originally issued and the vessel to which the permit is to be transferred does not exceed 60 feet in overall length.
(f) A transfer of a permit to a larger vessel shall not be allowed more than one time. If a permit is transferred to a larger vessel, any Dungeness crab vessel permit for that permit year or any subsequent permit years for that larger vessel shall not be transferred to another larger vessel. The department shall not thereafter issue a Dungeness crab vessel permit for the use of the original vessel from which the permit was transferred, except that the original vessel may be used to take or land Dungeness crab after that transfer if its use is authorized pursuant to another Dungeness crab vessel permit subsequently transferred to that vessel pursuant to this paragraph.
(g) (1) Upon the written approval of the department, the owner of a vessel to whom the Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued, which has California Dungeness crab landings made with trap gear documented on department landing receipts and which has had California Dungeness crab landings amounting to not less than 5,000 pounds cumulative for the past two Dungeness crab seasons, may temporarily transfer the permit to a replacement vessel for which use in the Dungeness crab fishery is not permitted pursuant to this section or Section 8280.1 that is of equivalent size and capacity of the originally permitted vessel, no greater than 10 feet longer in length overall than the vessel from which the permit is transferred, for a period of not more than six months during the current permit year if the vessel for which the permit was issued is seriously damaged, suffers major mechanical breakdown, or is lost or destroyed, as determined by the department, upon approval of the director. The owner of the vessel shall submit proof that the department may reasonably require to establish the existence of the conditions of this paragraph. Only the permittee at the time of the loss, theft, damage, breakdown, or destruction of the vessel may apply for the transfer of the vessel permit. Proof of loss or destruction shall be documented by submission of a copy of the report filed with the United States Coast Guard or any other law enforcement or fire agency that investigated the loss. In the case of mechanical breakdown, the request shall include an estimate of the costs to repair the vessel from a marine surveyor or boat repair yard. The department shall not issue a permit for a replacement vessel pursuant to this subdivision if the permitted vessel was reported lost, stolen, mechanically broken down, destroyed, or damaged for fraudulent purposes. Upon approval by the director, the owner of a vessel granted a six-month temporary transfer under this section may be granted an additional six-month extension of the temporary transfer.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 8280.2, in the event of loss or destruction of a vessel for which a Dungeness crab vessel permit was issued, or serious damage that renders the vessel inoperable, and upon written approval of the department, the owner of the vessel to whom the permit was issued may retain the permit and may transfer the permit to another vessel of equivalent size and capacity of the vessel that was lost or damaged during the period of two years after the loss or damage of the vessel for which the permit was originally issued. The owner of the lost or damaged vessel shall submit proof that the department may reasonably require to establish the loss or damage of the vessel. Only the permittee at the time of the loss, theft, damage, or destruction of the vessel may apply for the transfer of the vessel permit. Proof of loss or destruction shall be documented by submission of a copy of the report filed with the United States Coast Guard or any other law enforcement or fire agency that investigated the loss. In the case of mechanical breakdown, the request shall include an estimate of the costs to repair the vessel from a marine surveyor or boat repair yard. The department shall not issue a permit for a replacement vessel pursuant to this paragraph if the lost or damaged vessel was reported lost, stolen, destroyed, mechanically broken down, or damaged for fraudulent purposes. The department shall only transfer a permit pursuant to this paragraph if the lost or damaged vessel has a current permit and the owner of the lost or damaged vessel makes assurances in the application that any renewal of the permit that becomes due during the application processing period will be made. If the permit is not permanently transferred to another vessel owned by the person to whom the vessel permit was originally issued within two years of the loss or damage, the permit shall become void by operation of law.
(h) Upon written approval of the department, the owner of a vessel to whom the Dungeness crab vessel permit has been issued may retain that permit upon the sale of that permitted vessel for the purpose of transferring the permit to another vessel to be purchased by that individual within one year of the time of sale of the vessel for which the permit was originally issued if the requirements of this section are satisfied, including the payment of transfer fees. If the permit is not transferred to a new vessel owned by the person to whom the vessel permit was originally issued within one year of the sale of the vessel for which it was originally issued, or if the person does not retain ownership of the new vessel to which the permit is transferred for a period of not less than one year, the permit shall become void by operation of law.
(i) In the event of the death or incapacity of a permitholder, the permit shall be transferred, upon application, to the heirs or assigns, or to the working partner, of the permitholder, together with the transfer of the vessel for which the permit was issued, and the new owner may continue to operate the vessel under the permit, renew the permit, or transfer the permit upon sale of the vessel pursuant to subdivision (b). The estate of the holder of a transferable Dungeness crab vessel permit may renew that permit as provided for in statute if needed to keep it valid. The estate of the decedent may transfer that permit pursuant to these regulations no later than two years from the date of death of the permitholder as listed on the death certificate.
(j) This section shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8280.6 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8280.6.
 (a) The department shall charge a fee for each Dungeness crab vessel permit of two hundred dollars ($200) for a resident of California and four hundred dollars ($400) for a nonresident of California, for the reasonable regulatory costs of the department.
(b) The department shall charge a nonrefundable fee of two hundred dollars ($200) for each transfer of a permit authorized pursuant to Section 8280.3, for the reasonable regulatory costs of the department.
(c) A vessel owner shall sign an application for transfer and certify that the information included in the application is true to the best of his or her information and belief.
(d) This section shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9002.5 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

9002.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 9002, the department, in consultation with the Dungeness Crab Task Force, shall develop regulations as necessary to provide for the retrieval of lost or abandoned commercial crab traps.
(b) This section shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 13103 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

13103.
 Expenditures from the fish and wildlife propagation fund of any county may be made only for the following purposes:
(a) Public education relating to the scientific principles of fish and wildlife conservation, consisting of supervised formal instruction carried out pursuant to a planned curriculum and aids to education such as literature, audio and video recordings, training models, and nature study facilities.
(b) Temporary emergency treatment and care of injured or orphaned wildlife.
(c) Temporary treatment and care of wildlife confiscated by the department as evidence.
(d) Breeding, raising, purchasing, or releasing fish or wildlife which are to be released upon approval of the department pursuant to Sections 6400 and 6401 onto land or into waters of local, state, or federal agencies or onto land or into waters open to the public.
(e) Improvement of fish and wildlife habitat, including, but not limited to, construction of fish screens, weirs, and ladders; drainage or other watershed improvements; gravel and rock removal or placement; construction of irrigation and water distribution systems; earthwork and grading; fencing; planting trees and other vegetation management; and removal of barriers to the migration of fish and wildlife.
(f) Construction, maintenance, and operation of public hatchery facilities.
(g) Purchase and maintain materials, supplies, or equipment for either the department’s ownership and use or the department’s use in the normal performance of the department’s responsibilities.
(h) Predator control actions for the benefit of fish or wildlife following certification in writing by the department that the proposed actions will significantly benefit a particular wildlife species.
(i) Scientific fish and wildlife research conducted by institutions of higher learning, qualified researchers, or governmental agencies, if approved by the department.
(j) Reasonable administrative costs, excluding the costs of audits required by Section 13104, for secretarial service, travel, and postage by the county fish and wildlife commission when authorized by the county board of supervisors. For purposes of this subdivision, “reasonable cost” means an amount which does not exceed 15 percent of the average amount received by the fund during the previous three-year period, or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) annually, whichever is greater, excluding any funds carried over from a previous fiscal year.
(k) Contributions to a secret witness program for the purpose of facilitating enforcement of this code and regulations adopted pursuant to this code.
(l) Costs incurred by the district attorney or city attorney in investigating and prosecuting civil and criminal actions for violations of this code, as approved by the department.
(m) Other expenditures, approved by the department, for the purpose of protecting, conserving, propagating, and preserving fish and wildlife.

SEC. 7.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 8.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
Improved ability for Dungeness crab quality testing should commence prior to the 2012–13 crab season which may begin November 15, 2012. This improved testing will provide the Director of the Department of Fish and Game vital information that was lacking during the 2011–12 crab season. Without this improved testing, the crab season could be prematurely opened or unnecessarily closed.