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AB-571 Commercial fishing: lobster management enhancement.(2009-2010)

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Enrolled  September 04, 2009
Passed  IN  Senate  August 31, 2009
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 02, 2009
Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2009
Amended  IN  Senate  July 14, 2009
Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 15, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 13, 2009

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2009–2010 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 571


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Saldana

February 25, 2009


An act to amend Sections 8254 and 9010 of, to add and repeal Section 8254.5 of, and to add and repeal Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 8260) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 6 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to commercial fishing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 571, Saldana. Commercial fishing: lobster management enhancement.
Existing law prohibits the taking of lobsters for commercial purposes except under a valid lobster permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game. The base permit fee for a lobster permit is $265.
This bill, commencing April 1, 2010, and until March 31, 2015, would impose, in addition to the permit fee, a supplemental fee of $300, to be known as the Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement. The bill would require the department to deposit supplement revenues in the Lobster Management Enhancement Account, which the bill would create in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. The bill would require that money in the account be expended by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, exclusively to fund specified projects and programs to improve lobster sustainability and management. The bill would create a 5-member Lobster Management Enhancement Advisory Committee to recommend to the department projects and programs and budgets for the expenditure of account moneys, including a plan to prioritize expenditures. Those lobster management enhancement provisions would be repealed on January 1, 2016.
Existing law prescribes the construction and dimensions of a wire lobster trap.
This bill would revise the prescribed dimensions of wire lobster traps, and would add provisions relating to the use of a wire to hold the escape gap in place.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California’s spiny lobster fishery is an important component of California’s marine ecosystem, as well as an important source of jobs for California fishermen and fisherwomen and food for consumers.
(b) California’s commercial and recreational lobster fishermen and fisherwomen, primarily through associations, should participate in the development and implementation of new approaches to managing lobster fishing. Those approaches should be designed to ensure economical and sustainable fishing.
(c) California’s lobster fishing associations will greatly benefit from an established mechanism that will provide a steady source of funds for projects that promote the long-term sustainability and improved management of the California spiny lobster fishery.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8254 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8254.
 (a) Lobsters shall not be taken for commercial purposes except under a valid lobster permit issued to that person that has not been suspended or revoked, subject to regulations adopted by the commission.
(b) Every person who takes, assists in taking, possesses, or transports lobsters for commercial purposes while on any boat, barge, or vessel, or who uses or operates or assists in using or operating any boat, net, trap, line, or other appliance to take lobsters for commercial purposes, shall have a valid lobster permit.
(c) Except as provided in Section 8254.5, the permit fee for a lobster permit is two hundred sixty-five dollars ($265).
(d) The fee for a lobster crewmember permit is one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125).
(e) For the purposes of this section, it is prima facie evidence that lobster is taken for commercial purposes if the possession of lobster is more than three times the sport bag limit.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8254.5 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

8254.5.
 (a) In addition to the fee imposed pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 8254, commencing April 1, 2010, a person described in subdivision (b) of Section 8254 shall also pay a three hundred dollar ($300) supplemental fee. The supplemental fee shall be known as the Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement. The department shall deposit Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement revenues in the Lobster Management Enhancement Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund pursuant to Section 8262.
(b) Section 713 does not apply to the Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement.
(c) This section shall become inoperative on March 31, 2015, and, as of January 1, 2016, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2016, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 8260) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:
Article  5.5. Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement

8260.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Account” means the Lobster Management Enhancement Account established in Section 8262.
(b) “Committee” means the Lobster Management Enhancement Advisory Committee established pursuant to Section 8263.

8262.
 (a) Lobster Management Enhancement Supplement revenues received by the department pursuant to Section 8254.5, and any interest earned on those revenues, shall be deposited in the Lobster Management Enhancement Account, which is hereby established in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. The money in the account, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall be expended by the department exclusively for projects and programs to improve lobster sustainability and management consistent with subdivision (b). The department shall maintain the internal accountability necessary to ensure that expenditure of funds from the account is consistent with the requirements and purposes of this article. The department shall annually provide to the committee a full accounting of expenditures from the account and make that information available to the public.
(b) The committee shall develop a plan that prioritizes expenditures on projects and programs that support long-term sustainability or improved management, or both, of the California spiny lobster fishery, consistent with Section 35650 of the Public Resources Code, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Obtaining Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification.
(2) Coordination and collaboration within the fishery to help develop or improve new management approaches that optimize catch per unit effort and create incentives for ecosystem improvement.
(3) Repaying loans for lobster fishery management improvement projects.
(4) Conducting research leading to informed and strategic management of the fishery.
(5) Preparation of a lobster fishery management plan.
(c) The director shall not fund any project or program pursuant to this article that the director determines to be inconsistent with the priorities identified pursuant to subdivision (b) and with this article.
(d) Department administrative overhead, collection, or other charges shall not exceed 15 percent of the annual expenditures from the account.

8263.
 (a) The Lobster Management Enhancement Advisory Committee is hereby created, consisting of five members, as follows.
(1) One member, with an alternate, representative of the state’s commercial lobster fishermen and fisherwomen or who is a biological scientist actively involved in lobster research and who is affiliated with a college or university within the state. A member appointed pursuant to this paragraph and his or her alternate shall be appointed by the director from licensed lobster permittees and scientists who have submitted their names for consideration.
(2) Three members, each with an alternate, appointed by the membership of the California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association. This subdivision does not prohibit persons selected pursuant to paragraph (1) from also being a member of the California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association.
(3) The director, or his or her designee.
(b) Except for a biological scientist member appointed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), the committee members described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) and their alternates shall hold a valid lobster permit.
(c) A vote by the committee is not valid unless all five members or their alternates are present to vote.
(d) The committee shall recommend to the department projects and programs consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 8262 and budgets for the expenditure of moneys received pursuant to this article.

8264.
 The department may receive funds for deposit in the account, for purposes of this article, from sources other than the sale of commercial fishing lobster permits, including, but not limited to, grants from the federal government, grants from private foundations, money disbursed from court settlements, and donations and bequests from individuals. Additional funds received pursuant to this section shall not be deposited in the account unless the person or entity providing the funds specifically designates in writing, prior to or at the time of transmittal of the funds to the department, that the funds are intended solely for deposit to that account.

8265.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2016, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2016, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9010 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

9010.
 (a) Subject to Article 5 (commencing with Section 8250) of Chapter 2, spiny lobster may be taken with lobster traps under a lobster permit issued pursuant to Section 8254.
(b) Notwithstanding Sections 8660 and 8665, lobster traps may be used in any area of the state not otherwise closed to the taking of lobsters up to, but not closer than, 75 feet of any private pier, wharf, jetty, breakwater, or dock.
(c) A wire lobster trap shall be built of rectangular wire mesh with inside mesh measurement not less than 11/2inches by 31/2 inches, the 31/2 inch measurement to be parallel to the floor of the trap. A wire lobster trap shall be fitted with at least one rigid rectangular escape gap with an inside vertical measurement not less than 23/8 inches at all points and an inside horizontal measurement of not less than 111/2 inches at all points. The horizontal sides of the escape gap shall be located parallel to, and the escape gap within 23/8inches of the floor on any outside wall of, the rearmost chamber of the lobster trap and shall be clearly accessible to the lobsters.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), wire may be used to hold the escape gap in place that reduces the inside vertical or horizontal measurement of the escape gap specified in subdivision (c), but only if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The overall diameter of the wire, including any coating on the wire, shall measure less than the diameter of 10 gauge wire.
(2) A maximum of one wire wrap shall be located on each vertical side of the escape gap.
(3) A maximum of two wire wraps shall be located on the bottom horizontal side of the escape gap.
(4) Wire shall not be used on the top horizontal side of the escape gap.
(5) Each wire shall be tightly wrapped against the inside surface of the escape gap and shall not pass over the inside surface more than once. As used in this paragraph, “tightly wrapped” means no space exists at any time between the wire and the inside surface of the escape gap.
(e) A lobster trap constructed of lath or other material shall have an opening to allow a means of escape along the full length of one side of the rearmost chamber. The escape opening shall be of a spacing of not less than 23/8 inches, and the spacing shall be located parallel to, and within 23/8 inches of, the floor of the lobster trap.