Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1151 Vaquita-friendly fish and fish products.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) There is worldwide concern regarding the plight of the vaquita, the world’s smallest and most endangered cetacean, found only in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico.
(b) As of November 2016, there were only approximately 30 vaquitas remaining, reflecting a population decline of 90 percent between 2011 and 2016.
(c) Mortality in gill nets of various mesh size caused the vaquita’s decline and remains the predominant and immediate threat to the vaquita’s survival.
(d) The international community has been working to reverse the decline of the vaquita, urging the exclusion of gill nets in vaquita habitat and the transition to alternative, vaquita-friendly fishing gear.
(e) For decades, fish and fish products caught with gill nets in vaquita habitat have been sold and consumed in California, incidentally contributing to the vaquita’s decline.
(f) Since 2010, illegal gill net fishing for the endangered totoaba fish, the swim bladder of which is smuggled to Asia where it is coveted as a soup ingredient, has been hastening the vaquita’s decline.
(g) California has an interest in the vaquita not going extinct and not suffering after getting caught in gill nets.
(h) California can encourage efforts to save the vaquita from extinction by supporting commerce in fish and fish products from the vaquita’s range that do not harm vaquita.
(i) Foundations and the federal government have been helping Mexican fisheries operating in the vaquita’s range to develop certification and labeling efforts to signify vaquita-safe fish and fish products.
(j) California wants to contribute to vaquita conservation, recovery, and welfare.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2023 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Fish” has the same meaning as defined in Section 45.
(2) “Vaquita-friendly fish and fish products” means any fish or fish product that are not caught with any kind of gill net in the vaquita range.
(3) “Vaquita range” means anywhere vaquita are found to reside in the wild, including that area of the Gulf of California, Mexico, north of 30° N.
(b) Commencing January 1, 2019, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute fish and fish products that are not vaquita-friendly. On or before January 1, 2019, the department shall adopt regulations to enforce this section. The department shall not enforce this section until July 1, 2019.
SEC. 3.
 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.