Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1017 Commercial fishing: drift gill net shark and swordfish fishery: permit transition program.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) It is in the best interest of the people of the state, the commercial fishing industry, and California’s marine resources that fishermen use the most sustainable fishing gear available to harvest seafood off the California coast.
(b) Large-scale pelagic drift gill nets targeting swordfish and sharks have been banned on the high seas and in ocean waters of many countries worldwide and are banned or are no longer permitted by all other states because of the unavoidable impacts to marine wildlife, including whales, dolphins, sharks, pinnipeds, and sea turtles, including the California state marine reptile, the Pacific leatherback sea turtle. Many California species killed by the drift gill net fishery are protected under state and federal law or covered under international agreements, such as the sperm whale, the leatherback sea turtle, the loggerhead sea turtle, the bigeye thresher shark, and the scalloped hammerhead shark.
(c) Impacts to California’s marine and coastal resources have been a persistent concern with the use of drift gill nets. According to data collected pursuant to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s observer program, California’s drift gill net fishery discards on average over one-half of all fish caught, kills over 70 different marine species as bycatch, and has among the highest rates of marine mammal and sea turtle interactions across all West Coast fisheries.
(d) California should set the standard for sustainable swordfish fishing globally and follow the lead of the other states in implementing sustainable alternatives. California’s standards for sustainability and low environmental impacts in commercial fishing are critical for addressing impacts in foreign fisheries, since these standards frame the scope of international efforts to push for stronger international standards, both diplomatically and as a matter of federal law. Continuing the use of destructive fishing gears in California enables the use of similar gears in fisheries that export seafood into the United States and limits federal efforts to restrict, limit, and reduce impacts from those imports.
(e) The Pacific Fishery Management Council is in the process of authorizing a new innovative technology for fishing swordfish known as deep set buoy gear. This gear has been deployed commercially on the East Coast where it has proven to be among the most selective and sustainable gears used to catch swordfish, and results of commercial trials off California demonstrate the gear can effectively catch swordfish with minimal bycatch and bycatch mortality. This gear could be used to improve the fishing practices of California’s swordfish fishery.
(f) Given the economic and environmental benefits to the people of the state, it is the intent of the Legislature to direct new entrants into the swordfish fishery toward the use of lower impact fishing gears for a modernized fishery, while allowing current participants in the drift gill net fishery to continue those practices until the end of the 2023 fishing season.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8394.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8394.5.
 The fee for the permit issued pursuant to Section 8394 is three hundred thirty dollars ($330). This permit fee does not apply to the holder of a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit required under Article 16 (commencing with Section 8560) of Chapter 2. 8561) or to any person who participates in the permit transition program established by the department pursuant to Section 8583. 

SEC. 3.

 Section 8561 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8561.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 8394, shark and swordfish shall not be taken for commercial purposes with drift gill nets except under a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit issued to that person that has not been suspended or revoked and is issued to at least one person aboard the boat.
(b) A drift gill net shark and swordfish permit shall not be required for the taking of sharks with drift gill nets with a mesh size smaller than eight inches in stretched mesh and twine size no. 18 or the equivalent of this twine size or smaller.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 8102 or any other law, a permit issued pursuant to this section shall be surrendered or revoked as of January 31, 2023.

SEC. 5.SEC. 4.

 Section 8579 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8579.
 (a) A permittee shall be subject to the provisions of this article whenever the permittee is using a drift gill net, unless the permittee has surrendered his or her permit to the department.
(b)  (1)  A permittee shall be subject to the provisions of this article whenever the permittee is using a drift gill net, unless the permittee has surrendered his or her permit to the department. A permittee  may surrender his or her permit by notifying the department’s Long Beach office of his or her intentions by telegram or certified letter and by sending or delivering his or her permit to a department office. A permittee may reclaim his or her permit at any time during regular working hours, if the permit has not been suspended or revoked. 
(2) A permittee may reclaim his or her permit surrendered pursuant to paragraph (1) at any time during regular working hours, if the permit has not been suspended or revoked.
(c) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) does not apply to any permit surrendered pursuant to Section 8583.

SEC. 5.

 Section 8583 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

8583.
 (a) Between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, inclusive, the department shall develop a program to transition the holders of drift gill net permits issued pursuant to Section 8561 out of the drift gill net fishery that includes the following conditions:
(1) The department shall pay a permittee who has landed swordfish or thresher shark with a large mesh drift gill net between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2018, inclusive, and who voluntarily surrenders his or her drift gill net permit issued pursuant to Section 8561 the following amounts:
(A) The fair market value of the drift gill net permit not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(B) The fair market value of a 14-inch mesh drift gill net not to exceed sixty-five thousand dollars ($65,000), if the permittee surrenders the net pursuant to paragraph (3).
(2) The department shall pay a permittee who has not landed swordfish or thresher shark on or after April 1, 2012, and who voluntarily surrenders his or her drift gill net permit issued pursuant to Section 8561 the fair market value of the drift gill net permit, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(3) Any permittee who participates in the transition program by surrendering his or her permit pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) shall be prohibited from obtaining a new California drift gill net shark and swordfish permit, shall agree not to fish under a federal drift gill net permit, shall agree not to transfer or renew a federal drift gill net permit, and shall surrender his or her large mesh drift gill net.
(b) (1) The department may obtain funding from federal, state, nonprofit, or private sources for the transition program. The department shall inform both budget committees and all policy committees with jurisdiction over fisheries issues once it has received funding from private or federal entities equal to one-third of the projected cost of the transition program.
(2) The department shall implement the transition program developed pursuant to subdivision (a) upon appropriation by the Legislature of the private or federal funds received by the department for purposes of implementing the transition program and matching state funds.
(c) The department shall undertake all reasonable and feasible efforts to obtain funding from the Ocean Protection Council, nonprofit foundations, and federal agencies to implement this section.

SEC. 6.

 Section 8583.5 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

8583.5.
 This article does not create or recognize a property right in fish expected to be caught using a permit issued pursuant to Section 8561.
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.