Code Section Group

Fish and Game Code - FGC


  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

PART 3. MAMMALS [3950 - 4903]

  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

CHAPTER 5. Marine Mammals [4500 - 4502.5]
  ( Heading of Chapter 5 amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 786. )


(a) It is unlawful to take any marine mammal except in accordance with provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (Chapter 31 (commencing with Section 1361) of Title 16 of the United States Code) or provisions of Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section.

(b) At such time as federal laws or regulations permit the state to assume jurisdiction over marine mammals, the commission may adopt regulations governing marine mammals and the taking thereof.

(c) For purposes of this chapter, “marine mammals” means sea otters, whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 786.)


(a) The Legislature finds and declares that several types of nonpoint source pollution are harmful to sea otters, and that scientific studies point to links between cat feces, the pathogen T-gondii, and sea otter mortality. The Legislature further finds and declares that efforts to reduce the flushing of cat litter and cat feces are steps toward better water quality in the sea otters’ natural habitat.

(b) Any cat litter offered for sale in this state shall contain one of the following statements:

(1) “Encouraging your cat to use an indoor litter box, or properly disposing of outdoor cat feces, is beneficial to overall water quality. Please do not flush cat litter in toilets or dispose of it outdoors in gutters or storm drains.”

(2) A general statement that encourages the disposal of cat feces in trash and discourages flushing cat feces in toilets or disposing of them in drains.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 296, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)


This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Orca Protection Act.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) and subdivision (c), hold in captivity an orca, whether wild-caught or captive-bred, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, display, performance, or entertainment purposes.

(B) An orca located in the state on January 1, 2017, may continue to be held in captivity for its current purpose and after June 1, 2017, may continue to be used for educational presentations.

(2) Breed or impregnate any orca held in captivity in the state.

(3) Export, collect, or import the semen, other gametes, or embryos of an orca held in captivity for the purpose of artificial insemination.

(4) Export, transport, move, or sell an orca located in the state to another state or country unless otherwise authorized by federal law or if the transfer is to another facility within North America that meets standards comparable to those provided under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 and following).

(b) A person, corporation, or institution that intentionally or negligently violates subdivision (a) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

(c) This section does not apply to an orca that is held by a bona fide educational or scientific institution for rehabilitation after a rescue or stranding or for research purposes. However, the department shall be notified immediately upon the rescue or acquisition of any orca, and an orca that is held for rehabilitation or research purposes shall be returned to the wild whenever possible. If return to the wild is not possible, the orca may be used for educational presentations, but shall not be used for breeding, performance, or entertainment purposes.

(d) As used in this section, the following terms are defined as follows:

(1) “Educational presentation” means a live, scheduled orca display in the presence of spectators that includes natural behaviors, enrichment, exercise activities, and a live narration and video content that provides science-based education to the public about orcas.

(2) “Orca” means a killer whale (Orcinus orca).

(3) “Bona fide educational or scientific institution” means an institution that establishes through documentation any of the following:

(A) Educational or scientific tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service or the institution’s national, state, or local tax authority.

(B) Accreditation as an educational or scientific institution from a qualified national, regional, state, or local authority for the institution’s location.

(C) Accreditation by a nationally or internationally recognized zoological or aquarium accreditation organization.

(e) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 340, Sec. 8. (SB 839) Effective September 13, 2016.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC