Code Section Group

Fish and Game Code - FGC

DIVISION 6. FISH [5500 - 9101]

  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

PART 3. COMMERCIAL FISHING [7600 - 9101]

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

CHAPTER 2. Particular Varieties of Fish [8140 - 8599.4]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

ARTICLE 13. Halibut Trawl Grounds [1880 - 12880.6]
  ( Article 13 added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1341. )

8494.
  

(a) Any vessel using bottom trawl gear in state-managed halibut fisheries, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 8841, shall possess a valid California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit that has not been suspended or revoked and that is issued by the department authorizing the use of trawl gear by that vessel for the take of California halibut.

(b) A California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit shall be issued annually, commencing with the 2006 permit year and an applicant shall have been issued a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit in the immediately preceding permit year.

(c) Permits issued pursuant to this section may be transferred only if at least one of the following occur:

(1) The commission adopts a restricted access program for the fishery that is consistent with the commission’s policies regarding restricted access to commercial fisheries.

(2) (A) Before the implementation of a halibut trawl restricted access program, the department may consider requests from a vessel permitholder or the permitholder’s conservator or estate representative, as applicable, to transfer a vessel permit to a vessel consistent with the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C). The department may request information that it determines is reasonably necessary from the permitholder or the permitholder’s conservator or heirs or estate for the purpose of verifying statements in the request before authorizing the transfer of the permit.

(B) The department may approve the transfer of a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit to a replacement vessel if all of the following requirements are met:

(i) In the form of a notarized application, the permitholder submits to the department a request for the transfer of a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit to another vessel owned by the permitholder.

(ii) The permitholder provides a current United States Coast Guard certificate of documentation or vessel marine survey to the department for the permitted vessel and replacement vessel.

(iii) Based on the information provided pursuant to clause (ii), the department determines that the replacement vessel is equal to or less than the capacity of the permitted vessel.

(iv) The department determines the California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit for the permitted vessel is valid and has not been suspended or revoked.

(v) If applicable, the department receives written confirmation from the replacement vessel’s owner or authorized agent, or mortgager, of the vessel’s participation in the transfer of the California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit.

(vi) The replacement vessel is registered with the department pursuant to Section 7881 at the time the application is submitted pursuant to clause (i).

(C) The department may approve the transfer of a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit to another person if all of the following requirements are met:

(i) In the form of a notarized application, the permitholder or the permitholder’s conservator or estate submits to the department a request to transfer a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit to another person.

(ii) If the permitholder’s estate submits a request pursuant to clause (i), the estate submits the notarized application to the department within one year of the death of the permitholder as listed on the death certificate.

(iii) A current United States Coast Guard certificate of documentation or vessel marine survey is provided to the department for the permitted vessel and vessel to be used by the proposed transferee.

(iv) Based on the information provided pursuant to clause (iii), the department determines that the vessel to be used by the proposed transferee is equal to or less than the capacity of the permitted vessel.

(v) The proposed transferee meets both of the following requirements:

(I) The person has a valid commercial fishing license issued pursuant to Section 7852 that has not been suspended or revoked.

(II) The person is the owner of a commercial fishing vessel that is registered with the department pursuant to Section 7881 and that registration has not been suspended or revoked.

(vi) The permit for the permitted vessel is current, and the permitholder or the permitholder’s conservator or estate submitting the application is responsible for any renewal of the permit that becomes due during the application processing period.

(vii) Under penalty of perjury, the permitholder or the permitholder’s conservator or estate signs the application for transfer and certifies that the information included is true to the best of the permitholder’s information and belief.

(D) Any applicant who is denied transfer pursuant to this paragraph may appeal the denial in writing describing the basis for the appeal to the commission within 60 days from the date of the department’s decision.

(d) The commission shall establish California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit fees based on the recommendations of the department and utilizing the guidelines outlined in subdivision (b) of Section 711 to cover the costs of administering this section. Before the adoption of a restricted access program pursuant to subdivision (c), fees may not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per permit.

(e) Individuals holding a federal groundfish trawl permit may retain and land up to 150 pounds of California halibut per trip without a California halibut trawl permit in accordance with federal and state regulations, including, but not limited to, regulations developed under a halibut fishery management plan.

(f) This section shall become inoperative upon the adoption by the commission of a halibut fishery management plan in accordance with the requirements of Part 1.7 (commencing with Section 7050).

(g) The commission may adopt regulations to implement this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 497, Sec. 118. (AB 991) Effective January 1, 2020. Inoperative on date prescribed in subd. (f).)

8495.
  

(a) The following areas are designated as the California halibut trawl grounds:

(1) The ocean waters lying between one and three nautical miles from the mainland shore lying south and east of a line running due west (270° true) from Point Arguello and north and west of a line running due south (180° true) from Point Mugu.

(2) The ocean waters of Monterey Bay delineated by straight lines connecting the following points in the following order and excluding federal waters as defined by the order entered by the United States Supreme Court in the case of United States of America v. State of California, 135 S.Ct. 563 (2014):

LatitudeLongitude
36° 54.146′ N122° 4.244′ W
36° 52.910′ N122° 4.225′ W
36° 52.024′ N122° 2.117′ W
36° 51.680′ N121° 59.321′ W
36° 52.230′ N121° 57.810′ W
36° 48.974′ N121° 52.474′ W
36° 49.835′ N121° 51.840′ W
36° 54.250′ N121° 54.883′ W
36° 54.287′ N121° 58.062′ W
36° 53.956′ N122° 2.117′ W

(3) The ocean waters offshore of Port San Luis lying between one and three nautical miles from the mainland shore, as described by an area circumscribed by a line connecting the following points in clockwise order, with the line connecting the last two points approximately parallel to the lines connecting the preceding points:

LatitudeLongitude
35° 08′ N120° 46′ W
35° 08′ N120° 40.1′ W
35° 06.6′ N120° 39.2′ W
35° 02.2′ N120° 39.3′ W
34° 57′ N120° 40.7′ W
34° 57′ N120° 43.5′ W
35° 06.4′ N120° 46′ W

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the use of trawl gear for the take of fish is prohibited in the following areas of the California halibut trawl grounds:

(1) Around Point Arguello. The area from a line extending from Point Arguello true west (270°) and out three miles, to a line extending from Rocky Point true south (180°) and out three miles.

(2) Around Point Conception. From a point on land approximately one-half mile north of Point Conception at latitude 34° 27.5´ extending seaward true west (270°) from one to three miles, to a point on land approximately one-half mile east of Point Conception at longitude 120° 27.5´ extending seaward true south (180°) from one to three miles.

(3) In the Hueneme Canyon in that portion demarked by the IMO Vessel Traffic safety zone on NOAA/NOS Chart 18725 and from one mile to the three mile limit of state waters.

(4) In Mugu Canyon, from Laguna Point, a line extending true south (180°) and out three miles, to Point Mugu, a line extending true south (180°) and from one to three miles.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing April 1, 2008, the following areas in the California halibut trawl grounds shall be closed to trawling, unless the commission finds that a bottom trawl fishery for halibut minimizes bycatch, is likely not damaging sea floor habitat, is not adversely affecting ecosystem health, and is not impeding reasonable restoration of kelp, coral, or other biogenic habitats:

(A) The ocean waters lying between one and three nautical miles from the mainland shore from a point east of a line extending seaward true south (180°) from a point on land approximately one-half mile east of Point Conception at longitude 120° 27.5´ to a line extending due south from Gaviota.

(B) The ocean waters lying between one and two nautical miles from the mainland shore lying east of a line extending due south from Santa Barbara Point (180°) and west of a line extending due south from Pitas Point (180°).

(C) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the ocean waters lying between one and three nautical miles from the mainland shore lying south and east of a line running due west (270° true) from Point Arguello to a line extending seaward true south (180°) from a point on land approximately 1/2 mile east of Point Conception at longitude 120° 27.5´, and from the western border of the IMO Vessel Traffic safety zone on NOAA/NOS Chart 18725 in Hueneme Canyon running south and east to a line running due south (180° true) from Point Mugu.

(2) In making the finding described in paragraph (1), the commission shall pay special attention to areas where kelp and other biogenic habitats existed and where restoring those habitats is reasonably feasible, and to hard bottom areas and other substrate that may be particularly sensitive to bottom trawl impacts.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the areas of the halibut trawl grounds identified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) shall remain closed to trawling until the commission determines that trawling in those areas is consistent with the provisions of this section. At the commission’s discretion, a determination pursuant to this subdivision may be made through the review required pursuant to subdivision (e).

(e) Commencing January 1, 2008, the commission shall review information every three years from the federal groundfish observer program and other available research and monitoring information it determines relevant, and shall close any areas in the California halibut trawl grounds where it finds that the use of trawl gear does not minimize bycatch, is likely damaging sea floor habitat, is adversely affecting ecosystem health, or impedes reasonable restoration of kelp, coral, or other biogenic habitats. The commission shall pay special attention to areas where kelp and other biogenic habitats existed and where restoring those habitats is reasonably feasible, and to hard bottom areas and other substrate that may be particularly sensitive to bottom trawl impacts in making that finding.

(f) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission shall determine the size, weight, and configuration of all parts of the trawl gear, including, but not limited to, net, mesh, doors, appurtenances, and towing equipment as it determines is necessary to ensure trawl gear is used in a sustainable manner within the California halibut trawl grounds.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 985, Sec. 8. (SB 1309) Effective January 1, 2019.)

8496.
  

(a) Unless otherwise specified by the commission pursuant subdivision (b), within the California halibut trawl grounds the following requirements shall apply to the use of trawl nets:

(1) Open season and hours of operation shall be as follows:

(A) Open season shall be June 16 to March 14, inclusive.

(B) In the designated halibut trawl grounds within Monterey Bay and offshore of Port San Luis, trawl fishing gear may only be deployed to capture fish between sunrise and sunset.

(2) California halibut shall only be taken pursuant to Section 8392.

(3) Not more than 500 pounds of fish other than California halibut may be possessed, except that any amount of sea cucumbers may be possessed by a person who holds a valid sea cucumber permit and who meets any conditions adopted by the commission pursuant to Section 8405.3, and any amount of sharks, skates, or rays for which the take or possession of that species is not otherwise prohibited by this code may be taken or possessed.

(4) It is unlawful to operate a trawl net in a way that damages or destroys other types of fishing gear that is buoyed or otherwise visibly marked.

(5) Sections 8833 and 8836 do not apply to trawl nets when used or possessed on California halibut trawl grounds.

(6) Trawl nets described in Section 8843 shall only be used within the halibut trawl grounds.

(7) Single bags and cod-ends or double bags and cod-ends may be used within the halibut trawl grounds and may be possessed while a vessel is in transit directly to the halibut trawl grounds or returning directly to port. Double bags shall be hung and tied to each rib line so that the knots of each layer coincide, knot for knot, for the full length of the double layers. The double mesh section shall not measure over 25 meshes or 12 feet in length, whichever is greater. The individual meshes in the double section shall measure not less than seven and one-half inches in length.

(8) No net, whose cod-end meshes are less than prescribed in this section, may be possessed on any vessel that is operating under the authority of this section.

(b) The commission may reduce the length of the open season or hours of operation, or either of those, specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). The commission may also modify any of the requirements of paragraphs (2) to (8), inclusive, of subdivision (a) to make those requirements more restrictive.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 985, Sec. 9. (SB 1309) Effective January 1, 2019.)

8497.
  

If the director determines that the California halibut resource, or existing fishing operations, within the designated California halibut trawl grounds are in danger of irreparable injury, he or she may order the closure of the area, or portions thereof, to trawl net fishing or further restrict the nets that may be used in the area, or portions thereof. Any such closure or restriction order shall be adopted by emergency regulation in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

The department shall bring to the attention of the Legislature within 30 calendar days after commencement of the next succeeding regular session of the Legislature any regulation adopted pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 101, Sec. 38.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC13.