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 16. Drift Gill Net Shark and Swordfish Fishery [8561 - 8583.5]
  ( Article 16 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1078, Sec. 3. )

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 of the fourth year following the department’s notification to the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 8583.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 3. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019.)

8561.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 8102, a permit issued pursuant to Section 8561 may be transferred by the permittee only if one of the following conditions is met:

(1) The permittee has held the permit for three or more years.

(2) The permittee is permanently injured or suffers a serious illness that will result in a hardship, as determined in a written finding by the director, to the permittee or his or her family if the permit may not otherwise be transferred or upon dissolution of a marriage where the permit is held to be community property.

(3) The permittee has died and his or her surviving spouse, heirs, or estate seeks to transfer the permit within six months of the death of the permittee or, with the written approval of the director, within the length of time that it may reasonably take to effect the transfer.

(b) A permit may be transferred only to a person who holds a valid general gill net permit issued to that person pursuant to Section 8681 that has not been suspended or revoked.

(c) The transfer of a permit shall only become effective upon notice from the department. An application for transfer shall be submitted to the department with such reasonable proof as the department may require to establish the qualification of the person the permit is to be transferred to, the payment to the department of a transfer fee of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), and a written disclosure, filed under penalty of perjury, of the terms of the transfer.

(d) Any restrictions on participation that were required in a permit transferred pursuant to Section 8102 before January 1, 1990, are of no further force or effect.

(e) This section shall become inoperative on March 31, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 4. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019. Inoperative March 31, 2019. Repealed as of January 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844.)

8561.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 8102 or any other law, a permit issued pursuant to Section 8561 may not be transferred.

(b) This section shall become operative on March 31, 2019.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 5. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative March 31, 2019, by its own provisions.)

8562.
  

Applications delivered to a department office after April 30, or if mailed, postmarked after April 30, shall not be accepted unless approved by the commission pursuant to Section 8569.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 525, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1999.)

8563.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the permittee shall be aboard the vessel and shall be in possession of a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit when engaged in operations authorized by the permit.

(b) A permittee may have a person serve in the permittee’s place on the permittee’s vessel and engage in fishing under the permittee’s drift gill net shark and swordfish permit for not more than 15 days in a calendar year, except that a longer period may be allowed in the event of serious illness. A permittee shall notify the department’s Long Beach office of a substitution of 15 days or less per calendar year, by certified letter or telegram at least 24 hours before the commencement of the trip. Written authorization for a substitution of greater than 15 days shall be obtained from the director and shall be given only on the director’s finding that the permittee will not be available to engage in the activity due to serious illness, supported by medical evidence. An application for a substitution of greater than 15 days shall be made to the department’s headquarters office in Sacramento, and shall contain any information the director requires. A denial of the substitution may be appealed to the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 154, Sec. 94. (AB 1527) Effective January 1, 2016.)

8564.
  

When the permittee applies for a drift gill net shark and swordfish permit, the permittee shall specify the vessel he or she will use in operations authorized by the permit. Transfer to another vessel shall be authorized by the department upon receipt of a written request from the permittee, accompanied by a transfer fee of one hundred thirty dollars ($130), as follows:

(a) One transfer requested between February 1 and April 30 shall be made by the department upon request and payment of the fee.

(b) Any transfer, except as provided in subdivision (a), shall be authorized by the department only after receipt of proof of a compelling reason, which shall be submitted with the request for transfer, such as the sinking of the vessel specified for use in operations authorized by the permit.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 701, Sec. 38. Effective September 15, 1992. Operative April 1, 1993, by Sec. 71 of Ch. 701.)

8567.
  

The fee for a drift gill net shark and swordfish permit shall be three hundred thirty dollars ($330).

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 870, Sec. 40. Effective January 1, 1997.)

8568.
  

Drift gill net shark and swordfish permits shall be issued to any prior permittee who possesses a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit issued pursuant to this section, but only if the permittee meets both of the following requirements:

(a) Possesses a valid permit for the use of gill nets authorized pursuant to Section 8681.

(b) Possessed a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit during the preceding season and that permit was not subsequently revoked.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 962, Sec. 5. Effective September 27, 2002.)

8568.5.
  

Any person holding a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit on or after January 1, 2000, who did not make, on or after January 1, 2000, the minimum landings required under subdivision (c) of Section 8568, as amended by Section 11 of Chapter 525 of the Statutes of 1998, is eligible for that permit when that person meets all other qualifications for the permit.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 962, Sec. 6. Effective September 27, 2002.)

8569.
  

The commission may establish conditions for the issuance of a permit if the person’s drift gill net shark and swordfish permit was revoked during a preceding season or if the person possessed a valid permit during the preceding season but did not apply for renewal of his or her permit on or before April 30. The applicant for a permit under this section may appeal to the director for the issuance of the permit under those conditions.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 962, Sec. 7. Effective September 27, 2002.)

8573.
  

Drift gill nets may be used to take shark and swordfish under the permit provided in this article, subject to Section 8610.3 and all of the following restrictions:

(a) From June 1 to November 15, inclusive, shark or swordfish gill nets shall not be in the water from two hours after sunrise to two hours before sunset east of a line described as follows:

From a point beginning at Las Pitas Point to San Pedro Point on Santa Cruz Island, thence to Gull Island Light, thence to the northeast extremity of San Nicolas Island, thence along the high water mark on the west side of San Nicolas Island to the southeast extremity of San Nicolas Island, thence to the northwest extremity of San Clemente Island, thence along the high water mark on the west side of San Clemente Island to the southeast extremity of San Clemente Island, thence along a line running 150° true from the southeast extremity of San Clemente Island to the westerly extension of the boundary line between the Republic of Mexico and San Diego County.

(b) (1) The total maximum length of a shark or swordfish gill net on the net reel on a vessel, on the deck of the vessel, and in the water at any time shall not exceed 6,000 feet in float line length. The float line length shall be determined by measuring the float line, as tied, of all the net panels, combined with any other netted lines. The existence of holes, tears, or gaps in the net shall have no bearing on the measurement of the float line. The float line of any net panels with holes, tears, or gaps shall be included in the total float line measurement.

(2) Any shark or swordfish gill net on the reel shall have the float lines of the adjacent panels tied together, the lead lines of the adjacent panels tied together, and the web of the adjacent panels laced together. No quick disconnect device may be used unless the total maximum length of all shark and swordfish gill nets, including all spare gill nets or net panels on the vessel and all gill nets or net panels on the net reels on the vessel, on the deck of the vessel, stored aboard the vessel, and in the water, does not exceed 6,000 feet in float line length as determined under paragraph (1).

(3) Spare shark or swordfish gill net aboard the vessel shall not exceed 250 fathoms (1,500 feet) in total length, and the spare net shall be in separated panels not to exceed 100 fathoms (600 feet) in float line length for each panel, with the float lines and leadlines attached to each panel separately gathered and tied, and the spare net panels stowed in lockers, wells, or other storage space.

(4) If a torn panel is replaced in a working shark or swordfish gill net, the torn panel shall be removed from the working net before the replacement panel is attached to the working net.

(c) Any end of a shark or swordfish gill net not attached to the permittee’s vessel shall be marked by a pole with a radar reflector. The reflector shall be at least six feet above the surface of the ocean and not less than 10 inches in any dimension except thickness. The permittee’s permit number shall be permanently affixed to at least one buoy or float that is attached to the radar reflector staff. The permit number shall be at least one and one-half inches in height and all markings shall be at least one-quarter inch in width.

(d) For the purposes of this article, “shark or swordfish gill net” means a drift gill net of 14-inch or greater mesh size.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 285, Sec. 123. Effective January 1, 2008.)

8574.
  

(a) Drift gill nets with mesh size less than 14 inches in stretched mesh shall not be used to take shark and swordfish by permittees operating under a drift gill net shark and swordfish permit, and the permittee shall not have aboard the vessel or in the water a drift gill net with mesh size less than 14 inches and more than 8 inches in stretched mesh.

(b) No permittee shall deploy a drift gill net of less than 14-inch mesh size at the time that the permittee has a shark or swordfish gill net deployed.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1558, Sec. 3. Effective October 2, 1985.)

8575.
  

Drift gill nets used to take shark and swordfish under the permit provided in this article shall not be used under the following circumstances:

(a) From May 1 through July 31, within six nautical miles westerly, northerly, and easterly of the shoreline of San Miguel Island between a line extending six nautical miles west magnetically from Point Bennett and a line extending six nautical miles east magnetically from Cardwell Point and within six nautical miles westerly, northerly, and easterly of the shoreline of Santa Rosa Island between a line extending six nautical miles west magnetically from Sandy Point and a line extending six nautical miles east magnetically from Skunk Point.

(b) From May 1 through July 31, within 10 nautical miles westerly, southerly, and easterly of the shoreline of San Miguel Island between a line extending 10 nautical miles west magnetically from Point Bennett and a line extending 10 nautical miles east magnetically from Cardwell Point and within 10 nautical miles westerly, southerly, and easterly of the shoreline of Santa Rosa Island between a line extending 10 nautical miles west magnetically from Sandy Point and a line extending 10 nautical miles east magnetically from Skunk Point.

(c) From May 1 through July 31, within a radius of 10 nautical miles of the west end of San Nicolas Island.

(d) From August 15 through September 30, in ocean waters bounded as follows: beginning at Dana Point, Orange County, in a direct line to Church Rock, Catalina Island; thence in a direct line to Point La Jolla, San Diego County; and thence northwesterly along the mainland shore to Dana Point.

(e) From August 15 through September 30, in ocean waters within six nautical miles of the coastline on the northerly and easterly side of San Clemente Island, lying between a line extending six nautical miles west magnetically from the extreme northerly end of San Clemente Island to a line extending six nautical miles east magnetically from Pyramid Head.

(f) From December 15 through January 31, in ocean waters within 25 nautical miles of the mainland coastline.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 439, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1995.)

8575.5.
  

Drift gill nets used to take shark and swordfish under the permit provided in this article shall not be used in the following areas:

(a) Within 12 nautical miles from the nearest point on the mainland shore north of a line extending due west from Point Arguello.

(b) East of a line running from Point Reyes to Noonday Rock to the westernmost point of Southeast Farallon Island to Pillar Point.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 671, Sec. 3.5.)

8576.
  

(a) Drift gill nets shall not be used to take shark or swordfish from February 1 to April 30, inclusive.

(b) Drift gill nets shall not be used to take shark or swordfish in ocean waters within 75 nautical miles from the mainland coastline between the westerly extension of the California-Oregon boundary line and the westerly extension of the United States-Republic of Mexico boundary line from May 1 to August 14, inclusive.

(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) apply to any drift gill net used pursuant to a permit issued under Section 8561 or 8681, except that drift gill nets with a mesh size smaller than eight inches in stretched mesh and twine size number 18, or the equivalent of this twine size, or smaller, used pursuant to a permit issued under Section 8681, may be used to take species of sharks other than thresher shark, shortfin mako shark, and white shark during the periods specified in subdivisions (a) and (b). However, during the periods of time specified in subdivisions (a) and (b), not more than two thresher sharks and two shortfin mako sharks may be possessed and sold if taken incidentally in drift gill nets while fishing for barracuda or white seabass and if at least 10 barracuda or five white seabass are possessed and landed at the same time as the incidentally taken thresher or shortfin mako shark. No thresher shark or shortfin mako shark taken pursuant to this subdivision shall be transferred to another vessel before landing the fish. Any vessel possessing thresher or shortfin mako sharks pursuant to this section shall not have any gill or trammel net aboard that is constructed with a mesh size greater than eight inches in stretched mesh and twine size greater than number 18, or the equivalent of a twine size greater than number 18.

(d) Notwithstanding the closure from May 1 to August 14, inclusive, provided by subdivision (b), a permittee may land swordfish or thresher shark taken in ocean waters more than 75 nautical miles from the mainland coastline in that period if, for each landing during that closed period, the permittee signs a written declaration under penalty of perjury that the fish landed were taken more than 75 nautical miles from the mainland coastline. The declaration shall be completed and signed before arrival at any port in this state. Within 72 hours of the time of arrival, the permittee shall deliver the declaration to the department.

(e) If any person is convicted of falsely swearing a declaration under subdivision (d), in addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, the following penalties shall be imposed:

(1) The fish landed shall be forfeited, or, if sold, the proceeds from the sale shall be forfeited, pursuant to Sections 12159, 12160, 12161, and 12162.

(2) All shark or swordfish gill nets possessed by the permittee shall be seized and forfeited pursuant to Section 8630 or 12157.

(f) From August 15 of the year of issue to January 31, inclusive, of the following year, swordfish may be taken under a permit issued pursuant to this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 285, Sec. 124. Effective January 1, 2008.)

8576.5.
  

Thresher shark taken with drift gill nets shall not have the pelvic fin severed from the carcass until after the shark is brought ashore.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 589, Sec. 2.)

8577.
  

Notwithstanding Section 8394, the director may close the drift gill net shark and swordfish fishery, the swordfish harpoon fishery, or any area where either or both fisheries are conducted, if, after a public hearing, the director determines the action is necessary to protect the swordfish or thresher shark and bonito (mako) shark resources.

The director shall reopen a fishery or any fishing areas previously closed pursuant to this section if the director determines that the conditions which necessitated the closure no longer exist.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 439, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1995.)

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) A permittee may surrender his or her permit by notifying the department of his or her intentions by submitting a notarized form provided by the department and by sending or delivering his or her permit to a department office as prescribed on the form.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 6. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019.)

8580.
  

It is unlawful for any permittee to sell swordfish taken by him or her to other than the persons described in Section 8032 or 8033.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 246, Sec. 7.)

8581.
  

Any license issued pursuant to Sections 8032 to 8036, inclusive, may be revoked or suspended by the commission, when requested by the department, upon a conviction for a violation of Section 8043 for failure to report, or for inaccurately reporting, shark or swordfish landings by fishermen operating under permits issued pursuant to Section 8394 or 8561.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 246, Sec. 8.)

8582.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the intent of this article is not to permit or encourage the taking of marlin for commercial purposes.

(b) It shall be a misdemeanor for any person operating under a permit pursuant to this article to sell or possess for sale or personal use any marlin. In the event a marlin is taken incidentally in a drift gill net, the permittee shall notify the department immediately that the fish is on the boat. No marlin may be removed from the boat except for delivery to the department.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1078, Sec. 3. Effective September 15, 1982.)

8583.
  

(a) By March 31, 2020, the department shall establish 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) A permittee who chooses to participate in the transition program shall indicate his or her intention to the department to participate by submitting a notarized form provided by the department on or before January 1, 2020.

(2) A permittee who has landed swordfish or thresher shark with a shark or swordfish gill net or with a federal deep set buoy gear exempted fishing permit 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 and shark or swordfish gill net or nets shall receive, to the extent that funds for the transition program are available, the following amounts:

(A) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to surrender the permit.

(B) One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to surrender the net or nets.

(3) 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 and shark or swordfish gill net or nets shall receive, to the extent that funds for the transition program are available, ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(4) The department shall inform a permittee who submits a notarized form pursuant to paragraph (1) whether the permittee meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3) and the department shall submit this information to the fiscal agent.

(5) Any permittee who participates in the transition program by surrendering his or her permit pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) 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 shark or swordfish gill net or nets to an entity approved by the department for the purpose of destroying the nets.

(b) (1) The department shall enter into an agreement with a fiscal agent for the fiscal agent to receive state and nonstate funds made available for purposes of the transition program, to put those funds in an escrow account, and, upon the receipt of adequate funds, to pay the applicable amount described in subdivision (a) to a participating permittee. As part of the agreement, the department shall require the fiscal agent to notify the department within 10 days of the receipt of one million dollars ($1,000,000) from nonstate sources for purposes of transitioning permittees out of the drift gill net fishery. If the department enters into an agreement with a fiscal agent that is a state entity pursuant to this subdivision, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, any funds received from nonstate sources are continuously appropriated to that state entity for purposes of the transition program without regard to fiscal years.

(2) The department shall notify the Legislature pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code within 10 days of the date that the fiscal agent receives one million dollars ($1,000,000) from nonstate sources for purposes of the transition program and secures one million dollars ($1,000,000) through an agreement with the Ocean Protection Council pursuant to Section 35651 of the Public Resources Code.

(3) For purposes of this section, “fiscal agent” includes any of the following:

(A) The Department of Finance.

(B) The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

(C) The Controller.

(D) Any appropriate state or federal agency.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 7. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019.)

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.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 844, Sec. 8. (SB 1017) Effective January 1, 2019.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC16