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california legislation > SB 369

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Date of Hearing: August 17, 2011

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
Felipe Fuentes, Chair

SB 369 (Evans) - As Amended: August 15, 2011

Policy Committee: Water, Parks and
Wildlife Vote: 7-4

Urgency: No State Mandated Local Program:
Yes Reimbursable: No

SUMMARY

This bill reestablishes the Dungeness crab taskforce,
establishes a Dungeness crab trap limit program, and extends by
six years the sunset on the Department of Fish and Game's (DFG)
authority to delay and prohibit commercial crab fishing.

FISCAL EFFECT

1)One-time costs over 2011-12 and 2012-13 to DFG, possibly
reaching around $700,000, to develop regulations and the
program, procure crab trap tags, develop a new permit within
the department's automated permitting system and publicize
requirement to crab fishermen (Fish and Game Preservation Fund
(FGPF)).

2)Ongoing annual costs of approximately $175,000 to DFG,
starting in 2012-13, to administer and oversee crab trap limit
program. (Dungeness Crab Account).

3)Ongoing annual costs of approximately $175,000 to DFG,
starting in 2012-13, to enforce crab trap limit program.
(Dungeness Crab Account.)

4)Ongoing annual costs of approximately $25,000 for staff to
support the work of the taskforce. (Dungeness Crab Account.)

5)Ongoing annual fee and permit revenue to DFG, starting in
2013-14, of an unknown amount but likely sufficient to cover
DFG's ongoing costs. (Dungeness Crab Account).

6)One-time costs during 2011-12 and 2012-13 in the range of








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$50,000 to $200,000 to DFG to establish civil penalty program.
(Fish and Game Preservation Fund.)

7)Potential annual ongoing civil penalty and fine revenue of an
unknown amount. (General Fund).

8)Cost pressure on the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to make a
grant of an unknown amount, but likely in the tens of
thousands of dollars, to fund development and administration
of the taskforce and DFG's related staffing costs (Special
fund).

SUMMARY (continued)

Most significantly, this bill:

1)Reestablishes the Dungeness crab taskforce, made up of various
crab fishing interests, the authorizing statute for which
expired January 1, 2011.

2)Establishes the Dungeness crab trap limit program, to be
administered by the DFG, in consultation with the taskforce,
and to include:

a) A tiered system of crab trap limits based on historic
landing volumes.

b) Biennial per-trap fees of no more than $5 and biennial
trap limit permits not to exceed $1,000.

c) Prohibitions against leasing crab trap tags.

d) An annual accounting by DFG of program costs.

e) A trap tag allocation appeal process.

f) Civil penalties for trap limit and permit violations
ranging from $250 to $1,000 per illegal trap for a first
offense; $500 to $2,500 per illegal trap for a second
offense, plus a one year suspension of trap permit; and
from $1,000 to $5,000 per illegal trap for a third offense,
plus possible permanent revocation of permit.

3)Establishes the Dungeness Crab Account within the FGPF to
receive fees collected pursuant to the program and to fund








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program administration, upon appropriation.

4)Authorizes DFG to borrow money, to be repaid within one year,
to fund program startup costs until fee revenue is collected.

5)Directs the OPC to make a grant, upon appropriation, for the
development and administration of the taskforce, and
authorizes OPC to make a grant to cover DFG related staffing
costs and taskforce travel.

6)Increases the penalties for fishing without a Dungeness crab
vessel permit or for using a permit to fish illegally on
another vessel, to include, in addition to existing criminal
penalties, a fine of not more than $20,000 and, at DFG's
discretion, revocation of the violator's fishing license and
the commercial boat registration license for up to five years.


7)Sunsets the crab trap limit program April 1, 2018, and extends
DFG's existing authority to delay and prohibit commercial crab
fishing until this same date.

COMMENTS

1)Rationale. The author contends this bill will improve the
sustainability of the state's Dungeness crab fishery, prevent
glutting of the market and improve crab fishery safety by
implementing recommendations made by the Dungeness crab
taskforce.

2)Background . SB 1690 (Wiggins), Chapter 727, Statutes of 2008,
directed OPC to establish and facilitate a Dungeness crab task
force to make recommendations to the Legislature on Dungeness
crab management. The task force was created, met several
times during 2009, and submitted two reports to the
Legislature, which included 19 different recommendations,
including recommendations to implement a tiered crab-pot-limit
program based on historic landings and to continue the
existence of the advisory taskforce.

SB 1093 (Wiggins, 2010) would have implemented these
recommendations, the bill failed in Senate.

3)Support . This bill is supported by the Crab Boat Owners
Association and the Environmental Defense Fund.








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4)Opposition . There is no formal opposition registered to this
bill. However, contentious testimony provided during the
policy committee hearing indicates not all crab fishermen
support the limits and authorities contained in this bill.

Analysis Prepared by : Jay Dickenson / APPR. / (916) 319-2081