Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP)



In December 2002, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted a draft Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP) to the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to embark on its adoption process. Fish and Game Code (5522) mandated CDFW to submit a comprehensive abalone recovery and management plan to the Commission on or before January 1, 2003. CDFW formally presented the draft ARMP to the Commission during their February 2003 meeting in Sacramento, at which time the Commission decided on a timeline to receive formal public comments on the document.

During the development of the ARMP, informal comments were received through an advisory panel, workshops, letters, and the CDFW website. These comments were used to shape and revise the plan. Once the revised draft was presented to the Commission, a formal public review period helped the Commission amend the plan prior to adoption. During the formal public comment period, the Commission held a series of public comment meetings. Also during this time, written comments were collected and recorded. CDFW has responded to all comments and made appropriate changes to the ARMP. The document underwent a final editing process before adoption by the Commission on December 9, 2005.

For more information on the status of the ARMP contact Ian Taniguchi at (562) 342-7182 or e-mail Ian.Taniguchi@wildlife.ca.gov.

Development of the ARMP

Early input on the ARMP was gathered at a commercial constituent workshop held in Santa Barbara, in July 2000. This workshop was the first in a series of steps to involve the public in the creation of the ARMP.

In late 2001, CDFW established an ARMP Advisory Panel. The panel was composed of members and alternates who represented both commercial and recreational anglers and divers, environmental organizations, aquaculturists, federal agencies and university scientists. The panelists were selected to reflect a diversity of interests and expertise in abalone and issues related to abalone.

The advisory panel provided CDFW with advice, feedback, and recommendations regarding the issues and actions that needed to be taken during development of the ARMP. The advisory panel did not determine the contents of the ARMP or preferred management options; rather, it helped to generate ideas on content and possible recovery and management alternatives.

The first advisory panel workshop was held on November 16, 2001 at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Los Alamitos. The focus of this workshop was the recovery of abalone resources in southern California. In preparation for this workshop, panel members and alternates were provided with background information about abalone, potential approaches to recovery, and focus questions. Department staff reviewed the information and the focus questions for the workshop. The panel provided valuable input on all aspects of southern California abalone recovery. Their comments and review of the approach presented by CDFW were taken into consideration and incorporated into the draft ARMP.

Management of the northern red abalone sport fishery in the ARMP was addressed by the advisory panel in conjunction with the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC) at a workshop held March 15, 2002 in Oakland. The general public also attended these panel workshops and provided comments.

Following the completion of the first ARMP draft, the document underwent peer review by a panel of marine scientists, in addition to an informal public comment period during which two town hall meetings were held. To gain further public input, written comments were accepted throughout the development period. The draft ARMP was modified and improved based on the comments received during the peer and public review process. A peer review report was submitted to the Commission with the draft ARMP.

Following the submission of the draft ARMP to the Commission in late December 2002, the Commission began the formal public comment period. During the comment period, four public meetings were held from November 2003 through June of 2004. Meetings were held in Monterey, Long Beach, Santa Rosa, and Crescent City. All oral and written comments were recorded and responses were given. View a table of formal comments in Appendix G (PDF). The draft ARMP was revised based on the formal comments.

A near-final draft of the ARMP was delivered to the Commission in May 2005. The Commission held five additional public meetings in July and August, 2005 to give the public an opportunity to comment on the final ARMP. After reviewing comments and receiving information presented by CDFW at its August 19, 2005 meeting, the Commission requested that CDFW include constituent comments regarding Alternative 1 (a proposal to allow fishing at San Miguel Island prior to full recovery) in the final document. The Commission also directed CDFW to provide updated information concerning the abalone resource at its September 29-30, 2005 meeting in Susanville. CDFW presented the updated information at the September and November 4-5, 2005 Commission meetings, including new data that had been collected from late August through November, and field surveys of abalone populations at San Miguel Island. During that time period another fishery management alternative (Alternative 8) was added to the ARMP. The new Alternative will enable the Commission to open a limited fishery prior to full recovery, without meeting the specific prerequisites stipulated in other alternatives in the ARMP. The Commission adopted the ARMP on December 9, 2005.

Timeline for Constituent Involvement, 2000-2005

  • July 16, 2000: Public workshop held for commercial fishery constituents
  • November 16, 2001: ARMP Advisory Panel workshop which focused on recovery of southern California abalone stocks
  • March 15, 2002: ARMP Advisory Panel and Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC) workshop. The primary focus of this workshop is northern recreational abalone fishery management.
  • September 7, 2002: Town hall meeting, Fort Bragg
  • September 14, 2002: Town hall meeting, Santa Barbara
  • October 4, 2002: Deadline for receipt of informal written comments
  • December 30, 2002: Draft ARMP submitted to the Fish and Game Commission.
  • February 7, 2003: ARMP formally presented to the Fish and Game Commission
  • November 19, 2003: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting to receive public comment on the ARMP
  • February 5, 2004: Fish and Game Commission meeting to receive public testimony on the draft ARMP
  • April 20, 2004: Fish and Game Commission meeting to receive public testimony on the draft ARMP
  • June 24, 2004: Fish and Game Commission meeting to receive public testimony on the draft ARMP
  • July 12, 2005: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting
  • July 19, 2005: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting
  • August 4, 2005: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting
  • August 9, 2005: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting
  • August 16, 2005: Special Fish and Game Commission Meeting