Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Risk Assessment Mitigation Program: Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

Department Rulemaking: Risk Assessment Mitigation Program: Dungeness Crab Commercial Fishery (add Section 132.8, Title 14, CCR)

May 15, 2020

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) has published the Notice of Proposed Action to add Section 132.8 to Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR). Section 8276.1 of the Fish and Game Code (FGC) requires the Department, in consultation with the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group (Working Group) and other stakeholders, to adopt regulations establishing criteria and protocols to assess and manage risk of marine life entanglement with fishing gear associated with the commercial Dungeness crab fishery.

The Working Group has developed the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program (RAMP) to assess circumstances where entanglement risk may be elevated and provide recommendations on appropriate management responses to the Director of the Department (Director) to take action. The pilot RAMP program developed by the Working Group is the basis for the proposed regulations.

The proposed RAMP regulations implement the program as required under FGC Section 8276.1(b). The RAMP, as listed by subsection, consists of the following:

  1. definitions;
  2. a risk assessment schedule;
  3. triggers for management actions;
  4. management considerations;
  5. management actions;
  6. notification process;
  7. mandatory reporting requirements; and
  8. alternative gear authorization.

In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the Department provided notice of the proposed regulatory action to the Office of Administrative Law for publication in the link opens in new windowCalifornia Regulatory Notice Register (PDF) on May 15, 2020.

WRITTEN COMMENT PERIOD

Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments on the proposed action to the Department. All written comments must be received by the Department via mail, or e-mail, no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 29, 2020, to the contact as follows:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marine Region
Attn: Ryan Bartling, Sr. Environmental Scientist
3637 Westwind Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA
Email: WhaleSafeFisheries@wildlife.ca.gov

PUBLIC HEARING

A virtual public hearing is scheduled by as follows:
Date: Monday, June 29, 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Meeting details will be made available on the Whale Safe Fisheries
Page: Whale Safe Fisheries
Location: Teleconference and Webinar

The current rulemaking file for this proposal consists of the following documents:

  1. link opens in new windowNotice of Proposed Action (PDF)
  2. link opens in new windowInitial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) (PDF)
  3. link opens in new windowProposed regulation text to add Section 132.8 (Title 14, CCR; shown by underline) (PDF)
  4. link opens in new windowEconomic and Fiscal Impact Statement (Form 399) (PDF)
  5. link opens in new windowForm 399 Addendum (PDF)
  6. link opens in new windowStandardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA): Proposed Addition of Section 132.8, Title 14, California Code of Regulations for the RAMP: Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery(February 2020) (Appendix A to ISOR) (PDF)
  7. link opens in new windowComments from the Dept. of Finance, and SRIA Supplement (Proposed Addition of Section 132.8, Title 14, CCR for the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program: Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery, April 2020)(Appendix B to ISOR) (PDF)
  8. Documents Incorporated by Reference: Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 660, sections 660.71 through 660.74, as revised December 12, 2018:
    1. link opens in new windowSection 660.71, CFR - Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 10-fm (18-m) through 40-fm (73-m) depth contours
    2. link opens in new windowSection 660.72, CFR - Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 50 fm (91 m) through 75 fm (137 m) depth contours
    3. link opens in new windowSection 660.73, CFR - Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 100 fm (183 m) through 150 fm (274 m) depth contours
    4. link opens in new windowSection 660.74, CFR - Latitude/longitude coordinates defining the 180 fm (329 m) through 250 fm (457 m) depth contours
  9. Documents supporting the proposed regulation change
    1. link opens in new windowSenate Bill 1309, 2018, McGuire
    2. link opens in new windowBenson, S.R., K.A. Forney, J.T. Harvey, J.V. Carretta, and P.H. Dutton (2007). Abundance, distribution, and habitat of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) off California, 1990-2003. Fishery Bulletin, 105(3): 337–347
    3. link opens in new windowCalambokidis, J., G.H. Steiger, C. Curtice, J. Harrison, M.C. Ferguson, E. Becker, M. DeAngelis, and S.M. Van Parijs. 2015. Biologically Important Areas for Selected Cetaceans Within U.S. Waters – West Coast Region.  Aquatic Mammals, 41(1): 39-53
    4. link opens in new windowCarretta, J. V., K.A. Forney, E.M. Oleson, D.W. Weller, A.R. Lang, J. Baker, M.M. Muto, B. Hanson, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell, and R.L. Brownell Jr. 2019. Humpback Whale ( Megaptera novaengliae): California/ Oregon/ Washington Stock (pp. 173-182), and Blue Whale ( Balaenoptera musculus musculus ): Eastern North Pacific Stock (pp. 183-190), In Assessment U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2018. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFSSWFSC-617 .
    5. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Guidelines for Research and Development Projects, Focus on Ropeless Gear Innovations, February 2019 (PDF)
    6. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Recommendations Memo, November 12, 2019 (PDF)
    7. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Recommendations Memo, October 15, 2018 (PDF)
    8. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Call Summary, September 26, 2019 (PDF)
    9. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Summary of Key Themes, September 4-5, 2019 (PDF)
    10. link opens in new windowCalifornia Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Summary of Key Themes, March 26, 2019 (PDF)
    11. California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group Risk Assessment and Recommendation
    12. link opens in new windowNMFS Policy Directive (PD-02-038), Process for Distinguishing Serious from Non-Serious Injury of Marine Mammals, effective January 27, 2012 (PDF)
    13. link opens in new windowNMFS Instruction (02-038-01), Process for Distinguishing Serious from Non-Serious Injury of Marine Mammals: Process for Injury Determinations, effective January 27, 2012
    14. link opens in new windowSaez, L., D. Lawson, and M. DeAngelis.2020. Large whale entanglements off the U.S. West Coast, from 1982-2017. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-OPR-63, 48 p.
    15. link opens in new window64 Federal Register 102, May 27,1999. North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings, pages 28800-2880 (PDF).
    16. link opens in new window77 Federal Register 4169, January 26, 2012. NOAA Endangered and Threatened Species: Final rule to revise the critical habitat designation for the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle, pages 4170-4201 (PDF).