Drift Gill Net Transition Program

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Program Information

Senate Bill 1017 (Allen), signed into law on September 27, 2018, directed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to establish a voluntary Drift Gill Net Transition Program (transition program), which incentivizes drift gill net permittees to transition out of the drift gill net shark and swordfish fishery, reduces bycatch, and provides for a sustainable swordfish fishery (Fish and Game Code (FGC) sections 8583 and 8583.5).

The transition program allows permittees to voluntarily surrender their drift gill net shark and swordfish permit and large mesh drift gill net(s) to CDFW ahead of the sunset date prescribed by FGC Section 8561 in exchange for a one-time payment prescribed by FGC Section 8583. The transition program specifies the method of participation and other requirements mandated by FGC Section 8583.

CDFW adopted new regulations for the transition program under California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 106.5 (approved by the California Office of Administrative Law on August 30, 2019).

How to Participate

The deadline to declare intent to participate has closed. CDFW has received 48 declarations of intent to participate from existing Drift Gill Net permittees and is in the process of determining eligibility.

NOTE: This is a voluntary process. Any permittee may withdraw their intent to participate in the Drift Gill Net Transition Program prior to receipt of compensation by submitting written notice postmarked on or before January 1, 2021 to CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch.

Next Steps

CDFW will determine participants' eligibility on a first-come, first-served basis. CDFW will notify eligible applicants in writing only when funds are available. Initial fund availability is currently anticipated in March, 2020, though this date is not yet certain. After participants receive notification of eligibility, they must submit the following to CDFW at the address below by March 31, 2021 to receive payment:

  • Valid DGN Shark and Swordfish Permit
    NOTE: CDFW will accept 2019-2020 permits from eligible applicants who choose not to fish during the 2020-2021 season. If you wish to fish with DGN after March 31, 2020, a current 2020-2021 DGN Shark and Swordfish Permit is required.
  • Valid receipt of net relinquishment from an entity approved to destroy drift gill nets. A list of approved net destruction entities is shown below.
  • A completed link opens in new tab or windowForm STD 204 - Payee Data Record (PDF). If not already submitted, one will be provided with the eligibility notification.

Upon receipt of permit and net relinquishment receipt, CDFW will notify the fiscal agent to initiate payment. Payments will be mailed via check to the address provided on the "Declaration of Intent to Participate in Drift Gill Net Transition Program" form.

Submit the required documents to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
License and Revenue Branch
1740 N. Market Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95834

Approved Net Destruction Entities

How to Become an Approved Entity

Written requests to become an approved net destruction entity should be submitted to CDFW at CPSHMS@wildlife.ca.gov.

Per CCR Title 14, Section 106.5(f), requests shall document how the entity meets the following criteria:

  • Be a legal entity, with experience in receiving and destroying commercial fishing gear.
  • Be able to receive drift gill nets, including attached floats, buoys, and lead lines, from transition program participants, and able to properly deconstruct the nets to prepare all components for destruction.
  • Be able to provide participants with evidence of receipt of surrendered nets identifying the transition program participant and number of nets surrendered.
  • Be able to provide a physical location or locations in the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, or Santa Barbara between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 to receive drift gill nets from transition program participants.
  • Be able to transport surrendered drift gill nets designated for destruction.
  • Be able to trace surrendered drift gill nets from collection to destruction and provide CDFW with evidence of net destruction upon request.


  • For questions regarding required documents, permit surrender, or payment from the fiscal agent, contact the CDFW License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5822 or LRB@wildlife.ca.gov.
  • For questions regarding the Drift Gill Net Transition Program or relinquishment of nets, contact the CDFW Marine Region at (831) 649-2870 or AskMarine@wildlife.ca.gov.