Risk Assessment Mitigation Program: 2024 Program Revisions for the Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department), proposes amendments to Section 132.8 to Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR), for the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program (RAMP) 2024 program revision affecting the commercial Dungeness crab fishery.

April 5, 2024

RAMP is a dynamic management framework that assesses and manages marine life entanglement risk associated with the Dungeness crab fishery. The program specifically provides for delegation to the Department’s Director informed management responses to reduce and mitigate entanglement risk for humpback whales, blue whales, and Pacific leatherback sea turtles (collectively “Actionable Species”). This proposal the RAMP regulations that originally went into effect November 1, 2020, based on four seasons’ worth of implementation experience, as well as feedback from the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group (Working Group) and other stakeholders, and updated guidance from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

FGC Section 8276.1 provides the Department with the authority to adopt and implement RAMP, and empowers the Director of the Department (Director) to restrict the Dungeness crab fishery under RAMP.

The proposed RAMP amendments the following summarized changes:

  1. Adjust definition of Confirmed Entanglement through removal of Impact Score, and how it is calculated,
  2. Clarify management areas under RAMP,
  3. Adjust decision making considerations and timing for Management Actions,
  4. Clarify reporting requirements and requirements for electronic monitoring,
  5. Provide specifications for Dungeness crab fishing gear identification, and
  6. Clarify types of limitations or conditions in authorizing Alternative Gear

After consideration of all public comments, objections, and recommendations regarding the proposed action, the Department may adopt the proposed regulations.

The Department is providing notice of proposed action with regard to the above-entitled regulation.

Public Hearing

A virtual public hearing is scheduled by as follows:

Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://wildlife-ca-gov.zoom.us/j/85037580312

To join by telephone, dial 215-446-3656 (US Toll) or 888-363-4734 (US Toll-free). Conference code: 506989 (meeting details also available on the Whale Safe Fisheries page).

Location: Teleconference and Webinar

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 Tuesday, May 21, 2024, to the contact as follows:
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Regulations Unit
Attn: Chelle Temple-King
P.O. Box 944209
CA 94244-2090
Email: Regulations@wildlife.ca.gov


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