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CA Sport Fishing Regulations. (Photo: nrm.dfg.ca.gov)

California Nearshore Fisheries Management

If depleted, many of these species may take decades to rebuild

By Chris Micheli, August 7, 2022 5:52 pm

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Fish and Game Code Division 6, Part 3, Chapter 2, Article 17 provides the Nearshore Fisheries Management Act, which is contained in Section 8585 to 8589.7. Article 17 was added in 1998 by Chapter 1052. Section 8585 names this Act.

Section 8585.5 provides legislative findings and declarations that important commercial and recreational fisheries exist on numerous stocks of fish in the nearshore state waters extending from the shore to one nautical mile offshore the California coast, that there is increasing pressure being placed on these fish from recreational and commercial fisheries, that many of these fish species found in the nearshore waters are slow growing and long lived, and that, if depleted, many of these species may take decades to rebuild.

The Legislature further finds and declares that a program for research and conservation of nearshore fish species and their habitats is needed, and that a management program for the nearshore fisheries is necessary. Lastly, the Legislature finds and declares that, whenever feasible and practicable, it is the policy of the state to assure sustainable commercial and recreational nearshore fisheries, to protect recreational opportunities, and to assure long-term employment in commercial and recreational fisheries.

Section 8586 provides definitions for the following terms: “nearshore fish stocks”; “nearshore fisheries”; and, “nearshore waters.”

Section 8586.1 requires funding to pay the costs of this article be made available from the revenues deposited in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. Section 8587 provides that any person taking, possessing aboard a boat, or landing any species of nearshore fish stock for commercial purposes must possess a valid nearshore fishery permit issued to that person that has not been suspended or revoked, except that when using a boat to take nearshore fish stocks at least one person aboard the boat shall have a valid nearshore fishery permit. Nearshore fishing permits are revocable. The fee for a nearshore fishing permit is $125.

Section 8587.1 provides that the commission may adopt regulations as it determines necessary, based on the advice and recommendations of the department, to regulate nearshore fish stocks and fisheries. Regulations adopted by the commission pursuant to this section may include, but are not limited to, requiring submittal of landing and permit information, including logbooks; establishing a restricted access program; establishing permit fees; and establishing limitations on the fishery based on time, area, type, and amount of gear, and amount of catch, species, and size of fish.

Section 8589 provides that funding to prepare the plan and any planning and scoping meetings must be derived from moneys deposited in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund and other funds appropriated for these purposes.

Section 8589.5 requires the commission to temporarily suspend and may permanently revoke the nearshore fishing permit of any person convicted of a violation of this article. In addition to, or in lieu of, a license or permit suspension or revocation, the commission may adopt and apply a schedule of fines for convictions of violations of this article.

Section 8589.7 requires the fees received by the department to be deposited in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund to be used by the department to prepare, develop, and implement the nearshore fisheries management plan and for three specified purposes. The department must maintain internal accounts and ensure that the fees received are disbursed for intended purposes.

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