Re: Senate Bill 21 and SB 899

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Posted by Divebum Don on November 18, 2009 at 08:22:17:

In Reply to: Re: MLPA and Its Effects on the Diving Community - Part 1 posted by Elaine on November 16, 2009 at 23:33:47:

Thanks Steve!

Senate Bill 21:


and SB 899...


SB 899
Page 1

Date of Hearing: June 24, 2008

Lois Wolk, Chair
SB 899 (Simitian) - As Amended: June 5, 2008

SENATE VOTE : (Vote not relevant.)

SUBJECT : Fishing gear.

SUMMARY : Requires the establishment of a program to reduce and
recover derelict fishing gear. Specifically, this bill :

1)Requires the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) by January 1,
2010 to recommend to the Fish and Game Commission (FGC)
sustainable funding sources for a program to prevent the loss
of fishing gear and to recover derelict fishing gear.
Provides that funding sources recommended may include fees and

2)Requires DFG by January 1, 2010 to include on all fishing
licenses and in official brochures a toll-free number and
website for reporting derelict fishing gear.

3)On or after July 1, 2011, requires persons who lose commercial
fishing gear within the waters of the state and offshore, and
operators of certain commercial passenger fishing vessels on
which five or more passengers have lost fishing gear at the
same location, to report the loss within 48 hours.

4)Requires DFG, by July 1, 2011, to establish a database of
known derelict fishing gear, and, by July 1, 2012, to take
actions to prioritize derelict gear for recovery in order to
achieve targets established by the Ocean Protection Council
(of by DFG if the OPC has not established targets by January
1, 2010) for removal and disposal of derelict fishing gear.

5)Requires all traps and trawl nets deployed in waters of the
state, on or after July 1, 2011, to be coded with the
fisherman's identification to aid in identifying the source of
derelict gear.

6)Requires DFG if it does not have sufficient staff to carry out
the program to contract out for those services if funds are
available for that purpose. Authorizes DFG to apply for and

SB 899
Page 2

accept funds from local, state, federal and private sources to
establish and implement a fishing gear loss prevention and
derelict fishing gear recovery program.

7)States legislative findings and declarations regarding the
dangers of derelict fishing gear to wildlife, boaters,
surfers, swimmers and divers. Defines "derelict fishing gear"
and other terms.


1)Generally gives DFG and FGC jurisdiction over commercial
fishing and responsibility for administration and enforcement
of the Fish and Game Code.

2)Requires set nets and set lines (nets or lines anchored to the
bottom on each end and not free to drift with the tide or
current) to be marked with the fisherman's identification
number. Requires lost set nets that can not be recovered to
be reported within 72 hours after returning to port following
the loss. Authorizes FGC to revoke the owner's permit for
failure to comply with these requirements, and to require the
owner of a lost or abandoned set net recovered by DFG to pay
the recovery costs.

3)Authorizes the OPC to coordinate activities of state agencies
related to protecting and conserving coastal waters and ocean
ecosystems, and to make recommendations for state actions.
Authorizes monies in the Ocean Protection Trust Fund to be
used for grants and loans to, among other things, encourage
development and use of more selective fishing gear.

FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown. This bill requires DFG to establish
or support a database, and to include specified information on
fishing licenses and in official brochures. DFG would be
authorized to accept funds from other governmental and private
sources, and to contract out with other appropriate parties to
conduct the work if funding is available for that purpose. This
bill also requires DFG to make recommendations to the FGC on
sustainable funding sources, which may include fees and

COMMENTS : This bill defines derelict fishing gear as "lost or
abandoned fishing nets, fishing lines, and other commercial and
recreational fishing equipment." Derelict fishing gear is known

SB 899
Page 3

to cause death to marine mammals and to threaten sensitive
marine habitats and ecosystems. Derelict fishing gear can also
cause damage to marine vessels and poses safety hazards for
divers and other recreational users.

In 2007 the OPC adopted a resolution on preventing and reducing
marine debris, which, among other things, calls for development
of a plan for achieving target reductions of derelict fishing
gear. In 2005 the University of California at Davis, Wildlife
Health Center, received a grant from the OPC to conduct a
California Derelict Fishing Gear Removal Pilot Project.
Additional funds for the project were also received from federal
sources and some private donations. In March 2007 the project
reported to the State Coastal Conservancy that the project had
removed over 10 tons of derelict fishing gear in just one year.
The pilot project is ongoing, pending receipt of continued

SB 898 (Simitian) of 2007 would have required the Department of
Boating and Waterways (DBW), in coordination with the California
Coastal Commission and DFG, to recommend guidelines and programs
for removal and disposal of derelict fishing gear. That bill
passed this committee but was subsequently amended to address an
unrelated issue. This bill takes a somewhat different approach
and instead places responsibility for establishing the derelict
fishing gear program with DFG, though DFG would be authorized to
contract out if necessary. This bill also requires DFG to take
steps to meet targets set by OPC, or if OPC has not established
targets by a specified date, for DFG to establish the targets.
DFG would also be authorized to contract with other appropriate
parties if DFG does not have sufficient personnel to conduct the
program itself, provided funds are available for that purpose.

The Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee analysis of SB 898 raised
a policy question as to whether DFG rather than DBW should be
responsible for developing the recommendations, since DFG has
authority over commercial and recreational fishing. DFG also
has public trust responsibility for state fish and wildlife
resources, while DBW has authority over marinas and harbors.
This bill places responsibility for the program with DFG.

Several other states have adopted programs for recovery of
derelict fishing gear. The state of Washington's law, adopted
in 2002, requires development of a database and encourages
voluntary reporting of lost fishing gear. Alaska has a program

SB 899
Page 4

for placement of satellite tracking buoys on derelict fishing
gear for later removal. Oregon and Florida have programs
providing receptacles for recycling of fishing line and other
gear at ports and piers. The National Marine Fisheries Service,
in cooperation with angler groups in southern California, has
also implemented a similar program providing recycling bins on
piers for fishing line. Hawaii has an ongoing multi-agency
program for assessment, monitoring and removal of derelict
fishing gear.

Suggested Clarifications:

1.This bill requires, effective July 1, 2011, that all traps and
trawl nets deployed in waters of the state be tagged or coded
with the fisherman's identification to aid in identifying the
source of derelict fishing gear. The author and committee may
wish to consider an amendment clarifying that the gear should
be tagged with the fishing identification number of the owner
of the gear. The bill also does not provide specifics as to
the methods for tagging or coding. The author and committee
may wish to consider an amendment, similar to the language in
the reporting section, providing that the tagging or coding be
done "in the manner that the department shall specify by

2.The author and committee may wish to consider amendments
providing greater specificity as to the reporting requirement,
similar to what is already required in statute for set nets
and lines (see below).

Proposed Amendments:

On page 5, line 2, after "coded" insert in the manner that the
department shall prescribe by regulation . Also on page 5, line
2, strike "fisherman's identification" and insert owner's
fishing identification number.

On page 4, amend lines 25 and 26 as follows: "regulation, the
location where the fishing gear was lost, including latitude and
longitude, the name and fishing identification number of the
person owning the fishing gear and of the person fishing with
the gear if different than the owner, and type of lost fishing
gear within 48 hours of losing the fishing gear and returning to
port. "

SB 899
Page 5

On page 5, line 6, after "out" insert any of the provisions of .


Support Opposition
Heal the Bay (sponsor) None on file
Environment California
Malibu Surfing Association

Analysis Prepared by : Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916)

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