SB 21 Analysis 30Jun10

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Posted by Ocean Defenders Alliance on June 30, 2010 at 05:56:27:

In Reply to: ODA in the News posted by Ocean Defenders Alliance on June 29, 2010 at 09:37:32:


SB 21
Page 1

Date of Hearing: June 30, 2010

Felipe Fuentes, Chair

SB 21 (Simitian) - As Amended: June 10, 2010

Policy Committee: Water, Parks and
Wildlife Vote: 8-3

Urgency: No State Mandated Local Program:
No Reimbursable: No


This bill requires the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), to
include information regarding derelict fishing gear on all
fishing licenses and appropriate brochures. Specifically, this

1)Requires DFG, by January 1, 2012, to include the following
information on all fishing licenses and "appropriate"

a) Any toll-free telephone number for reporting derelict
fishing gear.

b) Any Web site address that maintains a system for
reporting derelict fishing gear.

2)Authorizes the Ocean Protection Council (OPC), in conjunction
with the Dungenous crab task force, to develop recommendations
for identification, removal, and disposal of derelict fishing

3)Authorizes OPC to develop procedures to enable fishermen to
voluntarily recover, remove, and keep on board derelict
fishing gear encountered during normal fishing activities.


1)Minor absorbable costs to DFG beginning in 2011-12 to provide
specified information on all fishing licenses and appropriate
brochures. (Fish and Game Preservation Fund.)

SB 21
Page 2

2)Minor one-time costs to OPC, in the tens of thousands of
dollars, to the extent it chooses to develop recommendations
for the identification, removal, and disposal of derelict
fishing gear and procedures that enable fishermen to
voluntarily recover, remove, and keep on board derelict
fishing gear. (Special funds.)


1)Rationale . The author contends that one significant barrier
to removing derelict fishing gear from the state's waters is
the uncertainty fishermen face when they encounter such gear.
According to the author, fishermen are concerned they may
violate the law if they were to collect and transport derelict
fishing gear they encounter during their normal fishing
activities, gear which may have ensnared various types of
marine wildlife. Because fishermen possess fishery specific
licenses that allow them to take only specified marine life
from the water, the author fears they may therefore avoid
collecting derelict fishing gear from the water or even return
inadvertently collected gear to the water, rather than risk
taking aboard marine life for which they do not possess a
license. The author contends the notification requirements
included in this bill will allow fishermen to report derelict
fishing gear so that it may be located and removed from the
water. The author further contends authorizing OPC to develop
recommendations and procedures regarding derelict fishing gear
will enable fishermen to properly remove such gear from the
water when they encounter it.

2)Background . Lost lines, nets, pots and traps-derelict fishing
gear is a problem. Miles of it swirl in the sea water; tons
of it sit on the sea floor. Because such gear is made to
last, it does not readily decompose. This derelict gear tends
to "ghost fish," ensnaring and killing marine life by the
thousands. For example, one peer reviewed study found that a
single gill net could kill 4,368 Dungenous crab, representing
a market value of nearly $20,000. In addition, derelict gear
endangers swimmers, divers and surfers and entangles boat

In 2007, OPC adopted a resolution on the prevention and
reduction of marine debris, which called for a plan to reduce
the volume of derelict fishing gear in the marine environment.
However, unlike many other states-including Alaska,

SB 21
Page 3

Washington, Oregon and Hawaii-California lacks a comprehensive
public program to remove derelict fishing gear from the marine
environment. State law requires nets and lines anchored to
the sea floor be marked with a number that identifies the
fisherman who set them. In addition, fishermen must report to
DFG lost nets or lines within 72 hours of returning to port,
and DFG can charge such fishermen the cost of fishing gear
recovery. The department makes derelict fishing gear
reporting information available on its Web site and,
intermittently, in its brochures. DFG suspects, however, that
most fisherman do not report lost fishing gear.

Absent a state program for the removal of derelict fishing
gear, DFG directs those who would report such gear to the
SeaDoc Society at the University of California, Davis Wildlife
Health Center. SeaDoc, which operates from private funds and
which sometimes receives state funding, works to document
derelict fishing gear and to remove it from the water.

3)Related Legislation.

a) SB 899 (Simitian, 2008) would have established a
comprehensive program to reduce and recover derelict
fishing gear. The bill passed the Assembly 53-23 and was
vetoed by the Governor, who cited cost concerns.

b) SB 898 (Simitian, 2007 ) would have required, among other
things, the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) to
recommend guidelines and programs to remove and dispose of
derelict fishing gear. In the last week of the 2007
Legislative Session, SB 898 was amended to become a measure
related to voluntary contributions made by personal income

Analysis Prepared by : Jay Dickenson / APPR. / (916) 319-2081

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