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California Outdoors Q & A: Abalone Diving with Spare Air for Safety?


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Posted by CDFG News Release on April 05, 2011 at 13:23:03:

Question: While abalone diving, I would like to keep a very small, emergency supply of air on my person as a safety precaution. The device would be shrink-wrapped to indicate evidence of use. The idea being that if the seal is intact, there would be no evidence of "use" and I would be in compliance with the law. The product I'm asking about can be seen at spareairxtreme.com.

Would I be in violation of any of the regulations if I were to wear such a device while taking abalone, assuming I did not use the device and had sufficient evidence to prove such a claim? (Aaron L.)

Answer: The law prohibits the "use of SCUBA gear or surface-supplied air to take abalone" (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 29.15(e)). According to DFG Lt. Dennis McKiver, this includes having it in your possession, even if you are not actually breathing off of it. The law also states that abalone may not be taken or possessed aboard any boat, vessel, or floating device in the water containing SCUBA or surface-supplied air. Since you are not allowed to have SCUBA gear in your possession on a boat while taking abalone (even if the SCUBA gear is not being used), to be consistent with the law, this spare air product would also not be allowed as the same principles apply.



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