WSR 97-24-089

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Fisheries)

[Order 97-232--Filed December 2, 1997, 4:38 p.m.]

Date of Adoption: December 1, 1997.

Purpose: Commercial fishing regulations.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-52-073 and 220-69-240.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: Harvestable amounts of red and green sea urchins exist in the areas described. Prohibition of all diving within two days of scheduled sea urchin openings discourages the practice of fishing on closed days and hiding the unlawful catch underwater until the legal opening. Daily reports of sea urchin landings are required to schedule closures and avoid overharvest. A record of the sea urchin district from which red sea urchins were taken and the location where received is required to avoid overharvest of a district and insure accurate reporting for purposes of meeting conservation and allocation objectives. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 2, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

December 2, 1997

Bern Shanks

Director

NEW SECTION

WAC 220-52-07300S Sea urchins Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-073, effective immediately until further notice it is unlawful to take or possess sea urchins taken for commercial purposes except as provided for in this section:

(1) Red sea urchins: Sea Urchin Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 are open only on December 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16, 1997. It is unlawful to harvest red sea urchins larger or smaller than the following size (size in diameter exclusive of the spines):

(a) Districts 1 and 2 - 4.0 minimum to 5.5 maximum inches.

(b) Districts 3 and 4 - 3.25 minimum to 5.0 maximum inches.

(2) Green sea urchins: Sea Urchin Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 26A, 26B, 26C, 26D, and 28A are open only on December 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16, 1997. The minimum size for green sea urchins is 2.25 inches in diameter exclusive of the spines.

(3) Sea Urchin Districts:

(a) Sea Urchin District 1 (Northern San Juan Islands) is defined as Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, and those waters of Area 22A north of a line projected east-west one-quarter mile north of Lime Kiln Light on San Juan Island and west of a line projected true north from Limestone Point on San Juan Island.

(b) Sea Urchin District 2 (Southern San Juans and Port Townsend) is defined as those waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22A south of a line projected east-west one-quarter mile north of Lime Kiln Light on San Juan Island and east of a line projected true north from Limestone Point on San Juan Island, and Areas 21A, 21B, 22B, 23A, 23B, 25A, and 25B. The following areas within Sea Urchin District 2 are closed to the harvest of sea urchins at all times.

(i) Those waters of Haro Strait north of a line projected east-west one-half mile south of Eagle Point on San Juan Island and south of a line projected east-west one-quarter mile north of Lime Kiln Light on San Juan Island.

(ii) Those waters of San Juan Channel and Upright Channel within the following lines: north of a line from Cattle Point on San Juan Island to Davis Point on Lopez Island, south of a line projected from Flat Point on Lopez Island true west to Shaw Island, west of a line from Neck Point on Shaw Island to Steep Point on Orcas Island, and south of a line from Steep Point on Orcas Island to Limestone Point on San Juan Island.

(4) It is unlawful to dive for any purpose from a commercially-licensed fishing vessel, except vessels actively fishing geoducks under contract with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, on December 6, 7, 12, and 13, 1997.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 220-69-24000G Duties of commercial purchasers and receivers Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-69-240, effective immediately until further notice:

(1) It is unlawful for any wholesale dealer purchasing sea urchins from non-treaty sea urchin fishers to fail to report to the Department each day's purchase by 10:00 a.m. the following day. For red sea urchins, the report must specify the number of pounds taken by Sea Urchin District. For green sea urchins, the report must specify the number of pounds taken by Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area. Either of the following two methods of reporting is acceptable.

(a) By facsimile (FAX) transmission to (360) 796-4997, or

(b) By telephone call to (360) 796-4601, extension 500.

(2) It is unlawful for the original receiver of red sea urchins to fail to enter on the fish receiving ticket the Sea Urchin District where the sea urchins were taken.

(3) It is unlawful for the original receiver of sea urchins to fail to enter on the fish receiving ticket, by writing on the face of the ticket, the location where the sea urchins were received.

(4) All other fish receiving ticket reporting requirements of WAC 220-69-240 remain in effect.

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