WSR 99-13-118




[ Filed June 16, 1999, 7:27 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-24-130.

Title of Rule: Removing set seasons for sea cucumbers.

Purpose: To reduce administrative burden and reduce confusion among sea cucumber fishers.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 75.08.080.

Summary: Sea cucumber seasons are currently in permanent regulation that opens seasons in specified areas on specified dates. For the last few years, due to federal court decisions and annual negotiations with tribal managers regarding sea cucumber harvest plans, the seasons have been canceled by emergency order. After the negotiations are concluded the sea cucumber seasons are then set by emergency order. This action will remove the seasons set by permanent regulation.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Reduces administrative burden of filing emergency orders by 50%, reduces confusion among affected constituents and reduces notification burden associated with communication of emergency changes.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Morris Barker, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA, 99501-1091 [98501-1091], (360) 902-2826, Implementation: Bruce Crawford, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA, 99501-1091 [98501-1091], (360) 902-2325; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA, 99501-1091 [98501-1091], (360) 902-2373.

Name of Proponent: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Changes see cucumber seasons from permanent rule to emergency rule to reduce administrative burden from multiple emergency order changes due to conflicting time lines of comanagement harvest plan negotiations. The anticipated effects are a 50% reduction in emergency rules related to sea cucumber season settings and reduced confusion amongst the sea cucumber fishers over permanent rules and emergency changes.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Changes sea cucumber seasons set by permanent rule to seasons set by emergency rule.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement

1. Description of the reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule. None required.

2. Kinds of professional services that a small business is likely to need in order to comply with such requirements. None required.

3. Costs of compliance for businesses, including costs of equipment, supplies, labor, and increased administrative costs. None, all sea cucumber fishers receive notice of season changes on department maintained hotline.

4. Will compliance with the rule cause businesses to lose sales or revenue? No.

5. Cost of compliance for the 10% of businesses that are the largest businesses required to comply with the proposed rules using one or more of the following as a basis for comparing costs:

a. Cost per employee;

b. Per hour of labor; or

c. Cost per one hundred dollars of sales.

No compliance costs necessary.

6. Steps taken by the agency to reduce the costs of the rule on small businesses or reasonable justification for not doing so. No costs imposed on small businesses so no steps taken.

7. A description of how the agency will involve small businesses in the development of the rule. A public hearing will be held and notification of the proposed change is communicated to an industry advisory board.

8. A list of industries that will be required to comply with the rule. The commercial sea cucumber dive fishers.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Morris Barker, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, (360) 902-2826, fax (360) 902-2944.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules are not hydraulic rules.

Hearing Location: Shilo Inn, 707 Ocean Shores Boulevard N.W., Ocean Shores, WA, on August 6-7, 1999, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by July 23, 1999, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2226.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2944 by August 4, 1999.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 7, 1999.

June 15, 1999

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 94-23, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94)

WAC 220-52-071
Sea cucumbers.

It is unlawful to take or possess sea cucumbers taken for commercial purposes except as provided for in this section.

(1) Sea cucumber districts:

(a) Sea Cucumber District 1 is defined as those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A, 22B, and 23B outside of the following closed areas:

(i) 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 and 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; south of a line from Steep Point on Orcas Island to Limestone Point on San Juan Island.

(ii) 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.

(iii) Within one-quarter mile of Green Point on Spieden Island.

(iv) Within one-quarter mile of Gull Reef, located between Spieden Island and Johns Island.

(b) Sea Cucumber District 2 is defined as those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A, 23C, 23D, 25A, 25B, 25C, 25D, 25E, 29 and those waters west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line, Pacific Ocean waters, Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and the waters at the mouth of the Columbia River west of the Buoy 10 Line.

(c) Sea Cucumber District 3 is defined as those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 26A, 26B, 26C, and 26D.

(d) Sea Cucumber District 4 is defined as those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 27A, 27B, 27C, 28A, 28B, 28C, and 28D.

(2) Sea cucumber areas and seasons:

(((a) District 1 open May 1 through October 31, 1991.

(b) District 2 open May 1 through October 31, 1992.

(c) District 3 open May 1 through October 31, 1993, except:

(i) Marine Fish Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 26C is closed to the harvest of sea cucumbers after August 31, 1993.

(ii) The waters of Eagle Harbor west of a line projected from Wing Point to Eagle Harbor Creosote Light Number 1 then due west to the shore on Bainbridge Island are closed to the harvest of sea cucumbers at all times.

(iii) The waters of Sinclair Inlet west of a line projected southerly from the easternmost point of Point Turner to landfall below the Veteran's Home in Annapolis are closed to the harvest of sea cucumbers at all times.

(d) District 4 open May 1 through October 31, 1994.

(e) Other areas and times as authorized by permit issued by the director.

(f) During the seasons provided for in this subsection, harvest is restricted to Monday through Wednesday May 1 through May 14, Monday through Thursday May 15 through June 30, and Monday through Friday thereafter.  Divers may not take sea cucumbers from one-half hour before official sunset to official sunrise or 6:00 a.m., whichever is later.)) Sea cucumber areas and seasons will be set by emergency rule.

(3) Shellfish diver gear:

(a) Divers operating from a vessel must have a number assigned by the department placed on both sides and the top of the vessel in such a manner that the number is clearly visible when the vessel is viewed from either side or from the air, and the letters must be black on white no less than eighteen inches in height and of proportional width.

(b) Only one diver from each harvesting vessel is allowed in the water at any one time during the sea cucumber harvest operation or when commercial quantities of sea cucumbers are aboard.

(c) Divers may not fish for or possess geoduck clams during commercial sea cucumber harvesting operations, or possess geoduck clams on a vessel that has sea cucumbers on board.

(d) Licensing: A sea cucumber dive fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.

(4) Trawl gear:

It is unlawful to fish for or possess sea cucumbers taken with trawl gear.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080.  94-12-009 (Order 94-23), 220-52-071, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94; 93-15-051, 220-52-071, filed 7/14/93, effective 8/14/93; 91-18-030 (Order 91-73), 220-52-071, filed 8/28/91, effective 9/28/91; 91-10-024 (Order 91-22), 220-52-071, filed 4/23/91, effective 5/24/91; 87-23-006 (Order 87-187), 220-52-071, filed 11/6/87; 87-15-022 (Order 87-69), 220-52-071, filed 7/8/87; 87-02-013 (Order 86-199), 220-52-071, filed 12/30/86; 81-11-006 (Order 81-31), 220-52-071, filed 5/11/81; 79-02-053 (Order 79-6), 220-52-071, filed 1/30/79; Order 77-145, 220-52-071, filed 12/13/77; Order 77-65, 220-52-071, filed 8/5/77; Order 1105, 220-52-071, filed 12/28/73; Order 990, 220-52-071, filed 5/11/72.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office