FISH AND WILDLIFE
Date of Adoption: September 28, 1999.
Purpose: Commercial fishing rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-52-047.
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: The initial setting of crab gear is a fishing activity associate with the effort to fish for crab. Once gear is set, whether baited or unbaited, it is capable of taking crab, and any operation of such gear is fishing. Historically, many crab fishers on the coast have set gear using vessels other than the vessels that will harvest and land the crab (designated vessels), and this practice has been intermittently permitted in Puget Sound. A recent interpretation of the initial setting of crab gear as fishing for crab has implied that use of nondesignated vessels for the initial setting of crab gear is illegal. This has generated substantial uncertainty in the Puget Sound fishery and has created a disorderly fishery. Additionally, there are safety concerns if smaller vessels overload to set the gear at the opening of the crab season. Lastly, not allowing initial setting of gear by nondesignated vessels eliminates equity of initial opportunity between large vessel fishers and small vessel fishers. This rule allows nondesignated vessels to initially set gear during the first forty-eight hours of the Puget Sound crab fishery. This rule is intended to eliminate a disorderly fishery and to reduce safety concerns and inequity between fishers, thus providing for the economic well-being of the industry. The department finds that the above orderly fishery, safety, and equity concerns should be addressed, and are the basis for adopting this emergency rule. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, 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: October 1, 1999, 8:00 a.m.
September 28, 1999
for Jeff P. Koenings
Dungeness crab pots may be deployed between 8:00 a.m. October 1, 1999 and 7:59 a.m. October 3, 1999 in Puget Sound waters on behalf of a licensed crab fisher from a vessel not designated on his or her Puget Sound crab license provided deployment of the pots is under the supervision, permission, or control of the licensed fisher.