WSR 05-16-059

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed July 29, 2005, 1:30 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-10-004.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Commercial fishing rules. Rules pertaining to hagfish trial fishing permits and operation of such a fishery.

Hearing Location(s): Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA, on October 7-8, 2005, begins 8:00 a.m., October 7, 2005.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 7, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, e-mail jacobesj@dfw.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2155, by September 30, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by September 26, 2005, TTY (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This proposal is for an emerging commercial fishery for hagfish. The proposed fishery is nonlimited entry and would be open to all participants via trial fishery permits. The fishery would operate with nonstandard gear in areas currently precluded to protect rockfish. The proposal will allow the development of the fishery while monitoring the fishery for management purposes and collection of data.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: There is a market for this species and without the rules in place to provide for this developmental fishery it could not occur.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047 and 77.65.400.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.65.400.

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

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2930; Implementation: Lew Atkins, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2651; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2373.

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

Small Business Economic Impact Statement

1. Description of the Reporting, Record-keeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule: Permit holders will be required to maintain and file logbooks on a quarterly basis.

2. Kinds of Professional Services That a Small Business is Likely to Need in Order to Comply with Such Requirements: None, this is a common requirement in commercial fisheries and can be easily implemented by the fisher.

3. Costs of Compliance for Businesses, Including Costs of Equipment, Supplies, Labor, and Increased Administrative Costs: No costs anticipated, logbooks are supplied by the department, complete with a postage paid return envelope.

4. Will Compliance with the Rule Cause Businesses to Lose Sales or Revenue? No, as no current fishery exists, no revenue will be gained without the implementation of these rules.

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:

1. Cost per employee;

2. Cost per hour of labor; or

3. Cost per one hundred dollars of sales.

There is no compliance cost, without the rules there is no business opportunity.

6. Steps Taken by the Agency to Reduce the Costs of the Rule on Small Businesses or Reasonable Justification for Not Doing So: No steps taken as no costs are anticipated.

7. A Description of How the Agency Will Involve Small Businesses in the Development of the Rule: The department will conduct a public hearing under the auspices of the Fish and Wildlife Commission process for adopting rules.

8. A List of Industries That Will Be Required to Comply with the Rule: All emerging commercial fishery license holders who hold trial fishery permits for hagfish.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155, e-mail jacobesj@dfw.wa.gov.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not hydraulic rules.

July 29, 2005

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

OTS-8252.1


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-88E-010   Designation of the hagfish pot fishery as an emerging commercial fishery.   The director designates the hagfish pot fishery as an emerging commercial fishery for which use of a vessel is required. It is unlawful to fish for, possess, or deliver hagfish taken for commercial purposes unless the fisher has a valid emerging commercial fishery license and a hagfish pot trial fishery permit.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-88E-020   Emerging commercial fishery -- Eligibility for trial fishery permits -- Incidental catch.   (1) An individual may not hold more than one Washington hagfish pot trial permit.

(2) Hagfish pot trial fishery permits are not transferable. Only the vessel designated on the emerging commercial fishery license and hagfish pot trial fishery permit may be used to fish for or deliver hagfish.

(3) A hagfish trial fishery permit will be issued only to a natural person who has a valid emerging commercial fishery license.

(4) Incidental catch:

(a) It is unlawful to retain any species other than hagfish.

(b) All species other than hagfish must be carefully handled and returned to the water promptly.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-88E-030   Hagfish pot trial fishery -- Season and gear.   It is unlawful to fish for hagfish for commercial purposes except as provided in this section:

(1) Season - Open year-round to hagfish pot gear only.

(2) Area - Open only in Pacific Ocean waters greater than 50 fathoms in depth.

(3) Gear restrictions:

(a) Maximum of 50 hagfish pots per permit. Pots may be fished individually or on a common ground line.

(b) Hagfish pot gear requirements:

(i) Maximum entrance tunnel size of eleven square inches. Entrance tunnels may be of any shape.

(ii) Each pot is required to have at least one escape exit of at least nine and one-half square inches in opening and which must be constructed of 120 thread size or smaller untreated cotton twine.

(c) Buoy requirements: Hag fish pot gear must be buoyed. Marker buoys must be floating and visible on the surface of the water, equipped with a pole, flag, radar reflector and operating light, and marked with the clear identification of the permittee. If ground lines are used, ground line end marker buoys must display the number of pots on the ground line.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-88E-040   Hagfish pot trial fishery -- Logbook required.   It is unlawful for a participant in the hagfish pot trial fishery to fail to complete the department-supplied logbook with all indicated entries. Logbook information is required to be submitted quarterly, and it is unlawful to fail to remit the information by April 15, July 15, October 15 or January 15 for the previous quarter, whether or not fishing activity occurred during that quarter. Failure to submit logbook information may result in revocation of the trial fishery permit.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office