WSR 12-04-034

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 12-11 -- Filed January 27, 2012, 11:30 a.m. , effective February 27, 2012 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: The purpose of the proposal is to update gear rules in the ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery to reduce by-catch. The proposed gear modifications include prohibiting the use of "soft-panel" excluders (also known as biological reduction devices) and reducing the bar spacing allowed on rigid panel excluders from a maximum of two inches to a maximum of three-quarters (0.75) inches. The coastal pink shrimp trawl fishery catches Pacific eulachon smelt (Thaleichthys pacificus) as by-catch. In 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed eulachon smelt as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed rule changes will reduce the catch of this ESA-listed species in the pink shrimp trawl fishery while maintaining the opportunity to continue to fish for pink shrimp.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-52-050.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.020, 77.12.045, 77.12.047.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 11-23-177 on November 23, 2011.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Subsection (3)(a), deleted the language that specified the space permitted between the exterior of a by-catch reduction device and the trawl net, to not allow any space. Subsection (6), added language to allow trawl gear to be removed from a vessel prior to offloading shrimp as long as the vessel provides advance notification to WDFW enforcement.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: January 24, 2012.

Philip Anderson

Director

OTS-4505.3


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-05-059, filed 2/11/10, effective 3/14/10)

WAC 220-52-050   Ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery -- Coastal waters.   It is unlawful to fish for, possess or deliver ocean pink shrimp taken for commercial purposes from the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone, except as provided for in this section:


Area


(1) It is unlawful to fish for ocean pink shrimp within the territorial boundaries of the state. A violation of this subsection is punishable under RCW 77.15.550, Violation of commercial fishing area or time -- Penalty.


Season


(2) It is unlawful to fish for, take, or possess on board a fishing vessel, pink shrimp, except during the following time: The open season for trawl gear is April 1 through October 31 of each year. A violation of this subsection is punishable under RCW 77.15.550, Violation of commercial fishing area or time -- Penalty.


Gear


(3) ((It is unlawful to fish with or possess pink shrimp taken with shrimp trawl gear having a net mesh size greater than two inches in the intermediate or codend, except for net mesh used in by-catch reduction devices defined under subsection (4) of this section. However, it is lawful to have net mesh larger than two inches in the wings or body of the trawl.

(4))) It is unlawful to fish with trawl gear for pink shrimp for commercial purposes unless an approved by-catch reduction device is used in each net. A by-catch reduction device, also known as a finfish excluder, uses a rigid panel or grate of narrowly spaced bars to guide fish out of an escape hole forward of the panel, generally in the top of the net. An approved by-catch reduction device((s include)) must meet the following criteria:

(a) ((A Soft Panel By-catch Reduction Device, which uses a mesh panel to guide fish out of an escape hole. An approved soft-panel must meet the following criteria:

(i) The panel must completely cover some portion of the net in cross-section, meaning it must extend completely across the full opening of the net in one continuous piece. The panel must be securely fastened to the net around the entire perimeter, such that a 110 mm diameter sphere cannot pass beyond the panel into the terminal end of the codend;

(ii) The panel meshes must be constructed of netting material with individual meshes no larger than 5.5 inches, measured between opposing knots, and must be constructed of a single panel of continuous netting, without zippers or other devices designed to allow disabling of the panel such that large fish can pass back into the codend;

(iii) The escape hole must, when spread open, expose a hole of at least 100 square inches; and

(iv) The escape hole must be forward of the mesh panel and must begin within four meshes of the furthest aft point of attachment of the mesh panel to the net.

(b) A Nordmore Grate By-catch Reduction Device, which uses a rigid panel of narrowly spaced vertical bars to guide fish out of an escape hole in front of the panel, generally in the top of the net. An approved Nordmore grate must meet the following criteria:

(i))) The exterior circumference of the rigid panel must fit completely within the interior circumference of the trawl net((, such that there is no space between the panel and the net that will allow a 110 mm sphere to pass beyond the panel, into the terminal area of the codend));

(((ii))) (b) None of the openings between the ((vertical)) bars in the rigid panel may exceed ((two)) 0.75 inches ((in width));

(((iii))) (c) The escape hole must, when spread open, expose a hole of at least 100 square inches; and

(((iv))) (d) The escape hole must be forward of the rigid panel and must begin within four meshes of the furthest aft point of attachment of the rigid panel to the net.

(((5) It is unlawful to remove trawl gear from the vessel prior to offloading of shrimp.

(6))) (4) It is unlawful to modify by-catch reduction devices in any way that interferes with their ability to allow fish to escape from the trawl, except ((for the purpose of testing the by-catch reduction device to measure shrimp loss. Authorized)) as provided by special gear permit as described in subsection (5) of this section.

(5) Testing of by-catch reduction devices ((must meet the following criteria:

(a) Testing)) is allowed by special gear permit only, consistent with the terms and conditions of the permit((; and

(b) For vessels fishing two nets simultaneously (double-rigged boats), only one net may contain a disabled by-catch reduction device, and the other net must be fishing a fully functional by-catch reduction device as described in subsection (4) of this section)).

(6) It is unlawful to remove trawl gear from the vessel prior to offloading shrimp without advance notification to WDFW enforcement. To provide advance notification, contact 360-902-2936, and then press zero when the recording begins.

(7) A violation of subsections (((4))) (3) through (6) of this section is punishable under RCW 77.15.520, Commercial fishing -- Unlawful gear or methods -- Penalty.

(8) It is unlawful to land or deliver pink shrimp to an original receiver that exceeds the following count per pound restriction: The count per pound must average no more than 160 shrimp per pound for a minimum of two samples, increasing at a rate of one sample per one thousand pounds landed or in possession, up to a maximum requirement of twenty samples. Such samples shall consist of at least one pound each of whole, unbroken shrimp taken at random from throughout the individual load landed or in possession. This landing restriction shall apply only to loads of 3,000 pounds of shrimp or more. A violation of this subsection is punishable under RCW 77.15.550, Violation of commercial fishing area or time -- Penalty.


Incidental catch


(9) It is unlawful to take salmon incidental to any shrimp trawl fishery.

(10) It is unlawful to retain any bottomfish species taken incidental to any shrimp trawl fishery, except as provided for in WAC 220-44-050.

(11) It is unlawful to retain any species of shellfish, except that it is permissible to:

(a) Retain up to 50 pounds round weight of other shrimp species taken incidentally in the ocean pink shrimp fishery; and

(b) Retain octopus or squid.

(12) A violation of subsections (9) through (11) of this section is punishable under RCW 77.15.550, Violation of commercial fishing area or time -- Penalty.


License


(13) An ocean pink shrimp delivery license is required to operate the gear provided for in this section, and it allows the operator to retain shrimp taken in the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

A violation of this subsection is punishable under RCW 77.15.500, Commercial fishing without a license -- Penalty.


Permit


(14) It is unlawful to fish for, retain, land, or deliver shrimp taken with trawl gear without a valid shrimp trawl fishery permit.

(15) It is unlawful to take, retain, land, or deliver any shrimp or groundfish taken with trawl gear without complying with all provisions of a shrimp trawl fishery permit.

(16) A violation of subsection (14) or (15) of this section is punishable under RCW 77.15.750.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 10-05-059, 220-52-050, filed 2/11/10, effective 3/14/10; 03-05-060 (Order 03-30), 220-52-050, filed 2/18/03, effective 3/21/03; 00-17-145 (Order 00-165), 220-52-050, filed 8/22/00, effective 9/22/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 99-01-154 (Order 98-257), 220-52-050, filed 12/22/98, effective 1/22/99; 94-12-009 (Order 94-23), 220-52-050, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94; 93-15-051, 220-52-050, filed 7/14/93, effective 8/14/93; 87-23-006 (Order 87-187), 220-52-050, filed 11/6/87; 84-08-014 (Order 84-24), 220-52-050, filed 3/27/84; 83-04-025 (Order 83-04), 220-52-050, filed 1/27/83; 82-03-045 (Order 82-6), 220-52-050, filed 1/19/82; 80-13-064 (Order 80-123), 220-52-050, filed 9/17/80; 79-02-053 (Order 79-6), 220-52-050, filed 1/30/79; Order 76-152, 220-52-050, filed 12/17/76; Order 76-26, 220-52-050, filed 1:45 p.m., 4/20/76; Order 1242, 220-52-050, filed 8/7/75, effective 9/16/75; Order 1179, 220-52-050, filed 11/19/74; Order 1112, 220-52-050, filed 4/15/74; Order 945, 220-52-050, filed 8/16/71; Order 807, 220-52-050, filed 1/2/69, effective 2/1/69; subsections 1, 5, 6 from Orders 414 and 256, filed 3/1/60; subsection 2 from Orders 420 and 256, filed 3/1/60; subsection 3 from Order 525, filed 5/3/61; Orders 414 and 256, filed 3/1/60; subsection 7 from Order 525, filed 5/3/61.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office