H-2039              _______________________________________________


                                          SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 2031



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By House Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Representatives Nelson, R. King, S. Wilson, Spanel, Haugen and Belcher)



Read first time 3/1/89.



AN ACT Relating to commercial shellfish divers; amending RCW 75.08.012; adding a new chapter to Title 75 RCW; creating a new section; prescribing penalties; and declaring an emergency.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The purposes of this act are to ensure minimum gear standards for commercial shellfish divers and to grant the department of fisheries the authority to enforce minimum gear standards among commercial shellfish divers.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

          (1) "Approved diving gear" means surface supplied air diving gear meeting department standards.

          (2) "Commercial" means related to or connected with buying, selling, or bartering.  Diving and harvesting, catching, taking, or killing  shellfish in excess of the limits permitted for personal use is a commercial activity.

          (3) "Shellfish divers" include divers who harvest, catch, take, or kill shellfish in marine waters.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     All commercial shellfish divers shall comply with the following minimum gear requirements:

          (1) Diving that requires decompressing is not permitted unless a decompression chamber is ready at the dive location;

          (2) All divers shall wear only approved diving gear;

          (3) All divers shall use a pneumofathometer at all times that is readable by the diver's tender;

          (4) All divers shall have a two-way voice communication system between the diver and the surface;

          (5) All vessels used by divers shall be equipped with an operational two-way communication system to obtain emergency assistance;

          (6) All divers shall wear a safety harness with a line that is attached to the vessel and allows the tender to pull the diver out of the water if necessary, without putting stress on the diver's breathing apparatus;

          (7) There shall be at least one tender for each diver in the water; and

          (8) All tenders shall have completed an approved training course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     Every person violating this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall incur the penalties set forth in Title 9A RCW.


        Sec. 5.  Section 3, chapter 112, Laws of 1949 as last amended by section 5, chapter 46, Laws of 1983 1st ex. sess. and RCW 75.08.012 are each amended to read as follows:

          The department shall preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage the food fish and shellfish in state waters and offshore waters.

          The department shall conserve the food fish and shellfish resources in a manner that does not impair the resource.  In a manner consistent with this goal, the department shall seek to maintain the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industry in the state.  The department shall promote orderly fisheries and shall enhance and improve recreational and commercial fishing in this state.

          The department shall establish minimum gear standards for commercial shellfish divers in the state.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     Sections 2 through 4 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 75 RCW.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.     This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.