WSR 02-15-013

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 02-138 -- Filed July 5, 2002, 1:33 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: July 5, 2002.

Purpose: Amend commercial fishing rules.

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

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

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 department has determined that the bycatch of canary rockfish in the coastal pink shrimp fishery is projected to exceed the maximum amount permitted under the terms of the Pacific Fishery Management Council's rebuilding program for this species. This emergency rule requiring the use of bycatch reduction devices is necessary to allow the coastal pink shrimp fishery to remain open through the remainder of the scheduled season. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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

July 5, 2002

J. P. Koenings

Director

by Larry Peck


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-52-05000E   Ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery -- Coastal waters.   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-050, effective July 5, 2002 until further notice, it is unlawful to fish with trawl gear for pink shrimp for commercial purposes unless an approved bycatch reduction device is used in each net. Approved bycatch reductions devices are:

(1) Fisheye Bycatch Reduction Device which functions as a forward facing escape hole in the top of the codend. The escape hole is maintained by a rigid frame that keeps it open at all times. An approved Fisheye must meet the following criteria:

(a) The escape hole must be forward facing, meaning that a fish must swim toward the mouth of the net to exit through the fisheye;

(b) The device must be placed on the top half of the codend, with the escape hole located no further forward than 84 codend meshes, counted from the terminal codend pursing rings. The escape hole must be unobstructed at all times;

(c) The escape hole must have a width and length that each exceeds seven inches.

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

(a) 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;

(b) The panel meshes must be constructed of netting material with individual meshes no larger than 5.5 inches, measured between opposing knots;

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

(d) 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;

(3) Nordmore Grate 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:

(a) 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;

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

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

(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.

(ii) All bycatch reduction devices and codends used for trawl fishing for pink shrimp must be readily accessible and made available for inspection at the request of an authorized agent of the state. No trawl gear may be removed from the vessel prior to offloading of shrimp.

(iii) It is unlawful to modify bycatch 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 bycatch reduction device to measure shrimp loss. Authorized testing of bycatch reduction devices must meet the following criteria:

(a) All testing must be conducted between 4:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and sunset;

(b) for vessels fishing two nets simultaneously (double-rigged boats), only one net may contain a disabled bycatch reduction device, the other net must be fishing a fully functional bycatch reduction device as described in subsection (i).

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Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office