WSR 03-02-047

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 02-309 -- Filed December 24, 2002, 2:42 p.m. , effective July 1, 2003 ]

Date of Adoption: December 7, 2002.

Purpose: Adopt marine finfish aquaculture rules.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-21-114 on October 22, 2002.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Move subsection (2) of new section WAC 220-76-110 to WAC 220-76-120 and renumber; to WAC 220-76-130, add "The department shall conduct at least annual inspections of marine finfish aquaculture facilities of the state."

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 6, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: July 1, 2003.

December 24, 2002

Susan Yeager

for Russ Cahill, Chair

Fish and Wildlife Commission

OTS-5994.4


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-100   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Approval permit for marine finfish aquaculture.   (1) It is unlawful for any aquatic farmer to possess any species, stock or race of marine finfish, defined as finfish being raised in marine waters, in net pens, cages or other rearing vessels without having first obtained and possessing a valid marine finfish aquaculture permit from the director for that species, stock and race at that specific location of rearing or holding. The director will approve, condition, or deny a permit within sixty days after a completed application containing all requested information is received by the department's aquaculture coordinator. The application must be accompanied by an escape prevention plan and the escape reporting and recapture plan as required by this chapter. A permit may be denied based on the determination by the director of significant genetic, ecological or fish health risks of the proposed fish rearing program on naturally occurring fish and wildlife, their habitat or other existing fish rearing programs. The use of transgenic fish (as defined by the actual transfer of genetic material from one species to another) is prohibited. Each permit application must contain a means mutually agreed to by the department and the aquatic farmer to individually identify to the aquatic farmer all marine finfish in aquaculture hatched after December 31, 2003. A permit will be valid for a period of five years from the date of approval. The department will comply with the procedures of any appropriate federal court order in processing permit applications. Any change in species, stock, or race at a specific location of rearing or holding will require reapproval of the marine finfish rearing operation. In the event of denial, the affected person may appeal the decision to the director. The department will advise the person of the appeals process. Additional appeals may be made through the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW).

(2) Any person who imports marine finfish into the state for aquaculture or transports marine finfish within the state for aquaculture and who does not have an approved marine finfish aquaculture permit is guilty of unlawfully transporting finfish. Violation of this section shall be enforced under RCW 77.15.290.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-110   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Escape prevention plan required.   A fish escape prevention plan is required with each application for a marine finfish aquaculture permit and approval by the department of the fish escape prevention plan is required before issuance of a marine finfish aquaculture permit.

(1) The escape prevention plan must include:

(a) Routine procedures and best management procedures used to minimize the risk of escapement from pens during normal day-to-day operations.

(b) Procedures to minimize escapements in the event the net-pens need to be moved, repaired, or manipulated in any manner, or during stocking or harvesting operations, which could result in a release of fish to state waters. At a minimum, prior to the net-pens being moved, a bathymetric analysis should be made along the intended travel route(s) to ensure adequate depth and the absence of underwater hazards or obstructions.

(c) Procedures for routine training of employees and contractors in escape prevention.

(d) Procedures for routinely determining and tracking the number of fish in each pen lost due to predation and mortality, and the number of fish lost due to escapement.

(e) Procedures for monitoring the implementation of (a) through (d) of this subsection.

(2) For the purpose of meeting the requirements of this section, plans and manuals required by the department of ecology through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process may be submitted for approval.

(3) Marine finfish aquaculture farmers are required to implement the provisions of their approved fish escape prevention plan. Failure to implement the provisions of an approved escape prevention plan may result in invalidation of the marine finfish aquaculture permit. A notice of failure to comply with the fish escape prevention plan requirements will be given prior to invalidation of the permit, and the aquaculture farmer will have not less than seven nor more than ninety days to correct the conditions or status that caused the notice to be given. If the marine finfish aquaculture permit is invalidated, any transportation of finfish shall be treated as a violation of RCW 77.15.290.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-120   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Escape reporting and recapture plan required.   (1) It is the responsibility of aquatic farmers to report an escape of marine finfish and to attempt to recapture escaped fish. Escaped marine finfish will be treated by the department the same as feral fish, and the department may augment capture and removal of such fish by scheduling recreational or commercial fisheries.

(2) An escape reporting and recapture plan is required with each application for a marine finfish aquaculture permit and approval by the department of the fish escape reporting and recapture plan is required before issuance of a marine finfish aquaculture permit.

(3) The escape reporting and recapture plan must include:

(a) Reporting procedure. Procedures for determining what constitutes a reportable fish escape. An emergency contact list in the event of a reportable fish escape from the permittee's net-pens, including local government, the department and the Washington department of ecology.

(b) Procedures requiring the permittee to report any reportable fish escape, within twenty-four hours of the permittee having knowledge of that escape, to local government, the department, and ecology. The report shall include the location, number, age class, disease and medication history, and cause of escape.

(c) Procedures to recapture escaped fish. Each marine aquatic farming location shall have a procedure for attempting recapture of escaped fish. The plan may include the use of facilities' skiffs, seines or nets and/or tribal and commercial fishers acting under contract with the aquaculture facility. For all reportable escapes, the permittee shall also submit a follow-up report describing all fish recovery efforts initiated in response to the escape, and effectiveness of the recovery efforts.

(d) Emergency procedures that will be taken to minimize the number of escaped fish.

(e) In the event the escaped fish were being treated with antibiotics or other drugs subject to USFDA withdrawal requirements and the withdrawal periods had not expired at the time of the escape, the permittee shall also include this information in the report required by (b) of this subsection, and shall provide a copy of the report to the Washington state department of health.

(4) For the purpose of meeting the requirements of this section, plans and manuals required by the department of ecology through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process may be submitted for approval.

(5) The permittee shall submit, by the last day in February, an annual fish escape report to the department, covering the previous calendar year. The report shall summarize, by month and pen site, the number, age class, disease and medication history, and cause of all fish escapes to waters of the state. The permittee shall summarize the actions taken over the previous year to prevent the escape of fish to state waters.

(6) Marine finfish aquaculture farmers are required to implement the provisions of their approved fish escape reporting and recapture plan. Failure to implement the provisions of an approved escape reporting and recapture plan may result in invalidation of the marine finfish aquaculture permit. A notice of failure to comply with the fish escape recapture and reporting requirements will be given prior to invalidation of the permit, and the aquaculture farmer will have not less than seven nor more than ninety days to correct the conditions or status that caused the notice to be given. If the marine finfish aquaculture permit is invalidated, any transportation of finfish shall be treated as a violation of RCW 77.15.290.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-130   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Aquaculture facility inspection authority.   Authorized department employees shall, at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, have access to marine aquatic farming locations to conduct inspections to determine conformity with the law and the rules of the department relating to preventing escaped finfish and/or the recapture of escaped finfish. The department shall conduct at least annual inspections of marine finfish aquaculture facilities of the state.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-140   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Atlantic salmon watch program established.   Contingent on funding, the director shall develop and implement an Atlantic salmon watch program which will include the following elements:

(1) Establish an Atlantic salmon watch coordinator position whose responsibilities include providing a focal point for consolidation of scientific information and implementation of subsections (2) through (5) of this section.

(2) Develop and maintain a system to record and report observations and catch of Atlantic salmon in waters of the state, including modification of the recreational catch data reporting system, the commercial fish ticket reporting system, education of volunteers to identify and report spawning sites, and monitoring of selected watersheds to detect spawning Atlantic salmon.

(3) Model the impact of Atlantic salmon on naturally produced and cultured finfish stocks by estimates of identification of Atlantic salmon standing crop or populations in the wild, detailed life history requirements, and estimates of niche overlap.

(4) Coordination with marine finfish aquatic farmers under WAC 220-76-110 for the reporting of escapes of Atlantic salmon from marine aquatic farming locations, and adjustment of escape prevention plans filed with the department under WAC 220-76-100 to prevent future escapes.

(5) Provide public information on recreational opportunity in the event of an escape, assist the public in understanding the effect of Atlantic salmon escapes on native populations, and provide a public contact for all department efforts regarding Atlantic salmon.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-76-150   Marine finfish aquaculture -- Educational program for marine finfish aquatic farmers.   Contingent on funding, the director shall develop and implement an educational program with marine aquatic farmers which will include the following elements:

(1) WDFW will notify aquatic farmers of upcoming WDFW hatchery workshops, meetings or tours with regard to hatchery disease control procedures and prevention, feeding and waste control at hatcheries and programs investigating raising marine finfish species.

(2) Annual "workshop" co-hosted by the industry, WDFW and other interested parties reviewing new containment technologies, or other environmental developments affecting the aquaculture industry.

(3) Information sharing by WDFW from any regional or international symposiums attended by WDFW staff covering aspects of marine finfish aquaculture.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office