WSR 03-02-105




[ Filed January 2, 2003, 11:02 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-22-099.

Title of Rule: Commercial fishing rules.

Purpose: Amend coastal trawl fishery rules.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047.

Summary: Provide for incidental pollock allowance in whiting fishery.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Provide that pollock fishery is consistent with groundfish and whiting directed fisheries.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2930; Implementation: Phil Anderson, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2720; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2373.

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

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: In July 2002, there were three midwater trawl fishers who participated in the coastal whiting fishery that discovered harvestable quantities of pollock off the northern coast of Washington. This stock is primarily located off the west coast of Vancouver Island, and occasionally moves south to be available off Washington approximately every five to seven years. The length of time that they are available south of the United States/Canada border is unknown, however, these fishers have indicated an interest in harvesting them for as long as they are available. A Westport processor has secured an overseas market for pollock, selling them frozen whole (not reducing them to fish meal or for surimi products), and may have a market for pollock roe. This summer, there were over seven million pounds of pollock landed into Westport, by these three vessels, during the four weeks that the fishery was open.

Whiting are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council under the West Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, but pollock are not. Therefore, pollock are subject to state regulation which allows them to be taken with legal coastal groundfish gear, and landed with a state delivery permit.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Sets an incidental pollock quota.

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: There is no reporting or record-keeping requirement. The compliance requirement is a prohibition on retention of pollock unless the fisher is participating in a directed whiting or groundfish fishery.

2. Kinds of Professional Services That a Small Business is Likely to Need in Order to Comply with Such Requirements: None.

3. Costs of Compliance for Businesses, Including Costs of Equipment, Supplies, Labor, and Increased Administrative Costs: No compliance costs.

4. Will Compliance with the Rule Cause Businesses to Lose Sales or Revenue? No. Almost all incidental landings of pollock in 2001 and 2002 fell below the 20% threshold allowed under the proposed rule. The directed pollock fishery will be allowed to continue under a federal exempted fishery permit.

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:

a. Cost per employee;

b. Cost per hour of labor; or

c. Cost per one hundred dollars of sales.

No cost of compliance.

6. Steps Taken by the Agency to Reduce the Costs of the Rule on Small Businesses or Reasonable Justification for Not Doing So: Because the threshold is set high enough to accommodate all incidental landings and a directed fishery is provided for, it is anticipated that there will be no costs.

7. A Description of How the Agency Will Involve Small Businesses in the Development of the Rule: This rule was developed with industry in a series of meetings in Montesano on September 5, 2002, and at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meetings on September 9 and October 28, 2002.

8. A List of Industries That Will Be Required to Comply with the Rule: Coastal trawl fishers.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Cowlitz County PUD, 961 12th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632, on February 7-8, 2003, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by January 24, 2003, TDD (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2155, by January 31, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: February 7, 2003.

January 2, 2003

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 01-288, filed 12/27/01, effective 1/27/02)

WAC 220-44-050   Coastal bottomfish catch limits.   (1) It is unlawful to possess, transport through the waters of the state, or land in any Washington state port bottomfish taken from Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 58B, 59A, 59B, 60A, 61, 62, or 63 in excess of the amounts or less than the minimum sizes, or in violation of any gear handling or landing requirement, established by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and published in the Federal Register, Volume 66, No. 8, published January 11, 2001, except thresher shark are further restricted as provided for in this section. Therefore, persons must consult the federal regulations, which incorporated by reference and made a part of chapter 220-44 WAC. Where rules refer to the fishery management area, that area is extended to include Washington state waters coterminous with the exclusive economic zone. A copy of the federal rules may be obtained by contacting Evan Jacoby at ((())360(())) - 902-2930.

(a) It is unlawful to possess, transport through the waters of the state, or land into any Washington port, walleye pollock taken with trawl gear from Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 58B, 59A-1, 59A-2, 60A-1, 60A-2, 61, 62, or 63, except by trawl vessels participating in the directed Pacific whiting fishery and the directed coastal groundfish fishery.

(b) It is unlawful for trawl vessels participating in the directed Pacific whiting and/or the directed coastal groundfish fishery to land incidental catches of walleye pollock greater than twenty percent of their total landing by weight.

(2) At the time of landing of coastal bottomfish into Washington port, the fish buyer receiving the fish is required to clearly mark on the fish receiving ticket in the space reserved for dealer's use all legally defined trawl gear aboard the vessel at the time of delivery. The three trawl gear types are: Midwater trawl, roller trawl and small foot rope trawl (foot rope less than eight inches in diameter). The notation of the gear type(s) aboard the vessel is required prior to the signing of the fish receiving ticket by the vessel representative.

(3) Vessels engaged in chartered research for National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) may land and sell bottomfish caught during that research without the catch being counted toward any trip or cumulative limit for the participating vessel. Vessels that have been compensated for research work by NMFS with an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to land fish as payment for such research may land and sell fish authorized under the EFP without the catch being counted toward any trip or cumulative limit for the participating vessel. Any bottomfish landed during authorized NMFS research or under the authority of a compensating EFP for past chartered research work must be reported on a separate fish receiving ticket and not included on any fish receiving ticket reporting bottomfish landed as part of any trip or cumulative limit. Bottomfish landed under the authority of NMFS research work or an EFP compensating research with fish must be clearly marked "NMFS Compensation Trip" on the fish receiving ticket in the space reserved for dealer's use. The NMFS scientist in charge must sign the fish receiving ticket in the area reserved for dealer's use if any bottomfish are landed during authorized NMFS research. If the fish are landed under the authority of an EFP as payment for research work, the EFP number must be listed in the dealer's use space.

(4) It is unlawful for an original receiver to receive whiting and whiting by-catch under the authority of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service through the department unless the original receiver has entered into a signed agreement with the department specifying the responsibilities of the original receiver in conjunction with the whiting EFP fishery. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement shall be cause to remove the original receiver from the list of original receivers allowed to receive unsorted whiting catches from EFP vessels.

(5) It is unlawful to land thresher shark taken by any means from state and offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean north of the Washington-Oregon boundary and south of the United States-Canada boundary, and it is unlawful to land thresher shark taken south of the Washington-Oregon boundary unless each thresher shark landed is accompanied by a minimum of two swordfish.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 02-02-051 (Order 01-288), 220-44-050, filed 12/27/01, effective 1/27/02; 01-13-002 (Order 01-103), 220-44-050, filed 6/6/01, effective 7/7/01. Statutory Authority: 2000 c 107 7. 00-16-033 (Order 00-124), 220-44-050, filed 7/24/00, effective 8/24/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 98-15-033 (Order 98-121), 220-44-050, filed 7/7/98, effective 8/7/98; 98-05-043, 220-44-050, filed 2/11/98, effective 3/14/98; 96-11-055 (Order 96-43), 220-44-050, filed 5/9/96, effective 6/9/96; 95-08-069 (Order 95-29), 220-44-050, filed 4/4/95, effective 5/5/95; 94-13-077 (Order 94-51), 220-44-050, filed 6/10/94, effective 7/11/94; 93-07-093 (Order 93-16), 220-44-050, filed 3/22/93, effective 4/22/93; 92-07-008 (Order 97-07), 220-44-050, filed 3/6/92, effective 4/16/92; 91-07-050 (Order 91-12), 220-44-050, filed 3/18/91, effective 4/18/91; 90-13-108 (Order 90-26), 220-44-050, filed 6/21/90, effective 7/22/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.070 and 75.08.080. 89-14-069 (Order 89-54), 220-44-050, filed 6/30/89; 89-06-030 (Order 89-07), 220-44-050, filed 2/24/89; 88-14-020 (Order 88-42), 220-44-050, filed 6/28/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 87-07-042 (Order 87-17), 220-44-050, filed 3/16/87; 86-12-027 (Order 86-39), 220-44-050, filed 5/28/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.070 and 75.08.080. 85-07-022 (Order 85-17), 220-44-050, filed 3/13/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 84-08-014 (Order 84-24), 220-44-050, filed 3/27/84; 83-17-030 (Order 83-88), 220-44-050, filed 8/10/83; 83-10-016 (Order 83-31), 220-44-050, filed 4/26/83.]

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