FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Filed April 28, 2020, 12:16 p.m.]
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 220-340-490 Commercial crab fishery—Coastal gear recovery permits.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This rule change incorporates revisions to RCW 77.50.500
resulting from the passage of HB [SHB] 2250 by the Washington state legislature in 2020 into WAC 220-340-490.
This rule change would allow the recovery of derelict crab gear as early as May 1, prior to the close of the commercial Dungeness crab season. Gear recovery would be allowed after May 1 when a reduced pot limit is in effect and summer buoy tags are required. This measure would allow crab fishers to recover gear that is not properly marked with a summer buoy tag. Removal of this gear would avoid this gear becoming lost or abandoned and potentially increasing the likelihood of entangling a whale or other marine life.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: This proposed rule change is being implemented in conjunction with a reduced pot limit and summer buoy tag requirement, which was approved by the fish and wildlife commission in January 2020. These measures are intended to reduce the likelihood of whale entanglements in the coastal Dungeness crab fishery.
The summer buoy tag requirement is needed to enforce the reduced pot limit, but also distinguishes pots without a summer buoy tag as no longer actively being fished. Essentially, any gear that does not have a summer buoy tag after May 1 is unlawfully fishing. This rule change provides the mechanism to recover gear that does not have a summer buoy tag before the end of the season, which greatly improves the chance that it will be recovered and removed from the ocean; thus, accomplishing the objective of reducing the likelihood of whale entanglements.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Washington department of fish and wildlife, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Heather Hall, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA, 360-902-2487; and Enforcement: Steve Bear, Police Chief, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA, 360-902-3463.
This notice meets the following criteria to use the expedited adoption process for these rules:
Adopts or incorporates by reference without material change federal statutes or regulations, Washington state statutes, rules of other Washington state agencies, shoreline master programs other than those programs governing shorelines of statewide significance, or, as referenced by Washington state law, national consensus codes that generally establish industry standards, if the material adopted or incorporated regulates the same subject matter and conduct as the adopting or incorporating rule.
Have been the subject of negotiated rule making, pilot rule making, or some other process that involved substantial participation by interested parties before the development of the proposed rule.
Explanation of the Reason the Agency Believes the Expedited Rule-Making Process is Appropriate: This rule change incorporates without material change revisions to RCW 77.50.500
resulting from the passage of HB [SHB] 2250 by the Washington state legislature in 2020 into WAC 220-340-490. RCW 77.50.500
regulates the same subject matter and conduct as the incorporating rule. Through the delegation of authority provided by the fish and wildlife commission to the director, the director has the authority to adopt expedited rules.
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Michele Culver, WDFW, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200, phone 360-902-2196, email Rules.Coordinator@dfw.wa.gov, AND RECEIVED BY July 6, 2020.
April 28, 2020
Michele K. Culver
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 20-04-066, filed 1/31/20, effective 3/2/20)
WAC 220-340-490Commercial crab fishery—Coastal gear recovery permits.
(1) Emergency coastal crab gear recovery permit. Emergency permits are granted on a case-by-case basis to allow crab fishers to recover shellfish pots that were irretrievable at the end of the lawful season opening due to extreme weather conditions. The director or director's designee may grant an emergency coastal crab gear permit once a commercial crab season is closed. Crab fishers must notify and apply to the department's enforcement program for such emergency permits within 24 hours prior to the close of the commercial crab season.
(2) Coastal crab gear recovery permit. 15 days after the close of the primary coastal commercial crab season and from May 1 through September 15, the director or director's designee may grant a coastal crab gear recovery permit for licensed coastal Dungeness crab fishers to recover crab pots that remain in the ocean and belong to state licensed fishers.
(3) It is unlawful to fail to follow the provisions of a coastal crab gear recovery permit. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor, punishable under RCW 77.15.750
Unlawful use of a department permit—