On your mark, get set, scuttle! It's time to ponder the state's new Dungeness crab trap limit program and -- by Sept. 10 -- submit your comments on the Department of Fish and Game's initial study and proposed Negative Declaration.
The program, the result of passage of Senate Bill 369 in 2011, goes into effect in the 2013-2014 crab season. It sets a cap of likely no more than 175,000 traps total allowed to be fished by permitted crab boats, and assigns permitholders to one of seven tiers of between 175 and 500 traps.
Here's the DFG's news release:
August 13, 2012
Christy Juhasz, DFG Marine Region, (707) 576-2887
Peter Kalvass, DFG Marine Region, (707) 964-9080
Carrie Wilson, DFG Marine Region, (831) 649-7191
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released an Initial Study and proposed Negative Declaration for the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program as required by Fish and Game Code (FGC) Section 8276.5.
The documents will be available for public comment and review through Sept. 10, 2012.
The project under review is DFG's proposed regulations to implement the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program prior to the 2013-14 commercial Dungeness crab season.
Under statute, the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program must cap the number of crab traps in state waters at a number that is not yet known, but will be fewer than 175,000. To do so, the department is implementing new procedures that include assigning permit holders to one of seven tiers that will allow them to fish between 175 and 500 traps.
The initial study analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed regulations, which describe how to apply for and use trap tags and buoy tags. The proposed regulations also describe procedures for how new biennial permits can be purchased and replaced if lost.
To obtain the materials, contact Christy Juhasz at DFG's Santa Rosa office: (707) 576-2887 or email@example.com. More information and online versions of the documents can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/traplimit_nd.asp.
All comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012 and must include the commenter's name, address and daytime telephone number. Comments may be submitted by mail to:
Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program CEQA
Department of Fish and Game
5355 Skylane Blvd., Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Additionally, comments may be submitted via e-mail (in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format only) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If e-mailed, comments must include "Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program CEQA Comments" in the subject line.