About the Committee
In October of 1997, Governor Pete Wilson signed SB463 into law bringing sweeping changes to abalone management. Besides the closure of all abalone take south of San Francisco, the bill created the Recreational Abalone Management Program
(Code Sections 7149.8-7149.9). The program requires sport license holders to purchase an abalone stamp/report card to take abalone. The funds are deposited into the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account. It also outlines the restricted uses for which the funds may be directed. In addition, the bill required the Director to appoint the members of the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC) (Code Section 7400) who..."shall meet at least once each calendar year to review proposals and recommend to the director projects and budgets for the expenditure of fees received pursuant to Section 7149.8. The committee may review progress reports and the results of projects funded under this article and make recommendations to the director regarding abalone resource management."
The nine member committee includes: Chris Voss of Santa Barbara, a former commercial abalone diver and President of the California Abalone Association; Nancy Caruso of Garden Grove, founder of Get Inspired; Dennis Haussler of Redwood City, member of Central California Council of Diving Clubs, Inc. - CenCal; Doug Laughlin of San Mateo, member of Coastside Fishing Club; Josh Russo of Fairfield, member of the Sonoma County Abalone Network (SCAN); Peter Haaker of Westminster, retired CDFW Senior Biologist Specialist on abalone; Joel Hendricks of Fort Bragg, CDFW Warden Lieutenant; Brooke Halsey of Marin County, Attorney at Law; and Ian Taniguchi of Long Beach, Senior Marine Biologist, CDFW, and the RAAC Chairperson.
Recreational Abalone Management Program (RAMP): CDFW Code Sections 7149.8-7149.9
7149.8. (a) A person shall not take abalone from ocean waters unless he or she first obtains, in addition to a valid California sport fishing license and any applicable license validation or stamp issued pursuant to this code, an abalone report card, and maintains that report card in his or her possession while taking abalone. (b) The department or an authorized license agent shall issue an abalone report card upon payment of a fee of fifteen dollars ($15) in the 2004 license year, which shall be adjusted annually thereafter pursuant to Section 713.
7149.9. (a) Fees received by the department pursuant to Section 7149.8 shall be deposited in the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account within the Fish and Game Preservation Fund, which is hereby created. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the moneys in the account are continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal year, to the department to be used only for the Recreational Abalone Management Program. For the purposes of this article, "program" means the Recreational Abalone Management Program.
The program shall include the following:
(1) Research and management of abalone and abalone habitat. For the purposes of this section, "research" includes, but is not limited to, investigation, experimentation, monitoring, and analysis; and "management" means establishing and maintaining an optimal sustainable utilization.
(2) Supplementary funding of allocations for the enforcement of statutes and regulations applicable to abalone, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of special equipment and the production and dissemination of printed materials, such as pamphlets, booklets, and posters, aimed at compliance with recreational abalone regulations.
(3) Direction for volunteer groups relating to abalone and abalone habitat management, presentations of abalone related matters at scientific conferences and educational institutions, and publication of abalone related material.
(b) At least 15 percent of the funds deposited in the account shall be used for program activities south of San Francisco. To the extent possible, participants in the management activities of the program in that area shall be former commercial abalone divers.
(c) The department shall maintain internal accounts that ensure that the fees received pursuant to Section 7149.8 are disbursed for the purposes of subdivision (a). Not more than 20 percent of the fees received pursuant to Section 7149.8 shall be used for administration by the department.
(d) Unencumbered fees collected pursuant to Section 7149.8 during any previous calendar year may be expended for the purposes of subdivisions (a) and (b). All interest and other earnings on the fees received pursuant to Section 7149.8 shall be deposited in the account and shall be used for the purposes of subdivisions (a) and (b).
7400. (a) The director shall appoint a Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee consisting of nine members who shall serve without compensation. The members of the advisory committee shall be selected as follows: (1) Six members who are not officers or employees of the department. The six members shall be residents of California and meet the following requirements: (A) Two members shall reside north of the southern boundary line of Marin County and a line extending due east from the easternmost point of Marin County located in San Pablo Bay. The two members shall be selected from nominations submitted by the Northern California Shellfish Assessment Program or by individuals or organizations that actively participate in the recreational abalone fishery, except that not more than one of the members selected shall be an active or former commercial abalone diver or involved in commercial seafood processing or marketing. (B) Two members shall reside south of the southern boundary line of Marin County and a line extending due east from the easternmost point of Marin County located in San Pablo Bay and north of the boundary between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties and a line extending due east from the easternmost point in that boundary line. The two members shall be selected from nominations submitted by the Central California Council of Divers, the Southern California Shellfish Assessment Program, the Northern California Shellfish Assessment Program, or by individuals or organizations that actively participate in the recreational abalone fishery, except that not more than one of the members selected shall be an active or former commercial abalone diver or involved in commercial seafood processing or marketing. (C) Two members shall reside south of the boundary between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties and a line extending due east from the easternmost point in that boundary line. The two members shall be selected from nominations submitted by the Greater Los Angeles Council of Divers, the San Diego Council of Divers, the Channel Islands Council of Divers, the Southern California Shellfish Assessment Program, or by individuals or organizations that actively participate in the recreational abalone fishery, except that not more than one of the members selected shall be an active or former commercial abalone diver or involved in commercial seafood processing or marketing. (2) One member shall represent the department in enforcement activities and shall be selected from personnel in the Wildlife Protection Division. (3) Two members shall be marine scientists who are or have been involved in abalone research at universities, state universities, or in state or federal programs. Not more than one of the persons shall be an officer or employee of the department. (b) No member shall be involved in or profit from the culture for sale (commercial aquaculture) of abalone. (c) The advisory committee shall meet at least once each calendar year to review proposals and recommend to the director projects and budgets for the expenditure of fees received pursuant to Section 7149.8. The committee may review progress reports and the results of projects funded under this article and make recommendations to the director regarding abalone resource management.
Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP): CDFW Code Sections 5520-5522
5520. It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission undertake management of abalone in a manner consistent with the abalone recovery and management plan submitted pursuant to Section 5522.
5521. A moratorium is imposed on the taking, possessing, or landing of abalone (genus Haliotis) for commercial or recreational purposes in ocean waters of the state south of a line drawn due west magnetic from the center of the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, including all islands offshore the mainland of California, including, but not limited to, the Farallon Islands and the Southern California Channel Islands. It is unlawful to take, possess, or land abalone for commercial or recreational purposes in those ocean waters while the moratorium is in effect.
5521.5. In addition to the moratorium imposed by Section 5521, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is unlawful to take abalone for commercial purposes in District 6, 7, 16, 17, or 19A, in District 10 north of Point Lobos, or in District 20 between Southeast Rock and the extreme westerly end of Santa Catalina Island.
5522. (a) On or before January 1, 2003, the department shall submit to the commission a comprehensive abalone recovery and management plan. The plan shall contain all of the following: (1) An explanation of the scientific knowledge regarding the biology, habitat requirements, and threats to abalone. (2) A summary of the interim and long-term recovery goals, including a range of alternative interim and long-term conservation and management goals and activities. The department shall report why it prefers the recommended activities. (3) Alternatives for allocating harvest between sport and commercial divers if the allocation of the abalone harvest is warranted. (4) An estimate of the time and costs required to meet the interim and long-term recovery goals for the species, including available or anticipated funding sources, and an initial projection of the time and costs associated with meeting the final recovery goals. An implementation schedule shall also be included. (5) An estimate of the time necessary to meet the interim recovery goals and triggers for review and amendment of strategy. (6) A description of objective measurable criteria by which to determine whether the goals and objectives of the recovery strategy are being met and procedures for recognition of successful recovery. These criteria and procedures shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (A) Specified abundance and size frequency distribution criteria for former abalone beds within suitable habitat not dominated by sea otters. (B) Size frequency distributions exhibiting multiple size classes as necessary to ensure continued recruitment into fishable stock. (C) The reproductive importance to the entire ecosystem of those areas proposed for reopening to harvest and the potential impact of each reopening on the recovery of abalone population in adjacent areas. (b) Where appropriate, the recovery and management plan may include the following: (1) A network of no-take abalone reserves. (2) A total allowable catch, reflecting the long-term yield each species is capable of sustaining, using the best available science and bearing in mind the ecological importance of the species and the variability of marine ecosystems. (3) A permanent reduction in harvest. (c) Funding to prepare the recovery and management plan and any planning and scoping meetings shall be derived from the fees collected for the abalone stamp. (d) On or before January 1, 2008, and following the adoption of the recovery and management plan by the commission, the department may apply to the commission to reopen sport or commercial fishing in all or any portion of the waters described in Section 5521. If the commission makes a finding that the resource can support additional harvest activities and that these activities are consistent with the abalone recovery plan, all or a portion of the waters described in Section 5521 may be reopened and management measures prescribed and implemented, as appropriate. The commission may close or, where appropriate, may establish no-take marine refuges in any area opened pursuant to this section if it makes a finding that this action is necessary to comply with the abalone management plan. (e) If the commission determines that commercial fishing is an appropriate management measure, priority for participation in the fishery shall be given to those persons who held a commercial abalone permit during the 1996-97 permit year.
Fines Account: CDFW Code Section 12009
12009. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12000, and except as provided in Section 12006.6, the punishment for a violation of any provision of Section 5521 or 5521.5, or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or of Section 7121 involving abalone, is a fine of not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000) and imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year. The court shall permanently revoke any commercial fishing license, commercial fishing permit, or sport fishing license issued by the department. Any vessel, diving or other fishing gear or apparatus, or vehicle used in the commission of an offense punishable under this section, may be seized and may be ordered forfeited by the court pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 12157. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commercial license of any person arrested for a violation punishable under this section may not be sold, transferred, loaned, or leased, or used as security for any financial transaction until disposition of the charges is final.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the money collected from any fine or forfeiture imposed or collected for the taking of abalone for any purpose other than for profit in violation of this article or any other provision of law shall be deposited as follows:
(1) One-half in the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account.
(2) One-half in the county treasury of the county in which the violation occurred.