CDFW photo by P. Serpa
The number of confirmed large whale entanglements off the U.S. West Coast has increased in recent years. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has taken several steps to better understand the causes of, and mitigate, entanglements in California waters. In partnership with National Marine Fisheries Service and the California Ocean Protection Council, CDFW convened the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group (Working Group) in the fall of 2015.
Under CDFW's leadership the Working Group, which includes fishermen, environmental organizations, and agency staff, is committed to their dual goals of supporting a robust Dungeness crab fishery and reducing the number of whale entanglements. View more information about the Working Group's current activities.
A key outcome of CDFW's efforts was determining that a sustainable Dungeness crab fishery depends upon acquiring an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for listed marine species. CDFW is currently developing a draft Habitat Conservation Plan as part of applying for an ITP under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Habitat Conservation Plan will address endangered species interactions in the Dungeness crab fishery. CDFW is committed to a transparent process that incorporates input from a wide range of stakeholders as we prepare the draft Habitat Conservation Plan and ultimately complete the ITP application.
Check this page regularly for updates on CDFW's Whale Safe Fishery efforts, including information regarding upcoming opportunities for public involvement. An online email service has been created to keep stakeholders and the public informed about the ITP process. To join the list, please complete the form on the right side of this page. You will be asked to submit your name and email address.
For additional information, please email WhaleSafeFisheries@wildlife.ca.gov.