Section 7062 Of Chapter 3. Fisheries Science From California Fish And Game Code >> Division 6. >> Part 1.7. >> Chapter 3.

. (a) The department shall establish a program for external peer review of the scientific basis of marine living resources management documents. The department, in its discretion and unless otherwise required by this part, may submit to peer review, documents that include, but are not limited to, fishery management plans and plan amendments, marine resource and fishery research plans.
  (b) The department may enter into an agreement with one or more outside entities that are significantly involved with researching and understanding marine fisheries and are not advocacy organizations. These entities may include, but not be limited to, the Sea Grant program of any state, the University of California, the California State University, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, or any other entity approved by the commission to select and administer peer review panels, as needed. The peer review panels shall be composed of individuals with technical expertise specific to the document to be reviewed. The entity with which the department enters into an agreement for a peer review shall be responsible for the scientific integrity of the peer review process. Each peer reviewer may be compensated as needed to ensure competent peer review. Peer reviewers shall not be employees or officers of the department or the commission and shall not have participated in the development of the document to be reviewed.
  (c) The external peer review entity, within the timeframe and budget agreed upon by the department and the external scientific peer review entity, shall provide the department with the written report of the peer review panel that contains an evaluation of the scientific basis of the document. If the report finds that the department has failed to demonstrate that a scientific portion of the document is based on sound scientific knowledge, methods, and practices, the report shall state that finding, and the reasons for the finding. The department may accept the finding, in whole or in part, and may revise the scientific portions of the document accordingly. If the department disagrees with any aspect of the finding of the external scientific peer review, it shall explain, and include as part of the record, its basis for arriving at such a determination in the analysis prepared for the adoption of the final document, including the reasons why it has determined that the scientific portions of the document are based on sound scientific knowledge, methods, or practice. The department shall submit the external scientific peer review report to the commission with any peer reviewed document that is to be adopted or approved by the commission.
  (d) The requirements of this section do not apply to any emergency regulation adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.
  (e) Nothing is this section shall be interpreted, in any way, to limit the authority of the commission or department to adopt a plan or regulation.