(a) The Legislature finds and declares that a proactive
approach to management of emerging fisheries will foster a healthy
marine environment and will benefit both commercial and sport
fisheries and other marine-dependent activities. Therefore, the
commission, based upon the advice and recommendations of the
department, shall encourage, manage, and regulate emerging fisheries
consistent with the policies of this part.
(b) "Emerging fishery," in regard to a marine fishery, means both
of the following:
(1) A fishery that the director has determined is an emerging
fishery, based on criteria that are approved by the commission and
are related to a trend of increased landings or participants in the
fishery and the degree of existing regulation of the fishery.
(2) A fishery that is not an established fishery. "Established
fishery," in regard to a marine fishery, means, prior to January 1,
1999, one or more of the following:
(A) A restricted access fishery has been established in this code
or in regulations adopted by the commission.
(B) A fishery, for which a federal fishery management plan exists,
and in which the catch is limited within a designated time period.
(C) A fishery for which a population estimate and catch quota is
(D) A fishery for which regulations for the fishery are considered
at least biennially by the commission.
(E) A fishery for which this code or regulations adopted by the
commission prescribes at least two management measures developed for
the purpose of sustaining the fishery. Management measures include
minimum or maximum size limits, seasons, time, gear, area
restriction, and prohibition on sale or possession of fish.
(c) The department shall closely monitor landings and other
factors it deems relevant in each emerging fishery and shall notify
the commission of the existence of an emerging fishery.
(d) The commission, upon the recommendation of the department, may
do either, or both, of the following:
(1) Adopt regulations that limit taking in the fishery by means
that may include, but not be limited to, restricting landings, time,
area, gear, or access. These regulations may remain in effect until a
fishery management plan is adopted.
(2) Direct the department to prepare a fishery management plan for
the fishery and regulations necessary to implement the plan.
(e) A fishery management plan for an emerging fishery shall comply
with the requirements for preparing and adopting fishery management
plans contained in this part. In addition to those requirements, to
allow for adequate evaluation of the fishery and the acquisition of
essential fishery information, the fishery management plan shall
provide an evaluation period, which shall not exceed three years
unless extended by the commission. During the evaluation period, the
plan shall do both of the following:
(1) In order to prevent excess fishing effort during the
evaluation period, limit taking in the fishery by means that may
include, but need not be limited to, restricting landings, time,
area, gear, or access to a level that the department determines is
necessary for evaluation of the fishery.
(2) Contain a research plan that includes objectives for
evaluating the fishery, a description of the methods and data
collection techniques for evaluating the fishery, and a timetable for
completing the evaluation.
(f) The commission is authorized to impose a fee on an emerging
fishery in order to pay the costs of implementing this chapter. The
fees may include, but need not be limited to, ocean fishing stamps
and permit fees. The fees may not be levied in excess of the
necessary costs to implement and administer this chapter. The
commission may reduce fees annually if it determines that sufficient
revenues exist to cover costs incurred by the department in
administering this chapter. The commission and the department, with
the advice of fishery participants and other interested parties,
shall consider alternative ways to fund the evaluation of emerging
(g) An emerging fishery is subject to this section unless the
department incorporates the fishery into a fishery management plan
developed under Sections 7070 to 7088, inclusive.
(h) In the event that this section is found to conflict with
Section 8606, 8614, or 8615, this section shall prevail.