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(a) A permit described under 5 AAC 38.062 is not required for the taking of sea cucumbers in Registration Area A.
(b) Sea cucumbers may be taken from October 1 through March 31. Fishing periods will be as follows:
(1) the fishing periods in October will occur during periods set by the commissioner by emergency order; the fishing periods will be on Mondays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon;
(2) the fishing periods from November through March will occur during daylight hours on Monday and one-half of the daylight hours on Tuesday each week during periods set by the commissioner by emergency order; these fishing periods may be extended by emergency order to obtain the guideline harvest level.
(c) Sea cucumbers may be taken in areas within Registration Area A as specified by an emergency order issued by the commissioner before each fishing season. An area may not be opened unless the department has conducted a biomass assessment in that area within the preceding two years. An area shall be closed by emergency order if the guideline harvest level is reached before the closing date of the season. An area opened by emergency order under this subsection may not be opened again until at least two subsequent fishing seasons have passed.
(d) A person may not land or possess more than 2,000 pounds of eviscerated sea cucumbers during any fishing period established by the department. Harvest limits may be repealed by emergency order if guideline harvest levels have not been reached.
(e) During an open sea cucumber fishing period, no more than two licensed CFEC sea cucumber permit holders may conduct fishing operations from, or land commercially harvested sea cucumbers from, a vessel that is licensed and registered to commercially fish for sea cucumbers. From 24 hours before, during, and for 24 hours after a fishing period, or when commercially harvested sea cucumbers are on board the vessel, no more than three licensed CFEC sea cucumber permit holders may be transported, housed, quartered, or domiciled on board a vessel that is licensed and registered to commercially fish for sea cucumbers.
(f) In order to provide a refuge for sea cucumbers below 18 meters depth, saturation diving or the use of mixed gases is prohibited, except that the use of enhanced air nitrox having concentrations of oxygen that do not exceed 40 percent and having a remainder of nitrogen is permitted. Sea cucumbers may only be harvested by picking them by hand and placing them in bags. All other means of harvesting sea cucumbers are prohibited.
(g) Sea cucumbers may be harvested by divers using the following:
(1) scuba gear;
(2) a tethered, umbilical, surface-supplied system; or
(3) a snorkel.
(h) The department shall establish a guideline harvest level for each area open to the harvest of sea cucumbers. The guideline harvest level shall be based on population estimates from the department's biomass assessment, and shall be calculated as a product: Guideline Harvest Level = 3 x CF x GF x M x P, where:
CF = 0.4 scaling factor relating maximum sustainable fishing mortality to unexploited population size; GF = 0.5 correction factor to allow for errors in assumptions upon which the surplus production model is based; M = 0.32 estimated instantaneous mortality rate for sea cucumbers; P = virgin population size, taken as the lower bound of the one-sided 90 percent confidence interval.
The guideline harvest level includes a factor of three to account for a two-year closure under (c) of this section.
(i) Repealed 9/28/97.
(j) Repealed 7/18/2003.
(k) The following waters are closed to commercial sea cucumber fishing:
(1) District 1:
(A) subdistrict 101-27, in waters of Nichols Passage north of a line from the southernmost tip of Dall Head, located on the southernmost tip of Gravina Island, to the easternmost tip of Cedar Point, located on the western shore of Annette Island, and south of a line from the southernmost tip of Gravina Point, located on the southeast shore of Gravina Island, to the northernmost tip of Walden Point, located on the northwesternmost tip of Annette Island;
(B) waters east of a line from Indian Point at 55ΓΈ 36.85' N. lat., 131ΓΈ 42.02' W. long., to the northeasternmost tip of Betton Island at 55ΓΈ 31.95' N. lat., 131ΓΈ 46.37' W. long., to the southeasternmost tip of Betton Island at 55ΓΈ 29.90' N. lat., 131ΓΈ 48.18' W. long., to Survey Point at 55ΓΈ 28.07' N. lat., 131ΓΈ 49.87' W. long.;
(2) District 2: those waters less than 20 fathoms deep along the north shore of Kassan Bay from Grindall Point to the southern point of Harris Bay in Twelve-Mile Arm;
(3) District 3:
(A) the waters of Section 3-A that are north and east of a line from Halibut Nose to a point on Sukkwan Island at 55ΓΈ 09.27' N. lat., 132ΓΈ 53.77' W. long., north of a line from the southernmost tip of Sukkwan Island to a point on Prince of Wales Island at 54ΓΈ 59.53' N. lat., 131ΓΈ 36.73' W. long., and west of a line from a point on Prince of Wales Island at 55ΓΈ 08.95' N. lat., 132ΓΈ 28.05' W. long., located in Hetta Inlet approximately 1.2 nautical miles northeast of Eek Pt., to a point at 55ΓΈ 03.25' N. lat., 132ΓΈ 38.80' W. long., located approximately 0.6 nautical miles west of Lime Point, to a point on Prince of Wales Island at 54ΓΈ 59.53' N. lat., 132ΓΈ 36.73' W. long.;
(B) the waters of Section 3-B that are east of a line from the southernmost tip of St. Phillips Island to the westernmost tip of Point Animas, and east of a line from the southernmost tip of Point Amargura to the northernmost tip of Cape Flores, and north of the latitude of the southernmost tip of Joe Island;
(4) District 5: the waters of Shipley Bay east of a line from 56ΓΈ 05' N. lat., 133ΓΈ 39.50' W. long., to 56ΓΈ 07.17' N. lat., 133ΓΈ 38.58' W. long., and the waters of Seclusion Harbor, Three Mile Arm, and Rocky Pass north of 56ΓΈ 32' N. lat. (north end of Monte Carlo Island) and south of the latitude of the Summit at 56ΓΈ 40.57' N. lat.;
(5) District 6: the waters of Section 6-B of Whale Pass and Coffman Cove, including all waters along the shore of Prince of Wales Island, and the shores of the adjacent islands west of a line from Luck Point to a point at 56ΓΈ 10.30' N. lat., 133ΓΈ 02.25' W. long.;
(6) District 9: the waters of Rowan Bay and Bay of Pillars east of a line from Point Ellis to Point Sullivan;
(7) District 10: all waters west of a line extending from the Admiralty Island shoreline at 57ΓΈ 26' N. lat., 133ΓΈ 54.20' W. long. to Point Gambier to the northernmost tip of Gambier Island at 57ΓΈ 27.75' N. lat., 133ΓΈ 51.48' W. long.;
(8) District 11: the waters of Section 11-C along the western shore of Stephens Passage south of the latitude of Midway Island;
(9) District 12: the waters of District 12 in Chatham Strait along the shore of Admiralty Island south of the latitude of Danger Point Light and north of the latitude of Distant Point, including all waters of Kootznahoo Inlet and Hood Bay, and the waters in Chatham Strait along the Baranof Island shore south of the latitude of South Point and north of 57ΓΈ 07.50' N. lat. (southern entrance of Takatz Bay), excluding Kelp Bay;
(10) District 13:
(A) the waters of Section 13-A along the Chichagof Island shore south of 57ΓΈ 47' N. lat., and north of 57ΓΈ 37.17' N. lat., excluding Klag Bay, Lake Anna, and Sister Lake;
(B) the waters of Section 13-B in Whale Bay east of a line from North Cape to Point Lauder and a portion of Sitka Sound in Subdistrict 113-41 east of a line from the northern entrance to Deep Inlet at 56ΓΈ 59.62' N. lat., 135ΓΈ 18.67' W. long., to the westernmost tip of Long Island to Bieli Rock to Dog Point;
(11) District 14: the waters of Section 14-B in Port Frederick west and south of a line from Crist Point to Point Sophia;
(12) District 15: the waters of Section 15-C along the western shore of Lynn Canal south of the latitude of Point Sherman;
(13) District 16: the waters of Torch Bay north of the latitude of the southernmost point of Venisa Point.
History: Eff. 2/27/91, Register 117; am 4/15/94, Register 130; am 9/28/97, Register 143; am 12/26/97, Register 144; am 5/8/98, Register 146; am 10/12/2000, Register 156; am 3/11/2001, Register 157; am 7/18/2003, Register 167; am 12/1/2004, Register 172
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006