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(a) The purpose of the management plan under this section is to direct the department in the management of the geoduck commercial fishery in Registration Area A (Southeastern Alaska Area). In the management of the commercial geoduck fishery, the department may consider paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) levels.
(c) From October 1 through September 30, geoducks may be taken only during fishing periods established by emergency order.
(d) There is no size limit for geoducks.
(e) A person must retain all geoducks harvested by that person.
(f) A person may only take geoducks with dive gear and while using a hand manually-operated, water jet device having a manual shut-off valve and a nozzle with an inside diameter of not more than seven-eighths inch. If the commissioner determines that the gear is being operated in a manner that wastes the resource, destroys the resource, or causes damage to geoducks or other fishery resources, the commissioner may close, by emergency order, the fishing season and reopen a season in which the commissioner modifies or prohibits the gear specified in this subsection.
(g) The department shall designate areas that are appropriate for commercial harvest of geoducks according to stock assessment surveys conducted by the department. The department shall establish a guideline harvest level for each area that has had a biomass survey conducted and the department has designated for a commercial geoduck fishery. The guideline harvest level will be based on estimates of biomass derived from stock assessment surveys conducted on the stock within the 12 years that precede the opening of the commercial geoduck fishery in that area. The guideline harvest level for each area will be calculated as two percent of the most recent estimated biomass, per year. The commissioner may modify these procedures by regulation based on new information regarding geoduck productivity.
(h) The commissioner may not open the commercial geoduck fishery in an area if the estimated biomass of the geoduck stock in that area is less than 30 percent of the original biomass determined by the first stock assessment conducted by the department on that stock. The commissioner may modify this percentage if the department receives information about geoduck productivity that supports a modification.
(i) A person shall attach a tag to each container that holds geoducks commercially harvested by that person. The tag must indicate the date of harvest, the harvest location, and the harvester's name. The person shall keep the tag attached to the container while it is being transported to a processor or dealer.
(j) A person that commercially harvested geoducks is required to submit a fish ticket under 5 AAC 39.130 and shall record on that fish ticket
(1) the pounds of geoducks harvested;
(2) the area fished for geoducks;
(3) the dive time, for each area, given in minutes, for harvesting the geoducks specified on that fish ticket; and
(4) any other information the commissioner determines is necessary for the conservation and management of the geoduck fishery.
(k) The commissioner may establish the maximum amount of geoducks that may be harvested during a fishing period. If the commissioner determines that a rate of delivering geoducks will contribute to conservation, law enforcement, waste reduction, or assist the development of the fishery, the commissioner may close, by emergency order, a fishing period in a designated area, and reopen a fishing period in the same area for which the commissioner designates a rate of delivery.
( l ) The following waters in District 1 are closed to the commercial taking of geoducks:
(1) waters of Grant Cove, and contiguous waters along the west coast of Gravina Island, south of 55ΓΈ 21.37' N. lat., and north of 55ΓΈ 20.70' N. lat.;
(2) 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.;
(3) waters of Port Mayoral that are north of the latitude of the northernmost tip of Cristina Island (55ΓΈ 22.83' N. lat.) and south of the latitude of Point San Leonardo (55ΓΈ 24.25' N. lat.).
History: Eff. 10/12/2000, Register 156; am 3/11/2001, Register 157; am 7/18/2003, Register 167; em am 3/9/2005 - 7/6/2005, Register 174
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006