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(a) The requirements of this management plan apply to the commercial taking of red sea urchins in Registration Area A.
(b) A permit described in 5 AAC 38.062 is not required for the taking of red sea urchins in Registration Area A.
(c) The season for taking red sea urchins is from October 1 through September 30.
(d) Red sea urchins may be taken only during periods established by emergency order, and from October through March, only from 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. and from April through September, only from 5:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
(e) If the commissioner determines that hours different from those set out in (d) of this section will contribute to law enforcement or to management of the red sea urchin fishery, the commissioner may specify, by emergency order, other hours during which red sea urchins may be taken.
(f) The commissioner shall open fishing periods in at least 16 weeks of a season unless the commissioner determines that this frequency will adversely impact conservation, law enforcement, waste reduction, or development of the fishery.
(g) During an open fishing period for red sea urchins, no more than two licensed CFEC red sea urchin permit holders may conduct fishing operations from, or land commercially harvested red sea urchins from, a vessel that is licensed and registered to participate in the commercial red sea urchin fishery. From 24 hours before, during, and for 24 hours after a fishing period or at any time that commercially harvested red sea urchins are on board the vessel, no more than three licensed CFEC red sea urchin permit holders may be transported, housed, quartered, or domiciled on board a vessel that is licensed and registered to commercially take, transport, or process red sea urchins.
(h) Notwithstanding 5 AAC 38.051, red sea urchins may be taken only by hand picking. A person taking red sea urchins may use a hand-held sea urchin rake or an abalone iron.
(i) A person diving for red sea urchins may use scuba gear, a tethered, umbilical, surface supplied system, or a snorkel.
(j) The commissioner shall establish, by emergency order, subdistricts for the taking of red sea urchins.
(k) Except as provided in (l) of this section, there is no size limit for red sea urchins.
( l ) If the commissioner determines that size restrictions or trip limits will contribute to conservation, law enforcement, waste reduction, or promote development of the fishery, the commissioner may close, by emergency order, the red sea urchin fishing season in a district or subdistrict, and reopen a season in that district or subdistrict during which size restrictions or trip limits are in effect.
(m) Until the roe is removed by processing, a person shall keep red sea urchins taken from different fishing districts or subdistricts in separate containers, and shall clearly mark on each container the district or the subdistrict in which the urchins were taken and the name of the diver who took the urchins. If all red sea urchins on board a vessel were taken from the same district or subdistrict, no marking under this subsection is required.
(n) A vessel that is used for the processing of red sea urchins must carry an onboard observer as specified in 5 AAC 39.141 - 5 AAC 39.143 and 5 AAC 39.645 if unprocessed red sea urchins are on board that vessel. Until October 1, 2006, the commissioner may, instead of requiring an onboard observer under this section, require that the processing of red sea urchins be conducted under a permit issued by the commissioner with the following conditions:
(1) each person shall keep the processed red sea urchins taken from different fishing districts or subdistricts in separate containers, and separate from any other person's processed red sea urchins; the person shall clearly mark each container with the district or subdistrict from which the urchins were taken and the name of the person who took the urchins;
(2) all red sea urchins must be processed on board the vessel that harvested the urchins;
(3) no more than two persons may process red sea urchins on board a vessel under this subsection;
(4) a person may process only the red sea urchins harvested by that person;
(5) any other conditions the commissioner deems necessary for the conservation and management of an orderly fishery.
(o) In addition to the applicable requirements of 5 AAC 39.130, a diver shall report on ADF&G fish tickets the pounds taken and dive times by subdistrict.
(p) The department shall establish a guideline harvest level for each district or subdistrict open to commercial fishing for red sea urchins. The guideline harvest level shall be based on population estimates from the department's biomass assessment. The initial guideline harvest level shall be six percent of the virgin population size, taken as the lower bound of the one-sided 90 percent confidence interval. Fishing shall not be allowed in a district or subdistrict unless a stock assessment survey to determine biomass and size distribution has been conducted in that district or subdistrict within the previous three years. If the commissioner receives new information about red sea urchin productivity or if the commissioner determines that modifying the guideline harvest level will contribute to conservation, law enforcement, waste reduction, or promote development of the fishery, the commissioner may modify the guideline harvest level.
(q) The commissioner shall close a district or subdistrict to the taking of red sea urchins when the commissioner determines from the prevailing rate of harvest that the guideline harvest level in that district or subdistrict will be reached.
(r) The department shall, to the extent practicable, attempt to manage the fishery so that approximately 25 percent of the guideline harvest level is taken within 30 days of each emergency opening unless the commissioner determines that this will adversely impact conservation, law enforcement, waste reduction, or development of the fishery.
(s) The following waters are closed to the taking of red sea urchins:
(1) in District 1,
(A) subdistrict 101-27, 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 Island (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) in District 4,
(A) waters east of a line that extends from Lontana Point to Diver's Island Light to Diver's Point;
(B) repealed 7/18/2003.
(t) In this section, "processing" means the removal of roe from red sea urchins for subsequent sale; "processing" does not include the occasional sampling of roe quality by a person who harvests red sea urchins.
History: Eff. 12/8/96, Register 140; am 9/28/97, Register 143; am 5/8/98, Register 146; am 10/12/2000, Register 156; am 3/11/2001, Register 157; am 7/18/2003, Register 167
Authority: AS 16.05.060
Editor's note: At its January 21 - 31, 1997 meeting, and in accordance with 5 AAC 39.210, the Board of Fisheries approved the commissioner of fish and game's adoption of 5 AAC 38.145, which took effect 12/8/96, and, additionally, amended that regulation effective 9/28/97, Register 143.
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Last modified 7/05/2006