California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group
Reducing the Risk of Whale Entanglements in California: Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group
A Working Group has been convened by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with California Ocean Protection Council and National Marine Fisheries Service, to address an increase in large whale entanglements in Dungeness crab fishing gear. Established in September 2015, the Working Group is comprised of commercial and recreational fishermen, environmental organization representatives, members of the disentanglement network, and state and federal agencies. The Working Group’s charge is to:
- Collaboratively inform and guide the state of California (CDFW, OPC, Fish and Game Commission, and the Legislature) in addressing key information gaps and/or measures to reduce the risks of entanglements in Dungeness crab fishing gear;
- Provide guidance and recommendations to the California Dungeness crab fishing industry, including the DCTF, about how to avoid/minimize whale entanglements and identify measures or experiments that can be developed or implemented by the fishing community to address the entanglement issue; and
- Guide whale entanglement reduction efforts by establishing priorities for the Working Group, and help inform other entities seeking to address the issue of whale entanglements in California.
2018-19 Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP)
The Working Group has developed a draft Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) to support the state in working collaboratively with experts (fishermen, researchers, NGOs, etc.) to identify and assess elevated levels of entanglement risk and determine the need for management options to reduce risk of entanglement.
For more information, please visit: the RAMP webpage.
Updates & Recommendations
- 2018-2019 Recommendations Memo
- 2017-18 RAMP Pilot Lessons Learned Summary
- 2017-2018 Updates & Recommendations to Reduce Risk of Whale Entanglements – January 10, 2018
- Administrative Update: Working Group Progress, March 2017
- 2016 Working Group Recommendations and Next Steps, October 24, 2016
Working Group Meeting Summaries
- September 25-26, 2018: Working Group Meeting Summary
- August 1-2, 2018: Working Group Meeting Summary
- April 23-24, 2018: Working Group Meeting Summary
- The Working Group has been meeting since September 2015. A complete archive of meeting summaries from in-person meetings and conference calls may be found here.
Working Group Products
- Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) Overview
- Working Group Fact Sheet
- Guidelines for Research and Development Projects (February 2019)
- The Working Group’s Statement of Research Priorities
- 2018-2019 Best Fishing Practices Guide: The Working Group has updated the Best Practices Guide for the 2018-2019 fishing season. Please note the new commercial surface gear regulations included in the guide.
- Aerial Survey Reports
- Working Group Letters of Support
- April 5, 2018: Letter of Support to Senator McGuire: SB 1309 Fishing: Fisheries Omnibus Bill of 2018
- April 6, 2018: Letter of Support to Senate Budget Subcommittee 2: Support for the Governor’s 2018-2019 Draft Budget, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Budget (3600) $500k for Whale Protection Risk Assessment and Management Program
- April 6, 2018: Letter of Support to Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3: Support for the Governor’s 2018-2019 Draft Budget, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Budget (3600) $500k for Whale Protection Risk Assessment and Management Program
- CA Department of Fish and Wildlife Dungeness crab webpage
- NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region marine mammal disentanglement webpage
- NOAA 2015 Whale Entanglements off the West Coast of the United States
- NOAA 2016 West Coast Entanglement Summary
- Dungeness Crab Task Force webpage
For more information about the Working Group’s efforts, including the RAMP and opportunities to provide feedback and share your expertise, contact the Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean Protection Council
- Paige Berube: email@example.com
Facilitation Team: Strategic Earth Consulting