National Fisherman

SAN FRANCISCO — Catching undersize Dungeness crabs is a crime, and it's no defense to claim you didn't know they were too small. But it's not much of a crime, a San Francisco appellate panel said, and the penalty must be modest as well - not a fine that ate up a commercial fisherman's profit for the day.
In a ruling published Friday as a precedent for future cases, the Appellate Division of San Francisco Superior Court upheld Tim Estes' misdemeanor conviction for hauling in too many crabs below the legal minimum size, but overturned a judge's $47,000 forfeiture order and said Estes must be resentenced.
Estes, a Fort Bragg (Mendocino County) resident, has operated a crab boat for more than 20 years, piloting the vessel and directing placement of crab pots but leaving the measurement of crabs to his crew.
After taking in about 44,000 pounds of Dungeness crabs in offshore waters one day in November 2010, he was told by state Fish and Game wardens that some appeared to be below the minimum breadth of 6 1/4 inches, a level set by state law to help preserve the species.
After measurements in which Estes cooperated, the wardens found that crabs weighing 991 pounds, or 2.2 percent of the total, were undersize, and returned them to San Francisco Bay. Estes was charged with violating a law against catching more than 1 percent undersize crabs in any single haul.
Read the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle>>

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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