California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Channel Islands MPAs: General MPA Regulations

The areas specified in this section have been declared by the commission to be marine protected areas or special closures. Public use of marine protected areas or special closures shall be compatible with the primary purposes of such areas, and subject to the following applicable general rules and regulations, except as otherwise provided for in sub-section 632(b), Areas and Special Regulations for Use. Nothing in this section expressly or implicitly precludes, restricts or requires modification of current or future uses of the waters identified as marine protected areas, special closures, or the lands or waters adjacent to these designated areas by the Department of Defense, its allies or agents.

  1. General Rules and Regulations:

    1. Protection of Resources.

      1. State Marine Reserves: In a state marine reserve, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a permit or specific authorization from the commission for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes.

      2. State Marine Parks: In a state marine park, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living or nonliving marine resource for commercial exploitation purposes. Any human use that would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community or habitat, or geological, cultural, or recreational features, may be restricted by the commission as specified in sub-section 632(b), Areas and Special Regulations for Use. The commission may permit research, monitoring, and educational activities and certain recreational harvest in a manner consistent with protecting resource values.

      3. State Marine Conservation Areas: In a state marine conservation area, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes except as specified in sub-section 632(b), Areas and Special Regulations for Use. The commission may permit research, education, and recreational activities, and certain commercial and recreational harvest of marine resources, provided that these uses do not compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features.

    2. Pelagic Finfish. Pelagic finfish, for the purpose of this section, are defined as: northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), barracudas (Sphyraena spp.), billfishes* (family Istiophoridae), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus), salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), blue shark (Prionace glauca), salmon shark (Lamna ditropis), shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), thresher sharks (Alopias spp.), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), tunas (family Scombridae), and yellowtail (Seriola lalandi).
      *Marlin is not allowed for commercial take.

    3. Access. Access into marine protected areas for non-consumptive uses including but not limited to swimming, surfing, diving, boating, hiking and walking is allowed unless otherwise specified in sub-section 632(b), Areas and Special Regulations for Use.

    4. Ejection. Employees of the department may eject any person from a marine protected area for violation of any of these rules or regulations or for any reason when it appears that the general safety or welfare of the marine protected area, its associated flora and fauna, or persons thereon is endangered.

    5. Introduction of Species. Unless authorized by the commission, the release of any fish or wildlife species, including domestic or domesticated species, or the introduction of any plant species, is prohibited. The department may reintroduce endemic species to marine protected areas for management purposes.

    6. Feeding of Wildlife. The feeding of wildlife is prohibited.

    7. Anchoring. Vessels shall be allowed to anchor in any marine protected area with catch onboard unless otherwise specified in sub-section 632(b), Areas and Special Regulations for Use. Fishing gear shall be stowed and not in use while anchored in a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in sub-section 632(b), shall be stowed and not in use while anchored in a state marine park or state marine conservation area. Anchoring regulations shall be consistent with federal law and allowances made for anchoring required by emergency or severe weather.

    8. Transit. Vessels shall be allowed to transit through marine protected areas with catch onboard. Fishing gear shall be stowed and not in use while transiting through a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in sub-section 632(b), shall be stowed and not in use while transiting through a state marine park or state marine conservation area. marine conservation area.