California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan

The California Spiny Lobster is an important natural resource managed by the state of California for over 100 years. The species supports a valuable commercial fishery and a significant recreational fishery. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has drafted a Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to guide future management of the fishery as required by the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA).

The MLMA identifies external scientific review as a key tool to ensure management decisions are based on the best available scientific information. It is crucial that management decisions be based upon a foundation of the best available science, and therefore CDFW has asked the California Ocean Science Trust (OST) to coordinate an external scientific and technical review of the harvest control rule threshold reference points prescribed in the draft Lobster FMP and supporting materials. The peer review process will take place from November 2014 through February 2015.

Harvest control rules are plans of action that prescribe adjustments in harvest regulations (e.g. fishing effort, allowable catch, minimum legal size) and are activated (“triggered”) when a defined catch or biological limit, also known as a threshold reference point, is reached. CDFW is seeking an independent assessment of whether the technical components and supporting documents that underpin the proposed threshold reference points prescribed in the draft Lobster FMP are scientifically sound and reasonable given CDFW's currently available data streams and analysis techniques. Read additional information about the review process of the Lobster FMP.

CDFW is releasing the preliminary draft of the Lobster Fisheries FMP during the scientific review process as a courtesy to constituents. Public feedback is not being solicited on the preliminary draft, as sections of the FMP could be revised as a result of the scientific peer review.

The Lobster FMP is scheduled to be introduced to the Fish and Game Commission during the first Quarter of 2015. At that time the formal public review process will begin and public comment on the Lobster FMP will be sought.

Lobster FMP Timeline

2012

  • Public Meetings: April 18 and 19
  • Lobster Advisory Committee Meetings:
    June 20, August 1, December 5

2013

  • Lobster Advisory Committee Meetings:
    April 10, June 12, July 10, August 15, September 11

2014

  • External Scientific Peer Review: November 2014 - February 2015
  • Courtesy release of preliminary draft of Lobster Fishery Management Plan: November 2014

2015

  • Fish and Game Commission receives Lobster Fishery Management Plan, and the process for formal public review comment of Fishery Management Plan is initiated: 1st Quarter, 2015
  • Environmental document prepared to accompany Lobster Fishery Management Plan
  • Fish and Game Commission adopts Lobster Fishery Management Plan: 2nd Quarter, 2015
  • Fish and Game Commission receives Lobster Fishery Management Plan implementing regulations (includes LAC recommendations), and the process for formal public review and comment of proposed regulations is initiated: 3rd Quarter, 2015
  • Fish and Game Commission adopts Lobster Fishery Management Plan implementing regulations: 4th Quarter 2015
CA spiny lobster ventures from its den. CDFW photo by Derek Stein.

CA spiny lobster ventures from its rocky hiding place.
CDFW photo by Derek Stein

 
 

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