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Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC)
Special Meeting: June 28, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Bodega Bay, California
Ian Taniguchi, Senior Marine Biologist
4665 Lampson Ave. Suite C, Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: (562) 342-7182
Meeting Summary and Outcomes
RAAC Members Present: Ian Taniguchi, Steve Campi, Rocky Daniels, Richard Pogre, Steve Benavides, Brooke Halsey, Lt. Steve Riske, John Woodcock (alternate for Chris Voss).
Others Present: DFG – Sonke Mastrup (Deputy Director: Resources Management and Policy), Nancy Foley (Deputy Director: Enforcement), Marija Vojkovich (Marine Regional Manager), Dr. Laura Rogers Bennett, Kristi Juhasz.
Members of the public – Alicia Bonnette, Jeff Baldwin, Harry Vogel, Bill Bernard
On June 28, 2008, the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC) conducted a special meeting in Bodega Bay, CA.
Key outcomes from the meeting were as follows:
- The RAAC met with key Department managers to discuss the following abalone issues:
- Discussion of RAAC’s role and purpose in abalone regulation and management. The RAAC wished to discuss some concerns with the managers regarding their perceived less-than-important role in advising the Department on recent abalone issues. The RAAC also sought to find out how they can improve their relationship with the Department to be more involved in abalone management issues.
- Following on the previous discussion, the RAAC expressed interest in taking a more active role in the further development of the abalone tag/report card system. Plans were made for establishing a direct communications link between Enforcement and several appointed RAAC members
- Discussion of the MLPA initiative and how RAAC can become more involved in the process. A brief explanation of the process and several ideas of possible ways to be actively involved in the process were identified RAAC to act upon.
- An update to the San Miguel Island fishery consideration process was given to the RAAC
- Discussion of reopening the sport red abalone fishery along the coast in Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties was on the agenda but was tabled to the next meeting.
- RAAC’s discussion of abalone issues with Department managers
The main goal of this meeting was for RAAC members to have a chance to meet with Department managers to discuss their future role and purpose in abalone management and regulation recommendations. What prompted the meeting is RAAC’s concern that their past recommendations and input has either been after the fact or has been marginalized to some extent. RAAC’s intent was to directly discuss their concerns with the managers and to find solutions to their problems. RAAC conveyed their concerns which included, a lack of communication with the Department, and a strained relationship between recreational ab divers and enforcement due to discrepancies in enforcing report card regulations. A discussion of these issues yielded the following outcomes:
- For RAAC to play a more active role in abalone decisions and issues it needs to move beyond their advisory role as defined in statute. It was suggested that RAAC approach the Fish and Game Commission to ask if they can become a member of the Al Taucher Hunting and Fishing Committee. This will provide RAAC a direct communication link to the Commission.
- Another suggestion for RAAC to be more involved with abalone enforcement issues was to provide representatives from the committee that would directly communicate with Department enforcement staff on regulatory issues dealing with abalone. Rocky Danniels and Brooke Halsey agreed to be the representatives
- Another suggestion was for RAAC to define its overall goals for abalone management etc. what is its scope? For guidance on developing these goals it was suggested that RAAC meet with Department management yearly. Meeting yearly would also provide an improved communication pathway between the committee and the Department.
- The RAAC expressed its desire to be involved in the MLPA initiative process. For RAAC to have direct input into the process it was suggested that they provide input to the Regional Stakeholder Group or the science Advisory Team for southern California as soon as they are up and running. For more direct input RAAC should consider nominating a representative from the committee to the RSG and/or the SAT. RAAC moved to recommend that Steve Benavides be nominated to the South Coast RSG. It was also mentioned that Dr. Paul Dayton was also being nominated for the South Coast SAT outside of RAAC, but he would be an additional link between RAAC and the South Coast MLPA initiative process. RAAC also expressed interest in providing input into aspects of the MPA monitoring and the potential impacts to the abalone resource and fishery in the North Central Coast MPAs.
- Update on SMI fishery consideration process
An update on the SMI fishery consideration process was given by Ian Taniguchi. The AAG process is currently on hold due to two things: 1) the facilitation contract for the process has ended and a new contract is being generated and put into place, 2) most of the work in the process is now directed towards the TAC development process which is being lead by the Technical Panel. The AAG will reconvene in the fall after the new facilitation contract is in place and the Technical Panel has finished most of its work on developing the TAC methodology. A final report with recommendations to the Commission is projected to be ready by the early part of next year.
- Discussion of reopening the sport red abalone fishery along the coast in Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties
Due to time constraints this agenda item and discussion was tabled to the next meeting.