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FAC Sec 79040-79057 Sea Urchin Commission (Sea Urchins)
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL CODE
79040. There is in the state government the California Sea Urchin
Commission. The commission shall be composed of 11 voting members,
including five sea urchin handlers, five sea urchin divers, and one
public member, and may include any number of nonvoting members, at
the discretion of the commission.
(a) Handlers shall elect five commission members from among those
persons qualified pursuant to this act and licensed pursuant to the
Fish and Game Code to engage in the sea urchin fishery or a person
specifically representing one or more handlers.
(b) (1) Divers statewide shall elect five persons from among those
persons qualified pursuant to this act and licensed pursuant to the
Fish and Game Code to engage in the sea urchin fishery.
(2) One diver member shall be elected from each of the following
(A) San Diego, Orange, or Los Angeles County.
(B) Ventura County.
(C) Santa Barbara County.
(D) Sonoma County.
(E) Mendocino County.
(3) Persons nominated for election to the commission as a diver
member shall be nominated by a petition signed by not less than 10
divers eligible to vote pursuant to this chapter.
(c) The public member shall be appointed to the commission by the
secretary from nominees recommended by the commission.
(d) The secretary and other appropriate individuals, as determined
by the commission, shall be nonvoting members of the commission.
(e) If the secretary finds, pursuant to Section 79103, that either
the divers or handlers, but not both, have voted in favor of the
referendum, the number of commission voting members shall be six,
composed of either five divers or five handlers, depending on which
portion of the industry voted in favor of the referendum, elected
pursuant to this section and one public member.
(f) If the composition of the commission is determined by
subdivision (e) it shall also include at least one nonvoting member
appointed by the commission representing either divers or handlers,
whichever did not vote in favor of the referendum.
79041. (a) The secretary may require the commission to correct or
cease any existing activity or function that is determined by the
secretary not to be in the public interest or that is in violation of
(b) If the commission refuses or fails to cease those activities
or functions or to make the corrections as required by the secretary,
the secretary may, upon written notice, suspend all or a portion of
the activities or functions of the commission until the time that the
cessation or correction of activities or functions as required by
the secretary has been accomplished by the commission.
(c) Actions of the commission in violation of the written notice
are without legal force or effect. The secretary, to the extent
feasible, shall issue the written notice prior to the commission
entering into any contractual relationship affecting the existing or
proposed activities or functions that are the subject of the written
(d) Upon service of the written notice, the secretary shall notify
the commission in writing of the specific acts that the secretary
determines are not in the public interest or are in violation of this
chapter, his or her reasons for requiring a cessation or correction
of specific existing or proposed activities or functions, and
recommendations that will make the activities or functions
79042. The commission or the secretary may bring an action for
judicial relief from the secretary's written notice, or from
noncompliance by the commission with the written notice, as the case
may be, in a court of competent jurisdiction, which may issue a
temporary restraining order, permanent injunction, or other
79043. When the secretary is required to concur in a decision of
the commission, the secretary shall give his or her response to the
commission within 15 working days from notification of the decision.
The secretary's response may be a requirement that additional
information be provided.
79044. The commission shall reimburse the secretary for all
expenditures incurred by the secretary in carrying out his or her
duties and responsibilities pursuant to this chapter. However, a
court may, if it finds that the secretary acted arbitrarily or
capriciously in restricting the activities or functions of the
commission, relieve the commission of the responsibility for payment
of the secretary's legal costs with regard to that action.
79045. Except for nonvoting members, alternates for regular
members may be elected in the same manner as members. An alternate
shall, in the absence of the member for whom he or she is
substituting, serve in place of a member and shall have and be able
to exercise all the rights, privileges, and powers of a member when
serving on the commission. In the event of a change in status making
a member ineligible to serve, or due to death, removal, resignation,
or disqualification of a member, an alternate shall act as a member
of the commission until a qualified successor is elected or
79046. Any vacancy on the commission occurring by the failure of
any person elected to the commission as a member or alternate to
continue in his or her position due to a change in status making him
or her ineligible to serve, or due to death, removal or resignation,
shall be filled by another eligible person for the unexpired portion
of the term by a majority vote of the remaining members of the
commission. The person shall fulfill all the qualifications set
forth in this article as required for the person whose office he or
she is to occupy.
79047. Any vacancy on the commission occurring by the failure of
the public member to continue in his or her position due to a change
in status making him or her ineligible to serve, or due to death,
removal, resignation, or disqualification, shall be filled by another
eligible person for the unexpired portion of the term by the
secretary from nominees recommended by the commission. The person
shall fulfill all the qualifications set forth in this article as
required for the member whose office he or she is to occupy.
79048. (a) (1) Any handler member and his or her alternate on the
commission shall be an individual handler or an employee or
representative of one or more handlers who have an ownership interest
in a handling facility or who can document a substantial financial
interest in processing or causing to be processed sea urchin for
(2) Qualifications of handler members and their alternates shall
be maintained during their entire term of office.
(b) Any handler member or his or her alternate shall not have been
convicted within the two years prior to election to the commission
of a violation of any law related to the business of commercially
handling any fish or seafood products, not including any technical
reporting or paperwork violation.
79049. (a) Any diver member and his or her alternate on the
commission shall be an individual diver who has documented landings
of sea urchin in the previous commercial fishing license year.
Qualifications of diver members and their alternates shall be
maintained during their entire term of office.
(b) Any diver member or his or her alternate shall not have been
convicted within the two years prior to election to the commission of
a violation of any law related to commercial fishing, not including
any technical reporting or paperwork violation.
79050. The public member and his or her alternate member on the
commission shall have all the powers, rights, and privileges of any
other member or alternate, respectively, on the commission. The
public member and his or her alternate member shall not have any
financial interest in the sea urchin fishery.
79051. (a) The term of office of all members and alternates on the
commission, except nonvoting members, shall be two years from the
beginning of the fishery season in the year of their election and may
serve not more than two consecutive terms. Following the final
term, a member may serve up to 12 months or until a qualified
successor is elected, whichever occurs first.
(b) A member or alternate who has served the maximum number of
sequential years authorized by this section shall be again eligible
for election to the commission following a period of not less than 12
months during which he or she has not served as either a member or
79052. The commission shall be, and is hereby declared and created,
a corporate body. It shall have the power to sue and be sued, to
contract and be contracted with, and to have and possess all of the
powers of a corporation. It may adopt a corporate seal. Copies of
its proceedings, records, and acts, when authenticated, shall be
prima facie evidence of the truth of all statements therein.
79053. A quorum of the commission shall be six voting members,
including at least two handlers and two divers. Except as provided
in Section 79143, the vote of a majority of members present at a
meeting at which there is a quorum shall constitute the act of the
79054. The secretary or his or her representative shall be notified
and may attend each meeting of the commission and any committee
meetings of the commission. However, the secretary or his or her
representative is not entitled to attend an executive session of the
commission or a committee of the commission called for the purpose of
discussing potential or actual litigation against the department.
79055. No member or alternate of the commission or member of a
committee established by the commission who is a nonmember of the
commission shall receive a salary. Each member of the commission and
each alternate serving in place of a member, except nonvoting
members who are officers or employees of a public agency, and each
member of a committee established by the commission who is a
nonmember of the commission, may receive reasonable and necessary
traveling expenses and meal allowances as approved by the commission
for each day spent in actual attendance at, or in traveling to and
from, meetings of the commission or committees of the commission, or
on special assignment for the commission.
79056. (a) All funds received by the commission or an agent of the
commission from the assessments levied under this chapter or
otherwise received by the commission shall be deposited in accounts
that the commission may designate and the secretary shall approve.
Commission funds shall by expended for the purposes of this chapter
only and shall be disbursed by order of the commission through an
agent or agents as it may designate for that purpose. The agent or
agents shall be bonded by a fidelity bond, executed by a surety
company authorized to transact business in this state, in favor of
the commission, in an amount of not less than twenty-five thousand
(b) Funds that exceed the amount of funds necessary for the annual
operations of the commission and a prudent reserve may be invested
by the commission in any of the securities authorized in Section
16430 of the Government Code.
79057. The state is not liable for the acts of the commission or
its contracts. Payments of all claims arising by reason of the
administration of this chapter or acts of the commission are limited
to the funds collected by the commission. No member or alternate of
the commission, or any employee or agent thereof, is personally
liable for the contracts of the commission. No member or alternate
of the commission, or any employee or agent thereof, is responsible
individually in any way to any other person for errors in judgment,
mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as
principal, agent, or employee, except for his or her own individual
acts of dishonesty or crime. No member or alternate of the
commission, or any employee or agent thereof, is responsible
individually for any act or omission of any other member or alternate
of the commission, or any employee or agent thereof. Liability is
several and not joint, and no member or alternate of the commission,
or any employee or agent thereof, is liable for the default of any
other member or alternate of the commission, or any employee or agent