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FGC Sec 90-99.5 Marine Life Definitions
FISH AND GAME CODE
90. The definitions in this chapter govern the construction of
Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1700) of Division 2 and Division 6
(commencing with Section 5500) and all regulations adopted pursuant
to those provisions.
90.1. "Adaptive management," in regard to a marine fishery, means a
scientific policy that seeks to improve management of biological
resources, particularly in areas of scientific uncertainty, by
viewing program actions as tools for learning. Actions shall be
designed so that even if they fail, they will provide useful
information for future actions. Monitoring and evaluation shall be
emphasized so that the interaction of different elements within the
system can be better understood.
90.5. "Bycatch" means fish or other marine life that are taken in a
fishery but which are not the target of the fishery. "Bycatch"
90.7. "Depressed," with regard to a marine fishery, means the
condition of a fishery for which the best available scientific
information, and other relevant information that the commission or
department possesses or receives, indicates a declining population
trend has occurred over a period of time appropriate to that fishery.
With regard to fisheries for which management is based on maximum
sustainable yield, or in which a natural mortality rate is available,
"depressed" means the condition of a fishery that exhibits declining
fish population abundance levels below those consistent with maximum
91. "Discards" means fish that are taken in a fishery but are not
retained because they are of an undesirable species, size, sex, or
quality, or because they are required by law not to be retained.
93. "Essential fishery information," with regard to a marine
fishery, means information about fish life history and habitat
requirements; the status and trends of fish populations, fishing
effort, and catch levels; fishery effects on fish age structure and
on other marine living resources and users, and any other information
related to the biology of a fish species or to taking in the fishery
that is necessary to permit fisheries to be managed according to the
requirements of this code.
94. "Fishery" means both of the following:
(a) One or more populations of marine fish or marine plants that
may be treated as a unit for purposes of conservation and management
and that are identified on the basis of geographical, scientific,
technical, recreational, and economic characteristics.
(b) Fishing for, harvesting, or catching the populations
described in (a).
96. "Marine living resources" includes all wild mammals, birds,
reptiles, fish, and plants that normally occur in or are associated
with salt water, and the marine habitats upon which these animals and
plants depend for their continued viability.
96.5. "Maximum sustainable yield" in a marine fishery means the
highest average yield over time that does not result in a continuing
reduction in stock abundance, taking into account fluctuations in
abundance and environmental variability.
97. "Optimum yield," with regard to a marine fishery, means the
amount of fish taken in a fishery that does all of the following:
(a) Provides the greatest overall benefit to the people of
California, particularly with respect to food production and
recreational opportunities, and takes into account the protection of
(b) Is the maximum sustainable yield of the fishery, as reduced by
relevant economic, social, or ecological factors.
(c) In the case of an overfished fishery, provides for rebuilding
to a level consistent with producing maximum sustainable yield in the
97.5. "Overfished," with regard to a marine fishery, means both of
(a) A depressed fishery.
(b) A reduction of take in the fishery is the principal means for
rebuilding the population.
98. "Overfishing" means a rate or level of taking that the best
available scientific information, and other relevant information that
the commission or department possesses or receives, indicates is not
sustainable or that jeopardizes the capacity of a marine fishery to
produce the maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis.
98.2. "Participants" in regard to a fishery means the sportfishing,
commercial fishing, and fish receiving and processing sectors of the
98.5. "Population" or "stock" means a species, subspecies,
geographical grouping, or other category of fish capable of
management as a unit.
99. "Restricted access," with regard to a marine fishery, means a
fishery in which the number of persons who may participate, or the
number of vessels that may be used in taking a specified species of
fish, or the catch allocated to each fishery participant, is limited
by statute or regulation.
99.5. "Sustainable," "sustainable use," and "sustainability," with
regard to a marine fishery, mean both of the following:
(a) Continuous replacement of resources, taking into account
fluctuations in abundance and environmental variability.
(b) Securing the fullest possible range of present and long-term
economic, social, and ecological benefits, maintaining biological
diversity, and, in the case of fishery management based on maximum
sustainable yield, taking in a fishery that does not exceed optimum