LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Blake’s bill to recover derelict gear goes to Senate

OLYMPIA—On a unanimous vote yesterday, the Washington House of Representatives approved a measure addressing the recovery of coastal crab derelict gear.

HB 2250 authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with current commercial coastal Dungeness crab license holders, to expand the Coastal Commercial Dungeness Crab Pot Removal Program during the fishery that occurs from May 1 through September 15.

“Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable single species fishery on the West Coast. To help preserve economic viability for our coastal communities, we need to preserve access to our crab resource,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, the bill’s prime sponsor and Chair of the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “Addressing economic impacts and risk to whales will significantly improve crab fisheries management.”

House Bill 2250 is now in the Senate for further consideration.