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In Other Ocean News


Question: I have a question about Gooseneck Barnacles.  In the F&W regulations it states that Gooseneck Barnacles can not be taken or possessed at anytime.  Can you tell me why?  I have spoken with Jerry K. the biologist at the Fort Bragg F&W office and he did not know why and suggested I contact you.  Currently, the only legal way you can obtain them is by purchasing them in a dish at a high end restaurant.  The barnacles sold in these dishes are imported from Spain.  I collect mussels in season and the barnacles are nearly as prolific as the mussels, and in the same locations as the mussels.

Curt Haney, San Francisco

Answer: I suspect that as with so many of our regulations, goosenecks were not included with the inverts that can be taken because no one spoke up when the list was made to say, “Hey, people eat goosenecks!”. CCR Title 14, section 29.05 lists those animals that may be taken within the intertidal zone, and no barnacles (including gooseneck barnacles) are included. These regulations are reviewed and often amended every two years and the Fish and Game Commission could consider adding barnacles to those animals that can be taken. Feel free to contact the Commission with your request (www.fgc.ca.gov/). They would ultimately decide if they could be added.

I hope this helps!

* Everybody needs to write to them and ask for them to be added to the list of inverts in inner tidal areas that we can harvest.  The more people that ask, the better chance we have for them to add them to the list.

Question: I have a question regarding what appears to be abandoned commercial fishing gear. My three dive buddies and I are all instructors and regularly find lost fishing gear snaring marine life. Generally, they are old lobster traps without any line or buoys still attached. Sometimes the traps still contain live lobsters in them. We have been afraid to touch them.

Can we release lobsters from what looks to be lost gear? Any help you can provide to help us understand what we can and can't do, and under what rules, would be appreciated. We are tired of just swimming by them. (Randall K., Visalia)

Answer: Thank you for contacting us. Lost fishing gear - both commercial and recreational - sits on the seafloor, gets caught on rocks, and can remain in the marine environment for years, harming habitats and continuing to catch fish and invertebrates.

You cannot keep the lobster caught in the lost traps, but you can let them go and leave the trap doors open so that they no longer trap marine life, then report the location of the lost gear to one of the following organizations. If possible, please report sightings of lost recreational and commercial fishing gear (even anonymous reports are accepted) by calling (888) 491-GEAR or visiting the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project webpage. You may also contact the Ocean Defenders Alliance at (714) 875-5881 or visit their website


Question: In a recent column you said that you could not take Dungeness crabs on scuba. Did I read that correctly or were you referring to seasons? (Duanne S.)

Answer: I said when Dungeness crab season is open they may be taken by hand via scuba, but divers may not possess any hooked device while diving or attempting to dive for them (CCR Title 14, Section 29.80(g)

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