California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Commercial Sea Urchin Diving Permit - Assistant Provisions

Effective July 8, 1993, Section 120.7, Title 14, of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) allows a commercial sea urchin diver to have someone assist him or her under specific conditions. The qualifications and procedures for requesting authorization for an assistant diver are outlined below.

Permittee

The permittee must meet the following criteria:

  • Have held a valid Sea Urchin Diving Permit at the time of onset of his/her disability. If the permit has subsequently expired, the permittee will be required to appear before the Fish and Game Commission to appeal for reinstatement, and will be required to pay all back fees if the reinstatement request is approved.
  • Illness or injury must prevent the permittee from diving for a minimum of one year beyond the date of application for use of an assistant.  Such conditions shall not include common illnesses, or conditions caused or made worse by aging.
  • Is eligible to receive, a current Sea Urchin Diving Permit, and has no violations or pending violations for which the permittee's permit could be revoked.

Proposed Assistant

  • The proposed assistant must have a current California Commercial Fishing License and never had any California commercial fishing license or permit suspended or revoked, nor have any violations or pending violations for which his/her license or any commercial fishing permit may be revoked.

Conditions Upon Approval

  • The permittee must be on board the vessel when the assistant is diving under the authority of this provision.
  • The permittee may not dive while this authorization letter is in effect, even if the assistant is not actively diving.
  • The authorization for an assistant, if approved, will become invalid on April 1 each year. Extensions of the authorization will not be processed until the permittee has renewed his/her Sea Urchin Diving Permit. The processing fee must be submitted annually with the letter requesting an extension.

Application Process

The Permittee must submit a letter explaining the need for an assistant, and identifying the assistant for whom authorization is requested. The following items must be included:

  • a copy of the applicant's current Sea Urchin Diving Permit,
  • a copy of the proposed assistant's current California commercial fishing license, and
  • a letter from a qualified physician explaining the nature of the disease or illness, when the applicant became disabled, the anticipated duration of the disability, and attesting to the fact that the illness qualifies the diver for assistance pursuant to the following clauses in Section 120.7(q), Title 14, CCR:
    1. the diver became disabled "due to a severe unforeseen or catastrophic long-term (expected to be one year or longer) or permanent injury or disease", and
    2. the condition which prevents the permittee from diving does not include "short or long-term common illnesses, conditions caused or primarily exacerbated by aging, or any other condition which appears to be marginal or common, such as routine back or neck problems".
    (The permittee is advised to provide the physician a copy of these criteria before the physician prepares the letter describing the nature of the disability.)
  • payment of $330.

Mail these items to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
License and Revenue Branch
1740 N. Market Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95834

Review Process

Within a minimum of 20 business days of receipt of the applicant's letter and required enclosures, CDFW will review the request. If approved, CDFW will issue a letter to the permittee authorizing the use of the assistant requested, and provide instructions for extension/renewal of the substitution authorization if needed. If disapproved, CDFW will notify the permittee, explaining the reason for denial. The permittee has the right to appeal such denial to the Fish and Game Commission.

Please contact Ms. Debbie Noriega, Commercial Limited Entry Program Analyst at (916) 928-5817, or Debbie.Noriega@wildlife.ca.gov, if you have any further questions or require additional information.