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California Marine Protected Areas

North Farallon Islands Special Closure
Important: As of October 1, 2014 new MPA regulations are in effect.
Management Area: Northern California (Pigeon Pt. northward)

County: San Francisco

Nearest Port: San Francisco

Regulations in Effect Since: 5/1/2010

Boundaries: Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 1000 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of North Farallon Island, or to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of the remaining three southern islets, including the Island of St. James, in the vicinity of 37° 46' N. lat. 123° 06' W. long.

Recreational Fishing

Allowed Species: None

Prohibited Species: All

Commercial Fishing

Allowed Species: None

Prohibited Species: All

Other Regulations:

No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area.

All vessels shall observe a five (5) nautical mile per hour speed limit within 1,000 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of the islets.

In an area bounded by the mean high tide line and a distance of one nautical mile seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any of the four islets comprising the North Farallon Islands, the following restrictions apply:

  1. All commercial diving vessels operating in the defined area shall have their vessel engine exhaust system terminate either through a muffler for dry exhaust systems, or below the vessel waterline for wet exhaust systems.
  2. All commercial diving vessels equipped with an open, deck-mounted air compressor system, while operating in the defined area, shall have their air compressor's engine exhaust system terminate below the vessel waterline.