Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill authored by state Sen. Noreen Evans that is designed to even the playing field in California's competitive Dungeness crab industry.

The bill, SB 369, sets crab trap limits in an effort to prevent out-of-state fishermen from gaining unfair advantage over others in the pursuit of the prized crustacean.

"It has been a long road getting here, but with the cooperation and close involvement of our fishermen they now have the rules they wanted to protect the future of both our fishermen and the Dungeness crab fishery," Evans, D-Santa Rosa said.

The new law also is intended to protect marine mammals from getting entangled in fishing gear by reducing the amount of gear left in the water.

Evans said her bill followed the recommendations of the former Dungeness Crab Task Force.

Crab fishermen purchase crab trap permits and pay tag fees which pay for the trap tags and the administration and enforcement of the program. Only fishermen who are eligible to own California crab vessel permits can purchase the permits.