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HB 95: "An Act relating to permits for aquatic farming of geoducks."

00                              HOUSE BILL NO. 95                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to permits for aquatic farming of geoducks."                                                           
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  AS 16.40 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                 
04            Sec. 16.40.115.  Permits relating to aquatic farming of geoducks.  (a)  The                                
05       commissioner shall issue a permit under AS 16.40.100 to operate an aquatic farm for                               
06       geoducks, at a site where an indigenous population of geoducks is not present and                                 
07       where a preexisting commercial fishery does not occur, within 30 days after the later                             
08       of                                                                                                                
09                 (1)  approval of the development and operation plan for aquatic farming                                 
10       of geoducks at the site;                                                                                          
11                 (2)  the determination that the proposed aquatic farm is consistent with                                
12       the Alaska coastal management program; and                                                                        
13                 (3)  a finding by the commissioner of natural resources that the                                        
14       issuance of a lease for the site for an aquatic farm is in the best interest of the state.                        
15            (b)  The commissioner shall issue a permit under AS 16.40.100 to operate an                                  
01       aquatic farm for geoducks, at a site where an indigenous population of geoducks is                                
02       present and where a preexisting commercial fishery does not occur, within 90 days                                 
03       after the later of                                                                                                
04                 (1)  approval of the development and operation plan for aquatic farming                                 
05       of geoducks at the site;                                                                                          
06                 (2)  the completion of a resource inventory and biomass survey of the                                   
07       site by the department;                                                                                           
08                 (3)  the determination that the proposed aquatic farm is consistent with                                
09       the Alaska coastal management program; and                                                                        
10                 (4)  a finding by the commissioner of natural resources that the                                        
11       issuance of a lease for the site for an aquatic farm site is in the best interest of the                          
12       state.                                                                                                            
13            (c)  Before a permit is issued under AS 16.40.100 to operate an aquatic farm                                 
14       for geoducks at a site where an indigenous population of geoducks is present, the                                 
15       department shall conduct a resource inventory and biomass survey of the site.  The                                
16       applicant for an aquatic farming permit for the site shall pay the reasonable costs of                            
17       the resource inventory and biomass survey conducted by the department.                                            
18            (d)  Upon issuance of a permit to operate an aquatic farm for geoducks at a site                             
19       where an indigenous population of geoducks is present, the site is closed to                                      
20       commercial fishing for geoducks by all persons other than the permit holder while the                             
21       permit is in effect.  The site may be opened for sport, personal use, or subsistence                              
22       fishing for indigenous geoducks under regulations adopted by the commissioner.                                    
23            (e)  A person who holds a permit to operate an aquatic farm for geoducks at a                                
24       site where an indigenous population of geoducks is present may not harvest more than                              
25       20 percent of the original indigenous population of geoducks present on the site in a                             
26       calendar year.  Following the first complete calendar year after the permit was initially                         
27       issued for the site, the permit holder may not harvest indigenous geoducks from the                               
28       site during a calendar year unless the commissioner has determined that the geoduck                               
29       population restoration requirements established by the commissioner for the prior                                 
30       calendar year have been satisfied.  The requirements of this section do not apply to                              
31       geoducks planted on the site by the permit holder; however, the permit holder is not                              
01       exempt from (f) of this section.                                                                                  
02            (f)  Upon the expiration or termination of a permit to operate an aquatic farm                               
03       for geoducks at a site where an indigenous population of geoducks was present when                                
04       the permit was issued, the permit holder shall, as a condition of the permit, restore the                         
05       population of geoducks, as consistent with sustained yield management of geoducks,                                
06       to the population level that existed on the site at the time when the permit was issued.                          
07            (g)  For purposes of this section, a preexisting commercial fishery does not                                 
08       occur at a site if                                                                                                
09                 (1)  a commercial fishing resource assessment survey has not been                                       
10       completed for the site by the department before the date on which an application for an                           
11       aquatic farm permit for the site is submitted to the department; or                                               
12                 (2)  a commercial fishing resource assessment survey has been                                           
13       completed for the site by the department before the date on which an application for an                           
14       aquatic farm permit for the site is submitted to the department and the department has                            
15       determined that the site will not be opened to commercial fishing for geoducks.                                   
16    * Sec. 2.  AS 16.40.120 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
17            (h)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, following the issuance of                             
18       a permit to operate an aquatic farm for geoducks at a site where an indigenous                                    
19       population of geoducks is present, the commissioner shall issue an aquatic stock                                  
20       acquisition permit authorizing the holder of the aquatic farm permit to cultivate and                             
21       harvest the indigenous populations of geoducks present on the site.                                               
22    * Sec. 3.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
23 read:                                                                                                                   
24       APPLICABILITY.  AS 16.40.115, added by sec. 1 of this Act, and AS 16.40.120(h),                                   
25 added by sec. 2 of this Act, apply to persons who, as of the effective date of this Act, have                           
26 applied for, but have not received, an aquatic farm permit for geoducks under AS 16.40.100                              
27 and to persons who apply for an aquatic farm permit for geoducks under AS 16.40.100 on or                               
28 after the effective date of this Act.