HCR 8: Expressing the strong support of the Alaska State Legislature for the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center; and urging the University of Alaska to maintain the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center as an important resource in the state.

00                    HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                    
01 Expressing the strong support of the Alaska State Legislature for the Kodiak Seafood                                    
02 and Marine Science Center; and urging the University of Alaska to maintain the Kodiak                                   
03 Seafood and Marine Science Center as an important resource in the state.                                                
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS the Alaska seafood industry employs more workers than any other                                         
06 private sector industry in the state, employing 60,000 workers annually and providing those                             
07 workers with $1,600,000,000 in annual earnings; and                                                                     
08       WHEREAS significant economic benefits accrue to the state directly from the                                     
09 activities of the state's seafood industry; in 2014, the seafood had a harvest value of                                 
10 $1,900,000,000 and a first wholesale value of $4,200,000,000; and                                                       
11       WHEREAS the number of seafood industry jobs in the state that require technical and                             
12 professional skill is increasing and the state is at a crossroads in its need to diversify and                          
13 expand its economy; and                                                                                                 
14       WHEREAS, in 1974, a group of Alaskans from the coastal regions of the state                                     
15 worked together to develop plans for a Fishery Industrial Technology Center that would                                  
01 provide teaching, research, and services relating to the seafood industry, through the                                  
02 University of Alaska, to citizens and businesses in the state; and                                                      
03 WHEREAS, in 1981, the Fishery Industrial Technology Center was established in                                         
04 state statute as part of the University of Alaska; and                                                                  
05 WHEREAS the statutory duties of the center include creating employment                                                
06 opportunities in the state's fishing industry, providing training to citizens of the state in the                       
07 harvesting, processing, and conservation of the state's fishery resources, providing research                           
08 and development activities to enhance the effectiveness and economic viability of the state's                           
09 fishing industry, and encouraging joint projects between industry and government to use                                 
10 industrial experience and government programs to enhance the productivity of the industry;                              
11 and                                                                                                                     
12 WHEREAS teaching, training, research, and technical assistance carried out at the                                     
13 center serves all Alaskans, being primarily delivered by Alaska Sea Grant and fisheries                                 
14 faculty who, in fiscal year 2016, provided workforce training to 265 industry members,                                  
15 educational opportunities to 25 graduate and undergraduate students, and technical assistance                           
16 to over 70 seafood businesses, tribes, and communities; and                                                             
17 WHEREAS the Department of Environmental Conservation has designated the center                                        
18 and its faculty as "process authorities" for the purposes of certifying the safety of the state's                       
19 seafood; and                                                                                                            
20 WHEREAS the state built the Alfred Owen Building in 1991 to be the home for the                                       
21 Fishery Industrial Technology Center using $10,800,000 from the state's settlement of the                               
22 criminal case originating from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and, in 2011, the name of the                                
23 center was changed to the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center; the facility is 20,000                              
24 square feet in size and has five dedicated laboratories, a pilot plant 5,000 square feet in size,                       
25 three freezers, and numerous offices and conference rooms; and                                                          
26 WHEREAS the state built the center on Near Island, on land that the City of Kodiak                                    
27 donated to the University of Alaska; and                                                                                
28 WHEREAS the activities of the center are guided by a seven-member Fishery                                             
29 Industrial Technology Policy Council, composed of two members who represent the state's                                 
30 seafood processing industry, two members who are commercial fishermen in the state, and                                 
31 three public members who, together, assist the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska                             
01 in preparing an annual report to the Alaska State Legislature on the center's activities; and                           
02 WHEREAS the center is a unique and well-positioned hub of knowledge, inquiry,                                         
03 research, and work that serves many industry partners, including the Department of Fish and                             
04 Game, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Commerce,                                         
05 Community, and Economic Development, the Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska                                    
06 Fisheries Development Foundation, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the North Pacific                             
07 Fisheries Management Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of                                  
08 Education and Early Development, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development,                                     
09 and other entities; and                                                                                                 
10 WHEREAS the Alfred Owen Building is a key asset in delivering the opportunities                                       
11 that the center is statutorily directed to provide and, in 2016, the legislative research services                      
12 described the building as continuing to be ready to meet the center's statutorily prescribed                            
13 duties;                                                                                                                 
14  BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly supports the Kodiak                                        
15 Seafood and Marine Science Center, formerly the Fishery Industrial Technology Center, as a                              
16 statewide hub for research, training, and technical assistance efforts to support fisheries across                      
17 the entire state and urges the University of Alaska to find a solution that keeps the center                            
18 operating and stable.