HCR 8 am: Expressing the strong support of the Alaska State Legislature for the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center; and urging the University of Alaska to find a solution to keep the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center operating as a stable resource in the state.

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