Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/22/1993 08:30 AM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 218:  REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES opened up testimony on HB 218.                                
  MIKE LOPEZ testified in support of HB 134 first, and also in                 
  support of HB 218, explaining that if a person can buy a                     
  bigger boat, they should be able to.  With one boat you can                  
  do a lot more fishing, he said.                                              
  CHAIRMAN MOSES clarified the committee had a proposed                        
  committee substitute (CSHB 218 (FSH)) which would have the                   
  Board of Fisheries decide on the length restrictions for any                 
  region of the state.                                                         
  ROBIN SAMUELSON testified in opposition to HB 218.  As a                     
  member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries from 1989 to 1991,                   
  he said he heard a lot of testimony from people across the                   
  state.  Most people are happy with the seine limit, he                       
  believed.   People want stability in their fisheries, he                     
  noted, and since most fisheries are over-capitalized anyway,                 
  repealing the 58 foot limit would add more uncertainty.  For                 
  the sake of stability, he would oppose any change.                           
  SEINERS ASSOCIATION, testified in support of the proposed                    
  CSHB 218 (FSH).  She said her executive committee supported                  
  the committee substitute because the seine vessel length is                  
  the only length in statute.  The 32 foot Bristol Bay limit                   
  is a Board of Fish regulation.  This is a board of fish                      
  matter, she said, not a legislative matter.  She                             
  acknowledged she did not know whether or not Southeast                       
  seiners would want the length restriction changed.  Some are                 
  interested, she said, because there is no place on a boat                    
  now for extra crew to do  value-added work.                                  
  MS. TROLL advised another concern her group had was that                     
  taking off the limit would lower the value of the current 58                 
  foot boats.  This discussion, she further stated, would come                 
  out before the Board of Fish on a region by region basis.                    
  The way the legislation is written, she pointed out, it                      
  dovetails when the Board takes up Southeast issues, but                      
  language to keep the limit in place until the Board of Fish                  
  cycle reaches each region might be desirable.                                
  ALVIN OSTERBACK testified in opposition to HB 218, claiming                  
  the bill would result in dropping the price of limited                       
  seiners.  He asked who would gain from the bill.                             

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