Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/08/2018 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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10:04:52 AM Start
10:05:52 AM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council (ffaac)|| Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (cfec)
10:30:00 AM HB354
11:09:24 AM HB379
11:31:14 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission
- Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council
*+ HB 354 DIVE FISHERY ASSESSMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 354 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 379 COMM FISHERMEN'S FUND:VESSEL OWNER CLAIMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 379 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                HB 354-DIVE FISHERY ASSESSMENTS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:30:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES announced that the  next order of business would  be                                                              
 HOUSE BILL NO. 354, "An  Act relating to dive fishery  management                                                              
 assessment procedures."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
 10:30:42 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ, Alaska  State Legislature, read from  a                                                              
 prepared sponsor  statement,  which  read  as  follows  [original                                                              
 punctuation provided]:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
      This  bill  is  necessary  for  the   Southeast  Alaska                                                                   
      Regional Dive  Fisheries  Association,  the  only  dive                                                                   
      fishery  association  in  the  state  regulated  by  AS                                                                   
      43.76.150-210,  to  amend  the  process  undertaken  to                                                                   
      modify the  tax on the  geoduck, sea  cucumber and  sea                                                                   
      urchin fisheries  it represents. Each  fishery can  tax                                                                   
      itself at a different  rate. At present, a majority  of                                                                   
      permit holders  are required to  initiate the  petition                                                                   
      to change  an  assessment  tax  and then  vote  on  the                                                                   
      change. Many  of the  permits are  nontransferable  and                                                                   
      less than  half of  the CFEC  permit  holders in  these                                                                   
      fisheries   are   actively   participating   in    said                                                                   
      fisheries.  Due  to  the  low  involvement   of  permit                                                                   
      holders, a majority participation of permit holders  is                                                                   
      unrealistic. The  proposed  legislation  allows  for  a                                                                   
      change in assessment tax to be initiated by a  3/4 vote                                                                   
      from the Board of Directors and the vote to  accept the                                                                   
      change pass  with  a majority  vote of  permit  holders                                                                   
      participating in the vote.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  said  the bill  would allow  the  Southeast                                                              
 Alaska Regional Dive  Fisheries Association  to take their  votes                                                              
 in a more workable  manner.  He asked  his staff to elaborate  on                                                              
 the bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
 10:33:07 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 LIZ  HARPOLD,  Staff,  Representative  Dan  Ortiz,  Alaska  State                                                              
 Legislature, stated the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive  Fisheries                                                              
 Association  (SARDFA)   was  the  only   regional  dive   fishery                                                              
 association affected by  the bill.   She said  that SARDFA was  a                                                              
 private non-profit economic development organization  established                                                              
 in the late 1990s,  representing the harvest divers,  processors,                                                              
 and communities  of Southeast Alaska,  south of  Yakutat.   There                                                              
 were approximately 380 permit  holders participating in the  dive                                                              
 fisheries,  she said.    The  SARDFA  organization  oversees  the                                                              
 geoduck, sea cucumber  and sea urchin fisheries  and has a  self-                                                              
assessed tax.   She related  that the association works  with the                                                               
Alaska Department  of Fish &  Game (ADF&G) to develop  its annual                                                               
operating  plan,   which  determines  how  the   dive  assessment                                                               
collected  by the  Department  of  Revenue would  be  spent.   An                                                               
assessment  also goes  to the  ADF&G to  manage the  fishery, she                                                               
noted.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:34:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARPOLD   reviewed  the  voting   process,  such   that  the                                                               
assessment  would  be  initiated  by 25  percent  of  the  permit                                                               
holders who voted in the  previous election.  This process worked                                                               
well in the  1990s, because the dive fisheries had  switched to a                                                               
limited-entry  fishery  and  most  of  the  permit  holders  were                                                               
actively fishing.  Since permit  holders must actively be engaged                                                               
in the  fishery to  vote, many  of the  permit holders  with non-                                                               
transferable  permits  cannot  vote,  since  the  individuals  no                                                               
longer dive in the fisheries.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARPOLD  said that  the  dive  permit holders  in  Southeast                                                               
Alaska belong  to SARDFA.   The bill would change  the initiation                                                               
process for  the assessment tax  by allowing the SARDFA  Board of                                                               
Directors to  initiate a  change with 75  percent support  of the                                                               
board.   The  assessment change  would  need a  majority vote  by                                                               
permit holders,  as outlined in  the bill.  The  election process                                                               
would not change, she said.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:36:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked  whether the vote is determined  by 75 percent                                                               
of the received ballots.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARPOLD responded  that at  least 25  percent of  the permit                                                               
holders who  participated in the previous  election must initiate                                                               
the change.   It would require a majority vote  of permit holders                                                               
to pass  an assessment change.   She explained the  response rate                                                               
has  declined   since  many  diver   permit  holders   no  longer                                                               
participate in the  fisheries, with less than half  of the permit                                                               
holders sending in their ballots.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:37:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  added that  in the 1990s  there was  a much                                                               
higher participation  rate in voting on  assessments.  Currently,                                                               
the overall  industry activity by  permit holders has  shown less                                                               
activity.   As these  permit holders  cease fishing,  they cannot                                                               
sell  the permits,  but choose  not to  participate in  the vote.                                                               
 Thus, it  has been  harder and  harder to  get to  that level  of                                                              
 ratio of participation in an actual vote.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
 10:38:24 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN   asked  whether   there  were   any   new                                                              
 applications for  permits and to  describe the  process to  apply                                                              
 for a new permit.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ deferred to  the Commercial Fisheries  Entry                                                              
 Commission (CFEC) to respond.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 10:38:50 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 VANCE "FATE" PUTMAN, Chairman; Commissioner designee,  Commercial                                                              
 Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC),  responded that this  question                                                              
 "gets to  the  heart"  of the  reason  for so  many  legal  cases                                                              
 [pertaining to  limited-entry  fishing  permits]  in  the  Alaska                                                              
 Supreme Court.    He  explained  that when  a  fishery  initially                                                              
 becomes limited, that the CFEC issues permits to  those fishermen                                                              
 who  participate   in  the  fishery   and  have   a  history   of                                                              
 participation in the fishery.  Applicants who are  dependent upon                                                              
 that fishery strictly  for their  economic survival are  eligible                                                              
 to obtain  a transferable  permit; however,  applicants who  have                                                              
 other sources  of income or  do other  work, are  eligible for  a                                                              
 non-transferable permit.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 10:39:50 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 MR. PUTMAN  acknowledged  these limited-entry  permits  represent                                                              
 very important  decisions  to the  fishermen, their  future,  and                                                              
 their families.   Non-transferable permits  are often  challenged                                                              
 in the  court  system.    He  offered his  belief  that  in  this                                                              
 fishery,  many  dive  fishermen  who  initially  applied   for  a                                                              
 limited-entry permit received  a non-transferable permit  because                                                              
 they had other sources of income.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 10:40:12 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN said he  was grappling over the reason  for                                                              
 the problem, which  seemed to be  a lack of  new applicants.   He                                                              
 calculated that about 95 of 380, or 25 percent of  permit holders                                                              
 vote in an election.   It takes about half  to pass, or about  48                                                              
 permit holders; however,  not enough  permit holders were  voting                                                              
 because they  no longer  participate  in the  dive fishery.    He                                                              
 asked again if that is the reason for the non-participation.   In                                                              
 response to Chair  Stutes, he asked why  new dive fishermen  were                                                              
not  applying  for permits  when  participants  aged out  of  the                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTMAN  agreed  one  of  the  issues  with  non-transferable                                                               
permits  was that  permit  holders  aged out,  so  over time  the                                                               
number  of permits  diminish in  a  fishery.   He explained  that                                                               
getting  new permit  holders  into the  system  was not  possible                                                               
because only  the permits that  are transferable can be  moved to                                                               
another fisherman.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:41:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  related  her  understanding  that  once  the  non-                                                               
transferable permit  was no longer  being fished, "it's  a goner"                                                               
and there was no way for a new entrant to apply.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTMAN agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:42:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN asked  whether applicants  could currently                                                               
apply for a transferable permit.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTMAN answered that was correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:42:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN said  that  it seemed  like the  evolution                                                               
would be someone interested in the  dive fishery would try to get                                                               
a temporary  permit.   He wondered if  people were  interested in                                                               
qualifying  for temporary  permits.   He further  asked how  much                                                               
interest there was for the dive fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  responded that she  believed that was the  issue HB
354 was trying to address.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTMAN  agreed.   He related  his understanding,  in speaking                                                               
with staff, was that the problem  is that many permit holders who                                                               
were  no longer  participating  in the  fishery still  maintained                                                               
their permits  each year by  paying the licensing fee  each year,                                                               
but these  permit holders may  not participate  in the vote.   He                                                               
related his understanding that with  a threshold of fifty percent                                                               
plus  one to  change  the  tax structure  becomes  a hurdle  that                                                               
cannot be overcome without the changes in the bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:43:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony on HB 354.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 10:43:45 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 PHIL DOHERTY, Executive Director,  stated that SARDFA  approached                                                              
 Representative Ortiz  to change an  old statute  with respect  to                                                              
 the assessment tax.  The  dive association was formed in 1997  to                                                              
 provided management funds for  the fishery because ADF&G did  not                                                              
 have adequate funds to research and manage the three  species the                                                              
 dive fisheries harvest,  which were  sea urchins, geoduck  clams,                                                              
 and sea cucumbers.  The divers in Alaska recognized the  value of                                                              
 the resources, in part,  based on fisheries in British  Columbia,                                                              
 Washington state,  and California.   These  divers asked  [former                                                              
 Representative]  Bill  Williams  to  assist  in  forming  SARDFA,                                                              
 including establishing a  mandatory assessment  tax.  The  divers                                                              
 could tax  themselves at  a one,  three, five,  or seven  percent                                                              
 assessment tax,  he said.   Currently the  sea cucumber  fishery,                                                              
 which is the focus of this  bill, has been taxing itself at  five                                                              
 percent.  The geoduck fishery taxes itself at seven  percent, and                                                              
 the urchin  fishery taxes  itself at  five  percent of  ex-vessel                                                              
 value, meaning the fisherman comes  to the dock and five  percent                                                              
 of the fish  ticket would be  removed immediately,  he said.   He                                                              
 compared  that  collection  process   like  one  for  state   tax                                                              
 collections.   In  addition, these  fishermen  also pay  a  three                                                              
 percent state fisheries tax, he stated.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
 10:45:58 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 MR. DOHERTY  explained that the  assessment funds  goes into  the                                                              
 association's fund  and  SARDFA, in  conjunction with  the  ADF&G                                                              
 develops the  annual  operating plan.    The ADF&G  provides  its                                                              
 plans for assessment, management,  and research needs to  SARDFA,                                                              
 which are discussed, if  necessary, and the association  provides                                                              
 the department with the funds it needs to conduct  the fisheries,                                                              
 he said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 MR. DOHERTY further  explained the hurdle has  arisen due to  the                                                              
 number  of  non-transferable  permits   and  even  some  of   the                                                              
 transferable permits.  For example, the sea cucumber  fishery has                                                              
 156  transferable  permits   and  233  non-transferable   permits                                                              
 totaling 389  total  permits.    Two years  ago,  SARDFA  had  an                                                              
 election  to change  the  assessment  tax  in  the  sea  cucumber                                                              
 fishery from  five percent  to one  percent  but the  association                                                              
 could not obtain half  of the 389 permit  holders to vote.   Even                                                              
 though the active permit  holders and association members  wanted                                                              
 to get it changed, it could not do so, he advised.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:47:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOHERTY stated  that the association requested  HB 354, which                                                               
would change the  voting process to allow a majority  vote of the                                                               
ballots  received  to [count].    He  characterized that  as  the                                                               
thrust of this  bill and it does not affect  any other fishery or                                                               
the state.  The SARDFA has  committed to pay ADF&G the funding it                                                               
needs  to manage  and research  the fisheries.   The  association                                                               
also uses  its assessment to  fund paralytic  shellfish poisoning                                                               
(PSP)   and  water   quality  testing   via  the   Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation (DEC).   The permit holders understand                                                               
that ADF&G must  provide research and management  to maintain the                                                               
fisheries.    He stated  that  the  prices  in the  sea  cucumber                                                               
fishery are up  and the association does not  have large overhead                                                               
costs  for sea  cucumbers.    He briefly  described  some of  the                                                               
programs.  He  indicated that lowering the tax  from five percent                                                               
to one percent in the fishery,  a diver would result in $1,200 to                                                               
$1,500  more  for  the  ex-vessel  value  of  the  sea  cucumbers                                                               
harvested.    This  bill  would  streamline  the  process.    The                                                               
SARDFA's commitment to the state would always be there, he said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:50:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS   thanked  Mr.  Doherty   for  his                                                               
testimony.  He commented on  the unique status the dive fisheries                                                               
have  in  Alaska.    Referring  to  AS  16.42.40,  Regional  Dive                                                               
Development  Associations lays  out  the  organization, which  is                                                               
what SARDFA would be, he said.   He referred to page 3, lines 13-                                                               
14, of  HB 354, which read,"  ... board members of  the qualified                                                               
regional dive  fishery development association  ..."  He  said he                                                               
was  curious whether  multiple  dive  fishery associations  could                                                               
form  for the  same  dive  fishery.   He  said  he asked  because                                                               
fishermen can debate among themselves  and hypothetically a rival                                                               
association could arise and submit  petitions to the commissioner                                                               
that could be different than what SARDFA might submit.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOHERTY  responded that  he  had  not previously  considered                                                               
whether  another  dive  association  could compete  on  the  same                                                               
fishery.  He  did not think it  would be allowed to  happen.  The                                                               
only  other dive  fishery  in Alaska  could be  for  a small  sea                                                               
cucumber  fishery  in  Kodiak.    He has  spoken  to  the  Kodiak                                                               
fishermen and  they do  not see  the need  for an  association at                                                               
this  point.   In  Southeast  Alaska,  he  did not  envision  the                                                               
scenario happening.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:53:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  agreed that  there is  no  present                                                              
 debate on this  issue, but he  wanted to  know if technically  or                                                              
 legally that could  happen in the  future.  He  said that he  did                                                              
 not see  any  reason it  could  not  happen after  reviewing  the                                                              
 language in  AS  16.42.40 since  the  three criteria  in  statute                                                              
 would not be  that difficult to  meet.   He wondered if  anything                                                              
 would prevent that from happening.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 10:53:57 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES asked  for further clarification  as she was  unsure                                                              
 of the concern.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked whether  there was  anything                                                              
 that prevents a  group of dissatisfied  fishermen from forming  a                                                              
 non-profit corporation and submitting a petition.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 10:54:11 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES  said  she still  was unsure  why  that would  be  a                                                              
 problem.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS answered that one group  might have                                                              
 a different opinion  on the preferred  enhancement tax.   Another                                                              
 group could have a different opinion and that group  could submit                                                              
 a petition for a different tax amount.  He expressed  an interest                                                              
 in learning more about  the regional dive fisheries  associations                                                              
 and whether the statutes only allow one to exist.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 10:54:44 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES said  she was trying  to apply  it to this  specific                                                              
 bill.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS referred to page 3, lines  13-14 of                                                              
 HB 354.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
 CHAIR STUTES acknowledged the cite but pointed out that  the bill                                                              
 does not identify a specific dive association such as SARDFA.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 10:55:18 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  stated that  his question  related                                                              
 to HB  354.    He  specifically asked  what  is  "the"  qualified                                                              
 regional dive fisheries association  as opposed to "a"  qualified                                                              
 regional dive fisheries association.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  offered that it  might be  more direct.   She asked                                                               
whether the  sponsor or CFEC  could respond.   She did  not think                                                               
there was any issue.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARPOLD  said she could not  address the issue of  if another                                                               
regional dive  fishery could  form but the  rules would  apply to                                                               
any  regional  dive  fishery  that   formed.    She  related  her                                                               
understanding that ADF&G would determine an assessment.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:57:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOHERTY said  he has not heard of anyone  in Southeast Alaska                                                               
contemplating it.  He explained  that SARDFA's Board of Directors                                                               
has nine members who represent  cities, municipalities, and areas                                                               
in Southeast  Alaska, out-of-state divers,  and a processor.   He                                                               
characterized it  as being  representative plus  the organization                                                               
has three  committees for  sea cucumbers,  geoducks, and  red sea                                                               
urchins.   He said that  about 20  divers participate in  the sea                                                               
cucumber  committee, which  he believed  was  a robust  committee                                                               
system.   He related that  the meetings are public  meetings, and                                                               
discussions  have been  robust,  but no  one  has ever  mentioned                                                               
breaking away to form a second association.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:58:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  said he  hoped it  was permissible                                                               
to  ask questions  to  explore  the overall  structure.   He  was                                                               
interested whether  anything could  prevent a  second association                                                               
from forming  regardless of  how highly unlikely  it was  that it                                                               
would  happen.    He  related his  understanding  that  it  could                                                               
happen,  that it  was highly  unlikely  to happen,  but he  still                                                               
wanted to be certain he understood the statute.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:59:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether an  attorney from  Legislative Legal                                                               
and Research Services was online.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS said he  did not think this merited                                                               
further pursuit.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  wanted to be certain  Representative Kreiss-Tomkins                                                               
was satisfied.  She understood his intent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS said,  "It's  a great  bill."   He                                                               
expressed  an interest  in  the language  choice  between "a"  or                                                               
 "the" but noted  in practical terms there  probably was not  much                                                              
 difference.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
 11:00:16 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  understood  the  concern  expressed.    He                                                              
 highlighted his goal when reviewing  any bill was to try to  make                                                              
 it better.  He appreciated  Mr. Doherty's testimony.  He  related                                                              
 his understanding that the intent was to change  the [assessment]                                                              
 from five percent to  one percent for  sea cucumbers but not  for                                                              
 geoduck or sea urchins.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
 MR. DOHERTY answered that if HB 354 passed the SARDFA  would vote                                                              
 on the  assessment for  the sea  cucumber fishery.    He did  not                                                              
 anticipate the  association would  change the  assessment tax  on                                                              
 the geoduck fishery.  He  explained that the geoduck fishery  was                                                              
 very expensive to manage.  He related that due to some  issues in                                                              
 China,  which  is  the  destination  market  for   geoducks,  the                                                              
 fisheries must  also test  for arsenic  levels in  geoducks.   He                                                              
 estimated that to pay for  the program, including the PSP,  water                                                              
 quality testing, and arsenic  level testing, that the divers  pay                                                              
 between $150,000 - $200,000 per year for the program  in addition                                                              
 to the $50,000 that the association  pays to the ADF&G.  He  said                                                              
 the geoduck fishery barely manages  to exist.  He estimated  that                                                              
 the sea cucumber fishermen  have enough surplus funds that  their                                                              
 assessment tax could  be reduced, between  one to three  percent;                                                              
 probably to one percent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 11:02:34 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  said  that  he was  assuming  that  voting                                                              
 lines do  not cross  between species,  such  that divers  holding                                                              
 permits for sea  cucumbers do not vote  for [tax assessments  for                                                              
 those holding permits geoducks or  sea urchins].  He wondered  if                                                              
 part of  the problem  was due  to reduced  members  or if  permit                                                              
 holders who were fishing for  geoducks could vote for sea  urchin                                                              
 tax assessments.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
 MR. DOHERTY responded that  if the association was considering  a                                                              
 change for  the sea cucumber  assessment tax,  that only  members                                                              
 that  could vote  are  the  sea  cucumber  permit  holders.    He                                                              
 reiterated  that  there  were  so  many  non-transferable  permit                                                              
 holders given  out  at the  initial  start  of the  sea  cucumber                                                              
 fishery, since  it was the  easiest fishery  to obtain  landings,                                                              
 that it was difficult to get  a majority vote.  He recalled  that                                                              
 two years  ago  the association  received  89 positive  votes  to                                                              
 lower the tax.   The remaining divers  renewed their permits  but                                                              
no longer  dive in the fishery.   He emphasized the  intent is to                                                               
modernize  [the statutes]  to make  it easier  for the  divers to                                                               
change their assessment.  He  pointed out that the dive fisheries                                                               
are very physically-demanding fisheries  with the diver being the                                                               
permit holder.   The permit holder  must be the person  doing the                                                               
diving, he  said.   As the  divers get older,  they tend  to stop                                                               
diving but maintain their permits for a small fee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:05:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked  whether it was possible  to make the                                                               
non-transferrable permits  transferrable to get them  back in the                                                               
market.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES suggested that would be a question for the CFEC.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:05:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES, after  first determining no one  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on HB 354.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:05:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS said it sounded like a great bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:06:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT KELLEY, Director, Division  of Commercial Fisheries, Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), introduced himself.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:06:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  stated that the fisheries  are statutorily                                                               
required  to cover  any costs  to administer  their program.   He                                                               
asked if the tax assessment was  reduced from five percent to one                                                               
percent whether the funds would cover the program.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLEY  answered yes.   He explained that the  division works                                                               
closely with the SARDFA and  the association and divers are aware                                                               
if  the  ADF&G does  not  have  funds  to  assess to  manage  the                                                               
program, the  divers cannot fish.   He said the  [association and                                                               
permit  holders] are  very  motivated to  ensure  that the  ADF&G                                                               
continues to receive its funding.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:07:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES stated that the fiscal note for HB 354 was zero.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 11:07:37 AM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE TARR REPRESENTATIVE moved to report HB 354  out of                                                              
 committee with  individual recommendations  and the  accompanying                                                              
 fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HB  354 was  reported                                                              
 from the House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CFEC Dale Kelley Support SEAFA 3.5.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
Fishermen's Fund Mark Saldi Support SEAFA 3.5.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
Dale Kelley 2017_Redacted.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354 Fiscal Note DOR 02.02.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
HB 354 Sponsor Statement 02.27.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - Carruth Letter 02.27.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - Leighton Letter 02.27.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document - SARDFA Letter 02.27.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
HB 354 Supporting Document SEAFA 3.5.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
HB 379 Fiscal Note DLWD 03.02.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB 379 Sponsor Statement 02.28.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB 379 Supporting Document - PSVOA Letter 02.28.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB 379 Supporting Document SEAFA 03.05.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB 379 Supporting Document UFA 03.04.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB 379A.PDF HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 379
HB354D.PDF HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
Mark Saldi 2017_Redacted.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
Vance Fate Putman_Redacted.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354 Supporting Document UFA.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
CFEC Supporting Document Dale Kelley Reid Harris 03.07.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
CFEC Supporting Document Fate Putman UFA 03.06.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
CFEC Supporting Document Support Dale Kelley UFA 03.06.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354 Supporting Document UFA 3.6.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 354
CFEC Supporting Document Dale Kelley Brian Lynch 03.07.18.pdf HFSH 3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM