Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/23/2019 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 116 AQUATIC FARM/HATCHERY SITE LEASES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invited & Public> --
*+ HR 8 2019: INT'L YEAR OF THE SALMON TELECONFERENCED
Moved HR 8 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invited & Public> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HR   8-2019: INT'L YEAR OF THE SALMON                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:58:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  announced that the  next order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE  RESOLUTION NO.  8, Recognizing  2019  as the  International                                                              
Year  of   the  Salmon   and  supporting   an  associated   global                                                              
initiative identifying the importance of wild salmon.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:58:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
THATCHER BROUWER,  Staff, Representative Geran Tarr,  Alaska State                                                              
Legislature,  introduced HR  8 on behalf  of Representative  Tarr,                                                              
sponsor, and  noted the sponsor  has done collaborative  work with                                                              
other  states  on  the  resolution.     He  explained  that  HR  8                                                              
recognizes  2019 as  the International  Year of  the Salmon  (IYS)                                                              
and  supports  an associated  global  initiative  identifying  the                                                              
importance  of wild  salmon.   It  is a  project  launched by  the                                                              
North Pacific  Anadromous  Fish Commission  (NPAFC) and the  North                                                              
Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO).                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROUWER  said he  first learned  about the International  Year                                                              
of the Salmon at  an event early this year in  Juneau.  Since then                                                              
he has continued  to hear about the research and  outreach that is                                                              
going on as part  of this global initiative.  One  of the research                                                              
projects  that  has  grown  from the  International  Year  of  the                                                              
Salmon  is the  first of  its kind  scientific  expedition in  the                                                              
Gulf of  Alaska where  21 international  scientists  were on  a 5-                                                              
week trip  and are now  analyzing the data  collected.   Among the                                                              
projects,  scientists are  using  DNA to  identify  stock-specific                                                              
rearing areas  of all five species  of salmon and  determine their                                                              
abundance  and condition.   Those  who are  collaborating on  this                                                              
research  hope this  project will  occur  annually going  forward.                                                              
Other projects  associated  with the initiative  include,  but are                                                              
not  limited to,  dam removal  in  Maine and  cleanup projects  in                                                              
Northern Ireland.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROUWER  related that the theme  of International Year  of the                                                              
Salmon is  salmon and people  in a changing  world.  Passing  HR 8                                                              
is one  way the State  of Alaska can  recognize the  importance of                                                              
salmon to  the state  and around the  world and encourage  greater                                                              
research of  salmon and  the factors  that impact their  survival.                                                              
In recognition  that salmon are  a shared resource along  the West                                                              
Coast,  HR  8  was introduced  in  conjunction  with  measures  in                                                              
Washington and  Oregon.   The committee will  be hearing  from the                                                              
representatives in these states that the sponsor worked with.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BROUWER noted  the health  of salmon  populations across  the                                                              
Northern  Hemisphere varies,  but even  the strongest  populations                                                              
face  threats  from  both humans  and  the  changing  environment.                                                              
Scientists  still  have much  to  learn about  salmon  lifecycles,                                                              
impacts  of a  warming climate,  and increased  development.   All                                                              
along the  West Coast, strong  subsistence, sport,  and commercial                                                              
fisheries are  greatly important to  the culture and  the economy.                                                              
Now,  though,  a  number  of those  salmon  runs  are  struggling,                                                              
making it more  important than ever to work collaboratively  to do                                                              
the  research   needed  to  ensure   that  salmon  are   here  for                                                              
generations to  come.  Up and down  the West Coast and  across the                                                              
Northern  Hemisphere   salmon  have  sustained  humans   and  been                                                              
celebrated  since the beginning  of time.   By  passing HR  8, the                                                              
legislature will  acknowledge that  2019 is International  Year of                                                              
the  Salmon and  bring attention  to  the research  and events  in                                                              
conjunction with this global initiative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened invited testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:01:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TYSON  FICK  testified in  support  of  HR 8.    He stated  he  is                                                              
currently   a  commercial   fisherman,  but   has  been   a  sport                                                              
fisherman,  sport fishing guide,  and has  lived on the  Kuskokwim                                                              
River and  participated in subsistence  fisheries.  He  said that,                                                              
for him, salmon  is life and every year is the  International Year                                                              
of the  Salmon.  The opportunity  to celebrate something  everyone                                                              
agrees  on is  appreciated.   The capitol  is the  place to  argue                                                              
about policies  and how to address  things, but hopefully  HR 8 is                                                              
an  opportunity  to bring  together  people  who like  salmon  and                                                              
science  and who  hope  to learn  from other  places.   Salmon  is                                                              
something that unites  people more than divides  them and Alaskans                                                              
like to  eat and look  at them.   Salmon have  been lost  all over                                                              
the  world and  are mostly  gone  from Europe  and  from the  East                                                              
Coast of the U.S.   When there is talk about  bringing back salmon                                                              
it is  about tens of  fish, not the  tens or hundreds  of millions                                                              
like are seen  in Alaska.  There  is a real opportunity  in Alaska                                                              
to  celebrate  that   and  to  continue  Alaska's   leadership  on                                                              
fisheries  management.  The  ideal of  sustainable management  was                                                              
put into  the state constitution  in 1959.   Now, Alaska is  at an                                                              
important  time in  talking about  how  to handle  the other  uses                                                              
that  are had  in the  state.   By  following  Alaska's lead,  the                                                              
overfishing  issue  in the  U.S.  was largely  solved.   He  urged                                                              
committee members to support HR 8.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS inquired  about Mr. Fick's  present                                                              
affiliation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FICK replied  he is skipper of the F/V Heather  Anne and owner                                                              
of Taku River Reds.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:05:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ERIN   HARRINGTON,  Executive   Director,   The  Salmon   Project,                                                              
testified in  support of  HR 8.   She noted she  is a member  of a                                                              
Bristol Bay  salmon fishing household.   She has  some perspective                                                              
from  having  already  done  some  work  with  Mark  Saunders  who                                                              
oversees the  International Year of the  Salmon.  For a  couple of                                                              
years,  she has been  part of  a larger  collective called  Salmon                                                              
Connect that has  been working to have conversations  about salmon                                                              
and the ways  that it connects  with people's lives in  the state.                                                              
Some of  her colleagues from Salmon  Connect have already  had the                                                              
opportunity  to travel  to Oregon  and Washington  to learn  about                                                              
some of  the things  that have  happened in  those states  and the                                                              
loss  that  they've  experienced.   Her  Alaska  colleagues  found                                                              
their trip  to the  Lower 48 extremely  instructive, which  speaks                                                              
to the value  of this kind of cross-jurisdictional  communication,                                                              
collaboration,  and   learning  from  one  another.     Alaska  is                                                              
fortunate  to have  people who  are still  extremely connected  to                                                              
salmon, it is not  just as a token thing.  People  in Seattle love                                                              
salmon,  but they  love it  as a  memory.   In  Alaska salmon  are                                                              
still part  of people's  daily, annual, and  seasonal lives.   She                                                              
and  her  colleagues  can  show  their  international  and  cross-                                                              
jurisdictional  partners what it  is like to  have lives  that are                                                              
still truly connected to salmon.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARRINGTON  related  that  The  Salmon  Project  has  done  a                                                              
significant  amount of  statewide  research and  found that  three                                                              
out  of  four  Alaskans  consider   themselves  to  be  personally                                                              
connected to  salmon; nine  out of ten  Alaskans use salmon  as an                                                              
important  Alaskan   value.     This  crosses  political   stripe,                                                              
socioeconomics,  and region, and  is something  that is  shared by                                                              
most  Alaskans regardless  of politics.   The  Salmon Project  has                                                              
come to believe  that this is foundational in Alaska  and it isn't                                                              
just about  this resource,  but is a  medium through  which people                                                              
talk about  the values that they  have for their families  and the                                                              
aspirations they  have for  their children and  the way  they want                                                              
to  live on  the landscape  as  Alaskans.   So,  she cannot  speak                                                              
strongly  enough to  the  import of  maintaining  a robust  salmon                                                              
connected way  of life in  Alaska and HR  8 is something  that can                                                              
further Alaskans' adventure on that path.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR remarked  that the  phrase "salmon  connected                                                              
way of life" should be used more.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:08:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JILL  WEITZ, Campaign  Director, Salmon  Beyond Borders  Campaign,                                                              
testified  in  support of  HR  8.   She  said  that today  she  is                                                              
providing  the  committee  with her  subjective  perspective,  one                                                              
that is  rooted in  her constant  learning of  how salmon  connect                                                              
people.   On  a  global scale,  but  primarily  here in  Southeast                                                              
Alaska, salmon connect  people to the ancient Tlingit,  Haida, and                                                              
Tsimshian peoples.   She supports  the global initiative  to build                                                              
resilience  for   salmon  and  people   and  celebrate   with  the                                                              
committee the International Year of the Salmon.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. WEITZ  said the  effort to  defend and  sustain the  salmon of                                                              
the  transboundary  Taku,  Stikine,  and Unuk  rivers  has  united                                                              
nearly  every  sector of  Southeast  Alaska.   The  Salmon  Beyond                                                              
Borders  Campaign  partners  with local  Alaska  businesses,  each                                                              
commercial fishing  gear group,  sport fishermen, tour  operators,                                                              
and lawmakers.   It  works in close  coordination with  tribes and                                                              
First Nations in  British Columbia.  These three  rivers originate                                                              
in  Northwest British  Columbia  and flow  into Southeast  Alaska.                                                              
They have  served as centers of  culture for centuries  and as the                                                              
lifeblood of the  largest salmon producing rivers  in this region,                                                              
including producing 80 percent of [the region's] king salmon.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WEITZ stated  she  will show  the  committee  a video  titled                                                              
"Salmon  Is Life."   The video  is a  product of  a Salmon  Beyond                                                              
Borders  tour  through  Northwest   British  Columbia  during  the                                                              
harvest season  of 2018.   The takeaways  are that each  community                                                              
is  different, each  tradition is  different, but  everyone has  a                                                              
salmon  story,  and  everyone's  auntie  is the  best  at  smoking                                                              
salmon.   The video  was first shown  at the  IYS launch  event in                                                              
Vancouver in  2018, which was  attended by 150 representatives  of                                                              
the  salmon  community   in  the  Pacific  and   Atlantic  basins.                                                              
Indigenous  and  non-indigenous  leaders  from the  U.S.,  Canada,                                                              
Russia, Korea, and Japan demonstrated support for IYS.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:11:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DEBRA  LEKANOFF,  House  District  40,  Washington                                                              
State Legislature,  stated she  is honored to  serve the  State of                                                              
Washington  and to provide  Washington's  voice in protecting  and                                                              
restoring  the salmon  in partnership  with Alaska  and Oregon  to                                                              
ensure there are salmon for today and generations to come.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEKANOFF  shared that she is  a Tlingit from  Yakutat, Alaska,                                                              
who  has  lived  in  Washington  state  for 20  years.    She  has                                                              
returned   to  Yakutat   to  provide   economic  development   and                                                              
governmental  training to  her community.   As  a Native  American                                                              
woman, she  always gives  back to  the future,  to the  leaders of                                                              
tomorrow, and  to the past who built  the road for today.   She is                                                              
of the  Raven moiety,  of the Dog  Salmon and the  Owl Clan.   Her                                                              
Tlingit name means  meeting of the springtime frogs  and a time of                                                              
change.  Her house  and name reflect her values and  the laws that                                                              
she lives by.   They guide her decision making as  a mother and as                                                              
a  lawmaker.   If the  salmon are  gone,  not only  does she  face                                                              
losing the  very spirit  that guides her,  but lawmakers  face the                                                              
impact to their  rural workforces, economies, and  quality of life                                                              
as people know it in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEKANOFF  said it  is  a great  accomplishment  to                                                              
stand together to  celebrate the International Year  of the Salmon                                                              
and work in  collaboration on salmon research and  outreach around                                                              
the theme of salmon  and people in the changing world.   People in                                                              
Washington  state  applaud  the   partnership  between  the  three                                                              
states,  the North  Pacific Anadromous  Fish  Commission, and  the                                                              
North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEKANOFF related that  Washington state  faces the                                                              
reality  that  its  waters,  habitats,  and  resources  have  been                                                              
deeply  impacted.   Fewer  is  the  people's truth  in  Washington                                                              
state.   Only one river  in the Lower 48  - the Skagit  - produces                                                              
all six species of  wild salmon.  It is time to  stand together to                                                              
support  the common  science, policies,  and laws  to address  the                                                              
restoration  and protection  of  salmon.   Long before  Washington                                                              
was  the   apple  state  it  was   known  as  the   salmon  state.                                                              
Washington  is  honored  and  pleased to  stand  with  Alaska  and                                                              
Oregon  in sustaining  one of the  most honored  resources  to all                                                              
our economies, cultures, and quality of life.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  thanked  Representative   Lekanoff  for  the                                                              
collaboration  between their  offices and  said she looks  forward                                                              
to continuing to work together.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES stated  that she is honored to be  the representative                                                              
for Yakutat.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:15:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WEITZ  showed the  "Salmon Is  Life" video  to the  committee.                                                              
After  the video  she  pointed out  that  the  remark, "salmon  is                                                              
life," was  made by each of  the people interviewed for  the video                                                              
and that  the remark was unprompted.   She expressed her  honor to                                                              
work  with  people  throughout the  region  on  the  international                                                              
issue  of salmon,  which  requires collaboration.    Salmon are  a                                                              
symbol  of  resilience,  a  symbol of  complete  function,  and  a                                                              
symbol of  Alaska.  She  said her organization  supports HR  8 and                                                              
the efforts  to better  establish salmon  management and  policies                                                              
in  Alaska and  throughout the  British Columbia  region that  are                                                              
rooted in sound science and information.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:18:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KEN  HELM,  House   District  34,   Oregon  State                                                              
Legislature, testified  in support of HR  8.  He said  he is happy                                                              
to be working  with Representatives Tarr and Lekanoff  in a multi-                                                              
state  effort  to raise  the  awareness  about  wild salmon.    He                                                              
related  that   Oregon  has  a   similar  resolution   before  its                                                              
chambers, HCR 35,  and 41 of his House and Senate  colleagues have                                                              
already signed  on to  the resolution.   There is much  enthusiasm                                                              
in Oregon  for giving  more attention to  the state's  wild salmon                                                              
stocks,  the rivers  they  live  in, and  the  habitat that  those                                                              
rivers flow through.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. HELM  noted that Alaska, Washington,  and Oregon have  a great                                                              
history and  heritage of  both commercial  salmon harvest,  tribal                                                              
harvest,  and  sport fishing.    He  said  Oregon faces  the  same                                                              
challenges  that Alaska  and  Washington face  in  that over  time                                                              
Oregon's wild  salmon stocks have  gone into decline  and continue                                                              
to do  so despite  Oregon's best  efforts.   However, a  couple of                                                              
river systems are  bright spots in that they have  been left alone                                                              
for long  enough to  allow wild  salmon to regenerate  themselves.                                                              
He  said  he  applauds  the efforts  of  the  advocates  of  these                                                              
resolutions  in all three  states, is  proud to  be part  of that,                                                              
and   looks  forward   to  continued   collaboration  around   the                                                              
protection and promotion of wild salmon.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   thanked   Representative  Helm   for   the                                                              
collaboration.   She pointed out  that political  boundaries don't                                                              
mean  much  to  wild  salmon  and   it  is  becoming  increasingly                                                              
important to be collaborating.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:22:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  noted the resolution doesn't  mention areas                                                              
of  salmon that  are stressed.   He  pointed out  that in  Alaska,                                                              
eight of  the twelve stocks of  concern are in  the Susitna-Yentna                                                              
drainage.  Lodges  up and down those rivers that  catered to sport                                                              
fishermen are  now gone because the  fish are gone.  The  fish are                                                              
gone because these  areas are stressed.  He suggested  language be                                                              
put into  the resolution that identifies  the stocks and  areas of                                                              
concern.   He  further  noted the  resolution  talks about  Alaska                                                              
Natives, but his family depends on salmon.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WEITZ  agreed and  said the  resolution is  an opportunity  to                                                              
home  in  on  those priority  areas  throughout  Alaska  that  are                                                              
productive, that  once were productive,  and that  productivity is                                                              
wanted  to remain.   She expressed  her willingness  to work  with                                                              
Representative Tarr,  sponsor of  HR 8, to address  Representative                                                              
Neuman's  concerns  and  incorporate   them  into  the  resolution                                                              
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:25:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MARK SAUNDERS,  IYS Director-North  Pacific Region,  International                                                              
Year  of the  Salmon, North  Pacific  Anadromous Fish  Commission,                                                              
testified in support  of HR 8.  He stated that  the commission has                                                              
been around  for 26  years and was  established by treaty  between                                                              
Canada,  the U.S.,  Japan, Korea,  and Russia.   It was  initially                                                              
started to  enforce stoppage of  the high seas'  driftnet fishery.                                                              
It  has a  larger mandate  around  conservation of  salmon in  the                                                              
high seas  and conservation in the  adjacent waters.  He  has been                                                              
to  Anchorage where  he met  with the  Salmon Connect  group.   He                                                              
noted that there  are representatives in the Alaska  Department of                                                              
Fish and  Game (ADF&G)  who work  closely with  the commission  on                                                              
salmon  science  and  the  International  Year of  the  Salmon  in                                                              
general.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAUNDERS  related that  as salmon are  being lost Alaska  is a                                                              
stronghold in  wanting to sustain  them.   Alaska is not  alone in                                                              
dealing  with big  changes and  the  surprises being  seen in  the                                                              
declines of  chinook salmon  and pinks.   From his travels  around                                                              
the  globe   in  the  Northern   Hemisphere  he  has   found  that                                                              
conversations  are unique  to each  area, but  many of the  issues                                                              
being dealt  with are the same.   The decline that started  in the                                                              
marine systems  in the early 1990s  also started to happen  at the                                                              
same  time in  the Atlantic.   It  is  not a  coincidence that  it                                                              
started  to  happen  in  the early  1990s  and  despite  that  big                                                              
signal, scientists  are still not  working together in a  way that                                                              
they can start to understand that and put the clues together.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAUNDERS explained  that while this is the focal  year for the                                                              
International Year  of the Salmon,  the initiative itself  will go                                                              
on through  2022.  The idea is  that by 2022 the  connections will                                                              
have been  made and a shared  ability within science,  social, and                                                              
regulatory bodies will  have been built to learn  from each other.                                                              
Things are  being done in Alaska  that the rest of  the hemisphere                                                              
needs  to  understand.    Alaska  needs to  be  working  with  the                                                              
organizations  that are  working  on the  bigger  problems of  the                                                              
impact  of climate  on  fresh water  and  coastal  and high  seas.                                                              
Right across  those life  histories [IYS]  is working  on projects                                                              
to link  people.  Alaska  has a lot to  learn from other  parts of                                                              
the world,  but also has  a big story to  tell.  He  looks forward                                                              
to Alaskans engaging and continuing to engage in the initiative.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAUNDERS  noted the  initiative  is  also  in the  middle  of                                                              
raising  money from  governments  and private  foundations in  the                                                              
order of  tens of millions to  facilitate this work that  is being                                                              
taken  on across  the hemisphere.    He looks  forward to  working                                                              
with  Representative Tarr  and  organizations  like Salmon  Beyond                                                              
Borders.    He offered  his  support  for  HR  8 and  thanked  the                                                              
committee for its work for the betterment of salmon and people.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  said  she  is  excited  to  hear  about  the                                                              
collaboration and  that it will be  ongoing for a few  more years.                                                              
She noted that  things are being learned about  migration patterns                                                              
in  the ocean  and  that management  regimes  need  to be  thought                                                              
about.  She looks  forward to the work that Mr.  Saunders is doing                                                              
and  urged  that  relationships  be  strengthened  in  working  on                                                              
protecting wild salmon populations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:31:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  MECUM,   Deputy  Regional   Administrator,  Alaska   Region,                                                              
National   Marine   Fisheries  Service,   National   Oceanic   and                                                              
Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA),  U.S. Department of  Commerce,                                                              
testified in  support of  HR 8.   He stated  that HR 8  recognizes                                                              
2019 as  the International Year  of the Salmon (IYS)  and supports                                                              
the associated global  research and outreach initiative.   He said                                                              
NOAA Fisheries  supports and is  participating in  the coordinated                                                              
development of the  IYS initiative sponsored by  the North Pacific                                                              
Anadromous Fish  Commission (NPAFC) and the North  Atlantic Salmon                                                              
Conservation  Organization  (NASCO).   The  Alaska salmon  fishery                                                              
plays an  integral role in the  world's salmon production  and the                                                              
Alaska  salmon fishery,  capably  managed by  ADF&G,  is the  most                                                              
valuable  commercial  fishery in  the  U.S.   Sustaining  Alaska's                                                              
wild  salmon  populations   is  essential  in   preserving  salmon                                                              
cultures that have existed for thousands of years.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM noted  that the overall  theme of the IYS is  salmon and                                                              
people in a changing  world.  He explained that  the extraordinary                                                              
life histories  of salmon  expose them  to many environmental  and                                                              
anthropogenic  factors  influencing  their health  and  abundance.                                                              
The IYS seeks to  raise awareness of what humans  can do to better                                                              
ensure  salmon  and  their  varied   habitats  are  conserved  and                                                              
restored.   The  IYS  envisions an  expansion  of salmon  research                                                              
efforts on  the high seas and nearshore  waters as well  as a full                                                              
year  of education,  outreach,  and public  engagement.   The  IYS                                                              
provides  a platform  for  advancing  an understanding  of  salmon                                                              
species,   as  well   as  promoting   conservation,   restoration,                                                              
community  support, and  ocean literacy.    Additionally, the  IYS                                                              
provides NOAA an opportunity to highlight its programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM  concluded by  pointing  out  that salmon  affect  more                                                              
people  culturally,  economically,  and  recreationally  than  any                                                              
other fish  species.   Understanding how a  change in  climate may                                                              
influence  their  ocean and  freshwater  habitats,  distributions,                                                              
and  productivity   is  an   increasingly  important   concern  to                                                              
management  agencies, the fishing  industry, tribes,  recreational                                                              
users,  and   the  general  public.     He  said   NOAA  Fisheries                                                              
appreciates  the committee's  support of  HR 8  and the  increased                                                              
awareness, support, and engagement that it will provide.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:34:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  thanked Mr. Mecum  for his testimony  and his                                                              
extensive knowledge  from his  work at ADF&G  and NOAA.   She said                                                              
she would  like to  learn about  the barriers  to multi-state  and                                                              
international  collaboration as  it relates  to research  projects                                                              
and  what could  be done  at the  State  of Alaska  level to  help                                                              
better integrate some of those efforts.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM  responded  that the resolution  is  helpful, and  he is                                                              
thankful  for the  resolution  because  it is  a  way to  convince                                                              
others to  support the development of  this.  He pointed  out that                                                              
it is  not all rainbows  and unicorns  when talking  about funding                                                              
initiatives  like this  and  international  collaboration is  very                                                              
difficult because it requires diplomacy and sustained effort.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:36:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN observed  that the  Endangered Species  Act                                                              
is mentioned  in the resolution on  page 2, lines 27-28.   He said                                                              
he  has talked  to many  people  in Alaska  who  believe that  the                                                              
Marine  Mammal Protection  Act  has had  a  devastating effect  on                                                              
management of  Alaska's salmon  and that it  should be  changed to                                                              
the Marine  Mammal Management  Act to manage  damage from  all the                                                              
predators of salmon  that are protected under that  act.  He asked                                                              
whether Mr.  Mecum thinks  that should  be one  of the  clauses in                                                              
the resolution and part of the discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM replied  that it  is  the legislature's  decision.   He                                                              
said NOAA  administers the Marine  Mammal Protection Act.   One of                                                              
the great  success stories was  getting the eastern  population of                                                              
Steller sea  lions off the endangered  species list, and  he was a                                                              
part  of that effort.   This  has allowed  for some  of the  legal                                                              
removals  of sea  lions  in the  Columbia  and  other places  with                                                              
endangered species.   Fortunately, Alaska doesn't  have any listed                                                              
species of  salmon because  Alaska has taken  care of  business by                                                              
protecting the  habitat, having  a good strong management  system,                                                              
and public  involvement in  that process.   Alaska is a  model for                                                              
the world.   In places like  [the Columbia], habitat loss  has led                                                              
to  some real  problems  and predation  by  marine  mammals is  an                                                              
issue.   He said NOAA  administers that  according to the  law and                                                              
if people  think portions of the  law should be changed,  they can                                                              
pursue those changes legislatively.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:38:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  SERGEANT, Research  Scientist, Flathead  Lake Bio  Station,                                                              
University of  Montana, testified  in support of  HR 8.   He noted                                                              
that  while he  is with  the University  of Montana,  he is  based                                                              
permanently   in   Juneau.     He   conveyed   his   support   for                                                              
International  Year   of  the  Salmon  and   continued  scientific                                                              
research on this  iconic group of fish.  He said  his work focuses                                                              
on three  salmon rich transboundary  rivers shared  between Alaska                                                              
and  British  Columbia  -  the  Taku,  Stikine,  and  Unuk.    His                                                              
interest is studying  how the actions of humans  modify freshwater                                                              
habitat for salmon and affect their survival.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SERGEANT  noted he grew  up on the  shores of Puget  Sound and                                                              
studied  salmon  in that  region  during  the  first half  of  his                                                              
fisheries  career.  He  watched in  real time  as Puget  Sound and                                                              
Columbia River populations  dwindled, but he was  heartened to see                                                              
his friends  and colleagues  in urban  Washington state  recognize                                                              
the value of  salmon recovery.   He feels lucky to have  worked in                                                              
Alaska for  the past eight years  and see so many  thriving salmon                                                              
populations.   However,  some  populations  are showing  signs  of                                                              
decline, so  continued research  toward better understanding  what                                                              
sustains  productive freshwater  ecosystems is  vital to  ensuring                                                              
that  Alaska's communities  can  continue  to pursue  a  lifestyle                                                              
fueled  in large  part  by salmon.   Alaskans  are  faced with  an                                                              
unprecedented  opportunity  to preserve  the  state's  sustainable                                                              
fisheries using science-based management.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SERGEANT  allowed that the  march toward understanding  salmon                                                              
may feel  like a  slow plod,  but said  the journey  is worthy  of                                                              
continued  pursuit.   He said  Isaac Walton's  book, The  Complete                                                            
Angler, published  in 1653, might  be considered the  first salmon                                                            
experiment  described  in  writing.   It  describes  how  Atlantic                                                              
salmon were  marked with sewing  thread as juvenile fish  and then                                                              
observed  returning   to  the  same  river  as   spawning  adults,                                                              
demonstrating the  ability of salmon  to accurately  navigate back                                                              
to  their  place   of  birth.    Over  300  years   later  in  his                                                              
influential  book  on Pacific  salmon,  University  of  Washington                                                              
professor Tom  Quinn, describes a  group of sockeye  salmon caught                                                              
in a single  purse seine set in  the Gulf of Alaska  where all the                                                              
fish  were  tagged  and  released   back  to  the  ocean.    These                                                              
individual salmon,  sharing space in one tiny speck  of the ocean,                                                              
eventually  swam  in  wildly  divergent  directions  across  their                                                              
range  - some returning  to rivers  in British  Columbia like  the                                                              
Skeena and  the Nass, and some  returning to Alaska  watersheds in                                                              
places  like Kodiak  Island or  Bristol  Bay.   After almost  four                                                              
centuries, however,  scientists still cannot definitively  say how                                                              
salmon return  to their  home waters from  a sprawling  open ocean                                                              
and [scientists]  are still  not great  at predicting  when salmon                                                              
runs will  be strong or  weak each year.   But one thing  that can                                                              
be said with  certainty - if enough  salmon are left alone  in the                                                              
water to  return to clean  rivers with abundant  spawning grounds,                                                              
they will thrive for generations to come.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SERGEANT said  the diversity of salmon caught  from that purse                                                              
seine set  in the  Gulf of  Alaska holds  some nice symbolism  for                                                              
the International  Year of  the Salmon:   it takes a  special kind                                                              
of animal  to continue  holding the rapt  attention of  humans for                                                              
so many years.   He said the  committee's support of HR  8 matters                                                              
because it shows that Alaskans support science and wild salmon.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR thanked Mr. Sergeant for his testimony.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  inquired   about  Mr.  Sergeant  working   for  the                                                              
University of Montana but being stationed in Juneau.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. SERGEANT  replied he is  stationed in Juneau  and specifically                                                              
is focused on Alaska/British Columbia transboundary watersheds.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:42:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:45:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN moved  to report  [HR] 8  out of  committee                                                              
with  individual  recommendations   and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                              
notes.   There  being no  objection, HR  8 was  reported from  the                                                              
House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 116 - AFDF Letter of Support 2019-04-15.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Aquatic Farm Application Review Flow Chart 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 116
HB116 ASGA Letter of Support 04.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Explanation of Changes ver A to ver U 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 116
HB116 DNR Fiscal Note 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 116
HB116 Sponsor Statement 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Supporting Document- Mariculture Plan.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 116
HB116 ver U 4.12.19.PDF HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HB 116
HR08 Fiscal Note-LEG 05.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Sponsor Statement 04.10.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 4/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Docuemnt- HJM4012-Year of the Salmon - Washington State.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 4/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Email in Support McPhee 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Letter of Support Alaska Trollers Association 4.12.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Letter of Support from Salmon Beyond Borders 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Letter of Support from Salmon State 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Letter of Support from Territorial Sportsmen 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Letter of Support NOAA, NMFS Alaska Region 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document - Summary from the International Year of the Salmon Website 4.10.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR08 Supporting Document- HCR35 - Year of the Salmon - Oregon State.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HCR 35
HR 8
HR08 Version A 4.10.19.PDF HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HR 8