Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/05/1993 08:00 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 218:  REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS                               
  Number 042                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 218,                          
  explained that in 1970, the Alaska legislature banned the                    
  use of seine boats longer than 58 feet in order to keep                      
  larger boats from competing with small local vessels.  He                    
  cited attempts in recent years to repeal the limit in an                     
  attempt to diversify the fisheries.  If the restriction is                   
  repealed, he said, it would allow the same vessel to be used                 
  in salmon, groundfish and crab fisheries, rather than                        
  requiring separate vessels and increased expense.                            
  Number 065                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES noted that the restriction has resulted                 
  in giving much of Alaska's crab and groundfish to non-                       
  resident fisheries.  With the pending implementation of the                  
  Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) program,  he said there is                    
  more reason to allow more participation for Alaskans in the                  
  fisheries.  He explained changes made to HB 218 in the House                 
  Special Committee on Fisheries.  He noted CSHB 218 (FSH)                     
  would ensure that length restrictions for salmon seine                       
  vessels would be determined by the Board of Fisheries on a                   
  regional basis.  The board would have a three-year period to                 
  take up those restrictions, he said.                                         
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES mentioned the support for HB 218 given                  
  by the Southeast Seiners, the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian                  
  Salmon Seiners Association.                                                  
  Number 098                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE referred to areas where the 58-foot                 
  limit might be kept and asked under what circumstances that                  
  might happen.                                                                
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES replied that he personally did not feel                 
  that it would be necessary, but that the Board of Fisheries                  
  would review the seine length requirements on a regional                     
  Number 120                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked why the 58-foot limit was                     
  established in the first place.                                              
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES explained that the intent was to keep                   
  out large boats from outside of Alaska.  Because that is now                 
  regulated by the limited entry system, and because the limit                 
  is keeping residents from participating in other larger                      
  boats, the repeal is now seen as necessary, he said.                         
  Number 140                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if the 58-foot limit was seen as                  
  a safety factor in rough water.                                              
  REPRESENTATIVE MOSES said that some 58-foot seiners had                      
  tried to participate in the Bering Sea bottom fisheries but                  
  sea conditions there made it too difficult, so some                          
  fishermen had bought larger boats for those fisheries.                       
  Because of the cost, many had bought older boats which have                  
  safety problems.                                                             
  Number 170                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE MOVED to pass CSHB 218 (FSH) from                       
  committee with individual recommendations.  He asked                         
  unanimous consent.                                                           
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections to the                  
  motion.  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                    
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the next bill to be heard by the                 
  committee would be HJR 20.                                                   

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