Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/15/1996 08:15 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SB 42 - LIMITED ENTRY & UNITS OF GEAR                                       
 Number 0017                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR WILLIAMS announced the first item on the agenda was SSSB
 42 am, an act allowing a person to hold more than one entry permit            
 for certain fisheries and amending the definition of `unit of gear'           
 for purposes of the commercial fisheries limited entry program; and           
 providing for an effective date.                                              
 Number 0095                                                                   
 FRANK HOMAN, Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission,             
 Department of Fish and Game (DFG), was first to testify.  He said             
 DFG has been working with the Dungeness fishermen and Senator                 
 Taylor's office as well as with Co-Chair William's office on this             
 issue of the Dungeness crab moratorium and limitation.  He said,              
 four years ago, the legislature imposed a moratorium and the                  
 provision for a tiered pot system.  He said SSSB 42 am is a minor             
 adjustment to that moratorium.                                                
 Number 0176                                                                   
 MR HOMAN said SSSB 42 am is sponsored by the Southeast Dungeness              
 Crab Coalition, the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association and a                
 number of other crab fisherman.  He said the commission is                    
 supporting SSSB 42 am and the work that has been done on it.                  
 Number 0214                                                                   
 MR. HOMAN said in a tiered pot system, which we have with Dungeness           
 crab, an A,B,C, or D permit would be more restrictive than the                
 Board of Fish limitation of 300 pots.  He said SSSB 42 am would               
 allow the combination of two permits as long as it did not go over            
 the 300 pot maximum.  He said the bill would allow people to work             
 up through the system and allow them to retain some entry level               
 Number 0291                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN asked if SSSB 42 am would only affect           
 Southeast Alaska.                                                             
 Number 0295                                                                   
 MR. HOMAN said, at this time, the only fishery that would be                  
 affected by SSSB 42 am would be the Southeast Dungeness fishery as            
 it is the only one with a tiered system.                                      
 Number 0309                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR JOE GREEN asked how many permits are currently held by               
 Alaskans as compared to those owned by non-residents of the state.            
 Number 0322                                                                   
 MR. HOMAN said he did not know the precise figure, but 80 percent             
 to 90 percent of the permits would be owned by Alaskans.                      
 Number 0348                                                                   
 SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, sponsor of SSSB 42 am, gave some legislative            
 background on the bill.  He said both he and Representative                   
 Grussendorf introduced identical legislation last year because it             
 was felt that the Dungeness fishery had reached an economic level             
 where this was possible.  He said the fishery had gone through a              
 boom and bust cycle and a flood of boats had come up from the                 
 states of Washington and Oregon where the fishing was poor.  He               
 said, during that time, the number if licensed crab fisherman                 
 doubled and then redoubled the following year.  He said, at that              
 point, if a limited entry system was installed all of those                   
 fisherman would have been included in that system.  He said the               
 states of Washington and Oregon have experienced strong Dungeness             
 crab fishing in recent years and it has left the state with a                 
 resident Dungeness fishery.  At the resident fisherman's request,             
 a limited entry system was installed to prevent non-residents from            
 fishing in Alaskan waters.                                                    
 Number 0483                                                                   
 SENATOR TAYLOR said, as last years legislation moved through the              
 system, a consensus was reached that a tiered system should be                
 installed.  He said people with lower entry permits wanted to be              
 assured that over time they could buy additional permits, called              
 the stacking provision.  He said when the limited entry system                
 legislation passed out of the House, the title was too narrow to              
 make an amendment for a permit stacking to occur.  He said there              
 was not the time to get a two-thirds vote to get a title change               
 resolution.  He said SSSB 42 am is clean-up language and follows up           
 with the commitment that everyone made during the process from last           
 SENATOR TAYLOR said the stacking provision would be limited by the            
 300 maximum gear limitation that the commission had set.  He said             
 there has been some discussion regarding the stacking provision by            
 those who had received what they wanted from last years                       
 legislation, as a result a compromise was reached that only two               
 permits would be allowed to be stacked.  He said limiting the                 
 permits to two allows for more permits to be obtained at the lower            
 level, because that is where the largest number of permits is                 
 located.  He said having more permits at the lower level allows               
 people to get involved in the industry with a limited investment.             
 Number 0668                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked if this was a strict limited entry           
 situation where there is only a finite number in all of the                   
 Number 0678                                                                   
 SENATOR TAYLOR said this was correct and referred to information in           
 the committee packet.  He said the smallest number involved was 300           
 and then it goes down with a 75 pot permit where the largest number           
 of permits is found.                                                          
 Number 0698                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if a person held one of the 75 pot                
 permits would it be possible for the fisherman to buy one of the              
 higher pot number permits and relinquish the 75 pot permit.                   
 SENATOR TAYLOR said if a 300 pot permit became available, he would            
 need to sell the 75 pot permit.  He said there are brokers who                
 handle these transfers and as a result there wouldn't be any risk             
 involved in the transfer of permits.                                          
 Representative Kott joined the committee at 8:24 a.m.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN made a motion to move SSSB 42 am with the            
 accompanying fiscal note and individual recommendations.  Hearing             
 no objections SSSB 42 am was moved from the House Standing                    
 Committee on Resources.                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects