Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/27/1996 03:37 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
            SSSB 42 LIMITED ENTRY & UNITS OF GEAR                            
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought SSSB 42 before the committee as the final            
 order of business.                                                            
  SENATOR TAYLOR , prime sponsor of SB 42, explained that last session         
 he and Representative Grussendorf submitted companion legislation             
 to allow for setting up a tier gear system within the dungeness               
 crab fishery.  Part of the various compromises that were worked out           
 between the Limited Entry Commission and the fishing fleet as the             
 legislation moved through the process was the opportunity to do               
 what is called the stacking of permits.  However, the way the law             
 currently exists, an individual can purchase a higher tier level,             
 but to do so, he must first sell one tier level, so it leaves the             
 individual with very little opportunity to break out of or move out           
 of that limitation on the gear.                                               
 Senator Taylor said the understanding was that a change would be              
 made in the House bill (HB 107) when it got to the Senate, but when           
 it did get to the Senate it was discovered the title was too tight            
 and it would have taken a two-thirds vote to get the title amended.           
 SSSB 42 will provide for the stacking option which will actually              
 eliminate numbers of people over time out of the fishery, but it              
 will still leave the same volume of gear.                                     
  FRANK HOMAN , Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission,           
 informed the committee that as a result of the passage of HB 107,             
 this past summer the Commission instituted a dungeness tiered pot             
 system that was designed to be reflective of the way the fleet was            
 at the time of the limitation.  He said there are people on both              
 sides of the issue of whether to combine tiers so that an                     
 individual could work his way up and have more pots.  SSSB 42 will            
 allow the combining of tiers, although there would always be the              
 same number of permits, which is a maximum of 308, but they could             
 be consolidated into a smaller number of fishermen.  He noted there           
 are people on the other side of the issue who want to leave a lower           
 tier in there so that there is an entry level, and they feel that             
 permits might be cheaper at a reduced pot level.                              
  MARK JENSEN , testifying from Petersburg in support of SSSB 42, said         
 the reason he supported the tier system in the first place was                
 because it had a stacking and unstacking provision.  Also, it won't           
 change the number of pots in the fishery, but it will reduce the              
 number of fishermen on the grounds.  It will allow a person to get            
 into the fishery at a small level, like a 75-pot permit, and then             
 expand to whatever level he wanted to end up at in the fishery.               
  JOHN JENSEN , testifying from Petersburg, voiced his support for             
 SSSB 42 and the testimony given by Mark Jensen.                               
  BOB GRANDE , a fisherman testifying from Petersburg, stated his              
 opposition to SSSB 42.  He stated he originally supported the                 
 tiered entry system because he was led to believe that there would            
 not be a stacking provision.  He believes that if permits are                 
 stacked, it will effectively ensure that all of the allowable gear            
 is actually fished; whereas with the small permits being fished,              
 many of those will either not be fished or be fished at a very low            
 level, which currently happens, and eventually 75-pot permits will            
  ROCKY LITTLETON , testifying from Petersburg in opposition to SSSB
 42, stated he agrees with Mr. Grande's comments.  He believes it              
 will create more pressure in the fishery and that it defeats the              
 whole purpose of the tiered system.                                           
  STEVE THOMASSEN , testifying from Wrangell, voiced his support for           
 SSSB 42.  He supports stacking so that some of the fishermen can              
 build up enough gear to make it worthwhile and feasible to go                 
  TAPE 96-38, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
  OTTO FLORSHUTZ , testifying from Wrangell, said one thing is clear           
 and that is that Fish & Game will have lots of charts and graphs to           
 prove the destruction of this resource under current and past                 
 management plans, a forecast that's been heard for years.  He said            
 at this point there are three unknowns: (1) how many permits will             
 be issued; (2) how many transferrable permits will be issued; and             
 (3) how many pots will be fished.  This legislation will ensure               
 that all unfished tiers will be bought back and then aggressively             
 fished, in effect, setting a speed limit on an unknown road without           
 checking curves or road conditions.  He suggested the bill could              
 work if it were amended to read that any tiers transferred would              
 forfeit or sunset one-third of their pot allotment.                           
 There being no further testimony on SSSB 42,  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked           
 for the pleasure of the committee.                                            
  SENATOR TAYLOR  moved SSSB 42 be passed out of committee with                
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  

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