Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/26/1993 08:30 AM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                             
                         March 26, 1993                                        
                            8:30 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Carl E. Moses, Chairman                                       
  Representative Harley Olberg, Vice-Chairman                                  
  Representative Irene Nicholia                                                
  Representative Cliff Davidson                                                
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Gail Phillips                                                 
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  HB 218    "An Act repealing the restriction on the maximum                   
            length of salmon seine vessels; and providing for                  
            an effective date."                                                
                                                                               
            HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER                            
            CONSIDERATION                                                      
                                                                               
  *HB 230   "An Act relating to fees for commercial fishing                    
            licenses and permits."                                             
                                                                               
            HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER                            
            CONSIDERATION                                                      
                                                                               
  (* first public hearing)                                                     
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  Geron Bruce, Special Assistant                                               
  Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                           
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska  99802-5526                                                   
  Phone:  465-4100                                                             
  Position Statement: Neutral on HB 218                                        
                                                                               
  Jerry McCune, President                                                      
  United Fishermen of Alaska                                                   
  211 Fourth Street, Suite 112                                                 
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Phone:  586-2820                                                             
  Position Statement: Neutral on HB 218; Voiced concerns with                  
                      HB 230                                                   
                                                                               
  Kate Troll, Executive Director                                               
  Southeast Seiners Association                                                
  9226 Long Run Drive                                                          
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Phone:  789-5117                                                             
  Position Statement: Supported HB 218; Opposed HB 230                         
                                                                               
  James Mykland                                                                
  P.O. Box 1241                                                                
  Cordova, Alaska  99574                                                       
  Phone: 424-7115                                                              
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 218                                           
                                                                               
  Frank Homan, Commissioner                                                    
  Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                        
  8800 Glacier Hwy, Suite 109                                                  
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-8079                                                    
  Phone:  789-6160                                                             
  Position Statement: Neutral on HB 218                                        
                                                                               
  Phil Brudie                                                                  
  P.O. Box 859                                                                 
  Homer, Alaska  99603                                                         
  Phone:  235-7597                                                             
  Position Statement: Felt Cook Inlet was being singled out                    
                      for higher fees                                          
                                                                               
  Al Ray Carroll, President                                                    
  Cook Inlet Seiners Association                                               
  P.O. Box 4311                                                                
  Homer, Alaska  99603                                                         
  Phone:  235-2656                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Linda Kozak                                                                  
  Kodiak Long Line Vessel Association                                          
  326 Center Street, #202                                                      
  Kodiak, Alaska  99615                                                        
  Phone:  486-3781                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Maurice Ingman                                                               
  15008 N. Tongass Highway                                                     
  Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                     
  Phone:  225-3876                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Alvin Osterback, President                                                   
  Peninsula Marketing Association                                              
  P.O. Box 61                                                                  
  Sand Point, Alaska  99661                                                    
  Phone:  383-4031                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Alvin Osterback, Sr.                                                         
  P.O. Box 188                                                                 
  Sand Point, Alaska  99661                                                    
  Phone:  383-2363                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Bruce Eagle                                                                  
  P.O. Box 303                                                                 
  Wrangell, Alaska  99929                                                      
  Phone:  874-2162                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Norman Anderson                                                              
  P.O. Box 106                                                                 
  Naknek, Alaska  99633                                                        
  Phone:  246-4423                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Adelheid Herrmann                                                            
  P.O. Box 263                                                                 
  Naknek, Alaska  99633                                                        
  Phone:  246-4495                                                             
  Position Statement: Voiced concerns with HB 230                              
                                                                               
  Dick Jacobsen                                                                
  P.O. Box 54                                                                  
  Sand Point, Alaska  99633                                                    
  Phone:  383-2042                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Bruce Foster                                                                 
  Address not available                                                        
  Sand Point, Alaska  99633                                                    
  Phone: 383-2878                                                              
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  Beth Stewart, Director                                                       
  Natural Resources Department                                                 
  Aleutians East Borough                                                       
  P.O. Box 33796                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                        
  Phone:  789-9641                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed HB 230                                           
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 218                                                                
  SHORT TITLE:  REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS                          
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES                                          
  TITLE: "An Act repealing the restriction on the maximum                      
  length of salmon seine vessels; and providing for an                         
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  03/10/93       592    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/10/93       592    (H)   FISHERIES, RESOURCES                             
  03/22/93              (H)   FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17                       
  03/22/93              (H)   MINUTE(FSH)                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 230                                                                
  SHORT TITLE:  VESSEL FEES                                                    
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES                                        
  TITLE: "An Act relating to fees for commercial fishing                       
  licenses and permits."                                                       
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  03/15/93       649    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/15/93       649    (H)   FISHERIES, RESOURCES, FINANCE                    
  03/26/93              (H)   FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  Tape 93-14, Side A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  HB 218:  REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN CARL MOSES called the meeting to order at 8:40                      
  a.m., and acknowledged the teleconference sites.  He stated                  
  the meeting would start as a work session due to the lack of                 
  a quorum, and announced HB 218 would be heard again and HB
  230 would be heard for the first time.                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES brought up the proposed Fisheries Committee                   
  Substitute for HB 230 (CSHB 230 (FSH)) which would clarify                   
  that the 58 foot seine limit would be repealed in state law,                 
  but authority for making restrictions on length would go                     
  back to the Board of Fisheries.   The Board of Fisheries                     
  would make those restrictions on a fishery by fishery or                     
  regional basis.  He added the change was suggested by the                    
  Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G).                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES asked Mr. Bruce of the ADF&G to come forward                  
  with the suggested change.                                                   
                                                                               
  GERON BRUCE, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, ADF&G, stated the amendment                  
  was suggested by the ADF&G to allow the Board of Fisheries                   
  sufficient time to conduct hearings in a three year cycle                    
  region by region.  The hearings would be held to determine                   
  whether the fishermen in each region wanted the 58 foot                      
  limit repealed.  The Chairman of the Board of Fisheries was                  
  consulted and he recommended the amendment.  Mr. Bruce                       
  concluded the ADF&G was neutral on HB 218.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 066                                                                   
                                                                               
  JERRY MCCUNE, PRESIDENT, UNITED FISHERMEN OF ALASKA (UFA),                   
  said the UFA had discussed HB 218 and decided if all the                     
  fishing organizations and fishermen agreed to repeal the 58                  
  foot limit for seine vessels, then the UFA would support the                 
  bill; and, the length restrictions for salmon seine vessels                  
  should be determined by the Board of Fisheries on a regional                 
  basis.  Otherwise, the UFA is neutral on the bill and will                   
  let the groups address it, he concluded.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 091                                                                   
                                                                               
  KATE TROLL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST SEINERS                            
  ASSOCIATION said she had previously testified on HB 218, had                 
  made the suggestion about consideration of the Board of Fish                 
  cycle, and was glad to see the change had been included.                     
                                                                               
  JAMES MYKLAND, testified via teleconference from Cordova                     
  that he was involved in purse seine fisheries in Prince                      
  William Sound and felt if 70-100 foot seine boats were                       
  allowed, it would lead to over-capitalization of the fleet                   
  and would not be advantageous to the area.                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES asked if anyone else wanted to testify via                    
  teleconference on HB 218.  Hearing none, he moved on to HB
  230.                                                                         
                                                                               
  HB 230:  VESSEL FEES                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 144                                                                   
                                                                               
  FRANK HOMAN, COMMISSIONER, COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ENTRY                        
  COMMISSION (CFEC), presented an analysis showing some of the                 
  impact of HB 230, which had been requested.  (A copy of the                  
  analysis may be found in the House Special Committee on                      
  Fisheries' Committee Room, and after the adjournment of the                  
  second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the                  
  Legislative Reference Library.)  He noted the CFEC had taken                 
  a neutral position on HB 230 because of concern about recent                 
  court cases involving some dispute on the resident/non-                      
  resident fee structure which had not yet been resolved.  The                 
  CFEC also felt there was a policy question that as a revenue                 
  generating measure, the legislature was the more appropriate                 
  body to determine the need for revenue than the CFEC.                        
                                                                               
  MR. HOMAN explained the Limited Entry Commission currently                   
  collects an annual vessel fee of $20, and HB 230 would                       
  change the system to one which would be based on the tonnage                 
  of the vessel.  The commission would charge $2 per ton and                   
  there would be a $20 minimum.  In order to show the impact,                  
  he stated in 1992, 17,194 vessels were licensed and $340,000                 
  was collected.  Based on changing to a gross tonnage fee,                    
  calculations of total revenue collected would be $860,000.                   
                                                                               
  MR. HOMAN further explained the current system of the flat                   
  $20 fee is an automatic system and there is very little                      
  administrative costs involved.  An analysis of the                           
  administrative impact of going to a tonnage fee system is                    
  still being worked on, he advised, because records would                     
  have to be verified or some official Coast Guard                             
  documentation would have to be sent in with the vessel                       
  license application.                                                         
                                                                               
  MR. HOMAN commented on the second part of HB 230 which has                   
  to do with the annual fee.   The current annual fee formula                  
  for a limited entry permit is 1/4 of one percent of the                      
  value of the limited entry permit and the unlimited                          
  fisheries formula is 1/4 of one percent of the average gross                 
  earnings of that fishery during the last three years.                        
  Currently the cap for residents is $250 and the cap for non-                 
  resident is $750.  By removing the cap as HB 230 would do,                   
  there would be a substantial increase in revenue collected.                  
                                                                               
  Number 385                                                                   
                                                                               
  PHIL BRUDIE from Homer, testified via teleconference that                    
  fishing seasons in Cook Inlet have not been very good and                    
  fees are increasing, meanwhile Kodiak had no increase in                     
  fees and better fishing.  He wanted to know if there was a                   
  specific reason for the fee increase in Cook Inlet, and                      
  mentioned the fish catch has decreased considerably since                    
  the oil spill.  He saw no justification to be singled out                    
  for a fee increase, and suggested an error must have been                    
  made.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 400                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES responded that it was certainly not the                       
  intent of HB 230.  It was designed to make all the fees more                 
  equitable, he advised.                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 412                                                                   
                                                                               
  AL RAY CARROLL, PRESIDENT, COOK INLET SEINERS ASSOCIATION,                   
  testified regarding a media release from Representative                      
  Moses which said the increases would be felt by only the                     
  higher value fisheries with nearly 80 percent coming from                    
  the non-residents.  Mr. Carroll pointed out there are 74                     
  resident permits and two non-resident permits.  He agreed                    
  with Mr. Brudie that an error must have been made, and asked                 
  the committee to look over the figures.                                      
                                                                               
  Number 440                                                                   
                                                                               
  LINDA KOZAK, KODIAK LONG LINE VESSEL ASSOCIATION, asked to                   
  go on record as opposing HB 230.  Worried because the                        
  revenue generated from these fees cannot be dedicated to the                 
  fishing industry, she stated the Kodiak Long Line Vessel                     
  Association was not opposed to a slight increase, but felt                   
  the fishermen are already paying enough taxes and fees.  She                 
  would rather see a more broad base type of tax or fee                        
  increase.                                                                    
                                                                               
  MAURICE INGMAN on teleconference from Ketchikan opposed HB
  230.  He stated it would increase his fees by four times,                    
  and expressed concern that the additional revenue would go                   
  into the state's general fund and be used to build roads or                  
  something in other communities.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 514                                                                   
                                                                               
  ALVIN OSTERBACK, PRESIDENT, PENINSULA MARKETING ASSOCIATION,                 
  testified from Sand Point and asked to be on record as                       
  opposing HB 230.  He had many of the same concerns as                        
  previous speakers.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 547                                                                   
                                                                               
  ALVIN OSTERBACK, SR. of Sand Point said prices are going                     
  down and insurance is going up.  He felt the state income                    
  tax should be reinstated.                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 569                                                                   
                                                                               
  BRUCE EAGLE of Wrangell expressed concern of a lack of a cap                 
  in section 3 of HB 230.  He felt it should be changed but                    
  not deleted, and was opposed to any more fee increases for                   
  fishermen.                                                                   
                                                                               
  NORMAN ANDERSON of Naknek testified via teleconference.  He                  
  wanted to go on record opposing HB 230, and felt the state                   
  should be more involved with the adverse price fluctuations                  
  of salmon.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 598                                                                   
                                                                               
  ADELHEID HERRMANN, a commercial fisherman from Naknek, had                   
  concerns with HB 230.  If the money were to go back to the                   
  ADF&G she would have no problem, but since there is no such                  
  thing as dedicated funds, she has a problem with it.                         
  Fishing fee increases at the same time as Coast Guard                        
  requirements are coming on line is quite a concern to                        
  fishermen, she noted, and more money needs to go to fish and                 
  wildlife protection where many people go unfined.  She was                   
  inclined to support a 1% marketing increase if a system was                  
  set up where fishermen had equal say with the processors.                    
                                                                               
  Number 628                                                                   
                                                                               
  DICK JACOBSEN, of Sand Point commented on HB 230's fee                       
  structure.  He felt western Alaska had been singled out to                   
  pay higher fees, and asked to go on record as being opposed                  
  to HB 230 in its present form.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 665                                                                   
                                                                               
  BRUCE FOSTER of Sand Point felt the fee increase on                          
  fishermen would be too hard.                                                 
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-14, Side B                                                           
  Number 027                                                                   
                                                                               
  BETH STEWART, DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT,                        
  ALEUTIANS EAST BOROUGH (AEB), testified in opposition to HB
  230.  The AEB suggested the committee increase all vessel                    
  licenses by five, ten, or twenty dollars rather than having                  
  fees based on vessel capacity.  She stated there is                          
  currently litigation regarding the issue of differential                     
  permit fees for residents and non-residents and believed                     
  some of the increases proposed would bring additional                        
  litigation.  Additionally, the AEB felt if additional                        
  revenue was being looked at from the Exclusive Economic Zone                 
  fisheries, there would be Magnuson Act conflicts that would                  
  result in losing the current revenues the state is                           
  collecting.                                                                  
                                                                               
  MS. STEWART, on behalf of the AEB, asked that the                            
  legislature investigate the issue through the National                       
  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's general council.                    
  The AEB felt if the intent of HB 230 is to capture more non-                 
  resident revenue, a more effective way to do that would be                   
  to reinstate a state income tax.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 090                                                                   
                                                                               
  JERRY McCUNE, PRESIDENT, UNITED FISHERMEN OF ALASKA (UFA),                   
  stated fishermen are already paying their fair share in fees                 
  and taxes.  Since there is no way to dedicate funds, the UFA                 
  was concerned that the additional revenue would go to fund                   
  someone else's programs instead of fisheries.                                
                                                                               
  Number 116                                                                   
                                                                               
  KATE TROLL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST ALASKA SEINERS                     
  ASSOCIATION, opposed HB 230 because of cost and fairness.                    
  In order to stay viable many fishermen have had to                           
  diversify.  There is no correlation between the money going                  
  to support the fishing industry and the money brought in by                  
  the industry.  Not all industries are being asked to pay                     
  increases, and a state income tax should be looked at in all                 
  fairness, she concluded.                                                     
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 168                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN MOSES  asked for further testimony or discussion.                   
  Hearing none he stated his intent to hold both HB 218 and HB
  230 for further consideration.  He then adjourned at 9:40                    
  a.m.                                                                         

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