Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/29/1993 08:30 AM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES MARCH 29, 1993 8:30 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Carl E. Moses, Chairman Representative Harley Olberg, Vice-Chairman Representative Gail Phillips MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Cliff Davidson COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 218 "An Act repealing the restriction on the maximum length of salmon seine vessels; and providing for an effective date." CSHB 218 (FSH) MOVED OUT WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION *HB 251 "An act relating to the management and allocation of fishery resources." HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION (* first public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER Representative Carl Moses State Capitol, Room 204 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4451 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor of HB 218 and HB 251 Geron Bruce, Special Assistant Alaska Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, AK 99802-5526 Phone: 465-6143 Position Statement: Department has not developed a position yet on HB 251. PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 218 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS BILL VERSION: CSHB 218(FSH) SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES TITLE: "An Act relating to 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) 03/29/93 824 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) NEW TITLE 2DP 1NR 03/29/93 824 (H) DP: MOSES, PHILLIPS 03/29/93 824 (H) NR: OLBERG 03/29/93 824 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G)NEW TITLE 3/29/93 03/26/93 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/29/93 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 251 SHORT TITLE: MANAGEMENT AND ALLOCATION OF FISH BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES TITLE: "An Act relating to the management and allocation of fishery resources. JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/24/93 761 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/24/93 761 (H) FISHERIES, RESOURCES, JUDICIARY 03/29/93 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-18, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN CARL MOSES called the meeting to order at 8:32 a.m. He noted Representatives Moses, Olberg and Phillips in attendance and said the meeting would begin by bringing up once again HB 218 and then hearing HB 251. HB 218: REPEAL 58 FT. LIMIT FOR SEINE VESSELS CHAIRMAN MOSES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 218, informed the committee they had before them a proposed committee substitute for HB 218 (CSHB 218 (FSH)) which clarifies that the 58 foot limit is repealed in state law, but authority for making restrictions on length goes back to the Board of Fisheries, to be done on a fishery by fishery or regional basis. He added CSHB 218 (FSH) incorporates the change proposed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Board of Fisheries, and fishing groups to switch the seine length restrictions to the Board over a three year period in order to match their meeting cycle. VICE CHAIR HARLEY OLBERG MOVED to ADOPT CSHB 218 (FSH) for discussion purposes. REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS asked if limit restrictions were a factor in other states. CHAIRMAN MOSES was not aware of any. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS MOVED to PASS out CSHB 218 (FSH) from the committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections, and CSHB 218 (FSH) MOVED out of committee with individual recommendations. HB 251: MANAGEMENT AND ALLOCATION OF FISH CHAIRMAN MOSES, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 251, told the committee HB 251 was introduced at the request of former Governor Jay Hammond and others who believe the Board of Fisheries needs a definitive policy from the Alaska Legislature for management and allocation of fisheries resources. According to the Chairman, the constitution mandates that these resources be utilized to the maximum benefit of Alaska and its residents. Although there are federal constitutional concerns, he noted it has become apparent to many fishermen in watching the struggles of the Board of Fisheries over the years that further policy guidelines are necessary in order to comply with the constitution to the extent legally possible. CHAIRMAN MOSES advised HB 251 would establish such a policy in statute and make clear the policy of the state is to maximize benefits for the state's resources consistent with the sustained yield principle and with the least adverse impact on the people of the state. Number 048 GERON BRUCE, SPECIAL ASSISTANT WITH THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (ADF&G), told the committee the ADF&G was still reviewing HB 251 and had faxed it to members of the Board of Fisheries for their comments before developing a position. MR. BRUCE gave a brief history of the efforts behind HB 251. Alaska's fishery resources were originally developed by residents of the Pacific Northwest and California, and MR. BRUCE noted the long struggle to wrestle control over those interests and get the resources into the hands of Alaskans. He said that the ADF&G supports efforts to achieve this goal. MR. BRUCE explained that the legislature several years ago adopted criteria in an attempt to do this kind of thing, and one of the provisions talk about the number of residents and non-residents who have participated in the fishery in the past, and the number that can be reasonably expected to participate in the future. The purpose of this criteria was to do what is being proposed in HB 251. However, there are complications in dealing with federal law, especially the provisions not to discriminate against non-residents in matters affecting interstate commerce. MR. BRUCE informed the committee the Department of Law has advised the Board of Fisheries not to utilize this particular criteria when they are making allocation decisions for Alaska's fisheries resources. It would be important in reviewing this legislation, he advised, to get an opinion from the Department of Law regarding whether or not the approach proposed in HB 251 would be a more effective tool to have and whether it would fall prey to the same problems the earlier criteria did. MR. BRUCE also explained the recent history of this legislation. Two years ago when the Board of Fisheries took up proposals concerning the Bristol Bay fisheries, there was a section of regulation dealing with setnet fishing in the Kvichak section of the Naknek-Kvichak District. This setnet section allowed for additional time for setnetters in excess of what was given the driftnetters, recognizing that setnet gear was fixed and the driftnetters could move around and have other opportunities. The only way for the setnetters to make up for interceptions was to fish some extra time. MR. BRUCE added the Board took public testimony and decided to remove section f from the regulation book, primarily because they were concerned there wasn't specific enough criteria to the department for implementing section f. The department believed it was putting them in the position of making an allocation call instead of the Board. The job of the department is to manage, not allocate. MR. BRUCE passed out graphs developed by the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission that showed the consequences of repealing section f, which caused people to question the wisdom of the Board's action. In the Naknek-Kvichak, only 30% of the value of the harvest in the driftnet fishery is taken by the residents of the state of Alaska, whereas in the setnet fishery, almost 75% is. The argument runs that by eliminating the section f provision, the opportunity for Alaskans to maximize benefits from the resources was reduced. The Board of Fisheries ended up revisiting this issue this past winter and reinstated the section f provision. MR. BRUCE disclosed Governor Hammond's argument is that a lot of energy and time went into this exercise, and if there had been something in statute that would have made it clear that the Board should not do things that would reduce the opportunities for Alaskans to benefit from the fishery resources, they would have quickly disposed of the original proposal as not being in the interest of the state of Alaska. Number 140 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS expressed interest in the percentages in the graphs, noting there was probably a similar situation in Cook Inlet. MR. BRUCE affirmed they would be waiting to hear from the Board of Fisheries and the Department of Law before completing their analysis. He explained that the original criteria was sponsored by Senator Vic Fischer in the mid-1980s. He said the criteria was used, except for the one provision concerning residents and non-residents, which they have been advised not to use. He believed HB 251 would certainly be challenged by residents from outside the state There was some discussion between REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS and CHAIRMAN MOSES over who in their districts could be impacted by this legislation. CHAIRMAN MOSES noted it was typical of attorneys to be overly cautious about something that might happen and the legislature should not always act on something that might happen. HB 251 WAS HELD FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN MOSES adjourned the meeting at 9 a.m.