Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/29/1993 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 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.                               

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