Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/02/1994 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 February 2, 1994 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 HJR 50: Relating to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council comprehensive rationalization plan." MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITNESS REGISTER RICHARD B. LAUBER, Lobbyist Pacific Seafood Processors Association 321 Highland Juneau, AK 99801 Position Statement: Supported HJR 50 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 50 SHORT TITLE: NPFMC COMPREHENSIVE RATIONALIZATION PLAN SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/18/94 2097 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/18/94 2097 (H) SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES, RES 01/26/94 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 02/02/94 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-5, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN CARL MOSES called the meeting to order at 8:37 a.m. He noted three members present and the excused family emergency absence of Representative Nicholia. He noted that HJR 50 was on the agenda for the committee. RICHARD B. LAUBER, LOBBYIST, PACIFIC SEAFOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION, chairman of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC), updated the committee on the January 1994 meeting of the NPFMC, which had comprehensive rationalization ranging from the status quo to various other alternatives, including an individual transferrable quota system. The NPFMC also considered vessel licensing and some alternatives for a reward system for clean fisheries. The reward system might include giving a person the opportunity to fish earlier, longer or some other reward for lower waste of bycatch. MR. LAUBER stated the NPFMC, while retaining all of its options to study, directed the staff to place its major emphasis on vessel licensing. This places the individual transferable option on a "slower track" because of staff constraints, time and available resources. MR. LAUBER stated the NPFMC was following the recommendation of its advisory panel, which voted 17-2 recommending the NPFMC to follow this action. It was not an Alaska versus Washington vote. There was overwhelming support. The advisory panel was concerned about a number of things. They felt the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) system was moving much too rapidly, and that it may be put in place well before they would have the opportunity to assess the ITQ system for halibut and sablefish adopted by the NPFMC some time ago and being implemented some time next year. While the halibut and sablefish fisheries are not mirror fisheries of the groundfish and crab fisheries, the program would give some idea of how effectively it is tracked and enforced. MR. LAUBER stated that the groundfish and crab ITQ system will be the most complicated, significant individual quota system that will be implemented in the world. It will be most significant in volumes and value of fish, as well as numbers of individuals it will affect - processors, fishermen, processing workers, coastal communities, the various states involved and the nation. MR. LAUBER stated the NPFMC was informed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the time lines involved were not realistic and the earliest the groundfish and crab ITQ system could be enacted would be 1997 or even by the year 2000. It was going to be longer than the NPFMC originally thought and they wanted to move forward with a vessel licensing system more rapidly. MR. LAUBER stated that a vessel licensing system is what is currently in place in the state of Alaska for salmon fisheries and some other species. The individuals are licensed and a limited number of people are engaged in the fishery. MR. LAUBER supports the resolution. The NPFMC has not voted down the ITQ system. It is still on their plate of options. Votes could be reversed at some future meeting and ITQs could be placed back on the "fast track" or on a dual track as proposed by NMFS. MR. LAUBER stated the resolution is important. The impact of an ITQ system on Alaska would be significant. Number 187 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS MOVED TO PASS HJR 50 out of committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN MOSES hearing no objections so ordered. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN MOSES informed members there would be no meeting of the House Special Committee on Fisheries on Friday, February 4. He adjourned the meeting at 8:50 a.m.