Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/11/1996 05:04 PM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES March 11, 1996 5:04 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Alan Austerman, Chairman Representative Carl Moses, Vice Chairman Representative Scott Ogan Representative Gary Davis Representative Kim Elton MEMBERS ABSENT All members were present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 390 "An Act relating to the nonresident anadromous king salmon tag and the anadromous king salmon stamp; requiring nonresident alien sport fishermen to be accompanied by a sport fishing guide; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 390(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 538 "An Act relating to the establishment of a moratorium for vessels participating in the Bering Sea Korean hair crab fishery; relating to a vessel permit limited entry system; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 538(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 390 SHORT TITLE: KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ELTON JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 01/05/96 2368 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2368 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2369 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FSH, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/22/96 2861 (H) STA REFERRAL WAIVED 02/28/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/28/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/06/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/06/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/11/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 538 SHORT TITLE: VESSEL MORATORIUM FOR HAIR CRAB FISHERY SPONSOR(S): COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 03/06/96 2995 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/06/96 2995 (H) FISHERIES 03/06/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/06/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/11/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER No witnesses testified. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-12, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN ALAN AUSTERMAN called the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Austerman, Davis and Elton. Representatives Moses and Ogan joined the meeting at 5:09 p.m. and 5:11 p.m., respectively. HB 390 - KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN Number 0046 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN recounted that at the previous meeting, amendments to HB 390 had been passed. He noted that a working draft including those amendments, version F, was before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS moved that the committee adopt work draftF, dated 3/7/96, of CSHB 390(FSH). There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 0155 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Representative Davis if he wished to make another amendment. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said yes. He referred to page 2, line 27, where a new subsection was to be inserted that read, "The Commissioner shall have the authority to adopt regulations necessary to implement this section." He indicated it would be (f) of that section. Number 0225 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said he would entertain a motion to amend CSHB 390, work draft F, page 2, line 27, by adding a new section (f). REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS clarified it would be subparagraph (f). He moved to amend the committee substitute to add subparagraph (f), as outlined in the written amendment he had submitted. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN, hearing no objection, noted that subparagraph (f) was approved for work draft F. Number 0343 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON pointed out that the packets contained a new fiscal note from the Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) dated 3/11/96. "That new fiscal note is a tweak of the old fiscal note," he said, "using the new assumptions in the committee substitute." He indicated the essential new assumption related to the $50 fee for the second tag, down from $100. "And I think what the department has already done, too, is refine some of the other assumptions that were in the fiscal note," he said. "But the fiscal note is not dramatically different than the old fiscal note. But for the purposes of the bill packet, I guess I would move the new fiscal note from the Department of Fish and Game, dated 3/11/96." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN, hearing no objection, noted that the fiscal note was part of the record. He referred to the fees associated with HB 390 and said his initial reaction to the bill had been that he liked it in concept but did not like the fees, which he still considered to be high. "And I guess the amendment we made last week," he said, "taking the second fish to $50, answered ... part of my concern. But I guess when you have a day fishery, a person fishing just during the day, that amendment would solve the problems. The problem I'm having is with the $200 and $300 and $400 fees that we are talking about, particularly with lodge operations where people go fishing for a full week at a time or a week and a half." He asked for further discussion before voting on moving the bill. Number 0511 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought that section would probably have a lot of additional debate further down the line and mentioned that it had been discussed in the subcommittee. He indicated there were many different scenarios and options for visitors to the state. He suggested that none of the committee members had a solid understanding of exactly how those fees would be received. Number 0640 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN expressed that with lodge operations, particularly, a person was more likely to take three or four fish at $50 per fish. He thought a person would not be as likely to even come to Alaska if he or she thought it would cost $1,000 for the fishing permits. Number 0667 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON agreed it was difficult to assign a fee. As ADF&G had indicated at an earlier meeting, ten people would have ten different suggested fee structures, some higher and some lower. He expressed concern for what would happen to lodge owners and agreed the impact would be greater on them than on the day charter fleet, especially with the new $50 rate for the second tag. However, he thought if nothing was done to reduce pressure on the resource through an economic disincentive, the most likely reduction would be through time and area closures, perhaps in combination with gear restrictions. Representative Elton thought such closures, which were in-season management tools, would be more destructive to the lodge business. Because most lodge visits were presold months in advance, it would be difficult to sell trips that owners could not guarantee would take place. He suggested that would be more difficult for lodge owners than a high price tag. Number 0880 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON further suggested that visitors arriving in May, for example, might be able to fish, while visitors planning to fish in June, July or August might not have that opportunity. "As onerous and as odious as we may think the Pacific Salmon Treaty stipulations are," he said, "they're there and I'd like to think that logic and reason will mean that we can catch more than 40,000 next year. But I think the most likely scenario is 30,000. So, if nothing else, this may protect lodge owners in that second scenario also, that you don't reach a 30,000 cap nearly as quickly, so you can extend your season further to the salmon angler visitor." He reiterated that he did not mean to diminish the concern for lodge owners. "I don't know what the perfect answer is on fees, though," he concluded. Number 0969 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN reiterated his concern about the disparity between anglers on charter boat day trips, especially for visitors off of cruise ships, and visitors coming to lodges to fish for a week, who spent the majority of their money with a local lodge owner. Number 1096 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to the desire to have the bill heard in the House Resource Committee, for which it was not scheduled, rather than in the House Judiciary Committee, and asked about the process for giving the bill an additional referral. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied the request would have to come from one of the co-chairmen of Resources if they wished to hear it. Number 1152 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved that CSHB 390(FSH) move out of committee with attached fiscal notes and the amendment that had been made, as well as with a letter requesting that the referrals for the bill be amended. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that he felt comfortable with the motion and said he thought it was much more appropriate that the bill be heard in the House Resources Committee. Number 1181 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that there being no objection, CSHB 390 (FSH) moved out of the committee with individual recommendations. HB 538 - VESSEL MORATORIUM FOR HAIR CRAB FISHERY Number 1195 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated there were no new amendments before the committee and noted that HB 538 would go to the House Rules Committee next. He asked if there was further discussion on the bill, which had been heard previously. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON moved that HB 538, as amended, move from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS objected for the purpose of discussion. He asked if Chairman Austerman wanted to hear more testimony if any were available. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN answered that no more testimony was planned. "We didn't move it last time because it had only this committee as a referral and we wanted everybody to sleep on it a little bit and bring it back," he said. He noted that the motion was to move CSHB 538, as amended, with accompanying fiscal notes and individual recommendations. Number 1362 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the zero fiscal note and asked, "Even though it's a zero fiscal note, does this pick up a Finance Committee referral?" CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded, "Not unless we request it." He added that it went to the House Rules Committee next. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS withdrew his objection. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there were any other objections to moving the bill. There being no objection, CSHB 538 moved out of committee. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN adjourned the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting at 5:25 p.m.