Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/02/2003 08:35 AM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                          May 2, 2003                                                                                           
                           8:35 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Paul Seaton, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 281                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a moratorium on entry of vessels into the                                                                   
Southeast Alaska sport fish charter fishery; and providing for                                                                  
an effective date."                                                                                                             
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: HB 281                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:MORATORIUM ON CHARTER VESSEL LICENSES                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)WEYHRAUCH                                                                                          
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
04/23/03     1071       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
04/23/03     1071       (H)        FSH, RES                                                                                     
04/23/03     1071       (H)        REFERRED TO FISHERIES                                                                        
04/30/03                (H)        FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
04/30/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
05/02/03                (H)        FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
05/02/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
DON BREMNER                                                                                                                     
Central Council                                                                                                                 
Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 281.                                                                         
THOMAS SUSS                                                                                                                     
Point Sophia Development Company                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that restoration of the Hoonah                                                                   
cannery would make it a destination site for tourists.                                                                          
BLAINE HOLLIS, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                       
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on the difficulties involved with                                                                
including the definition of charter sport within that of                                                                        
commercial fishery.                                                                                                             
GORDON JACKSON, Chairman of the Board                                                                                           
Kake Tribal Corporation;                                                                                                        
Director, Business and Economic Development,                                                                                    
Central Council                                                                                                                 
Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 281.                                                                         
JIM PRESTON, Owner and operator                                                                                                 
Big Jim's Charters                                                                                                              
Auke Bay, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 281.                                                                            
KAREN POLLY, Charter boat operator;                                                                                             
Campus Director                                                                                                                 
University of Alaska Southeast                                                                                                  
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in strong opposition to HB 281.                                                                  
ED STAHL, Charter boat operator                                                                                                 
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 281, saying                                                                  
that it denies access to the resource.                                                                                          
CARLA SZITAS                                                                                                                    
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support  of HB 281 on behalf of                                                               
herself and other single boat operators.                                                                                        
DONALD WESTLUND                                                                                                                 
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 281.                                                                         
ERIC LEE, Fisherman                                                                                                             
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 281.                                                                         
KEN DOLE, Partner                                                                                                               
Waterfall Resort                                                                                                                
Prince of Wales, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 281.                                                                            
DALE KELLY, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Alaska Trollers Association;                                                                                                    
Executive Board Member                                                                                                          
United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 281,  expressing support of                                                               
implementing a limited entry program.                                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-28, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  PAUL   SEATON  called  the  House   Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries meeting to order at  8:35 a.m.  Representatives Seaton,                                                               
Ogg, Samuels, and  Guttenberg were present at the  call to order.                                                               
Representative Wilson arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                   
HB 281-MORATORIUM ON CHARTER VESSEL LICENSES                                                                                  
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 281, "An Act  relating to a moratorium on entry of                                                               
vessels  into the  Southeast Alaska  sport fish  charter fishery;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
Number 0170                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON informed the committee  that at this time the intent                                                               
was not to  move HB 281 out of committee,  but to hear additional                                                               
public testimony and then to determine how best to proceed.                                                                     
Number 0350                                                                                                                     
DON BREMNER, Central Council, Tlingit  and Haida Indian Tribes of                                                               
Alaska, expressed opposition  to HB 281 for a  number of reasons,                                                               
one being  the negative socio-economic effects  to rural villages                                                               
similar to  those resulting  from the  1973 Alaska  Limited Entry                                                               
law.    He recommended  that  prior  to  passing HB  281,  socio-                                                               
economic impact studies  be conducted to indicate  the effects on                                                               
communities   and   the   already-declining   commercial   salmon                                                               
industry.   Mr.  Bremner paraphrased  from his  written testimony                                                               
and provided the following:                                                                                                     
     We believe that HB 281 flies  in the face of the Alaska                                                                    
     State Constitution, Article 8,  Section 15, and we want                                                                    
     to point out the section  that we believe that any bill                                                                    
     like  this has  to meet.    I'll read  this: "[...  the                                                                    
     power of  the State]  to limit  entry into  any fishery                                                                    
     for  purposes  of  resource  conservation,  to  prevent                                                                    
     economic distress  among fishermen and  those dependent                                                                    
     upon them."  We don't  see any evidence in our research                                                                    
     of  [Alaska Department  of Fish  and Game  (ADF&G)] and                                                                    
     sport  fish  material  where  this   needs  has  to  be                                                                    
     addressed  - of  a  biological need  or  a resource  in                                                                    
     distress to  call for this  type of limited  entry into                                                                    
     this fishery.                                                                                                              
Number 0570                                                                                                                     
MR. BREMNER continued:                                                                                                          
     We  believe   that  the  state   has  been   given  the                                                                    
     responsibility  of  managing   and  recommending  these                                                                    
     types of actions ... and  we believe that the state has                                                                    
     done a  pretty good job  over the  years.  I  have here                                                                    
     for you  as a reminder, the  [ADF&G] mission statement,                                                                    
     and their  guiding principles that  they use.   This is                                                                    
     what the public,  I believe, looks at  in measuring and                                                                    
     monitoring what to  expect as far as  the management of                                                                    
     the  state fishery.    If  you look  at  the first  two                                                                    
     guiding principles, I think those  really bring it home                                                                    
     for  the public:   provide  for the  greatest long-term                                                                    
     opportunities for the people  of Alaska; improve public                                                                    
     We believe  that this bill  is an allocation  of access                                                                    
     to the  resource and  the opportunity  to get  into the                                                                    
     fishery  in this  manner (indisc.)  as a  reminder that                                                                    
     the  [ADF&G]   really  should  be  the   group  or  the                                                                    
     organization  to  make  these type  of  recommendations                                                                    
     based  on biological  and scientific  reasons, and  the                                                                    
     Board of  [Fisheries] is also  up there in  the process                                                                    
     that   should    be   the    group   to    make   these                                                                    
     We  have  reviewed all  of  the  state's [ADF&G]  sport                                                                    
     fishing updates  and we didn't  read anything  in there                                                                    
     that  indicates   declining  numbers  of  any   of  the                                                                    
     targeted species  that are being sought  after by these                                                                    
     charter vessels.                                                                                                           
Number 0665                                                                                                                     
MR. BREMNER continued:                                                                                                          
     If you look  at a national survey that we  have, a 2001                                                                    
     survey,  sport fishing  contributes money  and jobs  to                                                                    
     Alaska  in the  amount of  approximately $537  million.                                                                    
     This  is  money and  jobs  that  we  are now  going  to                                                                    
     allocate to  a yet unknown  group of owners.   We don't                                                                    
     know if they're  residents or not, and  it doesn't seem                                                                    
     like  a logical  approach at  this time.   What  we had                                                                    
     hoped  would  be  that the  Board  of  [Fisheries]  and                                                                    
     [ADF&G]  would have  the opportunity  to recommend  the                                                                    
     types  [of]  systems, that  the  system  be allowed  to                                                                    
     work, that it  seems to have worked really  well in the                                                                    
     past  ... there's  other management  schemes out  there                                                                    
     that could be looked at and  used before we ever get to                                                                    
     this level.                                                                                                                
Number 0791                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  asked if there was  a problem with there  being too                                                               
many charter vessels operating in the villages.                                                                                 
MR.  BREMNER said  no, and  explained  that a  funding summit  on                                                               
economic opportunities  in rural  Alaska, scheduled  for October,                                                               
will provide an educational opportunity  for local folks to learn                                                               
more about six-pack licenses as  a means to supplement commercial                                                               
fishing incomes  in the villages.   He said that even  in Yakutat                                                               
where there  is a lot  of sport fishing  and hunting, it's  not a                                                               
saturated business.   He told the  committee that a lot  of other                                                               
questions  need  to  be  answered such  as  those  pertaining  to                                                               
resources,  the  200-mile  zone,  the three-mile  limit,  and  so                                                               
CHAIR SEATON  requested that the  committee be notified  if local                                                               
problems  [regarding  this  legislation] are  identified  in  the                                                               
MR. BREMNER  said that Angoon  had indicated that  there wouldn't                                                               
be time to  educate the rural residents on  the opportunity being                                                               
presented and  that perhaps quotas  should be developed  for this                                                               
type of license.                                                                                                                
Number 1022                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON reflected  on the  expressed concern  that                                                               
there would  be an increased  number of  boats, and asked  if Mr.                                                               
Bremner  was suggesting  that  this  should be  dealt  with in  a                                                               
different manner.                                                                                                               
MR. BREMNER  responded that  he didn't  know if  this necessarily                                                               
meant that there'd be a lot  more boats in the water, but thought                                                               
that the villages in rural Alaska  still need to have a "right of                                                               
access"  before  the  "door  is  shut."    He  said  this  is  an                                                               
allocation issue,  a limited entry  issue, and there  hasn't been                                                               
enough time to educate rural Alaskans about this opportunity.                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON  reiterated that  the  bill  isn't currently  in  a                                                               
workable form.   He indicated that this bill isn't  "a fast train                                                               
Number 1164                                                                                                                     
THOMAS  SUSS, Point  Sophia Development  Company, testified  that                                                               
the company  was in the  process of restoring the  Hoonah cannery                                                               
as a  destination site for the  growing number of tourists.   The                                                               
project will be completed in about two years, he related.                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON  asked if  charter boats  were currently  working in                                                               
MR. SUSS responded  that there are currently about  a half dozen;                                                               
he mentioned that he is also a charter boat captain.                                                                            
CHAIR SEATON  asked if there  was economic distress due  to there                                                               
being too many vessels operating out of Hoonah.                                                                                 
MR. SUSS said no, not at this  time, and that there was plenty of                                                               
opportunity for growth.                                                                                                         
Number 1300                                                                                                                     
BLAINE  HOLLIS,  Assistant  Attorney General,  Natural  Resources                                                               
Section, Civil Division,  Department of Law (DOL),  referred to a                                                               
previous question from Representative  Ogg [raised at the 4/30/03                                                               
meeting]  regarding  whether  a definitional  approach  would  be                                                               
helpful.   He  said he  understood  the question  to address  the                                                               
possibility that limiting entry  into the charter sport fisheries                                                               
could  be managed  by the  Commercial Fisheries  Entry Commission                                                               
(CFEC) in a  similar fashion as CFEC manages  limiting entry into                                                               
the commercial  fisheries.  One  way to give CFEC  this authority                                                               
would be to  include "charter sport" within  the term "commercial                                                               
fishery."  He said he looked at  the Limited Entry Act and in his                                                               
opinion  this approach  wouldn't work  because the  Limited Entry                                                               
Act is tailored very closely  to fit the commercial fisheries; it                                                               
focuses on  units of gear, gear  operators, and has a  variety of                                                               
provisions  that  wouldn't fit  the  charter  fishery -  such  as                                                               
requiring that people have limited entry permits from 1974.                                                                     
MR. HOLLIS suggested that what was  required was more than just a                                                               
definitional  change;  some  fairly  extensive  amending  of  the                                                               
Limited Entry  Act would be necessary  to make it fit  both types                                                               
of  fisheries.   An  alternate  approach would  be  to include  a                                                               
separate section or article in  [Title 16], Chapter 43, where the                                                               
limited entry statutes  are located, to deal  with limiting entry                                                               
into the charter sport fishery.                                                                                                 
Number 1426                                                                                                                     
MR. HOLLIS told the committee that  this would be similar to what                                                               
was done  last year with  regard to  the two fisheries  for which                                                               
vessel-based systems  are currently  permitted.   The legislature                                                               
could  craft an  article  that  contains provisions  specifically                                                               
tailored  to meet  the  needs and  circumstances  of the  charter                                                               
fleet and  that would  provide a  framework that  the legislature                                                               
considers to be  appropriate for allowing the CFEC to  do for the                                                               
charter sport fishery what it  currently does for [the commercial                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  thanked  Mr.   Hollis  for  his  researching                                                               
efforts.   He noted that going  down that road was  now truncated                                                               
and  that  perhaps  the  inclusion  of  a  separate  [section  or                                                               
article] might be "a viable way to go."                                                                                         
Number 1538                                                                                                                     
GORDON JACKSON,  Chairman of the  Board, Kake  Tribal Corporation                                                               
and  also the  Director,  Business and  Economic Development  for                                                               
Central  Council,  Tlingit and  Haida  Indian  Tribes of  Alaska,                                                               
which,  he said,  serves 26,000  members  throughout the  Pacific                                                               
Northwest, provided the following testimony:                                                                                    
     One of our many activities  over the past year with the                                                                    
     Central  Council  has  been  the  hosting  of  economic                                                                    
     conferences  in Hoonah,  Angoon,  Kake,  and Prince  of                                                                    
     Wales  Island.   One of  the  big items  that has  been                                                                    
     identified  as  an   economic-type  activity  has  been                                                                    
     charter boat  activity.  Mainly  because over  the last                                                                    
     several  years, logging  has  come to  an  end and  the                                                                    
     processors have been  leaving these smaller communities                                                                    
     in  droves  because  it wasn't  cost  effective.    The                                                                    
     economy, as  a result, has  been dropping like  a rock.                                                                    
     Many of  these folks are  now invested in this  kind of                                                                    
     business, taking six-pack  licenses, investing in boats                                                                    
     and things like that.                                                                                                      
Number 1622                                                                                                                     
MR. JACKSON continued:                                                                                                          
     All of  these communities  which I mentioned,  once had                                                                    
     proud  fishing  fleets  over the  last  three  or  four                                                                    
     decades.   Today, these fleets  are a fraction  of what                                                                    
     they used to be.  Let  me give you some examples.  When                                                                    
     limited  entry fishing  law  was  first introduced  and                                                                    
     passed, for the purse  seine industry, the community of                                                                    
     Angoon had  27 limited  entry permits; today  they have                                                                    
     one active  permit.  In  the community of  Hoonah, they                                                                    
     once had over 50 fishing  in the Icy Straits area; they                                                                    
     now  have four  active permits.   In  Kake, they  began                                                                    
     with 27; they now have  only eight active permits.  Add                                                                    
     the  loss  of  logging  jobs  and  you  should  not  be                                                                    
     surprised to find  a very bad economy  in these smaller                                                                    
     Many  of us  remember  in the  past,  cut-off dates  or                                                                    
     moratoriums before  a major  policy was  developed like                                                                    
     limited entry.  This one  you are proposing goes to the                                                                    
     extreme  by  not  allowing the  CFEC  to  issue  vessel                                                                    
     licenses  for  recreational   charter  boats  for  2004                                                                    
     unless the  vessel was licensed  in 2002 or  before the                                                                    
     bill  passed,  and  also  [that  it]  recorded  charter                                                                    
     operations  in a  state-required  logbook in  Southeast                                                                    
     waters in 2002 or 2003.   I can tell you this provision                                                                    
     will   close  the   door  on   any  smaller   community                                                                    
     entrepreneur who wants to get  into this business.  Add                                                                    
     on  the logbooks,  additional hoops  to jump  over, and                                                                    
     the  loss of  equal access  and you  are looking  at no                                                                    
     charter boats in rural Southeast  Alaska.  This concept                                                                    
     of  equal access  is one  you folks  use to  stop [the]                                                                    
     subsistence vote over  the last decade.   In this case,                                                                    
     I  think  you should  be  consistent  and do  the  same                                                                    
Number 1710                                                                                                                     
MR. JACKSON testified:                                                                                                          
     We at  Kake Tribal  Corporation have just  finished our                                                                    
     land   selections  under   the  Alaska   Native  Claims                                                                    
     Settlement  Act and  selected a  beautiful spot  on the                                                                    
     Keku  Islands outside  of Kake.    It was  our plan  to                                                                    
     build a fishing lodge  there and diversify our holdings                                                                    
     in commercial  fishing.  With this  moratorium, it will                                                                    
     be impossible to build without  a charter boat license.                                                                    
     No bank will touch us.  Our dream will have vanished.                                                                      
     Hoonah Totem just gave  testimony that they're building                                                                    
     and working  to build a  cannery and that  portion will                                                                    
     require  charter  boats.   I  believe  this bill  needs                                                                    
     work.   I  understand  your concern.    Too many  boats                                                                    
     taking too much  fish and crowding us out.   I have run                                                                    
     through  these fellas,  cussed them  out, and  seen the                                                                    
     boxes  and   boxes  leaving   the  airports   all  over                                                                    
     Southeast Alaska.   There are a lot of  them.  However,                                                                    
     the  numbers only  occur in  the so-called  urban areas                                                                    
     around  Juneau,  Sitka, and  Ketchikan.    You need  to                                                                    
     address   the  economics   of  how   you  will   secure                                                                    
     employment opportunities  for Southeast.   You  need to                                                                    
     address the semantics used in this bill.                                                                                   
     After I read  the bill, I came to  only one conclusion:                                                                    
     it is a  limited entry bill and no group  of words said                                                                    
     after this  would convince me  otherwise.  You  need to                                                                    
     address the equity  question.  As many of you  say - it                                                                    
     is in the  constitution; it should not be  ignored.  If                                                                    
     you don't address  these items, I suggest  you go [and]                                                                    
      do what the Southeast villages do for something like                                                                      
     this.  Take it down the beach and bury it!                                                                                 
CHAIR SEATON  acknowledged Kake's donations  of fish to  the Fish                                                               
Caucus [meetings].   He  said the  committee recognizes  the need                                                               
for differences between urban and  rural areas in Southeast to be                                                               
addressed [in this legislation].                                                                                                
Number 1874                                                                                                                     
JIM PRESTON,  Owner and  operator, Big  Jim's Charters,  a single                                                               
boat charter operation,  testified that he supports  some sort of                                                               
moratorium on  charter operations, saying that  a serious problem                                                               
has occurred in the  past and will occur in the  future.  He said                                                               
that currently there  is relative stability and  a high abundance                                                               
of  fish, indicated  by  this year's  king  salmon allocation  as                                                               
being  one  of the  highest  that's  occurred in  recent  memory.                                                               
However,  he said  that the  North  Pacific [Fishery  Management]                                                               
Council  has recently  passed the  charter  boat IFQ  [individual                                                               
fishery  quota]  program  and it  will  probably  be  implemented                                                               
during the  next few  years.   When that  happens, there  will be                                                               
pressure  on  other  species of  fish  occurring  throughout  the                                                               
state, but particularly in Southeast.                                                                                           
Number 1918                                                                                                                     
MR. PRESTON continued  that king salmon is one of  two species of                                                               
fish that  are highly regulated,  and suggested that  the problem                                                               
is  really an  allocation issue  pertaining to  king salmon.   He                                                               
said that  although abundance  is currently  high, in  2000, when                                                               
that was not the case,  the state implemented management measures                                                               
mid-season  which  resulted in  a  lawsuit  by charter  operators                                                               
against the state; this lawsuit  ultimately ended in reverting to                                                               
the original plan.                                                                                                              
MR.  PRESTON  addressed  concerns from  the  smaller  communities                                                               
which, he  said, "hearken to  what happened with the  halibut IFQ                                                               
program."   He said  there was a  "set-aside" in  that particular                                                               
program for rural  Alaskans.  He added that there  would not be a                                                               
problem in having a set-aside  program for developing communities                                                               
like Hoonah where  a lot of money is being  invested into a lodge                                                               
operation, for example.                                                                                                         
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG asked  what Mr. Preston thought  of this issue                                                               
being addressed by the Limited Entry Commission.                                                                                
MR.  PRESTON replied  that  legislation is  needed  to allow  for                                                               
regulatory entities  to act;  otherwise the  message is  that "we                                                               
can't  do this  because it's  against the  law, it's  against the                                                               
constitution."    He  told  the   committee  that  regarding  the                                                               
suggestion  of  changing  the  definition,  it  would  be  nearly                                                               
unanimous  that  charter  boat operators  would  be  against  re-                                                               
defining a charter operation as a commercial fishery.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG said  that testimony  had already  been heard                                                               
indicating that  changing the definition "probably  wasn't a road                                                               
that would work,"  and thought that either  the legislature could                                                               
go  with  the moratorium  or  authority  could  be given  to  the                                                               
Limited Entry [Commission].                                                                                                     
MR.  PRESTON  replied, "Whichever  route  would  come up  with  a                                                               
solution."  He said in talking  with Ms. McDowell, he didn't know                                                               
if  the [sport  fish charter  fishery]  could be  managed as  the                                                               
commercial fishery is managed; that  is, focusing on a particular                                                               
area such as Sitka or Prince  of Wales, for example, if that area                                                               
experiences a problem such as an overcapacity of king salmon.                                                                   
CHAIR   SEATON  asked   about   the   Division  of   Occupational                                                               
Licensing's involvement  with the identification  of participants                                                               
in this fishery.                                                                                                                
Number 2250                                                                                                                     
MR.   PRESTON   responded   that  this   referred   to   [former]                                                               
Representative Austerman's bill and  said that everything in that                                                               
bill,  except  for the  fee  structure  and the  requirement  for                                                               
insurance, is being implemented  administratively even though the                                                               
bill didn't  pass.  He said  that registration is required  - one                                                               
has to  show one's  card - in  order to get  the logbook  for the                                                               
Number 2308                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON commented  that because HB 281  refers to Southeast,                                                               
it  doesn't  include   all  charter  operators.     He  asked  if                                                               
registration  was  necessary  for  freshwater  charter  operators                                                               
even though logbooks aren't required.                                                                                           
MR. PRESTON replied  yes, he believed that all  operators need to                                                               
be registered.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR   SEATON  asked   if  registration   included  records   of                                                               
MR. PRESTON said that the  only official record of participation,                                                               
for the  state of Alaska  was the  logbook, which began  in 1998.                                                               
He said the logbook includes the  number of clients taken out for                                                               
a  particular trip,  the number  of hours  that were  fished, the                                                               
area fished, and the harvest of certain species.                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked whether  the logbook could  be signed  by the                                                               
owner of the vessel or the operator.                                                                                            
Number 2385                                                                                                                     
MR.  PRESTON replied  that  it's  supposed to  be  signed by  the                                                               
"owner or agent of the owner."                                                                                                  
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if Mr.  Preston  would have  a problem  with                                                               
tightening up regulations so that  operators would be required to                                                               
sign the logbooks.                                                                                                              
MR.  PRESTON responded  that no,  he didn't  have a  problem with                                                               
that,  saying that  he supports  having additional  data so  that                                                               
better decisions could be made.                                                                                                 
Number 2440                                                                                                                     
KAREN POLLY,  charter boat operator; Campus  Director, University                                                               
of Alaska Southeast,  said she trains charter  boat operators for                                                               
the  University of  Alaska  Southeast.   She  testified that  she                                                               
strongly opposes  HB 281  because it denies  people the  right to                                                               
make a living and  even closes the door on that  right.  She said                                                               
there is currently a glut of  salmon in the world market and that                                                               
the value  and contribution of  the charter boat industry  to the                                                               
economics of  Alaskan communities  should not  be underestimated.                                                               
She  stated  that the  charter-caught  fish,  as a  single  fish,                                                               
contributes more economic value than  a single fish caught in any                                                               
other manner.                                                                                                                   
MS.  POLLY  related  that the  University  of  Alaska  Southeast,                                                               
Ketchikan  campus, is  the only  licensed trainer  of the  United                                                               
States  Coast Guard  for 100-ton  and 6-pack  [licenses].   Three                                                               
years  ago, eight  candidates completed  the  coursework for  the                                                               
100-ton license and this year there  were 42 students.  Given the                                                               
low prices of  salmon, people in the industry such  as divers and                                                               
commercial fishermen  have a right  to look for other  avenues to                                                               
supplement their  incomes.  She  told the committee  that courses                                                               
have been taught  in Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau  and the demand                                                               
is  growing; courses  will  probably be  taught  in Kotzebue  and                                                               
Fairbanks later this  year.  She mentioned that  the charter boat                                                               
industry  is   currently  the  most  viable   economic  means  of                                                               
supplemental income for fishermen and retirees.                                                                                 
MS.  POLLY concluded  by  telling the  committee  that after  the                                                               
death  of her  husband she  became  a charter  boat operator  and                                                               
because of that  supplemental income she was able to  pay for the                                                               
expenses of her boat.  Since  that time she's become a university                                                               
administrator and  fully supports the development  of the charter                                                               
boat industry.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEATON asked  if the number of charter  vessels was causing                                                               
economic distress in Ketchikan.                                                                                                 
MS. POLLY  responded that this  was not  the case and  added that                                                               
her  charter fishing  operation  was based  out  of Pelican,  not                                                               
Ketchikan.    She  reported  that  there  are  about  10  charter                                                               
operators  in  Pelican,  several  of whom  have  been  commercial                                                               
fishermen.    She  emphasized the  importance  of  the  economics                                                               
involved with  700,000 tourists  visiting annually,  which totals                                                               
more  than  the  state's  citizenry.    She  mentioned  that  Icy                                                               
Straits, Cross Sound and the outer  coast is a huge area and that                                                               
while many  of the charter  boat operators serve the  cruise ship                                                               
tourist  industry,   there  is   an  equally  large   number  [of                                                               
operators] who work out of lodges.                                                                                              
Number 2687                                                                                                                     
ED  STAHL, charter  boat operator,  informed  the committee  that                                                               
after fishing  in the  1970s as a  hand-troller, he  decided that                                                               
the future  was in  the charter boat  industry, and  therefore he                                                               
has been in that business for  about 19 years.  He explained that                                                               
there was a  constant battle with the power trollers  and that he                                                               
had  stood  alone  in  favor  of limited  entry.    He  told  the                                                               
committee that  he now  has a  12-year old  boy and  his feelings                                                               
have changed; he  sees the progression of young  14-year old boys                                                               
who enjoy  working on the docks,  who then work as  deckhands and                                                               
eventually when they're older, want  to buy and operate their own                                                               
charter boats.   He said that there have been  historical runs of                                                               
fish  in recent  years  and  that HB  281  denies  access to  the                                                               
CHAIR SEATON asked if king salmon are a problem.                                                                                
MR. STAHL said, "That's the only  problem."  The lodges and power                                                               
trollers out  in the  West Coast are  fighting over  thousands of                                                               
fish,  while  the  numbers  of  the other  species  were  in  the                                                               
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if the  issue should  be restricted  to king                                                               
MR. STAHL said this was correct  and added that the issue of king                                                               
salmon has  already been addressed;  nonresidents can  only catch                                                               
three  fish.   He asked,  "How  is a  young  man going  to get  a                                                               
license?   Who's going to want  to give away their  license?  You                                                               
don't even have  a value on the  license.  Why in  the heck would                                                               
somebody give their  charter boat license to  somebody when there                                                               
was no incentive?"                                                                                                              
CHAIR  SEATON indicated  that  these concerns  were  part of  the                                                               
Number 2922                                                                                                                     
CARLA SZITAS  said she was  representing herself and a  few other                                                               
single  boat  operators  and  testified in  support  of  HB  281,                                                               
although, "not as  it stands."  She told the  committee that this                                                               
legislation should  have occurred years  ago to avoid  the influx                                                               
of operators.   She said she  was not referring to  the number of                                                               
fish but was  referring to the number of  businesses and clients.                                                               
She expressed  her concern that "soon  we're not going to  have a                                                               
business, we'll be  looking for other jobs because  we can't make                                                               
it with  our income."   She said she would  like the bill  to say                                                               
"2002 and 2003."  She stated  that she supports limited entry for                                                               
charter  fishermen according  to the  registered vessel  permits.                                                               
She mentioned that  the permits can be transferable,  and that at                                                               
some point she would like to be able to retire.  [Tape ends.]                                                                   
TAPE 03-28, SIDE B                                                                                                            
MS. SZITAS said that a glut  cannot continue to occur in the same                                                               
business area.                                                                                                                  
Number 2987                                                                                                                     
DONALD WESTLUND testified  that the U.S. -  Canada Pacific Salmon                                                               
Treaty  has not  been addressed,  which  is probably  why HB  281                                                               
doesn't go in the direction of  limited entry; under the treaty a                                                               
new fishery  cannot be created.   He  said that ADF&G  can manage                                                               
according to bag and possession  limits, which are very generous.                                                               
One tool that ADF&G  has not used yet, but should  be used on the                                                               
outside  where  more than  50  percent  of  the treaty  fish  are                                                               
caught, is  a time and  area closure.  He  said that as  a guided                                                               
sport operator, his clients buy a  sport fishing license.  If his                                                               
clients are  going to be  limited to  time and area  closures, he                                                               
should have  a guided sport  fishing license rather than  a sport                                                               
fishing license so that "you'll know  who is going out and who is                                                               
catching fish."   He  said that  CFEC is  correct in  saying that                                                               
"we're not  a commercial fishery" because  a commercial fisherman                                                               
can sell his fish.                                                                                                              
MR. WESTLUND predicted that with  this legislation there would be                                                               
an explosion  of registration, similar  to the one in  the 1990s.                                                               
The commercial fleet  would recognize that now would  be the time                                                               
to register  and similarly, any  guide working for a  boat owner,                                                               
in response  to this legislation,  would go out and  purchase his                                                               
own  boat.   He concluded  by saying  that charter  boats include                                                               
sightseeing and do more than guide sport fishing.                                                                               
Number 2791                                                                                                                     
ERIC LEE,  Fisherman, said that he's  fished for a long  time and                                                               
that  his grandfather  was a  commercial fisherman  as well.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that this  debate  was  not about  protecting  king                                                               
salmon because king salmon are  managed on an annual quota system                                                               
whereby only  so many can be  harvested by the charter  and troll                                                               
fleets,  combined.   The  issue  is that  the  charter and  troll                                                               
fleets  stand  to  benefit  greatly by  limiting  the  number  of                                                               
charter operators  because this legislation limits  the number of                                                               
boats catching  fish, it doesn't limit  the number of fish  to be                                                               
caught.   He said another  distinction to  be made is  that there                                                               
are a lot  of charter boats that  do not do much  fishing at all,                                                               
and under  this legislation  those sightseeing  charter operators                                                               
would fall under  limited entry while there is no  basis for that                                                               
limitation at all.                                                                                                              
Number 2720                                                                                                                     
MR.  LEE referred  to  Section  15 of  Article  8  of the  Alaska                                                               
constitution,  which has  to do  with  natural resources,  noting                                                               
that  his father  worked on  this  when he  was a  constitutional                                                               
delegate, and read the following:  "No exclusive right or special                                                               
privilege  of  fishery shall  be  created  or authorized  in  the                                                               
natural  waters of  the State."   He  pointed out  that with  the                                                               
moratorium,  an  exclusive right  and  special  privilege of  the                                                               
fishery would  be created  because there would  be no  permits on                                                               
the  market to  buy  and  no new  licenses  would  be issued;  he                                                               
suggested that perhaps the state's  legal council could help with                                                               
this legal  issue.   He said  that as  a boat  owner, he  did not                                                               
benefit  from  the  IFQ  program   for  halibut  and  black  cod.                                                               
Furthermore, this  legislation would  be closing  the door  on an                                                               
important way to supplement income  for those who know that "it's                                                               
not easy these days."                                                                                                           
Number 2571                                                                                                                     
KEN DOLE,  Partner, Waterfall Resort,  said the business  was the                                                               
largest  remote  saltwater fishing  resort  in  the state  as  it                                                               
operates 25 charter boats, accommodates  up to 84 guests per day,                                                               
and has  been in  business for  21 years.   He reported  that the                                                               
size  of  the  charter  boat  fleet,  coupled  with  the  limited                                                               
allocation  of  king salmon  had  already  created the  need  for                                                               
[ADF&G] to implement daily closures.                                                                                            
MR.  DOLE  said that  the  current  king salmon  management  plan                                                               
continues to  have daily  closures built into  the plan  and that                                                               
it's likely  that there  will be daily  closures even  without an                                                               
increase  in the  charter boat  fleet.   He  explained that  this                                                               
segment of  the industry  cannot survive  without the  ability to                                                               
allow guests to  harvest fish and that a moratorium  is needed so                                                               
that a plan can begin to be  crafted to solve the problem for the                                                               
long term.  Currently the only  mechanism for help is through the                                                               
Board of [Fisheries].                                                                                                           
MR. DOLE continued that the Board  of [Fisheries] has done a good                                                               
job in developing  the current management plan;  however, to give                                                               
the  needed  increase in  king  salmon  allocation to  the  sport                                                               
fishery  to avoid  daily closures,  fish would  have to  be taken                                                               
from  the trollers  and  obviously the  trollers  are already  in                                                               
financial  difficulty so  it's unlikely  that  this will  happen.                                                               
Consequently,  any growth  in  the charter  boat  fleet could  be                                                               
devastating to the  overnight lodge segment of the  industry.  He                                                               
pointed out that the lodge segment  of the industry brings in the                                                               
highest  return to  the state  for  the resource  harvested.   At                                                               
Waterfall Resort, guests are charged  between $750 and $1,000 per                                                               
day to  stay at the facility.   During May and  June the targeted                                                               
fishery is  king salmon.   Nonresidents are  limited to  one king                                                               
salmon,  with  a maximum  of  three  for  the year.    Therefore,                                                               
calculations reveal  that guests  pay up to  $1,000 per  fish and                                                               
most of that money stays in the state.                                                                                          
Number 2520                                                                                                                     
MR. DOLE continued  that data necessary to solve  this problem is                                                               
available  since the  logbooks  and  mandated guide  registration                                                               
have been implemented.   He restated that  obtaining an increased                                                               
allocation from the Board of  [Fisheries] has not been successful                                                               
and that the moratorium is needed  so that the state will take an                                                               
active role in  solving the long-term issues.  He  said he didn't                                                               
want  limited  entry and  would  like  for  other avenues  to  be                                                               
explored  such as  a  sport  fish funded  troll  permit buy  back                                                               
program or possibly an IFQ  program for king salmon in Southeast.                                                               
He suggested a well-thought out  solution that would benefit both                                                               
the commercial and sport industries.                                                                                            
MR.  DOLE concluded  that a  moratorium on  charter boats  is the                                                               
necessary  first step  in this  process and  that the  discussion                                                               
needs to  be focused on  king salmon.   He said that  a set-aside                                                               
for rural areas  needs to be looked into, as  "we certainly don't                                                               
want to stop any potential growth  in those areas."  He concluded                                                               
by saying  that a real  problem exists  today and it  exists with                                                               
the current size of the fleet.                                                                                                  
Number 2423                                                                                                                     
DALE KELLY, Executive Director,  Alaska Trollers Association, and                                                               
Executive  Board Member,  United Fishermen  of Alaska,  said that                                                               
both organizations strongly support  efforts to limit the numbers                                                               
in  the   guided  sport  fishing  industry,   but  after  hearing                                                               
testimony, it's questionable whether HB  281 is the perfect tool.                                                               
She  said that  something  needs  to be  done  and  the need  has                                                               
existed for many  years.  She mentioned that  the Alaska Trollers                                                               
Association  is directly  affected by  the growth  of the  guided                                                               
sport  fishing industry  in  this region,  and  wants to  provide                                                               
information that  could be helpful  to the discussion  of limited                                                               
Number 2354                                                                                                                     
MS. KELLY  gave several reasons  why it's important  that limited                                                               
entry  programs  be  developed   for  the  guided  sport  fishing                                                               
industry.   She  said that  management in  their region  has been                                                               
confounded by  the growth in  the guided industry.   She reported                                                               
that there  are approximately 650  active charter  boat operators                                                               
in  Southeast, but  there are  over  1,200 licenses  so there  is                                                               
potential  with the  growth  of the  tourist  industry for  those                                                               
other permits to mobilize.                                                                                                      
MS. KELLY  said she wanted  to clarify that  as a past  member of                                                               
the northern  panel of  the Pacific  Salmon Commission,  which is                                                               
the implementing  body of the  Pacific Salmon Treaty, there  is a                                                               
provision within  the treaty  which says,  "no new  or redirected                                                               
fisheries".   She said she  does not  believe that if  the guided                                                               
fishery  was  limited  that  it  would be  considered  as  a  new                                                               
fishery.   She  said, "It's  an existing  fishery in  our region,                                                               
it's  just  that we  would  be  managing  it differently  ...  we                                                               
couldn't  go  into  the  Gulf,  for instance,  right  now,  as  a                                                               
practical matter, without harming the treaty provisions."                                                                       
Number 2256                                                                                                                     
MS.  KELLY continued  that  it's  possible to  look  at both  the                                                               
conservation and economic  elements of limiting entry  and find a                                                               
fit in  this fishery.  King  salmon is one area;  obviously there                                                               
is  an allocation  through the  treaty.   She said  that in  most                                                               
years since  the allocation of  species between user  groups, the                                                               
sport fishery has gone over  their allocated quota and more often                                                               
than not, the  overages have come from the troll  fleet; this has                                                               
created  user  conflicts.    The concern  is  that  with  growth,                                                               
management of the sport fishery will become more difficult.                                                                     
Number 2218                                                                                                                     
MS.  KELLY  said that  work  has  been  done  with the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  on  the king  salmon  management  plan for  the  sport                                                               
fishery for a number of years; it's  a work in progress and a lot                                                               
of improvements  have developed.  There  is still a need  to have                                                               
another tool in the toolbox, and  that is a limited entry program                                                               
for the fishery.   She said that in addition  to focusing on king                                                               
salmon, some  thought should  be given to  coho salmon,  as there                                                               
have  been record-breaking  circumstances in  Southeast over  the                                                               
past decade, and with the  cyclical nature of salmon, the numbers                                                               
are bound  to go down  and there might  be trouble among  all the                                                               
gear groups down the road.                                                                                                      
Number 2162                                                                                                                     
MS. KELLY  said that a  lot of  emphasis is heard  about terminal                                                               
area  fisheries  for the  guided  industry.   She  mentioned  the                                                               
consideration that  most of  the hatchery  fish in  Southeast are                                                               
paid for by  commercial fishermen.  She said right  now it's fine                                                               
because there  is a surplus  of fish returning to  the hatcheries                                                               
and  "somebody's got  to catch  them."   However this  is another                                                               
potential  area  of  trouble  if  there's  expanded  harvest  and                                                               
expanded  effort by  the guided  industry.   She  said if  growth                                                               
isn't controlled, when abundance goes  down "it's just gonna be a                                                               
nightmare" and  by instituting  a program,  it's possible  to get                                                               
ahead  of that  conservation curve.    In terms  of the  economic                                                               
aspects, although limited  entry has been in place  for years for                                                               
the  commercial  fleet,  it's  a   new  concept  for  the  guided                                                               
industry.  She suggested that  the fisheries not be considered as                                                               
mutually exclusive, saying that if  there's limited entry for one                                                               
fishery,  the  impact on  other  fisheries  be considered,  since                                                               
there's  a  promise  of  stability built  into  a  limited  entry                                                               
Number 2099                                                                                                                     
MS. KELLY  concluded that [former]  Governor Egan, in  his letter                                                               
of transmittal, addressed the impact  of the guided sport fishing                                                               
industry  on the  commercial fleet.   She  said that  pushing one                                                               
fishery aside  to benefit another  does not  make a lot  of sense                                                               
when "we're highly reliant on both."                                                                                            
CHAIR SEATON asked  if economic distress was  between the charter                                                               
vessels' increase  in usage  having an  impact on  the commercial                                                               
fishing  vessels  or  if  it  was  between  the  charter  vessels                                                               
MS.  KELLY  said  she  believed  it  was  both,  explaining  that                                                               
abundance of fish  wasn't uniform throughout the  region and that                                                               
there were different kinds of  economic arguments to be made; one                                                               
of which was an economic argument between the fleets.                                                                           
Number 1996                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON asked if there  was anybody else wishing to testify.                                                               
Upon hearing no response, he closed public testimony.                                                                           
Number 1980                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   said  that  the  problem   needs  to  be                                                               
addressed and the bill needs to  be worked on, perhaps during the                                                               
CHAIR SEATON said he shared the sentiment.                                                                                      
Number 1942                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  said  that  having  listened  to  testimony,                                                               
participated in  commercial fisheries,  and watched  what happens                                                               
when the idea  of a moratorium is raised with  the resultant rush                                                               
into  the   industry  by   non-participants  wanting   to  ensure                                                               
themselves a place at the table,  he said he wasn't supportive of                                                               
the  bill  as  a  moratorium.     Perhaps  it  could  be  crafted                                                               
differently  according  to  testimony  that had  been  heard,  he                                                               
Number 1858                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON said that HB 281  addresses a broad area and a broad                                                               
topic and it seems that there  are specific needs that need to be                                                               
addressed.   He said he could  not support the idea  of a charter                                                               
limitation  addressing  the  fresh   water  charter  vessels  and                                                               
operators in  Southeast since  there have  not been  any comments                                                               
indicating problems in the area  of fly-fishing, for example.  He                                                               
said that he does not look  favorably upon a limitation of all of                                                               
Southeast; however, if there is  a localized problem it should be                                                               
dealt with but not in such a  way as to impact the entire region.                                                               
He said he agreed with Representative  Ogg that he didn't want to                                                               
send a  wrong message  to people  in Southeast  due to  the issue                                                               
being considered in committee.                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEATON  said he  was willing  to work  with the  sponsor to                                                               
develop  a  committee  substitute   or  a  workgroup  to  address                                                               
problems pertaining to different areas and different species.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  suggested this was an  opportunity for the                                                               
stakeholders to work together on this issue.                                                                                    
Number 1611                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  if  the   committee  was  supportive  of  a                                                               
generalized Southeast  moratorium on  all charter vessels.   Upon                                                               
hearing  no   response,  he  restated   that  the   committee  is                                                               
definitely not  supportive of implementing a  broad moratorium on                                                               
charter vessels throughout all of Southeast.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  noted  his   support  of  adding  a  section                                                               
including  charter  vessels to  the  Limited  Entry law,  thereby                                                               
involving  the   Limited  Entry  Commission,  since   he  doesn't                                                               
consider  this   level  of  micromanagement  to   be  within  the                                                               
legislature's purview.                                                                                                          
CHAIR SEATON added that several  ideas had been suggested as ways                                                               
to make improvements,  such as the collection  of additional data                                                               
through the  [Division of] Occupational  Licensing.  [HB  281 was                                                               
held over.]                                                                                                                     
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Fisheries meeting was adjourned at                                                                         
9:50 a.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects