Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/27/2004 08:52 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                                                                            
                       February 27, 2004                                                                                        
                           8:52 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Paul Seaton, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 478                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the issuance of commercial fishing interim-                                                                 
use permits; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 415                                                                                                              
"An  Act  authorizing a  commercial  fisherman  to fish  in  each                                                               
fishery  for which  the commercial  fisherman holds  a commercial                                                               
fishing  entry  permit;  relating  to the  power  of  the  Alaska                                                               
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission  and the Board of Fisheries                                                               
to limit  the number of fisheries  in which a person  may hold an                                                               
entry permit and operate gear during  a fishing season or a year;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 478                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL FISHING INTERIM USE PERMITS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILSON                                                                                            
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/27/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
BILL: HB 415                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FISHING IN MORE THAN ONE FISHERY                                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS BY REQUEST                                                                               
01/29/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/29/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/16/04       (H)       FSH AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/16/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/16/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/18/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/18/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/27/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
FRANK M. HOMAN, Commissioner                                                                                                    
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC)                                                                                    
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 478, discussing the history                                                                
and current status of limited entry and interim-use permits;                                                                    
answered questions.                                                                                                             
JON GOLTZ, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                           
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Called HB 478 a technical fix and discussed                                                                
reasons it is desirable; answered questions.                                                                                    
PAUL SHADURA, President                                                                                                         
Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association                                                                                         
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support  of HB 478 to  make it                                                               
easier  for  CFEC  to issue  interim-use  permits;  testified  in                                                               
support of  HB 415  in the  context of  setnet fisheries  and the                                                               
desire for expansion and an opportunity.                                                                                        
JACK HOPKINS                                                                                                                    
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 415.                                                                            
E.J. CHESHIER                                                                                                                   
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Expressed  emphatic  support  for HB  415,                                                               
citing the need  to put different salmon permits in  his own name                                                               
and his wife's in order to fish in two areas.                                                                                   
KENNETH DUCKETT, Executive Director                                                                                             
United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters (USAG)                                                                                      
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition to  HB 415, voicing                                                               
concern  about  increasing  the pressure  and  number  of  active                                                               
permits  in  Southeast Alaska;  stated  support  for the  current                                                               
regulation in order to protect local participants.                                                                              
BRUCE SCHACTLER, President                                                                                                      
United Salmon Association                                                                                                       
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Said the  majority  of his  organization's                                                               
members support HB 415; opined that  it doesn't go far enough and                                                               
that he should be able to use one boat anywhere he has a permit.                                                                
ROBIN SAMUELSEN, President                                                                                                      
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC)                                                                            
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  in total  opposition to  HB 415;                                                               
expressed concern that  it will increase the  burden on nonmobile                                                               
fishermen and do serious damage to coastal communities.                                                                         
BRUCE WALLACE                                                                                                                   
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of HB  415 as written,                                                               
saying he supports the concept as part of a package.                                                                            
WESLEY J. HUMBYRD                                                                                                               
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 415; offered a  copy of his                                                               
request  form to  the Board  of Fisheries  and related  what he'd                                                               
been told about the board's decision not to hear it.                                                                            
KURT KVERNVIK                                                                                                                   
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified that  he is strongly in  favor of                                                               
HB 415; spoke of the need for diversification.                                                                                  
PETER ANDREW                                                                                                                    
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  opposition to HB  415, citing                                                               
increased competition as a concern.                                                                                             
BRUCE MARIFERN                                                                                                                  
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Urged  support for HB  415, mostly  for the                                                               
reason of diversification.                                                                                                      
JERRY LIBOFF                                                                                                                    
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Testified  in  opposition   to  HB  415,                                                               
expressing concern about locals,  including those who own permits                                                               
and make money by working on boats owned by others.                                                                             
MIKE DAVIS                                                                                                                      
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  against HB 415,  voicing concern                                                               
about local people  and fisheries; asked that it at  least not be                                                               
adopted in communities that will be negatively affected.                                                                        
BOB THORSTENSON, President                                                                                                      
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA)                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Said  HB  415 is  one  of  UFA's  highest                                                               
priorities this  session, and characterized it  as a housekeeping                                                               
SCOTT McALLISTER                                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified that he likes HB  415 as written,                                                               
for reasons stated by Mr.  Thorstenson; suggested the legislature                                                               
should  deal  with  this  or  at least  send  a  resolution,  for                                                               
example, asking the Board of Fisheries to do so.                                                                                
STEPHEN WHITE, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  hearing on HB  415, followed  up on                                                               
Bruce Twomley's memorandum;  said CFEC and the  Department of Law                                                               
are neutral on the bill, but offered points to think about.                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 04-11, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  PAUL   SEATON  called  the  House   Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries meeting to order at  8:52 a.m.  Representatives Seaton,                                                               
Wilson, Ogg,  Samuels, Guttenberg, and  Gara were present  at the                                                               
call  to  order.   Chair  Seaton  announced  that  Representative                                                               
Heinze was excused because of illness.                                                                                          
HB 478-COMMERCIAL FISHING INTERIM USE PERMITS                                                                                 
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  478,  "An  Act  relating  to  the  issuance  of                                                               
commercial  fishing interim-use  permits;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Number 0085                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON,  sponsor, referred to the  written sponsor                                                               
statement and  said HB  478 relates to  issuance of  a commercial                                                               
fishing interim-use permit.   The court of  appeals recently held                                                               
that  the Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission (CFEC)  lacked                                                               
authority to  issue these interim-use  permits in  fisheries that                                                               
they don't  have authority to  limit.  Calling it  a housekeeping                                                               
measure,  she said  this  clarifies that  CFEC  has authority  to                                                               
issue   interim-use   permits   in   these   fisheries.      This                                                               
clarification is consistent with  the original intent and purpose                                                               
of the current  statute, she said, and is what  has been done all                                                               
along.  She deferred to Mr. Homan for further details.                                                                          
Number 0201                                                                                                                     
FRANK   M.  HOMAN,   Commissioner,  Commercial   Fisheries  Entry                                                               
Commission  (CFEC), Alaska  Department  of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G),                                                               
noting  that Jon  Goltz of  the Department  of Law  would address                                                               
legal aspects,  said HB 478  is short but  has a lot  of meaning.                                                               
For the last 30 years, since  the beginning of CFEC, two types of                                                               
permits have  been issued:   an entry  permit for  fisheries that                                                               
were limited, and an interim-use  permit (IUP) for fisheries that                                                               
MR.  HOMAN explained  that a  couple of  EEZ [Exclusive  Economic                                                               
Zone]  fishermen  in the  halibut  fishery  came into  the  state                                                               
without an interim-use permit probably  a couple of years ago and                                                               
were cited;  it went to  court, and  the Alaska Court  of Appeals                                                               
took a  very narrow reading of  the statute and said  CFEC didn't                                                               
have authority  to issue  IUPs for  fisheries it  couldn't limit.                                                               
Since the halibut fishery is  limited by international agreement,                                                               
[CFEC] doesn't have that authority.   Mr. Homan said this bill is                                                               
to clarify that the legislature,  in the beginning, meant that an                                                               
IUP could be  used for any fishery  that was not limited.   It is                                                               
to  broaden the  language,  he  said, and  to  reaffirm that  the                                                               
legislature  meant  CFEC  could  issue an  IUP  for  those  other                                                               
Number 0482                                                                                                                     
MR. HOMAN, suggesting [Mr. Goltz] could speak to it further,                                                                    
     Apparently, the wording here that  ... got the court of                                                                    
     appeals' attention  was ... in the  existing statute it                                                                    
     says  pending the  establishment of  a maximum  number,                                                                    
     and that means pending  a limited entry designation; we                                                                    
     call it a  maximum number, but it means  when you limit                                                                    
     the fishery.   But then it  goes on to say  that in all                                                                    
     other  cases  the  commission  will  issue  interim-use                                                                    
     permits for  each fishery to all  applicants who apply.                                                                    
     So, because  the fishery is  not limited, we  give IUPs                                                                    
     to anyone for  any fishery that has not  come under ...                                                                    
     So those two used to,  for 30 years, cover all features                                                                    
     of  ...  people who  needed  permits  to sell  fish  in                                                                    
     Alaska.  It got a  little bit more complicated in 1984,                                                                    
     when there  was established  a landing permit.  ... But                                                                    
     it had a  very narrow focus and was  discretionary - it                                                                    
     wasn't  a mandatory  permit -  and this  was up  to the                                                                    
     commissioner  of [ADF&G]  to issue  when it  arose that                                                                    
     [an] EEZ  fisherman would come  in to state  waters and                                                                    
     wanted to unload fish that  were already limited by the                                                                    
     Because  they  were  not  part  of  the  limited  entry                                                                    
     permit, they couldn't get a  limited entry permit.  And                                                                    
     they  couldn't  get an  IUP  because  that fishery  was                                                                    
     already limited.   So there was a dilemma  in 1984, and                                                                    
     so they  established what they call  a "landing permit"                                                                    
     in those  cases, and ... at  that time it was  only two                                                                    
     boats that this applied to.                                                                                                
     There  was   a  landing   permit  established   at  the                                                                    
     discretion  of the  commissioner of  [ADF&G] for  those                                                                    
     cases  where a  fisherman from  outside wasn't  able to                                                                    
     get  an  IUP  for  a fishery  because  it  was  already                                                                    
     limited  internally. ...  But  this was  never used;  a                                                                    
     landing permit  has never  been issued.   So  ... those                                                                    
     two fishermen  went away,  and I  don't know  what ever                                                                    
     happened   to  them,   but   they   never  came   back,                                                                    
Number 0711                                                                                                                     
MR.  HOMAN reiterated  that [HB  478] is  needed to  clarify that                                                               
CFEC can  issue an IUP to  fisheries it doesn't limit.   However,                                                               
it's a complex  legal matter because the issue is  in the supreme                                                               
court right now; he suggested Mr. Goltz could speak to that.                                                                    
Number 0762                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG expressed concern  about liability and whether                                                               
there may be a class of  people out there, if this effective date                                                               
is used, who  might say the state didn't have  the right to issue                                                               
these  permits and  thus  they  want their  money  back for  that                                                               
period of time.                                                                                                                 
MR. HOMAN deferred to Mr. Goltz.                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON suggested that may relate to the Carlson case.                                                                   
Number 0881                                                                                                                     
JON   GOLTZ,  Assistant   Attorney  General,   Natural  Resources                                                               
Section, Civil  Division (Anchorage),  Department of  Law, noting                                                               
that he has  worked with CFEC on issues related  to this bill for                                                               
a  few  months,  said  the  Department  of  Law  agrees  this  is                                                               
essentially a  technical fix to  the statute; the  goal primarily                                                               
is to  eliminate the word  "pending", which has  been interpreted                                                               
broadly by the agencies since  the Act was initially adopted, but                                                               
has  been subject  to a  narrower  constriction by  the court  of                                                               
appeals recently.                                                                                                               
MR.  GOLTZ explained  that  the bill  would  close the  potential                                                               
loophole that  Mr. Homan  mentioned whereby  there might  be some                                                               
fisheries that  are neither  subject to a  maximum number,  so no                                                               
entry  permit   can  be   issued  for   them,  nor   pending  the                                                               
establishment of a  maximum number, so no  interim-use permit can                                                               
be  issued for  them.   The result  would be  reduced ability  to                                                               
enforce the  fisheries laws and reduced  data-collection ability.                                                               
Therefore, it would be helpful to close this loophole.                                                                          
MR.  GOLTZ said  he believes,  based on  his research,  that this                                                               
bill is consistent with the  original intent of the law regarding                                                               
the   issuance  of   interim-use  permits,   and  is   especially                                                               
consistent  with the  legislature's  1977  decision to  eliminate                                                               
gear  licenses.   He explained  that from  statehood until  1977,                                                               
gear licenses were required for  the operation of fisheries gear.                                                               
They were eliminated in 1977  primarily because it was recognized                                                               
that they  were duplicative of  the interim-use and  entry permit                                                               
requirements.  Thus the bill is consistent with that.                                                                           
Number 1040                                                                                                                     
MR.  GOLTZ turned  to the  question posed  by Representative  Ogg                                                               
about potential  liability.  He  said the issue has  already come                                                               
up,  in the  sense that  since the  court of  appeals issued  the                                                               
decision  that Mr.  Homan mentioned,  there have  been two  class                                                               
action  cases filed  against the  state.   Each alleges  that the                                                               
plaintiffs  are owed  reimbursement for  interim-use permit  fees                                                               
they paid  in the  past for  participation in  halibut fisheries;                                                               
their claims  are based on the  holding of the court  of appeals,                                                               
which was that CFEC lacks  authority to issue interim-use permits                                                               
in  the  halibut fisheries  because  a  maximum number  of  entry                                                               
permits is not pending in those fisheries.                                                                                      
MR.  GOLTZ  explained  that  those  cases  are  currently  stayed                                                               
because the court of appeals  decision on which they're based has                                                               
been appealed by the state to  the supreme court.  If the supreme                                                               
court accepts the state's argument  in that case, it will address                                                               
the main issue that the agencies  and the Department of Law have.                                                               
Nonetheless,  he said,  [the department]  believes  this bill  is                                                               
desirable because it eliminates any  ambiguity about the scope of                                                               
interim-use  permits,  and  would  conform the  language  of  the                                                               
statute a  little closer to the  way it has been  interpreted and                                                               
applied for 30 years.                                                                                                           
Number 1178                                                                                                                     
MR. GOLTZ  addressed the effective  date, saying he  wasn't aware                                                               
of  any implication  it would  have on  either the  pending class                                                               
action cases  for reimbursement or  any other case  that somebody                                                               
might bring.   Explaining  that the  Department of  Law maintains                                                               
that  the [Alaska]  Court  of  Appeals decision  is  based on  an                                                               
erroneous interpretation of the current statute, he added:                                                                      
     We don't  believe that the term  "pending" was intended                                                                    
     to be as restrictive as  the court of appeals interpret                                                                    
     it to  be in the  scope of application  for interim-use                                                                    
     permits.  So  ... we actually would  take the position,                                                                    
     I  believe, that  this bill  and  the current  language                                                                    
     effectively mean the same thing  as to the scope of the                                                                    
     issuance of  interim-use permits.  It's  just that this                                                                    
     bill makes  it a little clearer  and, hopefully, avoids                                                                    
     the result that we are  living under currently with the                                                                    
     court of appeals [decision].                                                                                               
Number 1275                                                                                                                     
MR. GOLTZ, in  reply to a question from  Representative Ogg, said                                                               
he hadn't analyzed how a  retroactive effective date would affect                                                               
[those pending court cases].                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  suggested  perhaps the  situation  could  be                                                               
rectified through a  legislative Act and then there'd  be no need                                                               
to go through the courts.                                                                                                       
MR.  GOLTZ,  in  response  to  Chair  Seaton,  agreed  to  do  an                                                               
analysis.   In reply to  Representative Guttenberg,  he explained                                                               
that he'd  submitted the [appeal]  briefing to the  supreme court                                                               
at  the end  of January  and  that the  respondents' briefing  is                                                               
awaited.   "I think  we have  a good position  in that  case," he                                                               
remarked.  In  further response, he said this bill  has no direct                                                               
bearing on  that case, but if  it passes this session,  it likely                                                               
will be  mentioned during  an oral argument  as an  expression of                                                               
the state's reaction to the court of appeals decision.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA requested  that  Mr. Goltz  also provide  an                                                               
opinion on the constitutionality of a retroactive provision.                                                                    
MR. GOLTZ said he'd incorporate it into his analysis.                                                                           
Number 1496                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  observed that  the landing  permits that  Mr. Homan                                                               
discussed were  generated to  look at  the question  of fisheries                                                               
outside  of  state  waters;  a number  of  fisheries  might  have                                                               
vessels  operating totally  outside of  state waters.   He  asked                                                               
whether  clarification is  needed  that  this interim-use  permit                                                               
also  acts  as  a  landing  permit for  fish  coming  into  state                                                               
[waters],  instead   of  necessarily   for  fisheries   that  are                                                               
controlled by the state.                                                                                                        
MR.  GOLTZ said  it's  a  good question.    The  extent of  state                                                               
control over  fisheries, both within and  especially beyond state                                                               
waters, is complicated  and varies from fishery to  fishery.  For                                                               
example -  and to show that  halibut isn't the only  fishery that                                                               
this bill  would apply to -  he said the state  currently manages                                                               
many of  the crab  fisheries that  occur in  the EEZ,  in federal                                                               
waters adjacent  to state waters, through  a complex relationship                                                               
with the federal fishery managers.  He continued:                                                                               
     But  we  do require  interim-use  permits  for many  of                                                                    
     those fisheries,  even though they exist  outside state                                                                    
     waters.  There are statutes  that require a CFEC permit                                                                    
     for a  person to land  or deliver  or sell fish  in the                                                                    
     state waters.   And  that would  apply to  somebody who                                                                    
     legally harvested fish outside  of state waters without                                                                    
     an interim-use permit but then  brought them into state                                                                    
     waters for landing.                                                                                                        
     There also,  in fact,  is a  CFEC regulation  that says                                                                    
     that  anybody  who  possesses  fish  for  a  commercial                                                                    
     purpose in state waters has  to have either an entry or                                                                    
     interim-use  permit to  authorize ...  that possession.                                                                    
     So  I   think  that   with  those  statutes   and  that                                                                    
     regulation currently in effect,  ... the result is that                                                                    
     anybody  who  is  operating  in  a  commercial  fishery                                                                    
     inside  state  waters,  even  if  this  ...  harvesting                                                                    
     actually took  place in federal  waters, is  subject to                                                                    
     this permit requirement.                                                                                                   
Number 1685                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  recalled  harvesting  tuna  outside  the  EEZ  and                                                               
attempting to get  a CFEC permit; CFEC didn't  and wouldn't issue                                                               
a permit and had  said it had no way to  do that in international                                                               
waters; ADF&G didn't  want any fish tickets; and he'd  had to pay                                                               
landing  fees  to  the  Department   of  Revenue.    Noting  that                                                               
fishermen are  starting to bring  tuna into Kodiak or  Homer from                                                               
international waters,  for example, Chair Seaton  highlighted the                                                               
need to  ensure that there  aren't any  loopholes in the  bill so                                                               
another bill  isn't required.  He  asked Mr. Goltz to  look at it                                                               
carefully in this regard.                                                                                                       
MR. GOLTZ agreed,  but said CFEC has a fair  bit of discretion to                                                               
determine what is  a fishery, which has an  impact on determining                                                               
when a permit is required for a particular fishery.                                                                             
Number 1896                                                                                                                     
PAUL    SHADURA,   President,    Kenai   Peninsula    Fishermen's                                                               
Association,  testified in  support  of this  change  to make  it                                                               
easier for CFEC  to issue interim-use permits.   He asked whether                                                               
this will  allow CFEC to  issue permits  for yet-to-be-classified                                                               
commercial-use fisheries.                                                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON requested clarification.                                                                                           
MR.  SHADURA said  he  sits  on the  board  for  the Kenai  River                                                               
Special  Management Area,  and though  he doesn't  represent that                                                               
board, it  is dealing with  contentious issues relating  to guide                                                               
restrictions  in  Kenai and  other  areas,  predominantly on  the                                                               
Kenai River.   In some of those discussions and  in discussion of                                                               
another bill  introduced by Representative  Heinze, he  said, "We                                                               
were  trying to  wrestle with  different ways  that possibly  the                                                               
guide  industry   could  be  accommodated   with  some   kind  of                                                               
limitations based on  CFEC regulations."  He added  that with the                                                               
change in  this language,  it allows  a little  more flexibility.                                                               
Acknowledging  that other  questions are  involved with  this, he                                                               
said this  is something he  wants to  bring back to  "the working                                                               
committees that  will be conducted  here in the next  month, with                                                               
the  possibility of  maybe  some changes  in  this language  that                                                               
would help facilitate, possibly, some guide limitations."                                                                       
Number 2018                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON, saying  he didn't want to get into  the crux of the                                                               
other  bill that  was  alluded  to, asked  Mr.  Homan to  address                                                               
whether there  would be a  need in  that kind of  circumstance to                                                               
put anything in [HB 478] to address that issue.                                                                                 
MR.  HOMAN, asking  that  Mr. Goltz  assist if  he  was still  on                                                               
teleconference, related  his understanding that with  the ability                                                               
to issue an  interim-use permit, CFEC would be able  to cover all                                                               
commercial  fisheries.     He  said   he  believed   the  answer,                                                               
therefore,  was that  if it's  a commercial  fishery, CFEC  would                                                               
have authority with [HB 478] to issue those permits.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  declared  a  conflict as  a  halibut  permit                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON objected  [to  his  removing himself  from                                                               
voting on the bill].                                                                                                            
CHAIR  SEATON announced  that  he'd have  the  same conflict,  as                                                               
others on the committee might.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  objected [to Chair Seaton's  removing himself                                                               
from voting on the bill].  [HB 478 was held over.]                                                                              
HB 415-FISHING IN MORE THAN ONE FISHERY                                                                                       
Number 2142                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 415, "An  Act authorizing a  commercial fisherman                                                               
to fish in each fishery  for which the commercial fisherman holds                                                               
a commercial fishing  entry permit; relating to the  power of the                                                               
Alaska  Commercial Fisheries  Entry Commission  and the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries to limit the number of  fisheries in which a person may                                                               
hold an entry permit and operate  gear during a fishing season or                                                               
a  year; and  providing  for  an effective  date."   [Before  the                                                               
committee,  treated  as  adopted   on  2/16/04,  was  a  proposed                                                               
committee substitute (CS), Version H.]                                                                                          
Number 2161                                                                                                                     
JACK HOPKINS, Cordova, testified on  his own behalf in support of                                                               
HB  415.   He  suggested if  the legislature  wants  to help  the                                                               
fishermen  and  the  fisheries,  this   is  going  in  the  right                                                               
direction.   In  answer to  questions from  Representatives Gara,                                                               
Seaton, and  Ogg, he  said it  would allow him  to go  to another                                                               
area and  "catch some  prime fishing time,"  and then  people who                                                               
stayed to  "scratch fish and stay"  where he'd left could  do so.                                                               
He  participates primarily  in the  salmon gillnet  fisheries now                                                               
and believes most of the permits in his area are being fished.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  asked whether Mr. Hopkins  or someone fishing                                                               
with a  similar gear type  has approached the Board  of Fisheries                                                               
with a proposal similar to what this legislation would do.                                                                      
MR. HOPKINS said he wasn't aware of it.                                                                                         
Number 2324                                                                                                                     
E.J. CHESHIER, Cordova, testified on  his own behalf.  Expressing                                                               
emphatic support for HB 415, he  said it allows someone to fish a                                                               
permit he/she  has legally bought  and probably has loans  to pay                                                               
for.  He suggested it will  help fisheries and fishermen like him                                                               
diversify in  order to feed  their families.   Presently, someone                                                               
who owns two  or more permits in the same  gear-type fishery must                                                               
place a permit in someone else's  name in order to go fishing; in                                                               
some  cases,  people  don't  have  a relative  to  use  for  this                                                               
purpose,  which  is  probably  the  most  palatable  alternative.                                                               
Calling  it  a  "silly  pre-limited-entry  hoop,"  he  said  many                                                               
fishermen end  up fishing all their  permits at the same  time in                                                               
the  same  season.    He  suggested passage  of  the  bill  would                                                               
decrease that likelihood and there'd be less risk and hassle.                                                                   
MR. CHESHIER proposed  that if fishermen could  leave one fishery                                                               
that is past  its peak and go to another  entering its peak, this                                                               
would be good for the first  fishery and would have little impact                                                               
on the  second.   In the  case of Bristol  Bay, he  remarked that                                                               
it's "just what the doctor ordered"  in a year like this.  Noting                                                               
that he  has fished in  Prince William  Sound his whole  life, he                                                               
said  his wife  holds the  Bristol  Bay permit  and they've  sent                                                               
their son, beginning  when he was two years old,  to a relative's                                                               
house in Washington State every  year they've fished that permit.                                                               
"It's either do  that, lie to CFEC to get  an emergency transfer,                                                               
or put  it in someone  else's name  and risk losing  your permit,                                                               
which  has happened  in my  own family  since limited  entry," he                                                               
said, adding that it's time to change this "antiquated" law.                                                                    
MR.  CHESHIER indicated  he'd sent  this proposal  to the  [Joint                                                               
Legislative Salmon Industry Task  Force ("Task Force")] last year                                                               
as  a [proposed  regulation change]  for the  Board of  Fisheries                                                               
that required  only fishing one  permit at  a time and  that only                                                               
addressed  gillnet  fisheries in  hopes  of  a better  chance  of                                                               
passage.   He said  he can't  see why it  shouldn't apply  to all                                                               
salmon fisheries, however.                                                                                                      
Number 2510                                                                                                                     
MR.  CHESHIER, in  response to  Chair Seaton,  specified that  he                                                               
seines and gillnets in Prince  William Sound, gillnets in Bristol                                                               
Bay, and participates in the  gillnet herring fishery off Bristol                                                               
Bay.   In  response  to  Representative Ogg,  he  said he'd  been                                                               
trying  to get  this [proposal]  passed  for some  time, but  had                                                               
missed  the  statewide  proposal   deadline  [for  the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries]; thus he'd  sent it to the Task Force  instead, but in                                                               
the  format one  would  use for  a regulation  change  to be  put                                                               
before the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                  
Number 2580                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON asked  Mr.  Cheshier how  prevalent it  is                                                               
that fishermen  want to fish and  thus do all kinds  of things to                                                               
ensure another family  member is on board, for  example, in order                                                               
to stay within the law.                                                                                                         
MR. CHESHIER  said several of  his friends  do exactly that.   In                                                               
response to  questions from Representative  Gara, he said  he has                                                               
no plan to  expand further, since it's difficult  enough to "fish                                                               
both ends  of the  state at the  same time right  now."   He said                                                               
it's a  hassle he  must go  through every year,  and his  wife is                                                               
worried about  going to Bristol  Bay again.   He added,  "My wife                                                               
doesn't care  to go at  all, but I make  her go because  I cannot                                                               
own the permit in my name."                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON asked  whether anyone  from Mr.  Cheshier's fishing                                                               
group has had this proposal go to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                       
MR.  CHESHIER said  no,  though he  knows  someone who'd  support                                                               
this, since "he's one  of the guys that has to  lie to CFEC every                                                               
year"  to  get   an  emergency  transfer  of  his   permit  to  a                                                               
Number 2738                                                                                                                     
KENNETH  DUCKETT,  Executive  Director, United  Southeast  Alaska                                                               
Gillnetters  (USAG), testified  in opposition  to HB 415,  noting                                                               
that  [members  of   USAG]  in  Southeast  Alaska   see  this  as                                                               
increasing pressure on  the number of active permits  and the use                                                               
of those permits  during the peak of the season.   Quite frankly,                                                               
he said,  they don't  want company from  folks from  other areas.                                                               
He explained:                                                                                                                   
     We  think the  regulation  the way  it  exists now  was                                                                    
     developed that way for a  purpose.  It was developed to                                                                    
     keep areas  available to local  fishermen so  that when                                                                    
     runs were good, ... the people  who stay in an area can                                                                    
     fully utilize those  runs ... and make a  living off of                                                                    
     them, and  then make some  cash flow when  they scratch                                                                    
     the rest of the time.                                                                                                      
MR.  DUCKETT,  replying  to   Representative  Ogg  about  similar                                                               
proposals  before the  Board of  Fisheries,  indicated he  wasn't                                                               
aware of  any specifically, although there  have been discussions                                                               
of multi-area fishing  for a long time "in a  number of different                                                               
forms."   In response to  Representative Gara, he  expressed high                                                               
regard  for   the  department's  management  of   [the  Southeast                                                               
gillnet]  fishery,  and  said  he   doesn't  believe  this  is  a                                                               
conservation  concern.    Perhaps  350 permits  of  the  482  are                                                               
actively fished; a few people have  fished only an opening or two                                                               
and  then  participated  in  other  fisheries  because  of  price                                                               
considerations and  so forth.   He said  it's really a  matter of                                                               
competition:  if all permits  were fully utilized and people were                                                               
participating  at the  peak of  the  sockeye salmon  run in  Lynn                                                               
Canal  or  in  District  6,   the  increased  pressure  would  be                                                               
Number 2949                                                                                                                     
BRUCE SCHACTLER,  President, United Salmon Association,  told the                                                               
committee  his  association  represents  members  statewide;  the                                                               
majority, but not  all, support this bill.   Stating his personal                                                               
support,  he  remarked  that  the  state  has  given  people  the                                                               
opportunity  to invest  in the  fisheries, and  that no  problems                                                               
have been seen in the herring fisheries.                                                                                        
TAPE 04-11, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2985                                                                                                                     
MR. SCHACTLER said  although some areas will  see added [fishing]                                                               
effort  at  some times,  they'll  see  a dramatic  decrease  when                                                               
fishing is slower; he suggested  those "shoulders of the fishery"                                                               
are the  best times to get  rid of the effort  anyway, when there                                                               
are fewer  fish.   Surmising that those  who'd take  advantage of                                                               
the  bill  would primarily  fish  in  peak seasons  in  different                                                               
areas,  he opined  that a  few  added boats  during peak  seasons                                                               
won't make much difference, that  there won't be any detriment to                                                               
the  majority of  people, and  that it  will add  opportunity for                                                               
people to realize a benefit from their investment.                                                                              
MR. SCHACTLER offered his personal  opinion that the bill doesn't                                                               
go far enough,  and suggested the need to allow  his boat to fish                                                               
wherever  he  has  a  permit,  just  as  it  is  in  the  herring                                                               
fisheries.   He  added  that  just having  a  permit  in an  area                                                               
doesn't  mean the  fisherman can  find someone  to buy  the fish,                                                               
"due  to   the  consolidation  within  the   processing  sector."                                                               
Because the bill won't help  with marketing, he suggested this is                                                               
self-limiting, although it will create some opportunity.                                                                        
Number 2796                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON questioned  the  assertion  that increased  fishing                                                               
during the peak of the season  wouldn't make much difference.  He                                                               
pointed out  that if people begin  utilizing now-inactive permits                                                               
at the  time of the highest  catch rates, the greatest  number of                                                               
fish will be removed in the shortest period of time.                                                                            
MR. SCHACTLER replied:                                                                                                          
     What I'm referring to is  the effect that it's going to                                                                    
     have  on the  fishermen  that are  there  already.   If                                                                    
     you're  in  the  peak  of  the  season,  especially  in                                                                    
     today's  fisheries and  today's access  to markets  and                                                                    
     processing capacity, most people  are on limits anyway.                                                                    
     Most people,  you're not going  to be able to  come in,                                                                    
     as I  said before,  and fish  anyway, 'cause  you don't                                                                    
     have a market, especially in these volume fisheries.                                                                       
     You  come in  at the  peak of  the season,  ... there's                                                                    
     fish everywhere.  It's really  a matter of how many you                                                                    
     can sell, not how many you  can catch.  And ... for me,                                                                    
     to be out here fishing, for  a half a dozen boats or 10                                                                    
     boats ... to  come in to the Kodiak  seine fishery, for                                                                    
     10 boats  to come  in to  the Southeast  Alaska fishery                                                                    
     that is stretched over 250  miles, ... it's a nonissue.                                                                    
     There's  so many  fish, you  can't sell  them, and  you                                                                    
     can't catch them anyway.   So, for each individual boat                                                                    
     that's  worried about  some added  competition, it's  a                                                                    
Number 2685                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON,  surmising that this discussion  pertains mainly to                                                               
seining,  asked about  the ability  for a  really good  fisherman                                                               
from Kodiak, for example, who  had market leverage there, to come                                                               
in  and "peel  off" some  of that  limited marketing  capacity in                                                               
Southeast  Alaska,  having a  dramatic  effect  on fishermen  who                                                               
currently are limited to Southeast Alaska.                                                                                      
MR.  SCHACTLER answered  that he  didn't  think it  would have  a                                                               
dramatic  effect,  although   it  could  have  an   effect.    He                                                               
acknowledged that there wouldn't  be this [processing] limitation                                                               
for those who  come to an area  to process on board.   This would                                                               
create an opportunity  for those people to  get different species                                                               
by  going to  a different  area.   In response  to Representative                                                               
Wilson, he  said he  isn't concerned because  the amount  of fish                                                               
processed on board  by someone is very small in  the grand scheme                                                               
of things.   He  said numerous  people are  trying to  process on                                                               
board now and get a few  thousand pounds and then "drift off into                                                               
the sunset processing them" before they can catch more.                                                                         
Number 2470                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  pointed  out that  setnetters  had  provided                                                               
written  testimony in  opposition to  this  bill.   He asked  Mr.                                                               
Schactler  to   elaborate  on   the  gear   types  used   by  his                                                               
organization's members in each area,  how many members there are,                                                               
and whether a vote had been taken in each area.                                                                                 
MR.  SCHACTLER  said the  only  area  he  knew  of that  took  an                                                               
official  vote, "sort  of  a straw  poll," was  in  Kodiak, at  a                                                               
meeting he  attended as a board  member a couple of  days before;                                                               
of  the board,  there  were  eight setnetters  and  one seiner  -                                                               
himself  - and  those polled  were unanimously  in favor  of this                                                               
bill.  In further response,  he indicated other members statewide                                                               
hadn't taken a position chapter by chapter.                                                                                     
Number 2401                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG asked  whether  Mr. Schactler's  organization                                                               
has put a related proposal before the Board of Fisheries.                                                                       
MR. SCHACTLER said no.  In  further response, he recalled that it                                                               
was tried perhaps  five years ago, but didn't  recall the board's                                                               
reasoning for not adopting it.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  asked  that Mr.  Schactler  provide  related                                                               
information, if he found any, to the committee.                                                                                 
CHAIR  SEATON also  requested that  testifiers on  teleconference                                                               
provide any written testimony.                                                                                                  
Number 2303                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON surmised that if  a proposal was before the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries five years ago,  it was prior to  the glut of                                                               
farmed fish on the market and the downturn of salmon prices.                                                                    
MR.  SCHACTLER agreed  the world  is  different in  the last  two                                                               
years in the salmon business, let alone five or ten years.                                                                      
Number 2249                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked what  the legislature  needs to  do to                                                               
ensure there are markets, at least at the local processor level.                                                                
MR. SCHACTLER mentioned  options including [existing legislation]                                                               
for  direct  marketing  and [increasing]  the  58-foot  limit  so                                                               
people can process their own  fish, and the bigger chore relating                                                               
to state  fisheries policies and  even up to the  National Marine                                                               
Fisheries  Service.   He suggested  creating an  environment that                                                               
allows  new investment  related to  processing capacity  in these                                                               
areas that have lost so much.                                                                                                   
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
ROBIN  SAMUELSEN,  President,  Board of  Directors,  Bristol  Bay                                                               
Economic  Development  Corporation  (BBEDC), testified  in  total                                                               
opposition   to  HB   415,  noting   that  BBEDC   represents  17                                                               
communities within the Bristol Bay area.  He explained:                                                                         
     We feel  that it  will increase absentee  ownership and                                                                    
     allow fishermen  just to cherry  pick fisheries  and be                                                                    
     disruptive.  Most  of our fishermen in  Bristol Bay are                                                                    
     nonlocal  fishermen.   The  local  fishermen that  fish                                                                    
     here - there's 30 communities  in Bristol Bay - some of                                                                    
     them participate  in the ... salmon  season and herring                                                                    
     fishery  and 100,000-pound  CDQ [community  development                                                                    
     quota] allocation halibut fishery.                                                                                         
     We've requested  an optimum-yield study to  be done for                                                                    
     Bristol  Bay with  hopes of  doing a  buy-back.   We've                                                                    
     instituted  the  first of  its  kind  in the  state  of                                                                    
     Alaska, a  Bristol Bay  restructuring study,  which has                                                                    
     been completed.  We are  now going through a study with                                                                    
     Northern Economics  to see the effects  on five Bristol                                                                    
     Bay communities with various handpicked options.                                                                           
     I  think this  will  increase the  burden on  nonmobile                                                                    
     fishermen.  ...  We  have  a crisis  in  the  state  of                                                                    
     processors  and  lack   of  processors  and  processing                                                                    
     capacity.  An  earlier gentleman said this  is what the                                                                    
     doctor ordered for Bristol Bay  this year.  Bristol Bay                                                                    
     has a salmon forecast  return of 34 million harvestable                                                                    
     fish.  The  early analysis shows that  there's going to                                                                    
     be about 9 million surplus  ... sockeye salmon that are                                                                    
     going  unharvested.    The  price  the  processors  are                                                                    
     talking is  35 cents  a pound,  and they're  looking at                                                                    
     putting  Bristol  Bay  fishermen on  limits  ...  right                                                                    
     around  June 25th,  June 26th;  that'll  probably be  a                                                                    
     10,000-pound  limit,  which  will  severely  limit  the                                                                    
     income ... of the region residents.                                                                                        
Number 2001                                                                                                                     
MR. SAMUELSEN recalled that this  was brought up before the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries,  and  surmised  it  was  turned  down  because  of                                                               
overwhelming testimony  against it.   Today, he said, there  is a                                                               
mobile fleet,  "a few  chosen by  the processors  to be  a mobile                                                               
fleet that could cherry pick  fisheries."  Local residents cannot                                                               
get markets  in the Togiak  herring fishery; even  though they've                                                               
participated in  the past,  he said,  the processors  are picking                                                               
and choosing who they want.                                                                                                     
MR. SAMUELSEN turned  attention to the salmon  fishery and latent                                                               
permits.  Noting that two years  ago 600 people didn't show up to                                                               
fish Bristol Bay salmon, he  remarked, "With the big run, they're                                                               
all  begging to  get back  in the  door, but  because of  lack of                                                               
processing  capacity, ...  a lot  of the  processors are  telling                                                               
fishermen, 'If you  haven't fished in the last two  years, no, we                                                               
don't want you  back - we don't have the  processing capacity for                                                               
Number 1944                                                                                                                     
MR. SAMUELSEN expressed concern that  this [bill] will do serious                                                               
damage  to  Alaska's  coastal  communities,  including  his  own.                                                               
Referring  to   legislation  introduced   by  then-Representative                                                               
Scalzi a  few years ago  and noting  that the Board  of Fisheries                                                               
recently  had  allowed  "permit  stacking,"  he  remarked,  "Both                                                               
times,  the  increase  of selling  and  buying  permits,  outside                                                               
ownership,  increased."   Emphasizing  that  this  is within  the                                                               
board's purview, he said:                                                                                                       
     I think  people are  looking at the  Alaska legislature                                                                    
     to rationalize  fisheries and take the  power away from                                                                    
     CFEC    [Commercial   Fisheries    Entry   Commission],                                                                    
     especially the Board  of Fisheries.  And  I don't think                                                                    
     that's right.   I  think we  need to go  to a  board of                                                                    
     fish  and  argue  these things  out,  not  through  the                                                                    
     Alaska legislature.   If you've given the  power to the                                                                    
     Board of  [Fisheries], don't take  it away.   Let these                                                                    
     people that want to change  the fishery and rationalize                                                                    
     the fishery and  just have a few of us  left standing -                                                                    
     let them go to the Board of [Fisheries].                                                                                   
MR. SAMUELSEN  noted that he represents  small-boat fishermen who                                                               
use  18-foot skiffs  in Togiak,  mom-and-pop operations,  not 58-                                                               
foot  seiners   or  "wannabe  70-foot  seiners"   traveling  from                                                               
Southeast  Alaska  to  Norton  Sound.    He  emphasized  that  30                                                               
communities  in  Bristol  Bay have  their  sole  livelihood  from                                                               
salmon  and  herring.    He   expressed  concern  about  how  his                                                               
communities,  boroughs,  and  school districts  will  stay  open,                                                               
because people who  come up from Seattle just take  the money and                                                               
leave after harvesting fish, and  even bring their groceries; the                                                               
only  thing they  buy  locally  is fuel,  and  they leave  behind                                                               
trash, but no economic benefit.                                                                                                 
MR. SAMUELSEN  said there's a  crisis.  Opportunities  for people                                                               
within  his region  are closing  rapidly.   Referring to  talk of                                                               
"rationalizing the  fishery," he  said people  in his  area don't                                                               
have the capital  to participate in a  rationalized fishery; thus                                                               
outside interests will  come in and buy up the  permits, and then                                                               
communities  and school  systems  will have  to  close, and  many                                                               
people will be laid off.   He suggested this [bill] will speed up                                                               
the  demise of  local residents,  with cherry  pickers coming  in                                                               
during  good  seasons  and  fishing elsewhere  when  it's  a  bad                                                               
season.  He offered his  belief that previous legislatures hadn't                                                               
envisioned that happening.                                                                                                      
Number 1725                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON, noting  that Mr.  Samuelsen  had been  a Board  of                                                               
Fisheries member, asked whether there  had been a proposal to get                                                               
rid  of the  administrative areas  entirely or  to allow  certain                                                               
administrative areas.                                                                                                           
MR. SAMUELSEN agreed with Mr. Schactler  that it had come up five                                                               
or six years ago.                                                                                                               
Number 1608                                                                                                                     
BRUCE WALLACE,  Ketchikan, testified  in support  of the  bill as                                                               
written.   Recalling that this  [issue] came before the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries at least  five or six times from about  1983 forward in                                                               
different forms, he said it largely  ended up being a question of                                                               
a statewide  proposal, which made  it contentious.   Referring to                                                               
Representative Wilson's question  and Mr. Schactler's point about                                                               
changing conditions,  Mr. Wallace said he  wouldn't have expected                                                               
to hear  as much support  in past  years, which he  attributed to                                                               
changing circumstances.                                                                                                         
MR. WALLACE  said one advantage not  raised so far is  that fewer                                                               
permits are  being used and  thus fewer crewmembers will  need to                                                               
earn a  living wage; he proposed  that fishermen will have  to be                                                               
able to work  across a broader spectrum than  "most anything that                                                               
a single  region would  do."  As  to how this  fits in  today, he                                                               
said Mr. Schactler  had spoken to it and that  it's a question of                                                               
"the definition of opportunity as the state will see it."                                                                       
MR. WALLACE suggested this is larger  than HB 415 and needs to be                                                               
judged in  the new  context; he  opined that  a lot  of testimony                                                               
today had  been from a  lack of  understanding of how  the future                                                               
fisheries'  profiles  will  look.   He  stated  support  for  the                                                               
concept as part of a  package;, said it's appropriate; and closed                                                               
by proposing that negative and  positive impacts cannot be judged                                                               
until "we've sort of come to the new age, if you will."                                                                         
Number 1424                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON asked  why Kodiak and Southeast  Alaska seiners, for                                                               
example,  couldn't  ask the  Board  of  Fisheries to  reduce  the                                                               
administrative restriction  between those two areas,  rather than                                                               
having it statewide.                                                                                                            
MR. WALLACE said  he didn't recall its ever being  requested as a                                                               
structure or  limitation between  two registration  areas, didn't                                                               
know the legal ramifications, and  wasn't sure why that iteration                                                               
[of a board  proposal] hadn't occurred.  In  further response, he                                                               
specified that  he fishes  herring, seines  for salmon,  and runs                                                               
some tender operations.                                                                                                         
Number 1285                                                                                                                     
WESLEY J.  HUMBYRD, Homer,  said he'd  fax a  copy of  the agenda                                                               
change  request form  he'd  sent  to the  Board  of Fisheries  on                                                               
July 7, 2001.   He  explained that  he'd attempted  this proposal                                                               
through the board's statewide agenda  change [process] because he                                                               
knew it  affected many areas;  however, the board had  decided it                                                               
wasn't its position  to make a decision on this  and had believed                                                               
it  was up  to the  legislature or  CFEC.   In response  to Chair                                                               
Seaton, Mr. Humbyrd  said he'd only  received a  verbal response,                                                               
from Art  Hughes, to his  belief, whom  he'd called in  Juneau to                                                               
find out why he hadn't heard  anything.  Turning attention to the                                                               
market, he offered  his belief that it should have  no bearing on                                                               
this;  if the  market isn't  there and  somebody wants  to buy  a                                                               
permit in  any area for future  years, for example, it  should be                                                               
that person's decision.                                                                                                         
MR.  HUMBYRD, in  response to  Representative  Wilson, said  he'd                                                               
tried  to get  this changed  for many  years and  believes he  is                                                               
discriminated against  because he  is a  single person  [and thus                                                               
has more difficulty  putting a second permit  in another's name].                                                               
He reiterated  that the  board didn't want  to hear  his proposal                                                               
and that Art  Hughes had said the board didn't  know whether it's                                                               
the legislature or CFEC that has the legal right.                                                                               
Number 0981                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG referred to a  memorandum in committee packets                                                               
from  CFEC  [dated February  25,  2004,  sent by  Bruce  Twomley,                                                               
chair, because he'd be out of town and unable to testify].                                                                      
MR. HUMBYRD said he had it, but hadn't had a chance to read it.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG observed  that the  memo says  the board,  by                                                               
regulation,  requires  [Alaskan  salmon  fishermen  to  choose  a                                                               
single net area in which to  fish each season], and that CFEC has                                                               
adopted a  complementary regulation;  it cites  those regulations                                                               
[5 AAC  39.115 for  the Board  of Fisheries  and 20  AAC 05.1940,                                                               
20 AAC 05.1942,  and 20 AAC 05.1944  for CFEC].  Thus  he said it                                                               
seems  clear that  the board  and CFEC  have regulations  and the                                                               
authority to adopt them.                                                                                                        
MR.  HUMBYRD asked,  if that's  the  case, why  the board  hasn't                                                               
accepted the one agenda change [request] he'd submitted.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG suggested  the need  for verification  of the                                                               
verbal response Mr. Humbyrd had received from Art Hughes.                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON encouraged  Mr. Humbyrd to fax to  the committee his                                                               
request to the board, as agreed to previously.                                                                                  
Number 0843                                                                                                                     
KURT KVERNVIK,  Petersburg, a commercial  fisherman for  the last                                                               
24 years, testified in favor of HB 415 as follows:                                                                              
     I would  first like  to point  out that  many fishermen                                                                    
     whom  I  know  cannot  attend this  hearing;  they  are                                                                    
     currently brown  crabbing in Southeast or  preparing to                                                                    
     depart    for    longlining.       This    is    called                                                                    
     diversification, which  is the topic that  I would like                                                                    
     to talk about today.                                                                                                       
     I'm  a  Bristol Bay  salmon  gillnetter,  and I  own  a                                                                    
     permit up there.  And I  owe far more on my permit than                                                                    
     it is  currently worth, which financially  ... prevents                                                                    
     me from  selling it  to move on  to a  different salmon                                                                    
     fishery.   To help supplement  my income, I  would like                                                                    
     to  diversify into  the  Southeast  seine ...  fishery,                                                                    
     which is a completely  different gear type, a different                                                                    
     area, a different vessel, and more crew.                                                                                   
     Currently, the only  way that I can do this  is to find                                                                    
     a seine  permit holder  to come  on board  each season.                                                                    
     This   method   carries   financial  risks   that   are                                                                    
     unacceptable to most lending institutions.   The law as                                                                    
     it  is  currently  written   prevents  me  from  making                                                                    
     further  capital   investments  in  our   state  salmon                                                                    
     fisheries.   This law prevents  me from  employing more                                                                    
     people in the state.                                                                                                       
     I think that  we should be able to  choose which salmon                                                                    
     fishery might  best support our families,  depending on                                                                    
     the market and  its conditions for each season.   It is                                                                    
     clear to me  that just fishing one  salmon fishery will                                                                    
     not support my family.   If I am allowed to [diversify]                                                                    
     with multiple permits,  I will be able  to decide which                                                                    
     fishery that I will participate in, and when.                                                                              
     The state  limited entry  system has  already addressed                                                                    
     the issue of  maximum effort for each fishery,  so I do                                                                    
     not see this increased effort,  or lack of it, as being                                                                    
     an  issue.    If  the  new  studies  lower  the  permit                                                                    
     thresholds, then my argument remains the same.                                                                             
Number 0717                                                                                                                     
MR. KVERNVIK continued:                                                                                                         
     The  salmon industry  is going  through some  very hard                                                                    
     times.   There are  many hundreds  of permits  that are                                                                    
     not  currently  being   fished  for  economic  reasons.                                                                    
     This,  in  effect,  has resulted  in  lost  jobs,  lost                                                                    
     community revenue,  and lost fish  taxes.  I  think, if                                                                    
     the  state were  to allow  multiple registration,  that                                                                    
     there are  those of us  who are  willing to step  up to                                                                    
     the  plate and  invest in  the permits,  invest in  the                                                                    
     boats and the gear and  the crews that have been washed                                                                    
     out of our salmon fishery for the last decade.                                                                             
     This law needs to be  changed.  The salmon fishermen of                                                                    
     this  state should  be allowed  to diversify  for their                                                                    
     own benefit and  for the good of the state.   For those                                                                    
     reasons, I am strongly in favor of House Bill 415.                                                                         
Number 0642                                                                                                                     
MR. KVERNVIK, in response to a question from Chair Seaton,                                                                      
offered the following clarification:                                                                                            
     The point  I was  trying to make,  the first  point, on                                                                    
     Bristol Bay:   since I owe  so much more money  on that                                                                    
     permit than I could sell  it for, it's not feasible for                                                                    
     me to sell  the permit and then just  move into another                                                                    
     salmon  fishery entirely,  which  is  pretty much  what                                                                    
     you're forced to do.                                                                                                       
     The  other one  I  was talking  about  is for  seining.                                                                    
     It's difficult to  go for a bank, and for  me to go get                                                                    
     a  competitive seine  vessel and  everything that  goes                                                                    
     along with that, when I don't  even have a permit in my                                                                    
     own name.   Currently, I've  got a guy  from Washington                                                                    
     that comes  up and  steps on  the vessel.   And  ... it                                                                    
     makes  it near  impossible  for me  to  upgrade when  I                                                                    
     really have no rights to that fishery.                                                                                     
Number 0525                                                                                                                     
PETER  ANDREW testified  in  opposition  to HB  415.   A  30-year                                                               
commercial fisherman  who has lived  in Dillingham all  his life,                                                               
Mr.  Andrew  said he  has  family  in  other villages  that  have                                                               
problems getting  markets [for  fish].   Of the  approximately 40                                                               
percent of Bristol Bay permits  not being fished, many are local.                                                               
He  expressed concern  that [the  bill  will result  in] a  great                                                               
increase  in competition  for the  few  fish they'll  be able  to                                                               
harvest this summer.                                                                                                            
Number 0393                                                                                                                     
BRUCE MARIFERN,  a Petersburg  resident and  commercial fisherman                                                               
for  20-some years,  spoke in  favor of  HB 415,  mostly for  the                                                               
reason   of  diversification.     Involved   in  several   salmon                                                               
fisheries,  Mr. Marifern  said he  looks  at this  somewhat as  a                                                               
housekeeping measure,  and highlighted the desire  to extend into                                                               
other fisheries.   He voiced  his opinion that this  would result                                                               
in  less overall  impact  on the  state's  salmon industry;  with                                                               
several permit  holders [in a  family, for example],  there could                                                               
be  several  fisheries  going  at  the same  time,  but  he'd  be                                                               
inclined  to go  from  one  fishery to  another  if  he held  the                                                               
permits.  Urging  support for HB 415, he surmised  that others in                                                               
his community  who are  out fishing [and  thus unable  to testify                                                               
today] would support it as well.                                                                                                
Number 0238                                                                                                                     
JERRY LIBOFF testified  in opposition to HB 415.   Noting that he                                                               
has  lived in  Dillingham almost  40  years and  manages a  local                                                               
village corporation, he  specified that he was  testifying on his                                                               
own behalf.   Mr. Liboff reported that at a  meeting in Koliganek                                                               
-  a nearby  village  of 160  people including  15  or so  permit                                                               
holders, where  [fishing] is the  main source  of nongovernmental                                                               
income  -  every  person opposed  changing  the  current  system.                                                               
Agreeing  that  this  bill  will   tend  to  accelerate  permits'                                                               
drifting out  of local  communities, he  suggested the  rich will                                                               
get richer  and the  poor will  get poorer and  be driven  out of                                                               
business.  Locals  who cannot afford to buy  into another fishery                                                               
will be forced to compete with those who can.                                                                                   
MR. LIBOFF,  calling it an  [allocation] issue, said he  sees the                                                               
next  piece, if  this passes,  as the  ability to  transfer boats                                                               
from district  to district.   He  expressed concern  that already                                                               
plenty of highly  competitive boats come from other  areas or out                                                               
of state, and  people in his region cannot  compete because those                                                               
boats are  bigger, faster, and so  forth.  If the  boats are then                                                               
enabled  to move  from district  to district,  the cherry-picking                                                               
issue will arise repeatedly.                                                                                                    
MR.  LIBOFF  emphasized keeping  local  permits  in local  hands.                                                               
Pointing out  that some permit  holders don't own boats  that are                                                               
in good shape  or competitive, he said he has  helped a number of                                                               
local villagers  get on  boats owned by  people from  other areas                                                               
who don't have  a local permit.  Thus the  restriction of fishing                                                               
one permit  a year per district  has actually helped a  number of                                                               
local people make money.                                                                                                        
TAPE 04-12, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
MR.  LIBOFF  concluded  by  stating concern  that  the  price  of                                                               
permits  will be  driven up,  making it  even more  difficult for                                                               
locals to  compete.  In  reply to a question  from Representative                                                               
Wilson,  he surmised  that most  salmon fishermen  in Alaska  are                                                               
going through hard times now,  but said it's an individual issue.                                                               
He related  his belief  that most  [permit holders]  in Koliganek                                                               
are eking  out a living  and earning  a few dollars,  rather than                                                               
making a good  living, but are optimistic, which  he indicated is                                                               
characteristic of fishermen.                                                                                                    
Number 0211                                                                                                                     
PAUL    SHADURA,   President,    Kenai   Peninsula    Fishermen's                                                               
Association, stated support  for HB 415 in the  context of setnet                                                               
fisheries.  He said Alaska  has more setnet limited entry permits                                                               
than any other,  and he doesn't perceive the bill  as creating an                                                               
influx or large  change in who'd utilize it; rather,  it allows a                                                               
small opportunity to  remain viable within the industry.   As for                                                               
concern about  an influx  of new  permits into  an area,  he said                                                               
this works  within the limits  already established.   He surmised                                                               
it will reduce  latent permits in some areas, and  if those areas                                                               
institute a  buy-back program,  will reduce  the burden  on those                                                               
left within communities such as those in rural areas.                                                                           
MR.  SHADURA turned  attention to  direct marketing  in the  Cook                                                               
Inlet area and  said 80 percent of the 745  setnet permit holders                                                               
there  are  residents  of  the area.    He  mentioned  reductions                                                               
implemented by the  Board of Fisheries over  the years, including                                                               
[fishing] time, and said opportunities  are limited.  He spoke in                                                               
favor of expansion that allows  use of vessels in different areas                                                               
and remarked:                                                                                                                   
     We have  really tried  hard in the  Cook Inlet  area to                                                                    
     devise ... regional  marketing programs and to  go to a                                                                    
     direct-marketing program.   And those opportunities ...                                                                    
     are coming  about.   Larger processors  seem to  be ...                                                                    
     divesting their interests here in  the Cook Inlet area,                                                                    
     but  we  have  [an]   influx  of  ...  smaller  direct-                                                                    
     marketing companies  that, in  fact, are looking  for a                                                                    
     high-quality product.                                                                                                      
     This bill would  allow us ... to  accommodate that, and                                                                    
     a problem being,  ... with such a short  season, if you                                                                    
     do establish  your own market, that  your market's very                                                                    
     limited  and   [your  business   is]  subject   to  the                                                                    
     fluctuations within your regional area.                                                                                    
Number 0482                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON   asked  whether  Mr.  Shadura   represents  mainly                                                               
MR. SHADURA said yes.                                                                                                           
CHAIR SEATON  asked:  If  this allowed another couple  of hundred                                                               
drift permits  in Cook Inlet  to be  utilized during the  peak of                                                               
the season, since  the setnet sites are pretty  well taken, would                                                               
that  create  any  conflict  or   problems  for  members  of  his                                                               
organization, or would he be comfortable with that?                                                                             
MR.  SHADURA  answered  that  it  would possibly  be  more  of  a                                                               
management  problem  at that  point.    If  a  high effort  on  a                                                               
particular section  of the  run occurred,  for example,  it might                                                               
reduce the available fishing time.   Relating his experience with                                                               
the  Board of  Fisheries over  10  years, he  recalled that  this                                                               
proposal has  come up several  times; said [the board]  has power                                                               
to expand  regulatory boundaries  and to include  adjacent areas;                                                               
and surmised  that the board  has felt uncomfortable  making that                                                               
widespread policy decision  and so has looked  to the legislature                                                               
to reinforce [the board's] authority to do that.                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON agreed that if there  is any confusion on the board,                                                               
the legislature can certainly [provide that reinforcement].                                                                     
Number 0682                                                                                                                     
MIKE  DAVIS,  Dillingham,  testified  in opposition  to  HB  415.                                                               
Noting  that  he has  been  setnetting  there  for 25  years,  he                                                               
suggested  looking  at local  communities  and  people who'll  be                                                               
negatively  affected  by this  blanket  piece  of legislation  in                                                               
their ability to participate in  this fishery.  Pointing out that                                                               
other Dillingham testifiers had  illustrated what could happen to                                                               
the  Bristol Bay  region,  he  urged members  to  not adopt  this                                                               
legislation, or  at least not adopt  it in regions where  it will                                                               
negatively affect communities.                                                                                                  
Number 0871                                                                                                                     
BOB  THORSTENSON, President,  United Fishermen  of Alaska  (UFA),                                                               
told  the  committee   that  this  is  one   of  [UFA's]  highest                                                               
priorities this session;  that the impact is  limited; that boats                                                               
cannot move  into other  areas to  impact other  communities; and                                                               
that  UFA  voted  this  in  largely  as  a  "simple  housekeeping                                                               
measure"  because since  limited  entry began  in  1974, all  the                                                               
things  that people  on both  sides of  the issue  have testified                                                               
about have  already happened.   He  likened it  to owning  a taxi                                                               
company  in Homer  and Juneau,  but not  being able  to have  the                                                               
Homer company in one's own name.                                                                                                
MR.  THORSTENSON  referred  to   a  brochure  relating  to  trade                                                               
adjustment  assistance (TAA)  for fishermen  ["TAA Alaska  Salmon                                                               
Technical Assistance Study Guide"] and  read the following from a                                                               
page of Chapter 2 that had been provided:                                                                                       
     Over the years, many  salmon fishermen have diversified                                                                    
     their way  to prosperity.   One way  has been to  buy a                                                                    
     second salmon permit, one that  allows them to fish the                                                                    
     peak of  two different runs  that do not  coincide with                                                                    
     one another.                                                                                                               
MR.  THORSTENSON asserted  that this  has taken  place to  such a                                                               
widespread  degree  for  30  years   that  it's  the  "number-one                                                               
diversification  option   in  trade  adjustment   assistance  put                                                               
together  by the  University of  Alaska Fairbanks."   He  said he                                                               
feels  for the  person who  is single  and doesn't  have trusted,                                                               
close family in whose name to  put a second permit, but related a                                                               
story about his own relatives and a divorce.  He continued:                                                                     
     The  reason we  favor this  so strongly  at UFA  and we                                                                    
     have such  solid support throughout most  of Southeast,                                                                    
     Kodiak,  Cook  Inlet,  Prince  William  Sound  and  the                                                                    
     peninsula, and  ... not necessarily in  the Bristol Bay                                                                    
     region, but a lot of  fishermen from Alaska who do fish                                                                    
     Bristol Bay,  is ... simply  because it  really doesn't                                                                    
     do very  much but  straighten up this  situation that's                                                                    
     occurred for  the past  30 years  where people  have to                                                                    
     put permits in different people's names.                                                                                   
MR. THORSTENSON  said the only  problem he  sees in going  to the                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries [to  resolve  this]  is  that the  board  is                                                               
overworked and it  would take several years, if it  could even be                                                               
done there.  Noting that Mr.  Shadura and another in the audience                                                               
had  experience dealing  with the  board, he  offered the  belief                                                               
that the  legislature - and  this committee, in particular  - has                                                               
the prerogative  and should act on  this bill, and he  urged that                                                               
the bill move from committee as soon as possible.                                                                               
Number 1208                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  stated that  he  thinks  these are  good                                                               
arguments, on  all sides of the  issue, to have before  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries,  where he  suggested [UFA]  could be  successful in                                                               
having  it put  on the  agenda.   Indicating legislators  have to                                                               
hear numerous issues, he said this  sounds like the kind of issue                                                               
the  legislature has  turned  over  to the  board  for a  general                                                               
policy call.  He pointed  out that legislation heard the previous                                                               
week would give the board some authority.                                                                                       
MR.  THORSTENSON  replied  that   the  main  difference  is  that                                                               
[increasing the] 58-foot limit [for  seiners, the subject of that                                                               
legislation] will  come up region  by region.  He  also suggested                                                               
that  Dillingham residents  will have  less opportunity  to weigh                                                               
in, if there's a statewide  board meeting in Anchorage, than they                                                               
do [before the  legislature].  Noting that  the legislature could                                                               
give  the  board  [certainty  about]  the  board's  authority  to                                                               
address this  issue or that  the attorney general could  issue an                                                               
opinion,  he voiced  concern  that  it will  take  three or  four                                                               
years.  He  opined that this won't be a  major change "other than                                                               
a businesslike  approach, that people  that actually  ... control                                                               
permits will hold them in their own names."                                                                                     
Number 1401                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA pointed  out  that the  board has  expertise                                                               
such that  it could decide in  which areas this makes  sense.  He                                                               
asked  what Mr.  Thorstenson  would say  to  the testifiers  from                                                               
Bristol Bay if he believes the bill should pass.                                                                                
MR. THORSTENSON answered that he  understands the concern "in any                                                               
region"  and   indicated  Southeast  gillnetters   have  concerns                                                               
similar to  those of Dillingham  fishermen.  He said  he'd talked                                                               
with Bruce  Twomley of CFEC  yesterday, and the  typical business                                                               
practice has been that if [the  permit isn't held by] a spouse or                                                               
child,  a life  insurance  policy  is taken  out  for the  permit                                                               
holder.  Mentioning  chutzpah, he said the lack of  HB 415 hasn't                                                               
prevented  people from  going to  Bristol Bay,  for example,  and                                                               
most people  have a crewmember [in  whose name to put  a permit].                                                               
Acknowledging  that  he  doesn't understand  the  setnet  leasing                                                               
situation  as much  in Cook  Inlet, for  example, he  nonetheless                                                               
suggested  this might  help some  people to  consolidate permits.                                                               
He opined  that the  fears of  people who  believe there  will be                                                               
negative consequences are "far overblown."                                                                                      
Number 1595                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG addressed the  board's powers, noting that the                                                               
1990 State v.  Hebert case dealt with  the superexclusive herring                                                             
fisheries in Western Alaska; as  a result, someone could fish for                                                               
herring in  a particular area,  but couldn't fish in  other areas                                                               
as well, in an  effort to protect the local fishery.   He said it                                                               
is  clear  the  Board  of   Fisheries  has  authority,  at  least                                                               
according to the  Alaska Supreme Court, to do exactly  what is in                                                               
state  regulations right  now.   He asked  why [the  legislature]                                                               
would want to take up the  Board of Fisheries' power and create a                                                               
statewide  [law]  based  on   today's  testimony  that  indicates                                                               
fishermen in one region of  Alaska are fearful of competition and                                                               
are pretty strongly against removing their exclusive-use area.                                                                  
MR. THORSTENSON said,  "First of all, we didn't  bring this bill.                                                               
This  bill is  actually  from Representative  Williams.   But  we                                                               
support  it."   Indicating Mr.  McAllister would  further discuss                                                               
the  board, he  added that  if it  goes before  the board  and it                                                               
takes  longer,  so be  it.    He  questioned whether  folks  from                                                               
Dillingham  would  be  any  more  comfortable  with  the  board's                                                               
handling of  it, since they'd  had a  less-than-desirable outcome                                                               
at a board meeting the previous week.                                                                                           
Number 1777                                                                                                                     
MR. THORSTENSON, in  reply to a question from  Chair Seaton, said                                                               
UFA isn't asking for a management  tool to be taken away from the                                                               
board, but doesn't  believe the board has authority  to deal with                                                               
this.  If it is clarified  that the board has authority, however,                                                               
he  said he's  very comfortable  that the  board will  pass this,                                                               
though it will take more time.   He expressed concern that it may                                                               
become a dead-end,  with the legislature saying the  board can do                                                               
it, but the board saying it cannot.                                                                                             
CHAIR SEATON said clarification could  be obtained and noted that                                                               
there was a memorandum from CFEC.                                                                                               
Number 1847                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS referred  to  page 5  of the  [memorandum                                                               
dated  October  15,  2003,  from  George  Utermohle,  legislative                                                               
counsel,  to  Senator  Ben  Stevens],  which  lists  options  for                                                               
legislative  action.   He also  noted that  the CFEC  [memorandum                                                               
dated October  24, 2003,  to Senator  Ben Stevens  disagrees with                                                               
the first  memo and] says on  page 3 that the  Board of Fisheries                                                               
has the power.  Pointing out that  page 5 of the first memo lists                                                               
the  options of  leaving it  for the  courts to  decide later  or                                                               
clarifying  that  the [Board  of  Fisheries  and CFEC]  have  the                                                               
power,  Representative Samuels  proposed  perhaps  having a  bill                                                               
from the committee to provide that clarification.                                                                               
CHAIR  SEATON   suggested  it  possibly  could   be  a  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 415.                                                                                                     
Number 1909                                                                                                                     
SCOTT McALLISTER,  Juneau, lauded the current  process for airing                                                               
the pros  and cons  in the  big picture, which  he said  has been                                                               
difficult  under the  board process.   He  said he'd  put in  his                                                               
first Board of  Fisheries proposal in 1983 to  "do exactly this,"                                                               
has put in one  since, and has seen as many  as four proposals in                                                               
any given  year to deal with  this before the board.   Saying the                                                               
board deals with regional issues  every three years and statewide                                                               
issues come up every three years  as well, he remarked that under                                                               
"statewide" the board  has a history of  traveling from community                                                               
to community to make it accessible.                                                                                             
MR. McALLISTER,  a purse seiner  who fishes in multiple  areas of                                                               
the state,  explained that he  wants to own these  permits, start                                                               
his  season the  first  week of  June, and  end  in September  or                                                               
October.    He  emphasized  the desire  to  diversify  and,  with                                                               
capital  investments, maximize  the  potential for  profit in  an                                                               
"otherwise failing industry."   He said this  clearly, if vessels                                                               
were included, would maximize his potential as a purse seiner.                                                                  
MR.  McALLISTER  said he  likes  the  bill  as written,  for  the                                                               
reasons stated  by Bob [Thorstenson].   Referring to AS 16.43.140                                                               
and remarks  by Representative Samuels, he  noted that subsection                                                               
(c) of  that statute says  in part, "(c)  A person may  hold more                                                               
than one interim-use or entry  permit issued or transferred under                                                               
this chapter  only for the  following purposes:  ...  (2) fishing                                                               
in  more than  one  administrative area".    He suggested  either                                                               
allowing the  legislative process to have  its due on this  or at                                                               
least addressing the  board with a resolution,  for example, that                                                               
says this issue needs to be dealt with.                                                                                         
MR.  McALLISTER spoke  about  a friend  under  scrutiny by  CFEC,                                                               
people's  unwillingness   to  compromise  their   investments  by                                                               
adhering to  the letter of the  law, and trying to  make money in                                                               
an  industry that  is going  through hard  times.   He closed  by                                                               
saying  it's important  for the  legislature to  address this  in                                                               
some form  and clean  up this "housekeeping"  that is  very messy                                                               
right now.                                                                                                                      
Number 2237                                                                                                                     
STEPHEN  WHITE,   Senior  Assistant  Attorney   General,  Natural                                                               
Resources Section,  Civil Division  (Juneau), Department  of Law,                                                               
noted  that he'd  been  advising and  representing  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries for about a dozen years.  He told members:                                                                            
     I  guess I'm  following up  some of  the comments  that                                                                    
     Bruce Twomley  [chair of CFEC],  who's my  client, made                                                                    
     in  his written  comments here.  ... CFEC's  neutral on                                                                    
     the bill.   Of course, the Department  of Law's neutral                                                                    
     on the  bill.  We  don't have any policy  issues; we're                                                                    
     just  here to  ...  talk about  legal implications  and                                                                    
     things to think about.                                                                                                     
     I think  there's two  things you  need to  think about.                                                                    
     This bill would remove the  board's authority to take a                                                                    
     certain management  action, which  they've done  in the                                                                    
     past,    which   is    called   "superexclusive    area                                                                    
     registration."    And   that's  something  Mr.  Twomley                                                                    
     referred to,  and that's where  the board  decides that                                                                    
     even  though   a  person   may  fish   different  areas                                                                    
     sequentially and  whatever, ...  they have  to register                                                                    
     ... one of those areas,  and if they register to choose                                                                    
     one  of  those areas,  they  can't  fish in  any  other                                                                    
     areas.  That's superexclusive registration.                                                                                
MR. WHITE said he's not aware  of the foregoing being done in any                                                               
salmon fisheries, although  someone told him of a  case in Togiak                                                               
that  he hadn't  been  able  to confirm.    Rather,  it has  been                                                               
employed in herring  fisheries; one purpose and goal  is to allow                                                               
local people to  have more opportunity and less  competition.  If                                                               
this  bill passes,  that tool  no  longer would  be available  in                                                               
salmon fisheries.                                                                                                               
MR.  WHITE  noted that  another  possible  consequence, which  he                                                               
hadn't  really thought  through, is  that inside  fisheries there                                                               
are  registration requirements  that  tend  to limit  competition                                                               
within  those  fisheries,  at  least  from area  to  area.    For                                                               
example, in Bristol Bay a person  must register for a district to                                                               
fish, and  before fishing there, to  his belief, must wait  for a                                                               
period of time.                                                                                                                 
MR. WHITE said  he's not certain whether the  bill would restrict                                                               
that kind  of management scheme.   However, he suggested  that if                                                               
there's  any  uncertainty,  it would  be  worthwhile  to  discuss                                                               
whether  the intent  also is  to restrict  that type  of internal                                                               
fishery-registration   scheme  or   a   limitation  on   people's                                                               
participating in different districts or  areas of a fishery.  "If                                                               
that's not your  intent, I would like to have  that on the record                                                               
so if  anyone claims that this  bill would have that  effect, ...                                                               
we can at  least go ... to  the record and say,  'No, that wasn't                                                               
the intent,'" he advised the committee.                                                                                         
Number 2376                                                                                                                     
MR. WHITE noted that he'd  just received Mr. Utermohle's memo and                                                               
hadn't read it.  Relating his  belief that the Board of Fisheries                                                               
clearly  has the  ability to  undo what  it already  has done  by                                                               
regulation,  and  indicating  willingness   to  verify  this,  he                                                               
     If  they established  this  prohibition by  regulation,                                                                    
     someone  made a  determination  in my  office they  had                                                                    
     authority to do that.  So  if they have authority to do                                                                    
     it,  they certainly  would have  the authority  to undo                                                                    
     it,  either  completely or  ...  area  by area,  and  I                                                                    
     believe that  they could ...  consider a proposal  at a                                                                    
     statewide meeting.                                                                                                         
Number 2408                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  indicated the committee would  appreciate receiving                                                               
Mr. White's analysis.   Since this [bill]  deals exclusively with                                                               
salmon,  he  also  asked  whether   there'd  be  any  implication                                                               
relating  to  the  regulatory  scheme  for  crab  fisheries,  for                                                               
MR. WHITE said no, he didn't  believe it would restrict the board                                                               
to do superexclusive fisheries in  anything other than the salmon                                                               
net-gear  fisheries,  and  it wouldn't  undo  the  superexclusive                                                               
herring fishery that the court already said was fine.                                                                           
Number 2475                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON, in response to  Representative Gara, specified that                                                               
he'd   like   Mr.  White   to   provide   a  legal   opinion   on                                                               
Mr. Utermohle's research.  He announced  the intention of holding                                                               
the bill for further review.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA voiced  a general  concern about  relying on                                                               
legal  opinions from  people who  may have  only recently  delved                                                               
into an  issue, but acknowledged  Mr. White's experience  in this                                                               
particular instance.                                                                                                            
MR. WHITE  clarified that he  is one  of three or  four attorneys                                                               
[at the Department of Law]  who represent the Board of Fisheries,                                                               
and  said they'd  consult  and  come up  with  a consensus  among                                                               
themselves on this.                                                                                                             
Number 2560                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  inquired  about Mr.  McAllister's  assertion                                                               
that  statewide issues  only come  up at  the Board  of Fisheries                                                               
every three years.                                                                                                              
MR.  WHITE recalled  that  [the board]  has  a statewide  meeting                                                               
every year,  and said anything  that has a  statewide implication                                                               
can  be proposed  to  the board  at that  meeting.   However,  if                                                               
someone has  put an agenda-change  request before the board  at a                                                               
meeting where it otherwise wouldn't  be considered, the board has                                                               
discretion  to  say it  will  wait  and  consider it  at  another                                                               
meeting;   he    suggested   that   may   have    happened   when                                                               
[Mr. Humbyrd's] proposal wasn't heard.                                                                                          
Number 2604                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG requested  that Mr.  White include  something                                                               
about CFEC,  which had adopted  language that comported  with the                                                               
Board of Fisheries [regulation].                                                                                                
MR. WHITE agreed to that.                                                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON  also asked for  input on whether  [the legislature]                                                               
needs to  take action to clarify  that it confers upon  the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  the  regulatory  authority,  and  what  form  such                                                               
clarification should take, if there is a question about it.                                                                     
MR.  WHITE agreed  to offer  such a  suggestion if  there is  any                                                               
Number 2679                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG declared  a  conflict of  interest, since  he                                                               
holds a setnet limited entry permit for Kodiak.                                                                                 
CHAIR SEATON announced  that he tenders fish, but  isn't a permit                                                               
holder in the salmon fishery.                                                                                                   
Number 2695                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON closed the public hearing.  [HB 415 was held over.]                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee   on  Fisheries   meeting  was   adjourned  at                                                               
11:07 a.m.                                                                                                                      

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