Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/16/2010 10:15 AM FISHERIES


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 365 FISH PROCESSOR FEES, LICENSES, RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 389 COMMERCIAL FISHING LOAN ACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 246 SPORT FISH GUIDE LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                         March 16, 2010                                                                                         
                           10:19 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz                                                                                             
Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch                                                                                             
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 365                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to sharing records regarding  fish purchased by                                                               
fish processors  with certain  federal agencies,  to requirements                                                               
to  obtain and  maintain  a fisheries  business  license, and  to                                                               
payment  of  industry  fees  required  of  fish  processors;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 365 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 389                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to loans  made to commercial fishermen under the                                                               
Commercial Fishing  Loan Act for energy  efficiency upgrades; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 246                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the licensing  and  regulation  of  sport                                                               
fishing  operators and  sport fishing  guides  and licensing  and                                                               
registration  of  sport fishing  vessels;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 365                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FISH PROCESSOR FEES, LICENSES, RECORDS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MILLETT                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/23/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/10       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/09/10       (H)       FSH AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
03/09/10       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/10       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/16/10       (H)       FSH AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 389                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL FISHING LOAN ACT                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SEATON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/23/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/10       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/16/10       (H)       FSH AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 246                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISH GUIDE LICENSES                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) NEUMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
04/19/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/19/09       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/16/10       (H)       FSH AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 389 as the sponsor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KATIE KOESTER, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the committee substitute (CS) for                                                              
HB 389 on behalf of Representative Seaton, prime sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CATHY JEANS, Systems Branch Manager                                                                                             
Division of Investments                                                                                                         
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                       
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 389.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GEOFF WHISTLER, Lending Section Manager                                                                                         
Division of Investments                                                                                                         
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                       
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 389.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
JAMES ELLIS, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 246 on behalf of                                                                           
Representative Neuman, prime sponsor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER YUHAS, Director                                                                                                        
Public Communications/Legislative Liaison                                                                                       
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 246.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES SWANTON, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Sport Fish                                                                                                          
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 246.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MELVIN GROVE, Charter Operator                                                                                                  
Big Lake, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 246.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEN LARSON, Secretary                                                                                                           
Prince William Sound Charter Boat Association                                                                                   
North Pole, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 246.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:19:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BRYCE  EDGMON  called  the   House  Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries meeting to order at 10:19  a.m.  Present at the call to                                                               
order  were Representatives  Edgmon, Buch,  Keller, and  Millett.                                                               
Representatives Munoz and Kawasaki arrived  as the meeting was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HB 365-FISH PROCESSOR FEES, LICENSES, RECORDS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:19:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  365,  "An   Act  relating  to  sharing  records                                                               
regarding fish purchased by fish  processors with certain federal                                                               
agencies,  to requirements  to obtain  and  maintain a  fisheries                                                               
business license,  and to  payment of  industry fees  required of                                                               
fish processors; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:21:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON reminded  the committee that public  testimony on HB
365 was closed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:21:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT stated  HB  365 is  a  continuation of  a                                                               
program enacted  in 2002 to  allow fishermen to buy  back limited                                                               
entry  permits.    The  program,  established  by  fishermen,  is                                                               
voluntary, and  intends to provide  access to federal  dollars in                                                               
order to stabilize their fishery.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:22:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HB 365,  26-LS1514\A, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, HB  365 was  reported from  the House                                                               
Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:22:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 10:22 a.m. to 10:24 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:24:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
               HB 389-COMMERCIAL FISHING LOAN ACT                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:25:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 389, "An Act  relating to loans made to commercial                                                               
fishermen  under  the  Commercial  Fishing Loan  Act  for  energy                                                               
efficiency upgrades; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:25:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PAUL SEATON,  Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor,                                                               
introduced  HB 389  as  a bill  that  addresses investments  that                                                               
encourage  Alaska's  workforce  and the  utilization  of  Alaskan                                                               
products.  It  allows for a lower loan rate  on loans through the                                                               
Division  of Investment,  Department  of  Commerce, Community,  &                                                               
Economic Development  (DCCED) if the borrower  uses products that                                                               
are  manufactured in  Alaska.   A  manufacturer of  refrigeration                                                               
units for fishing  vessels proposed the bill in  order to provide                                                               
an incentive for the purchase of Alaskan products.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:27:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to adopt  CSHB 389  as the  working                                                               
document.    Hearing  no  objection,  CSHB  389  was  before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:27:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KATIE KOESTER, Staff to Representative  Paul Seaton, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  further explained  the  bill,  paraphrasing from  a                                                               
prepared statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     HB 389 allows the  Department of Commerce, Community, &                                                                    
     Economic  Development to  give Commercial  Fishing Loan                                                                    
     Fund  borrowers a  reduction in  the  interest rate  on                                                                    
     their loan  of up to 2  percent if 50 percent  of their                                                                    
     loan is spent on a  product produced or manufactured in                                                                    
     the State of Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOESTER continued to explain  that the loan programs eligible                                                               
for this rate  reduction are the Product  Quality Enhancement and                                                               
Engine  Efficiency  Replacement  programs, and  include  products                                                               
such as refrigeration  units, ice machines, slush  bags, and more                                                               
fuel efficient engines.  She  pointed out the legislation defines                                                               
"manufactured or  produced" as processing, developing,  or making                                                               
an item into a  new item with a distinct character  and use.  Ms.                                                               
Koester noted  that labor is  often 30 percent  of the cost  of a                                                               
project and  said that the  sponsor wanted to emphasize  that the                                                               
loan  is focused  on the  product, not  the labor.   Furthermore,                                                               
this is  voluntary to the  department, and DCCED may  choose when                                                               
to make  the program available,  depending on the  prime interest                                                               
rate.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KOESTER pointed  out  minor changes  made  by the  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS) including  the addition  of the  Product Quality                                                               
Enhancement program,  and language  that requires  the department                                                               
to offer the rate reduction to all applicants.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:30:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  noted the committee packet  does not contain                                                               
any comments on the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:31:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KOESTER  advised that Representative Seaton's  office has not                                                               
received  any  objections to  the  program;  if so,  any  written                                                               
objections would have been included in the committee packet.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:31:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  requested a list of  products manufactured                                                               
in Alaska  that would qualify  for a loan.   He pointed  out that                                                               
energy efficient engines are not manufactured locally.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:31:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON    stated   that   there    are   several                                                               
manufacturers  of  refrigeration  units  in Alaska,  as  well  as                                                               
accessory  refrigeration  equipment  and possibly  ice  machines.                                                               
Although there may  not be engine manufacturers  now, the purpose                                                               
of the bill  is to encourage the production  of engines, possibly                                                               
the  newer,  lighter-weight  diesel   engines,  in  Alaska.    In                                                               
addition, as the energy efficiency  money now available will spur                                                               
additional interest  in local manufacturing  of products  such as                                                               
thermal pane  windows, this type  of legislation will  provide an                                                               
incentive   for   investment    in   manufacturing   in   Alaska.                                                               
Representative Seaton further explained  that this provision does                                                               
not  affect  the fishermen's  loan  fund,  but only  changes  the                                                               
interest  rate, and  "will only  be  there when  the Division  of                                                               
Investments has interest loans that  they can absorb this without                                                               
losing money on that loan for the services."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:34:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER gave  an example of a  loan application for                                                               
an upgrade  to a boat,  and asked  whether the loan  amount would                                                               
only be for equipment, or if labor would be included.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON responded  that at least 50  percent of the                                                               
loan proceeds  used by the  borrower must be for  product quality                                                               
improvements.   In  fact,  the  manufactured equipment  installed                                                               
must be  50 percent  of the  loan, not  including labor,  but the                                                               
total amount of the loan can  include labor.  He advised that the                                                               
Department  of   Commerce,  Community,  &   Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED),  Division  of  Investments, provided  guidance  on  this                                                               
aspect of the legislation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:36:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  asked  for  clarification  regarding  the                                                               
possibility of obtaining a loan for a labor-intensive project.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:37:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  deferred the question to  a representative                                                               
from DCCED.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:38:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT, reflecting on  her experience as a fisher                                                               
from Bristol  Bay, offered her  support for the  bill, especially                                                               
as it will  provide for quality-of-fish upgrades for  boats.  She                                                               
reminded the  committee that  each fishery  is trying  to improve                                                               
the quality  of its fish  by adding refrigeration or  slush bags,                                                               
and this is a valuable program for exported products.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:39:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI asked for a description of a slush bag.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON described  how a slush bag  is installed in                                                               
each section of  the hold of a  boat, and how it  works to reduce                                                               
the need for ice while improving the quality of fish products.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:40:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAWASAKI   referred   to   the   definition   of                                                               
"manufactured or  produced," and  asked whether  the construction                                                               
of a kit  purchased elsewhere would qualify as a  product made in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   advised  that  the  construction   of  a                                                               
refrigeration system  from materials would quality;  however, the                                                               
installation of a product would not.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:42:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI restated his question.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   recommended  clarification   from   the                                                               
Division of Investments on this issue.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:42:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON referred  to  page 1,  line 14,  of  the bill,  and                                                               
suggested the addition of "in Alaska" after "new item."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:42:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  pointed out that on  page 1, line 10,  the language                                                               
of the bill  specifies "products manufactured or  produced in the                                                               
state," and he expressed his belief that is sufficient.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:44:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CATHY  JEANS, Systems  Branch Manager,  Division of  Investments,                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,   Community,  &  Economic  Development,                                                               
informed the  committee that the  Division of Investments  is the                                                               
agency that  administers several  state loan  programs, including                                                               
the  commercial  fishing  revolving  loan fund  amended  by  this                                                               
legislation.   She  advised that  the bill  allows the  agency to                                                               
reduce  the  interest  rate  if  a  borrower  purchases  an  item                                                               
manufactured or produced  in Alaska.  Ms.  Jeans called attention                                                               
to the zero fiscal note submitted with the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:44:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GEOFF   WHISTLER,   Lending    Section   Manager,   Division   of                                                               
Investments,  Department  of   Commerce,  Community,  &  Economic                                                               
Development,  provided  the example  of  an  Alaska company  that                                                               
ships in  an engine  and then  adds a power  generator.   In that                                                               
case,  he advised  that the  borrower  should look  at the  value                                                               
added, and  the cost of  the addition, to measure  the percentage                                                               
of the manufacture of the product in the state.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON observed  that is the interesting part  of the bill.                                                               
In fact, the agency would  need to determine regulations to carry                                                               
out the  statute.  He asked  whether the language in  the bill is                                                               
sufficient for the successful development of regulations.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:46:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  JEANS  advised  her  agency  may need  to  confer  with  the                                                               
Department of Law (DOL).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:46:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON   mentioned  proposed  legislation  on   an  energy                                                               
efficiency  loan   program  and  asked  whether   the  two  bills                                                               
"overlap."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. JEANS said no, the bills will not jeopardize one another.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:47:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  observed that  installation labor  costs can                                                               
amount to  a large portion  of the total cost  of a project.   He                                                               
asked how labor costs are handled through the loans.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:48:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.   WHISTLER  agreed   that  installation,   modification,  and                                                               
fabrication can  amount to  30-40 percent of  costs.   He advised                                                               
that  HB  389 "would  deal  with  just  the equipment  going  in,                                                               
manufactured  in the  state for  product quality  improvement, it                                                               
would  still qualify  for the  whole ...  two points  under prime                                                               
loan program.  Those labor costs are inclusive."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:49:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH asked  whether  the cost  of  labor will  be                                                               
separated in the application process.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:49:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WHISTLER  stated the loan  request asks for the  total dollar                                                               
amount  but, with  the application,  "quotes" are  submitted that                                                               
break down each item.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER expressed  his belief  that the  intent of                                                               
the bill is to provide an  incentive to purchase products made in                                                               
Alaska, and  he questioned whether  the language in the  bill was                                                               
sufficiently specific to fulfill the intent of the sponsor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:51:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON  stated  that  the   bill  would  be  held  pending                                                               
responses to the questions posed, and for public testimony.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:52:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                HB 246-SPORT FISH GUIDE LICENSES                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:52:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 246,  "An  Act  relating  to the  licensing  and                                                               
regulation of  sport fishing operators  and sport  fishing guides                                                               
and  licensing and  registration  of sport  fishing vessels;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:52:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JAMES ELLIS,  staff to Representative  Mark Neuman,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  informed the  committee  Representative Newman  has                                                               
offered  an  amendment to  the  bill;  however, as  the  sponsor,                                                               
Representative Neuman  has requested  that the  committee address                                                               
only  the  bill  at  this  time so  that  the  amendment  can  be                                                               
considered  by  the  next  committee  of  referral.    Mr.  Ellis                                                               
introduced  the bill  paraphrasing  from  the sponsor  statement,                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     HB 246 extends Alaska's  sport fish guide licensing and                                                                    
     reporting  program for  one year.   The  data collected                                                                    
     through  this program  has been  an important  tool for                                                                    
     the  proper management  of  sport  fisheries through  a                                                                    
     better  understanding  of  our fish  stocks  and  their                                                                    
     harvest.   In  addition,  the licensing  has ensured  a                                                                    
     standard  for  professionalism and  responsibility  for                                                                    
     sport  fish  businesses  and  guides,  benefiting  both                                                                    
     consumer and businesses alike.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  data collected  through the  reporting program  is                                                                    
     important  in  Alaska's  exemption  from  the  National                                                                    
     Saltwater Angler  Registry which will  prevent Alaskans                                                                    
     from purchasing a certificate of registration.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:54:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  pointed out  HB 246  may become  a companion                                                               
bill to SB 294 and asked for an explanation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLIS expressed his understanding  that SB 294 is intended to                                                               
be "a repeal also."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:55:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER   YUHAS,  Director,   Public  Communications/Legislative                                                               
Liaison, Alaska Department  of Fish & Game  (ADF&G), informed the                                                               
committee that HB 246 is  the priority legislation for ADF&G this                                                               
session.   She recalled  that similar  legislation was  passed by                                                               
the committee last  year without the one-year sunset  clause.  In                                                               
fact, the  sunset was added  by amendment in the  House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.   Ms.  Yuhas reiterated  the purposes  of the                                                               
bill, and  added that  the bill will  ensure basic  standards for                                                               
sport fishing guides for the benefit  of the public.  She pointed                                                               
out the  department has  attached a  zero fiscal  note indicating                                                               
that   ADF&G   subsidizes   the  costs   associated   with   this                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:57:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  SWANTON,  Director,  Division   of  Sport  Fish,  Alaska                                                               
Department  of  Fish &  Game  (ADF&G),  explained the  department                                                               
supported the original  legislation that was passed  in 2004, and                                                               
effective  in 2005,  enacting three  main  elements:   collecting                                                               
information on guides and  their activities; establishing minimum                                                               
standards,  such as  safety and  liability  insurance, for  these                                                               
business activities; providing a  comprehensive and credible data                                                               
base on  guided sport fishing activities  for regulatory agencies                                                               
such as the Alaska Board  of Fisheries, the International Pacific                                                               
Halibut  Commission, and  the  North  Pacific Fishery  Management                                                               
Council.   Mr.  Stanton  pointed  out that  fees  are charged  as                                                               
follows:   $100 for a  combination business  owner/operator; $100                                                               
for a business; $50 for a  guide.  He explained that the Division                                                               
of  Sport Fish  has  three primary  harvest  and data  collection                                                               
programs:  the statewide harvest  survey provides a comprehensive                                                               
catch harvest level for various  fisheries; surveys of anglers in                                                               
intensive  fisheries;  guide  licensing  and logbooks.    At  the                                                               
request  of  ADF&G Commissioner  Lloyd,  the  programs are  being                                                               
modernized so that logbook data  and the purchase of licenses can                                                               
be recorded  electronically, and  he described  the possibilities                                                               
thereof.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:02:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  asked how the charter  industry feels about                                                               
the fee structure.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:02:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SWANTON restated  the fee structure.   Currently, income from                                                               
license  fees is  about  $242,000, and  the  program costs  about                                                               
$437,000 to administer.  The  difference of $195,000 is offset by                                                               
sport angler license fees.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  remembered   there  was  discussion  about                                                               
raising the fees.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:04:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SWANTON  indicated that  the  fees  have  not changed.    In                                                               
response to  Representative Buch,  he said that  electronic forms                                                               
will accelerate the  process to the point where  his division may                                                               
be able to  provide fish harvest data within one  to two weeks of                                                               
harvest, rather than eight months.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:05:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH surmised  the  passage  of this  legislation                                                               
means the program will take effect this summer.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SWANTON  stated the intention  is to institute  the scan-able                                                               
logbook sheets for saltwater in  2010, followed by logbook sheets                                                               
for freshwater in 2011.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:05:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:06:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MELVIN  GROVE,  Charter  Operator,   informed  the  committee  he                                                               
operates a charter boat in  Valdez, is affiliated with the Prince                                                               
William Sound Charter Boat Association,  and is testifying on his                                                               
own behalf.   Mr. Grove stated his adamant opposition  to HB 246.                                                               
Although he is not against data  collection, he is opposed to the                                                               
cost of the license.  He  opined that the program was "instituted                                                               
as a  license with a disguise  of paying for the  data collection                                                               
under the  license requirement."   In  2004, the  logbook program                                                               
cost $80,000, and now the  cost is nearly $450,000.  Furthermore,                                                               
the sensors and  surveys for data collection are paid  for by the                                                               
fishing license revenue from his  clients and, as an operator, he                                                               
is charged a fee to support  the logbook program; this appears to                                                               
be "double-dipping" by  the department.  Mr.  Grove expressed his                                                               
hope that  electronic improvements  to the reporting  program may                                                               
lead to a reduction in fees.   Finally, he questioned the benefit                                                               
of data collection  to the charter operators; in  fact, there has                                                               
not been an increase in the  allotment of fish and the release of                                                               
data to federal  authorities has been detrimental  to the charter                                                               
operators.    Mr. Grove  restated  his  opposition to  the  bill;                                                               
however, should  the bill  pass, he  encouraged the  committee to                                                               
retain the 2012 sunset clause.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:11:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ inquired  as  to  the federal  requirements                                                               
with which charter operators must comply.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:11:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GROVE  said  a  federal   limited  entry  program  is  being                                                               
instituted in 2011,  requiring a permit to fish for  halibut.  He                                                               
predicted 38  percent of  the halibut  charter operators  will be                                                               
put out of business because of the limited entry program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  asked  whether  there  is  a  compensation                                                               
component.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GROVE said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:12:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KEN  LARSON,   Secretary,  Prince  William  Sound   Charter  Boat                                                               
Association,  stated that  the members  of  his organization  and                                                               
sister organizations want the record  to reflect their opposition                                                               
to HB 246.  While recognizing  the need for the guide and logbook                                                               
program,   the  program   should  not   be  funded   as  it   is.                                                               
Additionally,  many members  support  the  termination or  sunset                                                               
clause  of the  guide license  fees.   He recommended  that ADF&G                                                               
"look for  other funding  sources, like  sport fish  licenses, or                                                               
other  internal funds,  because  ... the  economy has  definitely                                                               
tanked; ...  things like  the one-fish  limit down  in Southeast,                                                               
the  limited entry  program  which  will put  38  percent of  the                                                               
charter, halibut charter  operators out of business  in 2011, and                                                               
...  the program  has  only  generated about  55  percent of  the                                                               
operating expense."   Mr. Larson referred to the  fiscal note and                                                               
pointed out that  the program received no federal  funds from the                                                               
National  Oceanic and  Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) to  pay                                                               
for  the logbook  data  from  which it  benefits.   Charter  boat                                                               
operators  pay $100  for the  annual state  business license  and                                                               
also  buy  individual  sport  fishing   licenses;  in  fact,  the                                                               
national  registry  only  costs  $25  per angler.    As  NOAA  is                                                               
handling  the halibut  limited entry  permit program,  Mr. Larson                                                               
said he expects  there will charges similar to  those assessed to                                                               
commercial  fisherman.   He stressed  the  inequity of  requiring                                                               
charter operators to  purchase a state business  license, a guide                                                               
license, and  a sport fishing license,  when commercial fishermen                                                               
are  not required  to do  the same.   Mr.  Larson encouraged  the                                                               
committee to allow the legislation to "sunset."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:15:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON closed  public testimony, and announced  that HB 246                                                               
would be held.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:16:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Fisheries meeting  was adjourned  at 11:16                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 365-SE Revitalization Assn Ltr.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 365
HB 389--Commercial Fishing Loan Fund Home Page.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 389
HB 389--Committee Substitute LS1441 P 3.1.10.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 389
HB 389--DCCED statistics for loan servicing.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 389
HB 389--Sponsor Statement.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 389
HB 389--CED-INV-3-12-10 Fiscal Note.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 389
HB 246--Sponsor Statement.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 246
HB 246--DFG-SFD-03-10-10 Fiscal Note.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 246
HB 246--LICENSING BRIEF.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 246
HB 246--Amendment 3 15 2010 H FISH.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 246
HB 246--Amendment Rationale 3 15 2010 H FISH.pdf HFSH 3/16/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 246