Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

03/05/2019 11:00 AM FISHERIES

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Audio Topic
11:05:30 AM Start
11:07:22 AM Presentation(s): University of Alaska Fairbanks
11:42:26 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ Presentation: Building AK's Blue Economy - AK's TELECONFERENCED
College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences by the
College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences,
University of AK Fairbanks
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                         March 5, 2019                                                                                          
                           11:05 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
S. BRADLEY MORAN, PhD, Dean                                                                                                     
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences                                                                                         
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                             
entitled,  "UAF   College  of   Fisheries  and   Ocean  Sciences:                                                               
Building  Alaska's  Blue  Economy," dated  3/4/19,  and  answered                                                               
MILO ADKISON, PhD, Chair                                                                                                        
Department of Fisheries                                                                                                         
Juneau Center                                                                                                                   
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences                                                                                         
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                             
entitled,  "UAF   College  of   Fisheries  and   Ocean  Sciences:                                                               
Building  Alaska's  Blue  Economy," dated  3/4/19,  and  answered                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:05:30 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries  meeting  to  order  at  11:05  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Edgmon, Kopp,  Tarr, Vance, and  Stutes were present at  the call                                                               
to order.   Representative Kreiss-Tomkins arrived  as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS                                                                               
        PRESENTATION(S):  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS                                                                    
11:07:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation  by the College  of Fisheries and  Ocean Sciences,                                                               
University of Alaska Fairbanks.                                                                                                 
11:07:35 AM                                                                                                                   
S.  BRADLEY MORAN,  PhD,  Dean, College  of  Fisheries and  Ocean                                                               
Sciences,  University  of  Alaska  Fairbanks  (UAF),  provided  a                                                               
PowerPoint presentation  entitled, "UAF College of  Fisheries and                                                               
Ocean  Sciences:   Building Alaska's  Blue Economy."   Dr.  Moran                                                               
said the  main message  he seeks  to convey is  the value  of the                                                               
college  and  the return  on  investment  (ROI) provided  by  the                                                               
college to  the state and its  fisheries.  In fact,  the theme of                                                               
the presentation,  Building Alaska's Blue Economy,  represents an                                                               
opportunity to  diversify the  state's economy.   The  College of                                                               
Fisheries  and  Ocean  Science (CFOS)  is  the  largest  combined                                                               
research and academic  unit in Alaska with 12  locations and many                                                               
partnerships  statewide,  nationally,  and internationally.    He                                                               
pointed  out  in  fiscal  year   2018  (FY  18)  $46  million  in                                                               
expenditures for the college were  leveraged from $5.9 million in                                                               
general funds, which  equals an 8:1 ROI.   Further, $22.8 million                                                               
in research  expenditures were almost entirely  federally funded;                                                               
also in FY 18, $11 million  was budgeted for the operation of the                                                               
research  vessel  (R/V)  Sikuliaq  (slide 2).    Slide  3  listed                                                               
research  and economic  drivers of  the "blue  economy" including                                                               
the Alaska  Sea Grant  Program, a  partnership with  the National                                                               
Oceanic  and Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA),  U.S. Department                                                               
of Commerce,  various institutes,  and the  R/V Sikuliaq,  all of                                                               
which enable CFOS  to fulfil its mission to the  state (slide 3).                                                               
Slide 4 illustrated  that CFOS partners with  a large cooperative                                                               
of industry - consisting of  the Pollock Conservation Cooperative                                                               
Research  Center  and  four  at-sea processors  -  which  is  the                                                               
largest  philanthropic donor  to the  University of  Alaska (UA),                                                               
contributing  $16 million  through 2019,  and that  also supports                                                               
the  Ted  Stevens Distinguished  Chair  in  Marine Policy,  CFOS.                                                               
Further partnerships  that leverage federal funds  are the Alaska                                                               
Sea Grant partnership in the  amount of $1.5 million annually and                                                               
Bureau of  Ocean Energy Management,  Department of  the Interior,                                                               
funding  to the  Coastal Marine  Institute  in the  amount of  $1                                                               
million (slide 5).                                                                                                              
11:12:02 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  MORAN   further  explained   building  innovation   and  the                                                               
commercialization  of  a blue  economy  is  the applied  side  of                                                               
CFOS's work:   collaboration between CFOS  and industry including                                                               
the  Blue Evolution  company which  processes kelp  and the  Blue                                                               
Pipeline Incubator  for ocean business and  workforce development                                                               
funded  by industry;  collaboration with  the U.S.  Department of                                                               
Energy;  products  such as  pet  treats  (slide 6).    Additional                                                               
specific facilities, faculty, and  active research in mariculture                                                               
were listed  on slide 7.   Dr. Moran turned attention  to the R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq,  the  only  ice-capable  research vessel  in  the  U.S.                                                               
academic fleet.   R/V Sikuliaq  is owned by the  National Science                                                               
Foundation (NSF) and  operated since 3/14 by  CFOS with operating                                                               
funds  from  NSF;  CFOS  renewed   its  $33  million  cooperative                                                               
agreement to continue vessel operations  through 2023.  Dr. Moran                                                               
stressed  the  vessel  is entirely  operated  by  federal  funds,                                                               
including  funding  for  certain  shoreside  staff,  and  is  the                                                               
largest research  asset operated by UAF  in the state.   In 2023,                                                               
the  R/V  Sikuliaq  operating  funds   award  will  be  open  for                                                               
competitive  bidding  and  CFOS  seeks to  expand  its  shoreside                                                               
facilities in Seward to demonstrate  to NSF its commitment to the                                                               
11:17:28 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR STUTES  inquired as to  UAF's competitors in its  bid to                                                               
operate the R/V Sikuliaq.                                                                                                       
DR.  MORAN  explained  there  was no  open  competition  for  the                                                               
current  2018-2023 award,  however, in  2023, the  award will  be                                                               
subject  to an  open  competition.   He  surmised  there will  be                                                               
interest  in  the  vessel  from many  institutions  such  as  the                                                               
University  of Washington,  Scripps Institution  of Oceanography,                                                               
the  University  of  California  at San  Diego,  and  Woods  Hole                                                               
Oceanographic Institution.   Currently, the R/V  Sikuliaq is used                                                               
by  CFOS  to  support  the  Northern  Gulf  of  Alaska  Long-term                                                               
Ecosystem Research  (NGA LTER)  program -  one of  four long-term                                                               
research studies  - which  garners $2.5  million in  research and                                                               
ship time annually.   Similar LTER programs are  highly sought in                                                               
order  to  understand  the  ecosystems  that  support  commercial                                                               
fisheries  in the  northern Gulf  of Alaska  (slide 9).   Another                                                               
aspect to  building Alaska's blue  economy is the  European Union                                                               
(EU) Arctic  Research Icebreaker  Consortium, which  includes the                                                               
R/V Sikuliaq, and that receives funding  from EU for ship days at                                                               
sea  in support  of joint  research activities  (slide 10).   Dr.                                                               
Moran  provided statistics  on  Alaska's  commercial, sport,  and                                                               
subsistence fisheries  and noted  CFOS graduate students  work in                                                               
industry  and  in [ADFG]  in  support  of commercial  and  inland                                                               
fisheries, and he  gave two examples (slide 11).   He pointed out                                                               
47 percent of  the CFOS faculty are women, and  70 percent of the                                                               
students are  women.   Finally, he  informed the  committee CFOS,                                                               
through  the  School of  Management,  is  offering a  new  online                                                               
program, UAF  Blue MBA,  that is  unique in the  nation and  is a                                                               
fully  accredited MBA  program to  address fisheries  management,                                                               
ocean technology, and business solutions  for the changing Arctic                                                               
(slide 12).                                                                                                                     
11:23:25 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  STUTES  asked  for  additional  information  about  the                                                               
Alaska Sea Grant program.                                                                                                       
DR. MORAN explained the [National  Sea Grant College Program Act]                                                               
requires  a  50  percent  match of  federal  funds,  thus  NOAA's                                                               
contribution of $1.5  million annually to UAF must  be matched by                                                               
a minimum  of $800,000; in fact,  UAF pays about $1.2  million in                                                               
support of the program.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE questioned  who would  gain financially  by                                                               
operating the R/V Sikuliaq.                                                                                                     
DR.  MORAN  said CFOS  receives  about  $12 million  annually  to                                                               
operate  the  vessel and  the  indirect  cost recovery  (ICR)  is                                                               
almost $1 million to the college;  in FY 18, CFOS has accumulated                                                               
about  $2.6 million  in  ICR which  is used  to  pay for  college                                                               
operations.   He observed  any entity would  want to  operate the                                                               
vessel because of  the ICR benefits to the  entity.  Furthermore,                                                               
operating  big facilities  such as  the R/V  Sikuliaq are  highly                                                               
desired  to  leverage  state  investment  and  support  a  larger                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  whether  CFOS  conducts research  on                                                               
fisheries  that  would  indicate  a  10-year  ROI  from  Alaska's                                                               
fisheries  resources.   For example,  if the  fisheries resources                                                               
diminish, what the  impact of that loss would be  to the economy,                                                               
subsistence, and personal use.                                                                                                  
11:27:16 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. MORAN advised  CFOS is a resource for state  agencies and for                                                               
those who manage fisheries inland  and offshore.  For many years,                                                               
faculty  members   have  been  instrumental  in   setting  policy                                                               
management  by  the  North  Pacific  Fishery  Management  Council                                                               
[established  by the  Magnuson-Stevens  Fishery Conservation  and                                                               
Management Act of 1967], and  he opined the North Pacific fishery                                                               
is  managed  as  well or  better  than  any  in  the world.    He                                                               
     If that were all to go away, ... we would have serious                                                                     
      challenges in managing those fisheries. ... We are a                                                                      
     resource, for that, for that purpose.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  commended CFOS and the  critical research it                                                               
does to  sustain Alaska's fisheries.   He observed over  the past                                                               
five  to six  years UAF  has developed  an exemplary  partnership                                                               
with NSF  which, along  with the operation  of the  R/V Sikuliaq,                                                               
are significant successes.                                                                                                      
11:30:29 AM                                                                                                                   
MILO  ADKISON,  PhD,  Chair,   Department  of  Fisheries,  Juneau                                                               
Center, CFOS, UAF,  pointed out most of the  research referred to                                                               
in the presentation  is done through graduate  student theses and                                                               
dissertations; subsequent  to the  completion of  their research,                                                               
many  students go  to  work at  ADFG and  federal  agencies.   In                                                               
response to  Representative Vance's earlier question,  he advised                                                               
faculty  are  studying  the economic  implications  of  potential                                                               
downturns  in  [fisheries] on  subsistence  issues  and on  rural                                                               
communities.  Slide 13 illustrated  an example of industry-funded                                                               
research in the Beaufort Sea  on fish communities, bioenergetics,                                                               
and growth,  which is  valuable to  the oil  and gas  industry in                                                               
support of impact  analysis.  Slide 14 illustrated  an example of                                                               
research  in   the  problem  of   economic  losses   to  longline                                                               
commercial  fisheries  due  to depredation  by  whales;  graduate                                                               
students  are  conducting research  on  stock  assessment and  on                                                               
methods to  deter this behavior.   Slide 15  illustrated research                                                               
into trends  in the size  of Pacific  halibut and the  effects of                                                               
changes   in   fisheries  yield   that   may   be  permanent   or                                                               
environmentally  driven.   Slide 16  illustrated analyses  of the                                                               
Tanner crab limit  which suggested the existing limit  may not be                                                               
optimal  for  the  fishery.    Dr.  Adkison  noted  analyses  are                                                               
reviewed by students and faculty;  faculty also serve on numerous                                                               
advisory committees  where they  also review and  guide research.                                                               
Slide 17 illustrated a study of  the fate of hatchery salmon that                                                               
are released and reside in near-shore waters.                                                                                   
11:35:00 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. ADKISON continued to slide  18 on fishery management research                                                               
into the  decline of Chinook  salmon returns.   Although survival                                                               
of salmon cohorts  is usually determined early  in life, research                                                               
at  sea  revealed  a  sudden increase  in  temperature  that  may                                                               
indicate predation  of salmon by  salmon shark.   Another student                                                               
study  on the  effects  of  hatchery fish  on  wild stocks  found                                                               
hatchery fish may  not be as successful at  reproducing than wild                                                               
fish; in  fact, about one-half  of the hatchery fish  died before                                                               
releasing their eggs (slide 18).                                                                                                
DR.  MORAN closed,  noting  both UAA  and  UAS conduct  fisheries                                                               
research,  such as  research on  shark cartilage  with biomedical                                                               
applications,  and there  are programs  for fisheries  economists                                                               
and policymakers throughout the UA system (slide 19).                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   EDGMON   asked    whether   the   aforementioned                                                               
improvements to  shoreside facilities for the  R/V Sikuliaq would                                                               
be funded through the state's capital budget.                                                                                   
11:39:47 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  MORAN said  CFOS would  seek funding  in the  amount of  $40                                                               
million  from  NSF for  replacement  of  the pier  and  warehouse                                                               
facilities.   He pointed  out $31 million  has been  allocated to                                                               
Seward by  the U.S. Department  of Defense for  shoreline support                                                               
of a new icebreaker and four  cutters, and suggested there may be                                                               
[funding] sources from  the "civilian side."    He clarified that                                                               
renewal  of  the  operating  agreement  is  not  contingent  upon                                                               
improved shoreside  facilities; the  agreement is based  upon the                                                               
successful operation of the vessel.                                                                                             
11:42:26 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Fisheries meeting was adjourned at 11:42                                                                   

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