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 (CFOS)                                                                                  
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)                                                                                            
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.                                                                                  
MILO ADKISON, PhD, Chair                                                                                                        
Department of Fisheries                                                                                                         
Juneau Center                                                                                                                   
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS)                                                                                  
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)                                                                                            
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.                                                                                  
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:05:30 AM                                                                                                                   
[Due to recording difficulties from  11:05 a.m. to 11:07 a.m. the                                                               
following was reconstructed from the secretary's log notes.]                                                                    
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 (CFOS),  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;                                                               
as well in  FY 18, $11 million was budgeted  for the operation of                                                               
the research vessel (R/V) Sikuliaq (slide 2).                                                                                   
DR. MORAN  reviewed slide  3 which  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 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).  These funds go                                                               
to support  coastal communities, research,  particularly students                                                               
and presentations, to  advance knowledge that is  very focused on                                                               
fisheries, marine biology, and ocean science.                                                                                   
11:12:46 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. MORAN  said the applied side  CFOS's work is the  building of                                                               
innovation  and the  commercialization of  a blue  economy (slide                                                               
6).   He said the company  Blue Evolution has been  leasing space                                                               
at the CFOS facility  in Kodiak for the last few  years.  In this                                                               
collaboration  Blue  Evolution  is processing  kelp  for  market.                                                               
Industry has  begun a  new effort,  the Blue  Pipeline Incubator,                                                               
which   is  completely   funded   externally   by  industry   and                                                               
particularly the town  of Seward.  It is designed  as an industry                                                               
business incubator for ocean  business and workforce development,                                                               
it is active work and space  is being leased from CFOS in Seward.                                                               
The U.S.  Department of  Energy has  a program  called Macroalgae                                                               
Research Inspiring  Novel Energy Resources (MARINER)  through the                                                               
Advanced Research  Projects Agency  - Energy (ARPA-E),  a project                                                               
on sugar kelp  that Senator Lisa Murkowski was out  front on.  It                                                               
is a collaboration with many  institutes and organizations in the                                                               
Lower  48  and is  led  by  CFOS  and  the University  of  Alaska                                                               
Southeast  (UAS).    Another  example  of  collaboration  is  the                                                               
development of  pet treats from fish  skins for commercialization                                                               
that is being done at the CFOS Kodiak facility.                                                                                 
11:14:27 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. MORAN  drew attention to the  additional specific facilities,                                                               
faculty, and  active research in  mariculture listed on  slide 7.                                                               
He pointed out that Kodiak  is a seafood research and development                                                               
facility  and  there  are  other research  locations.    He  said                                                               
mariculture  is being  worked on  actively in  several locations.                                                               
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 March 2014 by  CFOS with operating funds from NSF;                                                               
CFOS renewed  its $33 million  cooperative agreement  to continue                                                               
vessel  operations  through 2023.    He  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 under  federal mandate,                                                               
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 replied  there was no open competition  for the current                                                               
2018-2023 award,  but 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                                                               
11:18:22 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. MORAN  continued his  presentation.   He said  that 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.                                                                                                         
DR. ADKISON turned to slide  16 which illustrated analyses of the                                                               
Tanner crab  limit which  suggested the  existing size  limit may                                                               
not be  optimal for the fishery.   He said analyses  are reviewed                                                               
by  students  and  faculty.    Faculty  also  serve  on  numerous                                                               
advisory committees  where they  also review and  guide research,                                                               
such  as  the North  Pacific  Research  Council's Scientific  and                                                               
Statistical Committee,  as well  as numerous advisory  groups for                                                               
the Alaska Department of Fish and  Game (ADF&G) to help guide and                                                               
review  the  department's research.  Dr.  Adkison  said slide  17                                                               
illustrated a  study that  looked at the  fate of  Douglas Island                                                               
Pink and Chum (DIPAC) Hatchery's  chum salmon releases during the                                                               
first  couple of  weeks after  leaving the  hatchery and  the fry                                                               
resided in the  near-shore waters.  The study looked  at what was                                                               
eating them  and what the  impact was.  The  size of the  fish at                                                               
release was looked at and whether  size makes a difference in how                                                               
vulnerable they were to predation.                                                                                              
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.                                                                                                           
DR. MORAN closed  the presentation, noting that both  UAA and UAS                                                               
conduct fisheries  research, such as research  on shark cartilage                                                               
with biomedical applications, including  knee meniscus and combat                                                               
injuries with veterans.  He  said CFOS programs include fisheries                                                               
economists and policymakers throughout  the UA system (slide 19).                                                               
The  Alaska Sea  Grant program  at  UAS interacts  with the  CFOS                                                               
undergraduate joint program  and there is the  MARINER program on                                                               
11:38:56 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   EDGMON   asked    whether   the   aforementioned                                                               
improvements to  shoreside facilities for the  R/V Sikuliaq would                                                               
need to be funded through the state's capital budget.                                                                           
DR.  MORAN  replied  that  CFOS's current  strategy  is  to  seek                                                               
funding  from  NSF for  replacement  of  the pier  and  warehouse                                                               
facilities.   The NSF has  a call for proposals  around mid-scale                                                               
research infrastructure  and CFOS  is putting  in a  proposal for                                                               
roughly $40 million to that call  for replacement of the pier and                                                               
warehouse facilities.   He noted that Senator  Lisa Murkowski and                                                               
Senator Dan Sullivan  just successfully got a  U.S. Department of                                                               
Defense appropriation for a new  icebreaker and four cutters plus                                                               
shoreside  support.    He  offered  his  understanding  that  $31                                                               
million  was  allocated to  Seward  and  $22 million  to  Kodiak.                                                               
University  leadership is  looking  into whether  there might  be                                                               
some  funding  synergy  for  the  civilian  side  in  this.    He                                                               
clarified that renewal of the  operating agreement in 2023 is not                                                               
contingent upon  improved shoreside facilities; the  agreement is                                                               
based  upon  the track  record  of  successful operation  of  the                                                               
vessel.   There  are shoreside  facilities, but  they need  to be                                                               
11:42:26 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Fisheries meeting was adjourned at 11:42                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2019 03 05 - UA Fisheries & Ocean Sciences - House Fisheries Committee.pdf HFSH 3/5/2019 11:00:00 AM