Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

01/28/2020 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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Audio Topic
10:02:07 AM Start
10:02:54 AM Presentation(s): the Value of Alaska's Seafood by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
10:49:32 AM Presentation(s): Div. of Commercial Fisheries Return on Investment by the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game
11:05:37 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentations: TELECONFERENCED
- The Value of Alaska's Seafood by the Alaska
Seafood Marketing Institute
- Div. of Commercial Fisheries Return on
Investment by the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                        January 28, 2020                                                                                        
                           10:02 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
Representative Daniel Ortiz                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S): THE VALUE OF ALASKA'S SEAFOOD BY THE ALASKA                                                                    
SEAFOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S): DIV. OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES RETURN ON                                                                         
INVESTMENT BY THE ALASKA DEPT. OF FISH & GAME                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JEREMY WOODROW, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI)                                                                                       
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered a Presentation on The Value of                                                                   
Alaska's Seafood.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SAM RABUNG, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered a  presentation on The  Division of                                                             
Commercial Fisheries Return on Investment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:02:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries  meeting  to  order  at  10:02  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Stutes, Edgmon,  Vance, and  Neuman were present  at the  call to                                                               
order.   Representatives Kopp,  Kreiss-Tomkins, and  Tarr arrived                                                               
as  the  meeting  was  in  progress.    Also  in  attendance  was                                                               
Representative Ortiz.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  THE VALUE  OF ALASKA'S  SEAFOOD BY  THE ALASKA                                                               
SEAFOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE                                                                                                     
  PRESENTATION(S): THE VALUE OF ALASKA'S SEAFOOD BY THE ALASKA                                                              
                  SEAFOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
10:02:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
a presentation  on The  Value of Alaska's  Seafood by  the Alaska                                                               
Seafood Marketing Institute.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:03:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES stated  she had  invited Representative  Ortiz, the                                                               
Chair of the House Fish &  Game (DFG) finance subcommittee to the                                                               
meeting, as  the presentations being  heard were designed  to set                                                               
the   stage  for   the  budget   discussion   in  the   following                                                               
subcommittee meeting.   Chair Stutes  explained that  Alaska sees                                                               
an  amazing  financial  return  on every  dollar  it  invests  in                                                               
commercial fisheries.   She expressed  that, when  making funding                                                               
and budget decisions,  it is crucial to  consider that commercial                                                               
fisheries  more than  pay for  themselves  and other  industries.                                                               
She explained  that some  of the return  on investment  seen from                                                               
fisheries could  be best  explained by  the Alaska  Department of                                                               
Fish & Game (ADF&G) Division  of Commercial Fisheries "division,"                                                               
while other  indirect benefits could  be better explained  by the                                                               
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:04:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JEREMY  WOODROW,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Seafood  Marketing                                                               
Institute   (ASMI),  Department   of  Commerce,   Community,  and                                                               
Economic Development,  offered a  PowerPoint presentation  on The                                                               
Value of  Alaska's Seafood.   He explained that  the presentation                                                               
would  be covered  in two  parts:   the first  part would  be the                                                               
economic impact of Alaska seafood;  the second part would be what                                                               
impacts that value from a global perspective.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:05:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  explained that  ASMI is  the official  marketing arm                                                               
for Alaska  seafood.   The ASMI  is a  public/private partnership                                                               
between  the  State of  Alaska  and  the  seafood industry.    He                                                               
pointed out that the mission of  ASMI is to maximize the economic                                                               
value of seafood resources.   He explained that ASMI accomplishes                                                               
this  mission  in  three  different ways,  by:    protecting  and                                                               
building the  Alaska seafood brand worldwide,  developing markets                                                               
for seafood products around the  world, and working directly with                                                               
the seafood industry to ensure that their missions align.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:06:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW referenced  The Economic  Value of  Alaska's Seafood                                                               
Industry report [handout  included in the committee  packet].  He                                                               
explained  that Alaska  seafood  is the  cornerstone of  Alaska's                                                               
seafood  economy.     Referencing  slide  4   of  the  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation,  he pointed  out that  Alaska  employs over  60,000                                                               
workers annually and contributes  millions of dollars in federal,                                                               
state, and local taxes.   He emphasized that the seafood industry                                                               
is not only large  for Alaska, it is also a  driving force in the                                                               
overall U.S. economy.  He  added that the Alaska seafood industry                                                               
employs workers from every U.S. state annually.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:07:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  added that sport fisheries  in Alaska have                                                               
a huge economic impact as  well; it's not only commercial fishing                                                               
that  makes an  impact.    He gave  saltwater  salmon fishing  in                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) as  an example of this.   He asked Mr.                                                               
Woodrow whether  he knew  what the economic  impact of  the sport                                                               
fisheries might be.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:08:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW  answered that  sport  fisheries  have a  well-noted                                                               
impact  and are  considered by  ASMI when  it comes  to fisheries                                                               
management.   He  explained  that the  economic  impact of  sport                                                               
fisheries was not  included in this presentation and  he would be                                                               
speaking only about commercial fisheries.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:08:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  noted that the  committee could address  this issue                                                               
at a following meeting if Representative Neuman would like.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN replied that he  would be glad to work with                                                               
Chair Stutes and her staff to arrange that.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 5,  explained that the ADF&G would                                                               
touch  on this  topic in  its presentation  as well,  but he  was                                                               
going to  refer to  it more  from an  investor's standpoint.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that  the  volume   of  fish  harvested  in  Alaska                                                               
fisheries  stays  consistent  "year-over-year."    He  said  that                                                               
Alaska  fisheries are  "fully exploited,"  which  means they  are                                                               
mature, maximized,  and stable.   He explained that what  will be                                                               
fished  in  Alaska  each  year   can  be  expected,  because  the                                                               
fisheries  are managed  to be  sustainable.   He  added that  the                                                               
ADF&G could explain  this more than he could.   Referencing slide                                                               
5, he pointed out that the  ex-vessel volume in Alaska has stayed                                                               
mostly  consistent, while  the ex-vessel  value has  continued to                                                               
climb.   He  said that  the climbing  ex-vessel value  is a  good                                                               
thing and is  one of the reasons for organizations  such as ASMI.                                                               
He explained  that "ex-vessel" is  the term used to  describe the                                                               
first sale between fishermen and  whoever purchases the fish from                                                               
them and processes it for supply chains.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing a chart on slide 5, showed that the ex-                                                                
vessel  volume in  Alaska  was  dominated by  a  couple of  major                                                               
species, primarily  Alaska pollock.   Alaska has  a lot  of high-                                                               
value, low-volume species, such  as halibut, sablefish, and crab,                                                               
which represent only 2 percent  of the total volume, but comprise                                                               
over 25 percent  of the total value.  He  highlighted that Alaska                                                               
has an array of species that  fit in well with markets around the                                                               
world.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:10:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  asked Mr.  Woodrow whether  his presentation                                                               
would  address any  fishery  closure  announcements and  concerns                                                               
regarding overall population health.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:10:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW responded that he  would be touching on those topics;                                                               
however,  he is  not a  sustainability or  management expert  and                                                               
wouldn't be able to explain those topics in depth.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:10:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES added that Sam  Rabung from the Alaska Department of                                                               
Fish &  Game, Division of Commercial  Fisheries "division", would                                                               
be  offering a  presentation after  Mr. Woodrow  and he  might be                                                               
able to touch more in depth on those topics.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:10:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR clarified that she  was referring to a recent                                                               
announcement about  a federal closure  for pollock  fisheries and                                                               
wanted to understand how that relates to Alaska fisheries.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:11:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW replied  that he thinks Representative  Tarr might be                                                               
referring to a  federal closure for cod fisheries  and added that                                                               
he would touch on that in a later slide in his presentation.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:11:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  Mr.  Woodrow to  give  an update  on                                                               
Alaska seafood being marketed in the school lunch program.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  responded that  he would be  touching on  the school                                                               
lunch program in a later  slide in the presentation.  Referencing                                                               
slide 6,  he stated that  "first wholesale"  is the term  used to                                                               
describe the next  step of the seafood sale process  in which the                                                               
fish is processed and then sold  to the next person in the supply                                                               
chain.   He added that  Alaska seafood touches many  hands before                                                               
it reaches  customers worldwide.   Comparing slides  5 and  6, he                                                               
pointed out  that there  is a  lot of  opportunity in  the excess                                                               
amount  of  fish between  ex-vessel  volume  and first  wholesale                                                               
volume.     He explained  that it  is a  difference of  3 billion                                                               
pounds  of   fish  that  could   go  to  fish  meal,   pet  food,                                                               
pharmaceuticals,  and nutraceuticals.   He  expressed that  these                                                               
are all ways to increase the value of a mature fishery.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:13:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing  slide 7, showed that  the total harvest                                                               
volume in Alaska fisheries has  stayed consistently between 5 and                                                               
6 billion pounds over the past  20 years.  The ex-vessel value is                                                               
continuing to climb  due to steady values  and continuing demands                                                               
for Alaska  seafood in world markets.   He pointed out  that 2009                                                               
had a  low salmon and  pollock harvest which brought  down volume                                                               
and prices.   When those  volumes recovered, the  value recovered                                                               
as well.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:13:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 8,  talked about different seafood                                                               
products  that Alaska  exports.   He explained  that the  largest                                                               
portion of  exports are  headed and gutted  (H&G) or  whole fish,                                                               
approximately  41 percent.    Fillets are  a  growing portion  of                                                               
exports, considered  to be value-added  products, that  enter the                                                               
market  as a  final product.   He  said that  surimi, which  is a                                                               
paste  protein created  from pollock  used  in a  lot of  seafood                                                               
products, is  a growing  portion of exports.   He  explained that                                                               
surimi is popular  in Japan and is used in  many ways, giving the                                                               
example that  children sprinkle surimi  flakes shaped  like Hello                                                               
Kitty and Mickey Mouse on their  rice.  He stated that 66 percent                                                               
of  Alaska seafood  value is  exported  and 33  percent stays  in                                                               
Alaska  domestically.   What  that  means  is  that the  U.S.  is                                                               
overall the most important customer  for Alaska seafood products;                                                               
most of  the high-value, low-volume species  exported from Alaska                                                               
enter the U.S.  Most  of the low-value, high-volume species, such                                                               
as pollock,  pink salmon,  and flatfish  species are  exported to                                                               
foreign markets.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:15:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 9, gave  a quick update on the key                                                               
species of Alaska fish.  He  said that pollock continues to climb                                                               
in value,  represents a large  portion of volume, and  presents a                                                               
lot of opportunity  to grow value.  He said  that the Pacific cod                                                               
supply is currently at a  20-year low; as Representative Tarr had                                                               
alluded  to  previously,  there  was a  federal  closure  of  the                                                               
fishery in the  Gulf of Alaska.   He added that if  there was any                                                               
caveat to the closure, it is  that 96 percent of cod harvested in                                                               
Alaska comes  from outside of the  Gulf of Alaska.   He said that                                                               
Alaska  does still  have  a significant  supply  of Pacific  cod;                                                               
however,  Alaska is  a  small contributor  to  the overall  world                                                               
supply  of cod  and  does not  have a  driving  influence on  the                                                               
overall market.   He  said that the  sablefish harvest  volume is                                                               
recovering,  but the  biomass consists  primarily of  small fish.                                                               
Small  fish  command   a  much  lower  value   than  large  fish;                                                               
therefore, the  biomass is  not currently as  valuable as  it has                                                               
been in  years past.   He  added that if  these fish  continue to                                                               
grow, then  the fishery  will rebound its  value and  become more                                                               
valuable in subsequent years.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW stated  that halibut harvests are down  to 20 percent                                                               
of what they  were in the early 2000s.   He explained that, after                                                               
halibut  prices peaked,  consumers reacted,  and the  prices have                                                               
come down in recent years.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:17:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS asked Mr.  Woodrow whether he could                                                               
speak   to   ASMI's   assessment   on   the   market   risks   of                                                               
experimentations around  farmed halibut  and farmed  sablefish in                                                               
relation to wild Alaska supplies.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:17:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW answered that farmed  species are growing but are not                                                               
yet a large portion of the market.   He said that he foresees the                                                               
challenge for Alaska  seafood will come from the  distance it has                                                               
to  markets  and the  time  it  takes  for  its supply  to  reach                                                               
consumers.  He explained that  farmed species are primarily being                                                               
grown in  Norway and  other parts  of Europe,  and they  have the                                                               
availability to  deliver fresh product to  market, which commands                                                               
a higher price.  He said  that consumers have a mindset that they                                                               
prefer  fresh fish  and it  is  easier to  market for  that.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that  competition  can already  be  seen  with  the                                                               
Atlantic  halibut  supply.   He  stated  that  there has  been  a                                                               
rebound in  Atlantic halibut  stocks, which he  feels is  a great                                                               
sustainability story,  but with  that comes more  competition for                                                               
Alaska halibut.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:19:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether there  is a  belief                                                               
that farmed halibut  and farmed sablefish could  become as robust                                                               
an industry as the farmed salmon industry has become.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:19:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW  replied  that  he  has  not  seen  a  lot  of  good                                                               
information  regarding  that topic  yet.    He pointed  out  that                                                               
farmed  salmon  currently  represents   approximately  80  to  85                                                               
percent of the  world salmon market, so he can  see potential for                                                               
that to happen with the halibut and sablefish fisheries as well.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:19:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked Mr. Woodrow  whether he could speak to                                                               
the reasons  why halibut  harvest levels are  20 percent  of what                                                               
they were in the early 2000s.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:19:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW answered  that  he is  not an  expert  on why  those                                                               
fisheries  are fluctuating,  and  that question  would be  better                                                               
suited for a fisheries manager.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:20:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked Mr. Woodrow  whether he has noticed a                                                               
decline in  targeted species compared to  non-targeted species in                                                               
the biomass, a decline in the  total biomass, or a decline in ex-                                                               
vessel volume over the last 20 years.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:20:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW replied  that ex-vessel  volume has  been consistent                                                               
over the past  20 years with a slight increase.   Some fisheries,                                                               
such as  pollock, have  continued to  have high  volume harvests.                                                               
He said  that Alaska's  fisheries are very  well managed  and are                                                               
considered  the gold  standard in  sustainability.   He explained                                                               
that there have  been some swings from  year-to-year, but overall                                                               
the volume has been consistent.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  pointed out  that he finds  it interesting                                                               
the  ex-vessel volume  has  stayed consistent  over  the past  20                                                               
years, yet the total biomass has  declined.  He expressed that he                                                               
thinks this  is a result  of important research and  science that                                                               
is funded by the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:21:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   STUTES  asked   Mr.  Woodrow   to  explain   briefly  why                                                               
mariculture is not addressed in this presentation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:22:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW explained  that mariculture  is not  currently under                                                               
ASMI's  purview, although  he believes  there is  an interest  in                                                               
changing the  statute to have ASMI  market it.  He  added that it                                                               
is not considered  to be part of ASMI's  commercial portfolio yet                                                               
and  guessed that  if added,  mariculture would  be a  very small                                                               
percentage  of  overall  volume.   He  clarified  that  the  term                                                               
mariculture means to use kelp  or bivalve to grow oysters, clams,                                                               
and geoducks.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked whether it  is ASMI's wish to have mariculture                                                               
added under its purview.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  answered that  at the most  recent board  meeting in                                                               
November,  ASMI's board  passed a  motion to  support legislation                                                               
that would amend  the ASMI statutes to  include mariculture under                                                               
its purview.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:23:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  Mr.  Woodrow whether  80 percent  of                                                               
Alaska salmon is farmed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW confirmed that that is correct.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  expressed that 80 percent  is an astounding                                                               
percentage.   She observed that  she thinks Alaskans  prefer wild                                                               
caught Alaska fish  over farmed fish, even though  farmed fish is                                                               
marketed  as fresher.    She explained  that  Alaskans aren't  as                                                               
concerned  with  freshness saying,  "It's  just  as good  in  our                                                               
freezer."  She asked Mr. Woodrow  to explain what the market feel                                                               
is towards  this, given such  an opposite perspective  in markets                                                               
other than Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  responded that Alaska  salmon is a niche  product in                                                               
the overall  market now.   He stated that wild  salmon represents                                                               
only  "about half  of that."    He explained  that Alaska  salmon                                                               
dominates the U.S.  market in terms of  wild salmon, representing                                                               
approximately 95 percent of the U.S.  wild salmon catch.  He said                                                               
there are consumers with whom  the characteristics of wild salmon                                                               
resonate,  and  those are  the  consumers  ASMI targets.    These                                                               
consumers see the  value in purchasing a product from  a wild and                                                               
pristine place  such as  Alaska; they  recognize that  the frozen                                                               
product from Alaska  is as good or better than  the fresh product                                                               
they might get from a farmed fishery in Norway or elsewhere.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   asked  Mr.  Woodrow  whether   Alaska  is                                                               
remaining steady,  or gaining ground,  in the farmed  versus wild                                                               
seafood markets.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW  answered  that  there  are  challenges  for  Alaska                                                               
seafood  in those  markets.   He stated  that ASMI  is seeing  an                                                               
increased  investment   from  seafood  competitors   and  outside                                                               
investments  from other  competing proteins.   He  explained that                                                               
current data shows Alaska seafood  is holding strong; however, as                                                               
more  investments are  made  by competitors  there  is a  growing                                                               
concern of a risk to Alaska's seafood market share.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE commented  that  she believes  it might  be                                                               
time to bring  back the campaign, "Friends don't  let friends eat                                                               
farmed  fish."   She  expressed  that  she  felt  it was  a  very                                                               
effective campaign when she was growing up.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:26:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked Mr. Woodrow  whether ASMI exclusively promotes                                                               
wild products.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  answered that the only  products commercially fished                                                               
in  Alaska  are  wild  caught;   therefore,  wild,  natural,  and                                                               
sustainable is an inherent part of ASMI's marketing strategy.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:26:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked Mr. Woodrow  whether Alaska seafood and                                                               
Alaska salmon is still the most recognized brand(s) in the U.S.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW answered  that Alaska seafood is  the most recognized                                                               
protein brand on  U.S. menus.  He gave the  example of Angus beef                                                               
as another protein brand on U.S. menus.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked to clarify  whether wild is part of the                                                               
Alaska seafood marketing campaign  or if consumers understand the                                                               
implication that it's wild and not farmed.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW replied  that ASMI certainly hopes it  is implied and                                                               
that consumers are responding to it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:27:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW,  referencing slide  10,  spoke  about the  economic                                                               
value of Alaska  seafood and the impact it has  on jobs in Alaska                                                               
and  the  U.S.   He  said  the  Alaska seafood  industry  employs                                                               
approximately 60,000  Alaska residents  and over  100,000 workers                                                               
nationally.   Alaska  fisheries  employ workers  from every  U.S.                                                               
state,  many  of them  involved  directly  with work  on  fishing                                                               
vessels; however,  there are several  shoreside workers  as well.                                                               
He offered that the economic  impact of Alaska seafood nationwide                                                               
is  approximately  $14 billion,  which  is  a significant  number                                                               
considering the size of Alaska and its fisheries.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:28:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW,  referencing slide 11, explained  that approximately                                                               
half of the workers employed  in the Alaska seafood industry work                                                               
as commercial  fishermen on fishing  vessels.  He  expressed that                                                               
he  thinks  Alaska  fisheries  are   inherently  designed  to  be                                                               
inefficient, which he sees as  a positive thing as it distributes                                                               
the wealth  of the industry  among more  people.  He  stated that                                                               
many  other fisheries  in the  world have  several large  fishing                                                               
vessels with few  workers, catching a lot of  fish; however, only                                                               
a  few people  benefit from  that resource.   He  reiterated that                                                               
Alaska fisheries allow  many people to benefit from  fishing as a                                                               
public resource.  He explained that  the other half of the Alaska                                                               
seafood industry's  workforce is  employed in processing  jobs or                                                               
the "management/hatcheries/other(s)" category.   He said that his                                                               
job  would be  placed in  the management  category, much  like an                                                               
ADF&G employee  or a  federal fisheries  employee.   The other(s)                                                               
category includes jobs like retail and welding.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW pointed out how  the Alaska seafood industry compares                                                               
to  other employment  sectors in  Alaska.   He said  that seafood                                                               
currently ranks  just behind the visitor  industry in employment.                                                               
He  added that  the visitor  industry has  continuously grown  in                                                               
recent years; it was slightly  behind the seafood industry in the                                                               
last employment  sectors study.   The overall economic  impact of                                                               
the  seafood industry  at $2.1  billion remains  higher than  the                                                               
visitor industry at $1.5 billion.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:29:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  asked Mr.  Woodrow  if  he  knows how  much  state                                                               
funding ASMI receives.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW responded  that ASMI  receives no  funding from  the                                                               
state.   He expounded that  the decision  was made by  a previous                                                               
administration  to bring  ASMI's  state funding  portion to  zero                                                               
over the  course of several  years.  As  a result, ASMI  is fully                                                               
funded by the seafood industry and federal grants.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether  Mr. Woodrow  knows  how much  state                                                               
funding the visitor industry receives.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW  replied  that  he  does  not  currently  have  that                                                               
information regarding the visitor industry.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:30:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW,  referencing  slide  12, spoke  about  the  seafood                                                               
industry's  jobs distribution  throughout Alaska.   He  explained                                                               
that  jobs  are  evenly  disbursed  across  the  regions  in  the                                                               
southern part  of Alaska where fish  are harvested.  There  are a                                                               
fairly  significant  number  of workers  in  the  Yukon-Kuskokwim                                                               
region, relative to  how small the fisheries in  that region are.                                                               
He pointed  out that a  healthy percentage of the  workforce live                                                               
in  coastal Alaska;  however, many  people who  live in  Interior                                                               
locations  of Alaska,  such  as  Fairbanks and  Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
(Mat-Su)  Valley,  participate  in  these  fisheries.    He  also                                                               
pointed out  that Naknek has  the second highest  ex-vessel value                                                               
in  Alaska,  which  had  increased  from  third  highest  in  the                                                               
previous study.  He added, "That's not knocking Kodiak at all."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:31:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  interjected that  that  is  because, "Kodiak  boys                                                               
choose to deliver in Naknek and Dutch Harbor, I'm sure."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW explained  that this increase in value  speaks to the                                                               
volume of  fish being  caught in Bristol  Bay recently;  the past                                                               
few years  have seen some  of the highest volumes  ever recorded.                                                               
The seafood industry in Bristol Bay  has invested a lot of effort                                                               
into increasing  the value of  its product,  specifically sockeye                                                               
salmon, through  better refrigeration  on fishing vessels  and on                                                               
shore.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:32:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON pointed  out, referencing  slide 12,  that                                                               
there are  no numbers from  2018 and  asked Mr. Woodrow  what the                                                               
reason is for a two-year lag.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW answered  that the  numbers shown  fluctuate between                                                               
2017  and 2018  combined.   He said  the numbers  do lag  on some                                                               
data, so  ASMI tries to  focus on  the most recent  complete data                                                               
sets.  He referenced how he  had talked about the ex-vessel value                                                               
of salmon  in 2019 earlier  in his presentation, even  though the                                                               
2019 numbers  for salmon have not  been completed yet.   This lag                                                               
in  data is  because  a  lot of  processors  pay  bonuses in  the                                                               
springtime for the previous year.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON asked to clarify  whether a good portion of                                                               
that data comes from the Department of Revenue (DOR).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW answered  that  the data  is  received from  several                                                               
sources including:   ADF&G, DOR, federal  fisheries, and National                                                               
Oceanic   and   Atmospheric  Administration   (NOAA)   fisheries.                                                               
Answering a  follow-up question,  he stated that  there is  not a                                                               
clearing house or a single source that compiles this data.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:33:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 13,  stated that one of the values                                                               
the seafood industry brings to Alaska  is a lower cost of living.                                                               
He  explained that  approximately one  billion pounds  of seafood                                                               
are exported  from Alaska per  year in containers.   The shipping                                                               
containers  are sent  to  Alaska full  of  dry goods,  furniture,                                                               
groceries,  cars, and  other various  goods, and  then leave  the                                                               
state  full of  fish.   He said  that this  is a  benefit to  the                                                               
Alaska seafood  industry as well  as Alaska residents.   He added                                                               
that  the economic  impact of  this extends  beyond just  coastal                                                               
communities;  anywhere   that  has  goods  delivered   in  Alaska                                                               
benefits as well.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:34:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW, referencing  slide 14,  explained that  the seafood                                                               
industry  in Alaska  contributes  approximately  $172 million  to                                                               
taxes  annually through  state,  municipal,  federal, and  salmon                                                               
hatchery  management pockets.   He  stated that  if the  value of                                                               
every  fishery in  Alaska increased  by just  one cent,  then the                                                               
$172  million dollars  in taxes  would increase  by approximately                                                               
$1.8 million.  If every  specie's ex-vessel value increased by 10                                                               
cents  it would  equate  to  an $11  million  increase to  state,                                                               
municipal and federal taxes.   He used this example to illustrate                                                               
how  even  a  small  change  in a  fisheries  value  can  have  a                                                               
significant economic impact to Alaska.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  stated that the  seafood industry in  Alaska invests                                                               
approximately $100  million annually in capital  improvements for                                                               
processors  and  shoreside  plants.     The  fleet  continues  to                                                               
modernize; several of the vessels  replaced in the past few years                                                               
have  been in  service  since  the early  1970s  and  1980s.   He                                                               
explained that  the industry invests  in replacing  older vessels                                                               
with newer ones  that are more efficient, to  stay competitive in                                                               
the world market.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:36:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW,  referencing slide  15,  spoke  about factors  that                                                               
impact  Alaska seafood's  value.   He  said that  supply plays  a                                                               
major role  in what Alaska can  sell its fish for.   He explained                                                               
supply and  demand; more  fish means  a lower  value.   He stated                                                               
that  inventory hold  over can  play a  big role  in value;  if a                                                               
processor  has  a  difficult  time  moving  its  inventory  in  a                                                               
particular season for reasons such  as a large harvest or foreign                                                               
trade  policies, then  the value  on  the next  season's fish  is                                                               
likely  to be  lower.   He stated  that demand  can increase  the                                                               
value  of  Alaska  seafood.   Consumer  preferences  toward  wild                                                               
fisheries  and new  markets and  products can  increase value  as                                                               
well.  He explained that the  value of Alaska seafood is dictated                                                               
by prices  in the global  market; when  the U.S. dollar  is high,                                                               
foreign buyers have less purchasing  power, which drives down the                                                               
value of Alaska species.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:38:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW,  referencing slide  16, pointed out  there is  a 1:1                                                               
ratio of competition  between every Alaska species  caught, and a                                                               
comparative species  caught in other  world markets.  He  gave an                                                               
example of  a recent dining  experience he  had at a  white table                                                               
restaurant  in the  Lower 48,  where black  cod and  seabass were                                                               
both  on the  same menu;  these two  fish species  are considered                                                               
comparable species.   He explained that consumers  are faced with                                                               
a choice between comparable species like  this a lot of the time,                                                               
which is  part of the  competition in  the seafood industry.   He                                                               
stated that Alaska  salmon continues to face an  uphill battle in                                                               
world  markets and  Pacific  cod is  not a  driver  in the  world                                                               
market.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:39:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW,  referencing slide 17,  showed that Alaska  makes up                                                               
two percent  of the  global production volume  of seafood  in the                                                               
world.   If  Alaska were  its own  country it  would rank  number                                                               
eight in the world for wild  seafood production.  This means that                                                               
98 percent of  the world market is direct  competition for Alaska                                                               
seafood.  He  explained that there is not enough  protein to meet                                                               
the demand  in the world, which  means that the value  of all the                                                               
fish in the world market will continue to increase.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:39:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 18,  explained that Alaska seafood                                                               
is exported  primarily to China,  where it is then  processed and                                                               
re-exported  to  European  and  other Asian  markets.    A  small                                                               
percentage of the  processed fish from China comes  back into the                                                               
United States;  however, most  of the  product entering  the U.S.                                                               
market  is  higher-value,   lower-volume  species  directly  from                                                               
Alaska.   He said that  90 percent  of Alaska pollock  enters the                                                               
Chinese market.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:41:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW, referencing slide 19,  spoke about some of the trade                                                               
barriers in key world markets.   He stated that tariffs on Alaska                                                               
seafood into  China are high  at 37  to 42 percent,  meaning that                                                               
fish previously  sold for $1  a pound is  being sold for  $1.42 a                                                               
pound.  This  has essentially turned the  Chinese domestic market                                                               
off from  many of Alaska's  seafood products.  He  expressed that                                                               
this  has  created  an  inventory  hold-over  that  is  burdening                                                               
Alaska.   He stated that the  European Union (EU) has  near free-                                                               
market access to bringing seafood  products into the U.S.  Alaska                                                               
does not  have this same  advantage in  entering EU markets.   He                                                               
noted  that ASMI  is waiting  to  see what  happens with  Brexit.                                                               
Initial reports indicate  that Brexit might be  beneficial to the                                                               
seafood industry, but it  is too soon to know at  this point.  He                                                               
explained  that Brexit  is important  because the  United Kingdom                                                               
(UK) is a large buyer of Alaska salmon and pollock.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  stated that Japan  is the largest  domestic customer                                                               
for Alaska seafood outside of the  U.S.  He referenced that there                                                               
have been recent "Phase One"  free trade agreements between Japan                                                               
and the United States; however,  seafood has not been included in                                                               
these agreements.   He added  that the U.S.  Trade Representative                                                               
(USTR)  told ASMI  that seafood  will be  a part  of "Phase  Two"                                                               
negotiations,  but   there  is   no  known  timeline   for  these                                                               
negotiations.   He  stated that  there has  been a  trade embargo                                                               
between  Russia and  the U.S.  since 2014,  which closes  Russian                                                               
markets to  Alaska seafood while  still allowing  Russian seafood                                                               
products  into the  U.S.    He added  that  Alaska competes  with                                                               
Russia  on  many  fish  species,  including:    pollock,  salmon,                                                               
flatfish,  and crab.   Russia  has many  favorable agreements  in                                                               
markets in which Alaska seafood is  sold, which is a detriment to                                                               
the Alaska seafood industry.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:43:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW,  referencing  slide  20, spoke  about  threats  and                                                               
opportunities in  the Alaska  seafood industry.   He  stated that                                                               
consumer confusion, on issues such  as farmed versus wild and the                                                               
health of the oceans, turns consumers  off seafood.  He said that                                                               
increased investments  in fisheries in Russia  and Norway creates                                                               
increased  competition in  world markets,  adding that  Russia is                                                               
investing millions  of dollars to  build a new fleet  and improve                                                               
processing.   He stated  that alternative  proteins, such  as the                                                               
Burger  King Impossible  burger, the  Beyond Meat  burger, Toona,                                                               
and other plant-based products, represent  a small portion of the                                                               
protein market currently;  however, there is a  lot of investment                                                               
in  these products  and the  competition they  present to  Alaska                                                               
seafood  might   increase  over  time.     Consumers  are  paying                                                               
attention to these  plant-based products and ASMI  is watching to                                                               
gauge  consumer reactions  to better  understand how  to position                                                               
Alaska seafood in those markets.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW summarized his presentation,  saying he would like to                                                               
end on  a positive note.   He  reiterated that Alaska  seafood is                                                               
the  number one  protein brand  on U.S.  menus, the  Alaska brand                                                               
resonates with consumers worldwide,  and Alaska fisheries are the                                                               
gold  standard  in sustainable  management.    He expressed  that                                                               
consumers increasingly make purchasing  decisions that align with                                                               
their ethos,  especially Millennial  and Generation  Z consumers.                                                               
He stated that  if the Alaska seafood industry  continues to have                                                               
healthy  protein that  is clean,  sustainable, and  healthful for                                                               
the environment and  consumers, then the value  of Alaska seafood                                                               
will remain high.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:46:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES admonished herself regarding  a comment she had made                                                               
earlier saying, "I said our Kodiak  boys and I should've said our                                                               
Kodiak fishermen and fisherwomen."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:46:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked Mr. Woodrow  what ASMI's perspective is                                                               
regarding  sustainable  fisheries  management  and  ocean  health                                                               
given recent concerns about  ocean acidification, warming waters,                                                               
and other various concerns.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:47:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOODROW  answered that  ASMI is  focused on  marketing Alaska                                                               
seafood.   He said  that ASMI  works closely  with the  ADF&G and                                                               
federal  managers to  get the  facts on  what is  going on  in an                                                               
alarming  situation.    This allows  ASMI  to  educate  reporters                                                               
working  for news  outlets  such as  The New  York  Times or  Bon                                                               
Appetit  Magazine, to  ensure they  are using  the truth  and not                                                               
just sensational headlines when talking about Alaska seafood.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:48:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  asked for  Mr. Woodward to  clarify whether                                                               
he had said ASMI hasn't received state funding in three years.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:48:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOODROW clarified  that  fiscal  year 2020  (FY  20) is  the                                                               
second  full  year ASMI  has  not  received  state funding.    He                                                               
answered a  follow-up question, saying  that ASMI has not  seen a                                                               
decline in  its ability to  achieve its  mission.  He  added that                                                               
ASMI has had to  make changes to the way it  does business; it no                                                               
longer advertises  domestically and is  more strategic in  how it                                                               
uses its budget.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):   DIV.  OF   COMMERCIAL  FISHERIES   RETURN  ON                                                               
INVESTMENT BY THE ALASKA DEPT. OF FISH & GAME                                                                                   
    PRESENTATION(S): DIV. OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES RETURN ON                                                                 
         INVESTMENT BY THE ALASKA DEPT. OF FISH & GAME                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
10:49:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
a presentation on The Division  of Commercial Fisheries Return on                                                               
Investment by The Alaska Department of Fish & Game.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:50:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SAM RABUNG,  Director, Division  of Commercial  Fisheries, Alaska                                                               
Department  of   Fish  &  Game  (ADF&G),   offered  a  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation on  the Division of Commercial  Fisheries "division"                                                               
return  on  investment  by  the  ADF&G.    He  stated  that  this                                                               
presentation  is   specific  to  the  division,   although  ADF&G                                                               
recognizes  there  is  tremendous   value  generated  from  other                                                               
fisheries as  well.  He stated  that the division is  tasked with                                                               
assessing  fishing  stocks  and populations  and  determining  if                                                               
there is  a surplus that can  be harvested in a  sustainable way.                                                               
He stated that  one of the division's guiding  principles is what                                                               
it calls "maximum sustained yield".   He explained that while the                                                               
division's job is to provide  opportunity to harvest the surplus,                                                               
the Board of Fisheries is tasked with allocating the surplus.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:51:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG,  referencing slide 2 of  the PowerPoint presentation,                                                               
stated that a  large portion of his presentation  was an overview                                                               
of   the  topics   Mr.  Woodrow   had  just   discussed  in   his                                                               
presentation.  He explained that  the commercial fishing industry                                                               
is  the largest  private-sector employer  in Alaska;  it directly                                                               
employs  approximately  60,000   workers  annually.    Commercial                                                               
fisheries  in   Alaska  contribute  approximately   $172  million                                                               
directly  in taxes,  fees, and  self-assessments,  and an  annual                                                               
average of approximately  $5.6 billion in economic  output to the                                                               
Alaska economy.   He  explained that the  division operates  on a                                                               
budget of  approximately $68 million, of  which approximately $36                                                               
million is from general funds.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:52:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG,  referencing slide 3,  provided a breakdown  of where                                                               
the major fund  revenues for the division come from.   He pointed                                                               
out that the  division receives approximately $43  million of the                                                               
total revenue of approximately $74 million.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:53:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG, referencing slide 4,  pointed out that the division's                                                               
governor's  budget  proposal for  FY  21  is approximately  $36.6                                                               
million of a total of approximately $67 million.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:53:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG, referencing slide 5,  pointed out the destinations of                                                               
the $172 million  in taxes and fees from  commercial fisheries in                                                               
Alaska.   He stated  that the fees  are administered  through the                                                               
DOR.  He added that there are  industry groups that fund a lot of                                                               
assessment projects directly, which are  not included on slide 5;                                                               
if they were included the number of tax dollars would be higher.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:53:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG, referencing slide 6,  explained that ex-vessel volume                                                               
and ex-vessel value show the return on tax investments.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:54:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RABUNG,  referencing  slide  7,  explained  that  the  first                                                               
wholesale value  is what  the processors  receive when  they sell                                                               
the product, which is value added.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:54:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RABUNG,  referencing  slide  8,  stated  that  the  division                                                               
manages the  subsistence fisheries  and most of  the personal-use                                                               
fisheries  in  Alaska.    He  said that  data  collected  by  the                                                               
division is  shared across all  divisions at the ADF&G  and share                                                               
the costs of projects and  facilities with the other divisions as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:55:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  asked Mr. Rabung  whether budget cuts to  the ADF&G                                                               
directly  affect  revenue  coming  into Alaska  by  reducing  the                                                               
ability of the division to fully prosecute fisheries involved.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RABUNG answered  that  Chair  Stutes was  correct:   If  the                                                               
division can't  manage a fishery  sustainably, then  that fishery                                                               
can't be  opened.  He  expressed that  the division sets  the bar                                                               
high for sustainability requirements.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES stated that it sounds  to her like the division must                                                               
manage funds more conservatively when less funding is available.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RABUNG agreed  that  that  is correct.    He  added that  if                                                               
funding is eliminated on an  assessment project it must close the                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:56:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON noted  that the  division's travel  budget                                                               
was cut  substantially in the most  recent budget.  He  asked Mr.                                                               
Rabung  whether he  has a  sense on  what limitations  that might                                                               
impose on the  division, given how many offices it  has in remote                                                               
locations.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG replied that the division  has reduced its travel to a                                                               
point that  it is  only for "mission  critical" situations.   The                                                               
primary  travel  that  had  to be  eliminated  was  for  industry                                                               
outreach and stakeholder outreach, which  can be very valuable to                                                               
the industry.  He said  that the commercial fishing industry sees                                                               
industry  and stakeholder  outreach as  important enough  to fund                                                               
travel for it itself.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:57:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP stated  that during  his time  as a  sockeye                                                               
fisherman in  Bristol Bay, he  had observed real  time management                                                               
and staffing  at various locations,  which allowed for  a greater                                                               
volume of catch  and more money for the fishermen  and the state.                                                               
He explained that  situations have happened in the  last 10 years                                                               
where  the salmon  runs have  come super  early and  the counting                                                               
stations weren't  staffed, or  the salmon runs  came late  and in                                                               
large numbers and  the counting staff had already left.   He said                                                               
he  observed the  management approach  default to  a conservative                                                               
one, resulting in over escapement  in one situation and fishermen                                                               
who were unprepared in another.   He expressed that he encourages                                                               
an accurate  estimate on the  part of  the division for  what its                                                               
travel budget needs  are for field workers.  He  said the fishing                                                               
season is usually set to guessing  a four- or five-week window of                                                               
when  the salmon  runs  will happen,  but in  order  to hit  that                                                               
window accurately eight  weeks are necessary.  He  stated that he                                                               
understands this would cost more,  but the science and management                                                               
make more sense from a fisherman's perspective.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:00:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked Mr.  Rabung whether the total biomass                                                               
has  increased,  decreased,  or  stayed  the  same  in  terms  of                                                               
targeted  species  and  non-targeted  species over  the  last  20                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:00:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG answered  that stocks of fish are  cyclical in nature;                                                               
highs and  lows fluctuate from  year-to-year.  He  expressed that                                                               
he  assumed  Representative  Neuman   was  referring  to  halibut                                                               
fisheries which  have been  in the news  recently.   The targeted                                                               
halibut  fisheries have  been  decreasing,  yet the  non-targeted                                                               
halibut fisheries have not.   He explained that the International                                                               
Pacific  Halibut Commission  (IPHC) manages  these fisheries  and                                                               
the  division  does   not  have  much  say  in   the  process  of                                                               
prosecutions in federal waters.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. RABUNG  explained that  over the course  of the  past several                                                               
decades there have been many  fluctuations in fishery stocks.  He                                                               
said that  in the Kodiak  area back in  the 1980s king  crab "was                                                               
king," but a regime shift  in the environment allowed pollock and                                                               
groundfish to  dominate the area.   He said that the  division is                                                               
very aware  of non-targeted species  and is actively  involved in                                                               
talking with management authorities about  it.  He expressed that                                                               
he couldn't  speak too much more  on the topic as  it is slightly                                                               
out  of his  purview  and  there is  an  "international nexus  to                                                               
that."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:02:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  stated that biologists he  has spoken with                                                               
from British Columbia  have expressed that the  total biomass has                                                               
decreased to  20 percent  of what  it used to  be.   He explained                                                               
that  the   decrease  in  non-targeted  species   is  creating  a                                                               
situation where  targeted species, such as  out-going salmon, are                                                               
being  picked off  by predators  at higher  rates.   He expressed                                                               
that considering  the low volume  of the total  biomass, combined                                                               
with   concerns  regarding   the  environment,   such  as   ocean                                                               
acidification and warming, it might  be worth considering talking                                                               
about  whether biologists  should manage  more conservatively  or                                                               
not.    He  said  that  he   thinks  it's  important  to  have  a                                                               
conversation  about  science  and  funding  in  order  to  manage                                                               
resources for a sustainable future.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:04:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  expressed that  the  return  on investment  Alaska                                                               
receives from fisheries  is impressive.  She  explained that very                                                               
few state investments compare in  return on investment to that of                                                               
commercial fisheries.   She stated that her goal  in this hearing                                                               
was to clearly  show that commercial fisheries pay  their own way                                                               
in  Alaska.   She expressed  that investments  in fisheries  lead                                                               
directly to opportunity,  great returns to the  general fund, and                                                               
produce many benefits  for Alaska's economy.   She concluded that                                                               
targeted increases  to the ADF&G's  budget should  be considered,                                                               
and hopes this hearing made the value of doing so clear.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:05:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Fisheries meeting was  [adjourned] at 11:06                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Presentation by ADF&G Division of Commercial Fisheries' Retern on Investment 1.28.20.pdf HFSH 1/28/2020 10:00:00 AM
ADF&G
Presentaiton by ASMI-The Value of Alaska's Seafood 1.27.20.PDF HFSH 1/28/2020 10:00:00 AM
ASMI