Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

01/29/2018 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSJR 4(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHJR 12(FSH) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 29, 2018                                                                                        
                           3:30 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Cathy Giessel, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Natasha Von Imhof                                                                                                       
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4                                                                                                   
Urging the Alaska Congressional  delegation to introduce bills to                                                               
provide for  the exemption of  legally acquired  walrus, mammoth,                                                               
and  mastodon  ivory  from  laws  that ban  the  sale,  use,  and                                                               
possession of ivory.                                                                                                            
     - MOVED CSSJR 4(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12(FSH)                                                                                       
Opposing  the  United  States   Food  and  Drug  Administration's                                                               
approval  of   AquaBounty  AquAdvantage   genetically  engineered                                                               
salmon;  and   urging  the  United   States  Congress   to  enact                                                               
legislation  that   requires  prominently   labeling  genetically                                                               
engineered   salmon   and   salmon  products   with   the   words                                                               
"Genetically Modified" on the product's packaging.                                                                              
     - MOVED CSHJR 12(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SJR  4                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK LEGALLY ACQUIRED IVORY USE EXEMPTION                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
02/01/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/01/17       (S)       CRA, RES                                                                                               
03/28/17       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/28/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/17       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/04/17       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/04/17       (S)       Moved  SJR 4 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/04/17       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (S)       CRA RPT  4DP                                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       DP: BISHOP, GARDNER, MACKINNON, STEDMAN                                                                
01/29/18       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HJR 12                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OPPOSING GEN. ENGINEERED SALMON                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
02/22/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/28/17       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
02/28/17       (H)       Moved  CSHJR 12(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                  
02/28/17       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/01/17       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) NT 5DP 1NR                                                                             
03/01/17       (H)       DP: FANSLER, TARR, CHENAULT, KREISS-                                                                   
                        TOMKINS, STUTES                                                                                         
03/01/17       (H)       NR: EASTMAN                                                                                            
03/13/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/13/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/14/17       (H)       RES AT 3:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/14/17       (H)       -- Continued from 3/13/17 Meeting at                                                                   
                         1:00 PM --                                                                                             
03/20/17       (H)       RES AT 7:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/20/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/22/17       (H)       RES AT 6:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/22/17       (H)       Moved  CSHJR 12(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                  
03/22/17       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/24/17       (H)       RES RPT CS(FSH) NT 5DP                                                                                 
03/24/17       (H)       DP: PARISH, WESTLAKE, DRUMMOND, TARR,                                                                  
04/05/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/05/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 12(FSH)                                                                                 
04/06/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/06/17       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
01/29/18       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JACQUELYN BOYER, staff to Senator Olson                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided a brief overview of SJR 4 for the                                                                
VERA METCALF, Director                                                                                                          
Eskimo Walrus Commission (EWC)                                                                                                  
Kawerak, Inc.                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 4.                                                                                          
CANDACE CAHILL, representing herself                                                                                            
Skagway, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 4.                                                                                          
AKIS GIOLOPSOS, staff to Senator Giessel and the Senate                                                                         
Resources Committee                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the five changes in the CS to SJR                                                                
ALICE BIOFF, member                                                                                                             
Alaska State Council on the Arts                                                                                                
Community Planning Development                                                                                                  
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 4.                                                                                          
MELANIE BAHNKE, President & CEO                                                                                                 
Kawerak, Inc.                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 4.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE TARR                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 12                                                                                         
VAL GIDDINGS, consultant                                                                                                        
Biotechnology Innovation Organization                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HJR 12.                                                                                           
FRANCES LEACH, Executive Director                                                                                               
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA)                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Strongly supported HJR 12.                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:30:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CATHY   GIESSEL  called  the  Senate   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:30  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Coghill, Wielechowski,  Von Imhof, Meyer, and                                                               
Chair Giessel. Senator Bishop was excused.                                                                                      
         SJR  4-AK LEGALLY ACQUIRED IVORY USE EXEMPTION                                                                     
3:30:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL  announced consideration  of  SJR  4, version  30-                                                               
LS0109\D,  exempting Alaskan's  legal ivory  crafts, a  staple of                                                               
the  Alaska   Native  community,  from  the   blanket  ivory  ban                                                               
targeting   poaching  operations   in  Africa   and  Asia.   This                                                               
resolution is sponsored by Senator Olson.                                                                                       
JACQUELYN  BOYER,  staff to  Senator  Olson,  sponsor of  SJR  4,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, briefed the committee  that this issue                                                               
was brought to  Senator Olson by various  constituencies who face                                                               
serious  negative  impacts  from  some states  that  have  banned                                                               
Some bans vary from being  very specific like listing the species                                                               
and  sub-species of  what they  ban  to just  banning all  ivory.                                                               
Constituents' concern is that more  states will initiate bans and                                                               
imposing  harsh  consequences  on  legal artists  in  Alaska  who                                                               
obtain   ivory  through   the  by-products   of  subsistence   or                                                               
fossilized ivory product.                                                                                                       
3:33:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN joined the committee.                                                                                           
MS. BOYER  said the proposed  committee substitute  (CS) reflects                                                               
Skagway  artists'  concerns  who  are non-Native  and  use  ivory                                                               
3:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL opened invited testimony.                                                                                         
VERA METCALF, Director, Eskimo  Walrus Commission (EWC), Kawerak,                                                               
Inc.,  Nome, Alaska,  supported SJR  4. She  said the  commission                                                               
represents  about   19  coastal   communities  in   North  Slope,                                                               
northwest Arctic, Bering Straits, Bethel, and Dillingham.                                                                       
She stated  that the Marine  Mammal Protection Act  (MMPA) allows                                                               
harvest of  Pacific walrus for  Alaska Native  coastal residents.                                                               
This  exemption was  included  because it  is  a fundamental  and                                                               
culturally important  activity. Utilizing all the  gifts from the                                                               
harvest  of  marine or  other  wildlife  resources is  also  very                                                               
fundamental to  the cultural values  of Alaska Native  people. If                                                               
the use and  value of walrus ivory is  generally outlawed, Alaska                                                               
Natives  could  stop  retaining  walrus  ivory,  which  could  be                                                               
considered wasteful  take under the  MMPA unless the take  is for                                                               
subsistence purposes  and if such  take is done for  the purposes                                                               
of  creating   and  selling  authentic  Native   handicrafts  and                                                               
clothing. If there  is no market for creating  and selling Alaska                                                               
Native ivory  art and handicrafts, Alaska  Natives probably won't                                                               
continue to  create them.  The economic  and cultural  impacts of                                                               
walrus ivory remain critical to Alaskan communities.                                                                            
3:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CANDACE CAHILL, representing  herself, Skagway, Alaska, supported                                                               
SJR 4. She is a small business  owner and artist and was asked to                                                               
speak on  behalf of Skagway's  larger artist population  and non-                                                               
Native users  of ivory. She  urged the committee to  consider how                                                               
this  resolution  and the  laws  impacts  Alaskans who  are  non-                                                               
Native.   Considerable   efforts   have  been   directed   toward                                                               
protecting the  rights of Alaska  Natives, which is right,  to be                                                               
able  to  harvest  and  utilize  the  walrus  ivory  as  well  as                                                               
protecting their rights  to collect and use  extinct ivories from                                                               
mammoths and  mastodon, but the  concerns of non-Native  users of                                                               
fossil materials  has been largely  overlooked. Her  artwork, her                                                               
husband's,  and many  of  the people  she  represents use  fossil                                                               
walrus, mastodon, and  mammoth ivory, much of  which is collected                                                               
by and bought from Alaska Natives.  So, it's an income source for                                                               
them, as well.  But as a non-Native, she can  only use fossilized                                                               
ivory,  because  the  animals  have been  dead  for  hundreds  or                                                               
thousands of years.  It is the only type of  ivory that is legal,                                                               
because  collecting  it hasn't  harmed  any  animals. Banning  it                                                               
would essentially shut them down.                                                                                               
MS. CAHILL  said much of the  business they do is  generated from                                                               
tourism,  and over  the  past  several years  there  has been  an                                                               
increase  in awareness  of the  protection of  elephants and  the                                                               
legality of ivory as  a whole. As a result, she  and other in the                                                               
industry  spend a  great deal  of time  trying to  educate people                                                               
about fossil  ivory and how  it takes  hundreds of years  for the                                                               
ivory  to  show  fossilization,  the  differences  between  fresh                                                               
walrus  ivory   versus  fossil,   and  address   the  significant                                                               
differences  between modern  elephant ivory  and ancient  mammoth                                                               
and mastodon ivory.                                                                                                             
MS.  CAHILL  said  she  also  has  an  on-line  business  but  is                                                               
currently prohibited  from selling work that  incorporates fossil                                                               
ivory in the four states that  have outlawed it, and there is the                                                               
potential to lose many more states  over the next couple of years                                                               
if Congress doesn't act. They need  to be able to sell their work                                                               
or  their business  and many  others like  it around  Alaska will                                                               
fail. Without the ability to work  with fresh ivory, a lot of the                                                               
fossil ivory  will simply disintegrate  and be lost.  Artists are                                                               
preserving the beauty and extraordinary  qualities of these types                                                               
of fossilized ivory.                                                                                                            
3:41:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CAHILL said  in preparing  to talk  today, she  reviewed the                                                               
U.S.  Senate Bill  1965, The  Allow  Alaska Ivory  Act, that  was                                                               
introduced in  Congress last  year by  Senator Sullivan,  but she                                                               
was  concerned about  the  wording  as it  does  nothing to  take                                                               
concerns of non-Natives  into consideration. She wants  to do all                                                               
in her power  to ensure that their concerns are  addressed and to                                                               
be certain  that it specifically includes  language that protects                                                               
the use of fossil ivories by all, not just Alaska Natives.                                                                      
3:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL, finding no questions,  said that concluded invited                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL moved to adopt  CSSJR 4(RES), version 30-LS0109\O                                                               
as the working document.                                                                                                        
CHAIR GIESSEL  objected for purposes  of discussion.  She invited                                                               
committee  staff   to  explain  the  changes   in  the  committee                                                               
3:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
AKIS  GIALOPSOS,   staff  to  Senator  Giessel   and  the  Senate                                                               
Resources  Committee, Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
reviewed the five changes in the CS as follows:                                                                                 
     Senate Resources Committee Substitute for Senate Joint                                                                 
  Resolution 4 Summary of Changes from Version D to Version O                                                               
     1. Page 1,  Lines 1-3: Deletes the  title language from                                                                    
     the previous version (Page 1,  Lines 1- 2), and inserts                                                                    
     a new  title with  the following language:  "Urging the                                                                    
     United  States Congress  to pass  legislation providing                                                                    
     for the exemption of  legally acquired walrus, mammoth,                                                                    
     and mastodon  ivory from laws  that ban the  sale, use,                                                                    
     and possession of ivory."                                                                                                  
     2. Page 1, Lines 11-12:  Adds a new Whereas clause with                                                                    
     the    following    language:   "WHEREAS,    non-Native                                                                    
     individuals in  the state use legally  acquired mammoth                                                                    
     ivory to make handicrafts, jewelry, and artwork; and"                                                                      
     3. Page  2, lines 6  and 11: Deletes the  word 'Native'                                                                    
     from the previous version (Page 2, Lines 4 and 9)                                                                          
     4. Page 2, Line 17: Add the words "legally acquired?"                                                                      
     5. Page 2,  Lines 20-27: Deletes the  language from the                                                                    
     previous version sending  copies to various dignitaries                                                                    
     (Page 2,  Lines 18-20).  Adds new language  listing the                                                                    
     dignitaries receiving copies of the resolution.                                                                            
MS. BOYER  said Senator Olson requested  these changes consisting                                                               
of neutral language to cover all Alaskans.                                                                                      
CHAIR  GIESSEL   removed  her   objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection,  she   announced  that   version  O  was   before  the                                                               
committee. She opened public testimony.                                                                                         
3:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
ALICE BIOFF, member, Alaska State  Council on the Arts, Community                                                               
Planning  Development, Kawerak,  Nome, Alaska,  supported SJR  4.                                                               
She is  a tribal member of  the Native Village of  Koyuk and grew                                                               
up there  and in Nome (for  the last 18 years).  Through her work                                                               
at Kawerak  she is privileged  to work with  artist entrepreneurs                                                               
within  the  community, so  they  can  sustain themselves,  their                                                               
families, and their communities.                                                                                                
She said  that walrus ivory harvested  during subsistence hunting                                                               
is one  of the main  materials artists  use to carve  into unique                                                               
traditional  artwork that  has been  recognized  for its  amazing                                                               
craftsmanship throughout  the world.  Most importantly,  the arts                                                               
and crafts keep traditional practices  alive and strong beautiful                                                               
work  being passed  down from  one  generation to  the next.  She                                                               
said: "Our  art is weaved  into who  we are as  indigenous people                                                               
and  having access  to  the  materials to  continue  that art  is                                                               
3:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE  BAHNKE, President  & CEO,  Kawerak, Inc.,  Nome, Alaska,                                                               
supported SJR  4. She is  also the  daughter of an  Alaska Native                                                               
artist and  her two brothers  carve ivory  to make a  living. She                                                               
wanted to  make it  clear to  Congress that  the State  of Alaska                                                               
supports  it Alaska  Native artists.  But this  isn't just  about                                                               
Alaska  Native  artists; an  entire  community  within the  state                                                               
relies  on  ivory, bone,  and  mastodon  one  way or  another  to                                                               
support  themselves  and their  families  and  contribute to  the                                                               
Alaska economy.                                                                                                                 
She  proposed  amending the  word  "non-Native"  in reference  to                                                               
mammoth  ivory  to  "Native  and  non-Native".  Language  in  the                                                               
current proposed amendment sounds  as though only non-Natives can                                                               
work with mammoth ivory. She  also recommended adequate review by                                                               
legal staff where  something is restricted to  Alaska Natives, so                                                               
that  the  proposal isn't  in  conflict  with the  Marine  Mammal                                                               
Protection Act (MMPA).                                                                                                          
In conclusion, she  asked the members to image  what would happen                                                               
if Alaska  salmon was being banned  in the other states,  or crab                                                               
and  halibut. She  said, "Ivory  is a  unique product  that comes                                                               
from our state and  we need to protect it and  also promote it on                                                               
par with our salmon and our crab and fish."                                                                                     
3:52:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL,  finding  no   further  comments,  closed  public                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL moved Amendment 1, labeled 30-LS0109\O.1                                                                        
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                   BY SENATOR GIESSEL                                                                 
     TO:  CSSJR 4(   ), Draft Version "O" Page 1, line 11:                                                                      
          Delete "mammoth"                                                                                                      
          Insert "fossilized"                                                                                                   
CHAIR GIESSEL objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
3:54:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL  invited  committee  staff  to  come  forward  and                                                               
comment on the concern that  both Native and non-Native needed to                                                               
be specified in terms of the fossilized ivory.                                                                                  
MS. BOYER  responded the intent  behind deleting "Native"  was to                                                               
encompass  all  artists  in  Alaska,  because  some  use  legally                                                               
acquired ivory.                                                                                                                 
MR. GIALOPSOS explained  at the behest of the  bill's sponsor the                                                               
term  "mammoth" was  replaced with  "fossilized," because  of the                                                               
concern  that  simply putting  in  the  word "mammoth"  would  be                                                               
prohibitive,  because  non-Natives  artists are  allowed  to  use                                                               
fossilized  mammoth, walrus,  and mastodon.  This just  clarifies                                                               
that  non-Native  artists  have  access only  to  all  fossilized                                                               
CHAIR GIESSEL removed  her objection to Amendment  1, and finding                                                               
no further objection, announced that Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if Congress could preempt this issue.                                                                
MR. BOYER answered yes, it can.                                                                                                 
3:58:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the sale of these  products is not                                                               
authorized under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.                                                                              
MS. BOYER  replied that  the MMPA  is ambiguous  and that  is the                                                               
basis of this resolution.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if any  of the  ivory that  is being                                                               
proposed to  be sold  meets any  of the  two requirements  in the                                                               
Hawaii bill  that read: 1. On  appendix 1 or 2  of the Convention                                                               
of  International   Trade  and   Endangered  Species  or   2.  As                                                               
endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.                                                                      
MS.  BOYER said  she  didn't  know. In  deference  to the  recent                                                               
Supreme Court decision  not to take up the listing  of the ringed                                                               
seal appeal,  Alaska Natives  can harvest  seal whether  they are                                                               
endangered or not, because of their subsistence rights.                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if whale  and walrus ivory is  not an                                                               
endangered species.                                                                                                             
MS. BOYER said she didn't know the answer to that.                                                                              
CHAIR  GIESSEL  asked  Ms.  Boyer  to  find  answers  to  Senator                                                               
Wielechowski's questions  and forward them  to her and  she would                                                               
distribute them to the committee.                                                                                               
4:01:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved  to  report CSSJR  4,  as  amended,  from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note. There  were no objections and so  CSSJR 4(RES) moved                                                               
from committee.                                                                                                                 
4:01:53 PM                                                                                                                    
at ease                                                                                                                         
              HJR 12-OPPOSING GEN. ENGINEERED SALMON                                                                        
4:03:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  announced consideration of HJR  12 [CSHJR 12(FSH),                                                               
version 30-LS0276\D, was before the committee].                                                                                 
4:04:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR, Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor of  HJR                                                               
12, thanked the committee for hearing the resolution.                                                                           
THATCHER  BROWER,  staff  to Representative  Tarr,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, introduced himself.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR said  HJR  12 is  not a  new  topic for  the                                                               
legislature. When she  first started working on it  in 2013, they                                                               
were still pushing  the Federal Drug Administration  (FDA) to not                                                               
approve  genetically  modified  salmon.  That  changed  with  the                                                               
November 2015 decision to allow  genetically modified salmon. The                                                               
reason for her  continued concern is that this is  the first time                                                               
the  FDA has  approved a  genetically modified  animal for  human                                                               
consumption. Genetically modified plants  were approved for human                                                               
consumption in the early 90s.                                                                                                   
She said  AquaBounty Advantage  Salmon uses  Ocean pout  DNA that                                                               
makes fish  grow year-round  and Chinook  salmon DNA  making fish                                                               
grow bigger faster for its genetic modifications.                                                                               
4:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
She showed pictures of a wild  salmon compared to a GM salmon and                                                               
said  Alaska  is proud  of  its  strong fisheries  policies  that                                                               
manage  for sustainability,  so this  renewable resource  will be                                                               
around  for  years to  come.  It  is  important for  the  state's                                                               
economy but  also for its  culture. Our relationship  with salmon                                                               
is different than the company that  is promoting the GM salmon. A                                                               
picture of the  AquaBounty website revealed that  the business is                                                               
not  so  much about  sustainability  as  it  is about  growing  a                                                               
product faster.                                                                                                                 
4:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  said the fact  that the salmon are  grown in                                                               
an indoor  facility is one  of the reasons  people say it  may be                                                               
less risky, but that may not  be the case. This highly mechanized                                                               
indoor operation  does not say sustainable  fishery management to                                                               
her.  Besides  risk to  human  health  and the  state's  economy,                                                               
escapement still poses  a threat to wild salmon.  These GM salmon                                                               
are produced  in three different  countries. She has  visited the                                                               
facility on  Prince Edward  Island [in the  Bay of  Fortune, Nova                                                               
Scotia]  where the  eggs are  produced. The  eggs are  shipped to                                                               
Panama to grow  into fish. Then they are sold  for consumption in                                                               
the U.S. The regulatory oversight  is "strange" because all these                                                               
jurisdictions are involved. In a  broader sense, Alaska fisherman                                                               
have  caught   Atlantic  farmed   salmon  and  there   are  risks                                                               
associated with that.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR said  Prince  Edward Island  has a  tourism-                                                               
based  economy and  when she  first visited  in 2013  some people                                                               
were  concerned  that "Frankenfish"  came  up  first when  Prince                                                               
Edward Island  was googled,  and they didn't  want to  be branded                                                               
that way  given the  controversy around it.  They didn't  know if                                                               
people would want to visit. That  is what made them interested in                                                               
the  work she  was  doing  in Alaska;  they  have  since filed  a                                                               
She said  the AquaBounty facility  was really  concerning because                                                               
it was so closely situated to  a water body where native Atlantic                                                               
salmon live.  Farmed salmon  can also spread  more disease  and a                                                               
scientific study found that when  they cross-breed with wild fish                                                               
the new  hybridized fish could  out-compete and outgrow  the wild                                                               
variety within several life cycles.                                                                                             
4:12:14 PM                                                                                                                    
The   FDA  approved   genetically  modified   salmon  under   the                                                               
veterinary medicine  component of the  FDA rather than as  a food                                                               
product,  and   people  have  questioned  whether   that  is  the                                                               
appropriate  way to  test  if  one is  testing  for human  health                                                               
concerns.  The lack  of rigorous  scientific examination  of what                                                               
the human  health risks are  is a big  part of the  opposition to                                                               
this particular  proposal even for  folks that may  be supportive                                                               
in the end.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  explained the  price of  wild salmon  took a                                                               
huge  dip when  farmed salmon  was introduced.  The legislature's                                                               
response  was creating  the  Alaska  Seafood Marketing  Institute                                                               
(ASMI)  to  market  Alaska's  wild   salmon.  It  has  been  very                                                               
successful in doing  that. It has been reported  that wild Alaska                                                               
salmon is the  second most recognized brand  on restaurant menus.                                                               
But  absent  labelling,  the  introduction  of  this  genetically                                                               
modified  salmon  will  undermine   people's  confidence  in  our                                                               
product.  The  fishing industry  is  the  largest private  sector                                                               
employer in  Alaska and  we want  to keep  jobs rather  than lose                                                               
jobs.  Alaskans  are  not  alone in  opposing  GM  salmon.  Major                                                               
retailers, like Fred Meyer and Costco,  where Alaska buy a lot of                                                               
their food  have said they will  not sell the GM  salmon, but its                                                               
approval  is  still  a  challenge  and  it  can  be  sold  almost                                                               
4:15:46 PM                                                                                                                    
She  said  there  is  also  international  opposition.  When  the                                                               
approval  first  was  made,  the Prince  Edward  Island  filed  a                                                               
lawsuit  for  the  way  the   Canadian  government  approved  the                                                               
production of the GM eggs. Panama  is where the fish are actually                                                               
grown, and  the company  was fined  by the  Panamanian government                                                               
because  of   escapement  issues.  One  can   see  the  potential                                                               
jurisdictional  problems, because  this  industry involves  three                                                               
different  countries.  Some   U.S.  fishing,  environmental,  and                                                               
consumer  safety  groups  filed  a  lawsuit  on  March  31,  2016                                                               
questioning how it was approved in the first place.                                                                             
4:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   applauded    the   Alaska   Congressional                                                               
delegation  for  their  leadership  as  outspoken  advocates  for                                                               
Alaska  wild   salmon.  On  July  11,   2017,  Senator  Murkowski                                                               
introduced  legislation to  mandate the  labeling of  genetically                                                               
engineered (GE)  salmon. The bill requires  an independent third-                                                               
party  scientific review  of the  FDA's environmental  assessment                                                               
for all GE  fish for human consumption. This  would be additional                                                               
She said  the AquaBounty website used  to list a whole  number of                                                               
species that they were interested  in having genetically modified                                                               
from  shrimp to  crab to  other  fish. So,  questions around  the                                                               
regulatory  framework   used  (rather  than  a   focus  on  human                                                               
consumption) and concerns  for the marine environment  need to be                                                               
understood  before  the  flood  gates are  opened  to  many  more                                                               
applications. Senator Murkowski's bill,  S1528, has been referred                                                               
to the  Committee on Health,  Education, Labor, and  Pensions and                                                               
has not  received a hearing,  yet. It is co-sponsored  by Senator                                                               
Dan Sullivan,  Senator Maria Cantwell of  Washington, and Senator                                                               
Jeff Merkley of Oregon.                                                                                                         
4:19:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if   the  resolution  opposes  just                                                               
AquaBounty or all GE salmon.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  replied theirs is the  only application that                                                               
has been approved  at this time, and the  application is specific                                                               
to this  three-country scenario  of eggs,  growing the  fish, and                                                               
the marketing of the fish.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  said  the  next  resolve  urges  the  same                                                               
legislature  or  the  U.S. Congress  to  enact  legislation  that                                                               
requires prominently labeling GE salmon  and asked if it would be                                                               
possible for Congress to outright ban the sale of GE salmon.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR answered that  Congress could ban it, because                                                               
that  decision  would  supersede  the  FDA  decision.  Alaska  is                                                               
limited by  the Interstate  Commerce Clause to  what it  can say.                                                               
However, she has introduced a bill  that would ban the sale of GE                                                               
salmon in  Alaska. The way a  company would have to  show harm is                                                               
to say that it violates  the Interstate Commerce Clause. So, they                                                               
would have  to prove that  barring this  law they would  stood to                                                               
make a  lot of money  in Alaska. But  Alaska would have  a strong                                                               
argument that Alaskans probably aren't  going to buy this fish if                                                               
they know that it is  genetically modified, probably for the same                                                               
reasons  that a  lot less  farmed salmon  is sold  here. Alaskans                                                               
prefer  to catch  it  themselves or  get it  from  a friend.  Her                                                               
thought was to poke at that a little bit at the state level.                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  that  50 percent  of restaurants  say                                                               
their salmon is wild  but it's not and asked if  there is any way                                                               
to address that issue.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR answered  that ASMI  does a  lot to  educate                                                               
retailers and  restaurant owners on  where to buy  their products                                                               
and to  have a chain  of custody to know  that it is  really wild                                                               
Alaska salmon, but  it needs to be addressed  more thoroughly. It                                                               
is  a problem  if  people are  using the  brand  that Alaska  has                                                               
worked so hard  to build to sell farmed salmon;  if people get an                                                               
inferior product they won't buy it again.                                                                                       
4:24:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL opened public testimony.                                                                                          
4:24:11 PM                                                                                                                    
VAL GIDDINGS, consultant,  Biotechnology Innovation Organization,                                                               
said  he specializes  in  the regulation  and  policy related  to                                                               
biotechnology  and these  were his  views.  He is  an angler  and                                                               
loves the  wilderness. He  shares their  concerns for  the safety                                                               
and sustainability  of Alaska's salmon fisheries,  "a crown jewel                                                               
in our national  heritage of incalculable value, and  they face a                                                               
number of threats."                                                                                                             
Unfortunately, the  AquaAdvantage salmon  framed in this  bill is                                                               
the opposite of  one of these threats, he said.  To the extent it                                                               
is successful,  it will reduce  the threat from farmed  salmon to                                                               
Alaska's wild  salmon. These salmon  are intended to be  grown in                                                               
terrestrial  systems far  from  where they  can  escape. This  is                                                               
exactly the method for growing  Atlantic salmon that the Monterey                                                               
Seafood Watch  Program has rated  as "the best choice."  The data                                                               
show that if these salmon  did escape, their biology and behavior                                                               
would make  it highly  unlikely that any  would survive.  If they                                                               
survive, they are sterile and incapable of reproduction.                                                                        
MR. GIDDINGS  said if commercial  sea pens of Atlantic  salmon in                                                               
the  Pacific   Northwest  were  all  replaced   by  these  indoor                                                               
circulating tanks the concerns that  the sea pens raised for wild                                                               
salmon  will be  completely  negated. Even  if the  AquaAdvantage                                                               
salmon were capable  of reproduction, eggs and  fry require fresh                                                               
water and can't live in the ocean.                                                                                              
Another concern  raised by the legislation  is equally unfounded.                                                               
The FDA chose  to do a more thorough review  of this salmon under                                                               
the new  animal drug provisions  of the Veterinary  Biologics law                                                               
before allowing it to be introduced  into the food supply. All of                                                               
FDA's analyses were made available  for multiple rounds of public                                                               
comment including an independent  third-party review. He has read                                                               
all the  comments and documents  to this docket and  followed the                                                               
process  from   the  beginning   and  after   this  unprecedented                                                               
analysis,    the   FDA    concluded   that    this   salmon    is                                                               
indistinguishable from  other salmon. It  is at least as  safe to                                                               
eat as  any other salmon  and the way it  will be grown  gives it                                                               
the smallest environmental impact of any farmed salmon.                                                                         
4:28:33 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANCES  LEACH, Executive  Director, United  Fishermen of  Alaska                                                               
(UFA), Juneau,  Alaska, strongly  supported HJR 12.  UFA strongly                                                               
opposes genetically modified salmon  and requests that GM seafood                                                               
products  be clearly  labeled as  such. According  to a  New York                                                               
Times poll, over 90 percent  of Americans would prefer that their                                                               
food   is  labeled   to  reflect   the   content  containing   GM                                                               
ingredients; 37 percent of those  surveyed expressed concern that                                                               
GMO in their  food may cause cancer and allergies;  75 percent of                                                               
respondents said they would not eat genetically modified fish.                                                                  
4:30:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL,  finding  no   further  comments,  closed  public                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL asked the sponsor  to respond to language on page                                                               
2, line  8, saying AquaAdvantage  salmon "could  devastate native                                                               
fish populations."                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  replied  that what  she  saw  peer-reviewed                                                               
scientific papers showing that this  interbreeding took place and                                                               
why it  was such a concern.  For example, in Panama,  the company                                                               
was  fined for  escapement issues.  Unpredictable things  happen,                                                               
like an earthquake, that could result  in a major release into an                                                               
adjacent water body.                                                                                                            
SENATOR COGHILL commented it's an obvious area of dispute.                                                                      
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if  she agreed  that  GE  fish  are                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  replied that  it's not  true 100  percent of                                                               
time, and that is why there is a concern.                                                                                       
SENATOR  COGHILL moved  to report  [CSHJR  12(FSH)], version  30-                                                               
LS0276\D,  from  committee  with individual  recommendations  and                                                               
attached zero  fiscal note. There  were no objections and  it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
4:33:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL,  finding no  further business  to come  before the                                                               
committee  adjourned  the  Senate  Resources  Standing  Committee                                                               
meeting at 4:33 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Senate Resources - Hearing Agenda - 1 - 29 - 2018.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Sponsor Statement.PDF SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
CSSJR4 - Version O.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
CSSJR4 - Summary of Changes From Version D to Version O - 1 - 25 - 2018.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
CSSJR4 - Fiscal Note - 1 - 26 - 2018.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Federal Ivory Exemption Legislation - 1 - 26 - 18.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Hawaii Statutes.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 101.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 109.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - New Jersey Statutes.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - New York Statutes.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Resolutions from Communities and Organizations.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR 4 - Support Document - Walrus Subsistence Numbers.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
SJR4 - Assorted Letters of Support - 1 - 25 - 2018.PDF SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR012 Sponsor Statement 2.22.17.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR012 Version D (FSH) 3.12.17.PDF SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR012 Supporting Document - Slide Presentation 4.6.17.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR012 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 3.24.17.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 - Fiscal Note - 1 - 26 - 2018.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12
CSSJR4 - Amendment to Version O.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12 - Supporting Document - Anne Wieland.pdf SRES 1/29/2018 3:30:00 PM
HJR 12