Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/26/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
Moved HB 131 Out of Committee
Moved HB 128 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 76(FSH) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 128                                                                                                            
     "An Act  relating to management  of enhanced  stocks of                                                                    
     shellfish; authorizing  certain nonprofit organizations                                                                    
     to engage  in shellfish enhancement  projects; relating                                                                    
     to application  fees for  salmon hatchery  permits; and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
1:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton relayed  that the  last time  the committee                                                                    
heard the  bill on April 14,  2018 at which time  there were                                                                    
no  amendments  offered.  He invited  the  bill  sponsor  to                                                                    
refresh the committee about the bill.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ,  SPONSOR, reviewed the legislation                                                                    
dealing  with shellfish  enhancement projects.  He explained                                                                    
that  the purpose  of the  bill was  to advance  mariculture                                                                    
opportunities  in   Alaska  through   shellfish  enhancement                                                                    
projects.  It allowed  non-profits to  apply for  and pursue                                                                    
enhancement  or  restoration projects  involving  shellfish.                                                                    
They might  include red  and blue  king crab,  sea cucumber,                                                                    
abalone, geoduck, razor clams,  plus other shellfish species                                                                    
not yet on the radar.                                                                                                           
Representative  Ortiz continued  to explain  the purpose  of                                                                    
the bill.  He reported  that HB 128  held the  Department of                                                                    
Fish and  Game (DFG) to  a high  standard in the  process of                                                                    
issuing permits  specifically requiring the  commissioner to                                                                    
make  a   finding  of  substantial  public   benefit  and  a                                                                    
determination that the project  would not jeopardize natural                                                                    
stocks. It  was important to  note that when  shellfish were                                                                    
released  back  into  the  wild  by  a  permit  holder,  the                                                                    
shellfish became  a common  property resource  available for                                                                    
common use.                                                                                                                     
Representative Ortiz  summarized that  the project  held the                                                                    
promise of  diversifying and strengthening  Alaska's fishery                                                                    
portfolio by  establishing a sound, sustainable  approach to                                                                    
growing  the  state's  fledgling mariculture  industry.  The                                                                    
bill had 2 zero fiscal notes.                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson appreciated  the  bill. She  quarried                                                                    
about enhancement for hatcheries.  She referred to the title                                                                    
on   page   1,  line   3   and   salmon  hatchery   permits.                                                                    
Representative   Ortiz   responded   that   the   bill   was                                                                    
specifically  designed   to  enhance   Alaska's  mariculture                                                                    
industry.  There were  several salmon  hatcheries in  Alaska                                                                    
that came into  existence many years ago.  There was nothing                                                                    
preventing the  state from putting other  hatcheries forward                                                                    
in the future. The bill  being discussed addressed the issue                                                                    
of the mariculture industry.                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson   asked  if  someone  from   DFG  was                                                                    
1:53:54 PM                                                                                                                    
FORREST  BOWERS,   DEPUTY  DIRECTOR,   COMMERCIAL  FISHERIES                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT  OF FISH  AND GAME,  introduced himself                                                                    
and asked Representative Wilson to restate her question.                                                                        
Representative Wilson  suggested that in the  bill the state                                                                    
was enhancing  shellfish, which she favored.  She brought up                                                                    
the Interior  hatchery. It  had a  plentiful stock,  but the                                                                    
fish  could not  be placed  into the  river. Since  the bill                                                                    
provided  a  vehicle,  she  thought   there  might  be  some                                                                    
enhancement  the  state  could provide  for  its  hatcheries                                                                    
creating more opportunities. She asked for his feedback.                                                                        
Mr.  Bowers  responded that  currently  there  were laws  in                                                                    
place  that allowed  for enhancement  or rehabilitation  for                                                                    
fish including salmon, trout, and  char. Those laws had been                                                                    
in place  for many years.  Currently, there was no  law that                                                                    
allowed for  shellfish enhancement, the intent  of the bill.                                                                    
Currently, a  person could not  apply for  a permit to  do a                                                                    
shellfish fishery enhancement project.  The bill would allow                                                                    
enabling  regulations and  a permitting  process  to be  put                                                                    
into  place where  a person  could apply  for and  receive a                                                                    
permit  to enhance  a shellfish  fishery. As  Representative                                                                    
Wilson  pointed out,  there was  already a  fish enhancement                                                                    
hatchery program  in place for  fish. The  legislation would                                                                    
establish a parallel program for shellfish.                                                                                     
Representative Wilson asked if  there was a non-profit means                                                                    
of  doing  salmon enhancing  products  similar  to what  was                                                                    
being  proposed  for  shellfish.   She  wondered  if  salmon                                                                    
hatcheries could release  stock into the Chena  River or the                                                                    
Yukon  River,  or  wherever the  need  existed.  Mr.  Bowers                                                                    
responded  affirmatively.   There  were  examples   in  many                                                                    
coastal areas  of Alaska. Representative Wilson  was pleased                                                                    
with Mr.  Bowers answer.  She had been  told that  the state                                                                    
could not. She thanked him.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Seaton added  that releasing  fish  into the  wild                                                                    
could be different then raising  fish. Permits were required                                                                    
to allow  an entity to  release fish without  competing with                                                                    
natural stocks.  Enhancement was done by  hatcheries or non-                                                                    
profit  entities all  along the  Gulf. He  noted there  were                                                                    
several  letters of  opposition  to the  massive amounts  of                                                                    
pink salmon  going through  non-profit hatcheries  and being                                                                    
released. There was some contention.                                                                                            
Representative  Thompson was  aware of  the hatchery  on the                                                                    
Gulkana  River  between  Summit Lake  and  Paxon  Lake.  The                                                                    
hatchery was funded  by the fishing industry.  The fish were                                                                    
fertilized  and  taken  to  a  lake  in  the  Interior,  and                                                                    
subsequently were put  back into the river. He  asked if Mr.                                                                    
Bowers was speaking of such a type of set up.                                                                                   
Mr. Bowers affirmed  that Representative Thompson's comments                                                                    
reflected an  example of  a fish  enhancement project  for a                                                                    
private non-profit.  He added that a  permitting process was                                                                    
in  place. However,  it did  not mean  the department  would                                                                    
necessarily  grant or  approve every  application. He  noted                                                                    
folks   in  Representative   Thompson's  district   who  had                                                                    
discussed a  potential project with  the department  and who                                                                    
might  have  received  some  negative  feedback.  There  was                                                                    
statutory  and regulatory  language  in  place that  allowed                                                                    
them to apply for a permit.                                                                                                     
Representative  Wilson  was told  by  the  fish hatchery  in                                                                    
Fairbanks  that  they could  not  install  the fish  in  the                                                                    
Yukon. The  co-chair had  stated that  the reason  they were                                                                    
not allowed  was because of  the mixture of raised  and wild                                                                    
fish. She  wanted additional clarification. She  mentioned a                                                                    
large amount of money going  into the project and that there                                                                    
were issues  about fish population.  She was  concerned with                                                                    
having built  the hatcheries and  them not working.  She had                                                                    
heard from the hatchery that it could not insert stock.                                                                         
1:59:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Gara did  not  want to  haphazardly  add a  fish                                                                    
hatchery provision in the bill.  For example, recently there                                                                    
had been  a significant  amount of controversy  about adding                                                                    
hatchery  king  salmon to  a  wild  king salmon  stream.  He                                                                    
opined that  considerations would  have to be  studied prior                                                                    
to going  forward. Mr. Bowers  agreed. The only part  of the                                                                    
bill that  did not relate  to shellfish was  the application                                                                    
fee. The  legislation raised the  application fee for  a new                                                                    
salmon hatchery  permit from $100 to  $1000. Everything else                                                                    
related to shellfish fishery  enhancement. The piece related                                                                    
to the  salmon hatchery  permit application  fee was  in the                                                                    
bill  and  where the  word  "hatchery"  was drawn  into  the                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Gara  was  comfortable  with the  bill  being  a                                                                    
"shellfish bill." He would be uncomfortable expanding it.                                                                       
Co-Chair  Foster directed  Vice-Chair Gara  to walk  through                                                                    
the fiscal notes.                                                                                                               
Vice-Chair Gara reviewed two zero fiscal notes:                                                                                 
[Fiscal Note Number: 2]                                                                                                         
Department: Department of Fish and Game                                                                                         
Appropriation: Commercial Fisheries                                                                                             
Allocation: Statewide Fisheries Management                                                                                      
OMB Component Number: 2171                                                                                                      
[Fiscal Note Number: 1]                                                                                                         
Department: Department of Fish and Game                                                                                         
Appropriation: Commercial Fisheries                                                                                             
Allocation: Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                                                               
OMB Component Number: 471                                                                                                       
Vice-Chair  Gara MOVED  to report  HB 128  out of  Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
HB  128 was  REPORTED  OUT  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  two previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
notes, one with zero fiscal  impact: FN1 (DFG); and one with                                                                    
an indeterminate fiscal impact: FN2 (DFG).                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 177 Supporting Document-Letter Kenai Borough 4.15.17.pdf HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-Article News Miner 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Sponsor Statement 4.15.17.pdf HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-Article NOAA 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-Article Peninsula Clarion 4.15.17 (2).PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-Article Peninsula Clarion 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-News KTUU 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Documents - Example AIS and Pamphlets 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Documents - Letter NIPM 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177 Supporting Document-Support Letter-CIAA 4.15.17.pdf HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB177Supporting Document-Letter RCAC 4.15.17.PDF HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 177
HB 124 Amendment 1 Foster v.D.1.pdf HFIN 4/26/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 124