Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/29/2010 03:00 PM FISHERIES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
              HB 266-PERSONAL USE FISHING PRIORITY                                                                          
4:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EDGMON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  266,  "An Act  providing for  a  priority for  a                                                               
fishery   that   is   restricted  to   residents   when   fishing                                                               
restrictions are implemented to achieve an escapement goal."                                                                    
4:42:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BILL STOLTZE, Alaska  State Legislature, stated HB
266 was first  introduced several years ago and is  relevant to a                                                               
large  part of  the state.   He  said his  intent, in  a time  of                                                               
shortages  and  to  address  fisheries  management  in  a  simple                                                               
manner,  is to  put personal  use, resident-only  fisheries in  a                                                               
priority status ahead  of commercial and sport fishing.   This is                                                               
a policy issue,  however, there are many  interested parties with                                                               
a history of  use, particularly in the Copper  River, Cook Inlet,                                                               
and  the Kenai  Peninsula.   Representative  Stoltze pointed  out                                                               
that personal  use fisheries are  also important to  the Interior                                                               
and Southcentral.  He remarked:                                                                                                 
     This  priority will  reflect  how we  can,  how we  can                                                                    
     affect a  more positive management of  our fisheries to                                                                    
     recognize this  Alaska resident-only fishery  that puts                                                                    
     wild  Alaska  protein,  that we  promote  as  the  best                                                                    
     protein in  the world, ... on  Alaskans' dinner tables,                                                                    
     and that protein in Alaskan freezers.                                                                                      
4:46:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EDGMON requested a description  of the committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for the bill.                                                                                                              
4:46:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to adopt  CSHB 266, version S, as the                                                               
working document before the committee.                                                                                          
CHAIR EDGMON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                            
4:47:29 PM                                                                                                                    
BEN MULLIGAN, Staff to Representative  Bill Stoltze, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  informed the  committee  the  Alaska Department  of                                                               
Fish  & Game  (ADF&G)  is  not taking  a  position  on the  bill;                                                               
however, ADF&G  was consulted for  the technical accuracy  of the                                                               
language  of  the  CS.   The  purpose  of  the  CS is  to  change                                                               
"escapement  goal" to  "management  goal" as  ADF&G advised  that                                                               
management goal is  more encompassing of all of  the personal use                                                               
fisheries in the state.  Thus,  page 1, line 6, version S, refers                                                               
to "management  goal," and the  definition of management  goal is                                                               
found on page 1, lines 8 through 10.                                                                                            
4:49:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  SWANTON,  Director,  Division   of  Sport  Fish,  Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game, said  the changes made by the CS truly                                                               
reflect personal use fisheries around the state.                                                                                
4:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked the department  to comment on the title                                                               
of the  bill regarding "sustained  yield" and  the constitutional                                                               
question of "residents."                                                                                                        
4:50:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SWANTON deferred to the Department of Law (DOL).                                                                            
4:51:08 PM                                                                                                                    
LANCE   NELSON,  Senior   Assistant  Attorney   General,  Natural                                                               
Resources  Section, Civil  Division, advised  that regarding  the                                                               
constitutionality of preferring residents,  there does not appear                                                               
to be  a serious issue, as  courts have ruled that  when fish are                                                               
sport-caught,  recreation-caught and  subsistence fish,  they are                                                               
not  intended for  sale.   In  addition, there  is a  legislative                                                               
determination that preference is needed.                                                                                        
4:52:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  EDGMON  said  commercial  fishermen  are  concerned  about                                                               
unintended consequences  to incidental fisheries, as  a result of                                                               
the statute changes to dip net  fisheries proposed by HB 266.  He                                                               
requested comments from ADF&G.                                                                                                  
4:53:40 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  HILSINGER,  Director,  Division  of  Commercial  Fisheries,                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game,  agreed that there is a variety                                                               
of personal  use fisheries,  besides dip  net fisheries,  such as                                                               
the  salmon  gill  net  fishery in  Cook  Inlet,  hatchery  stock                                                               
fisheries,  and fisheries  for shrimp,  king  crab, tanner  crab,                                                               
dungeness crab,  scallops, clams, abalone, herring,  bottom fish,                                                               
halibut, and smelt.   Mr. Hilsinger advised that  the bill "would                                                               
have to work  through the Board of  Fisheries adopting management                                                               
plans,  or regulations,  that  would  lay out  how  the, how  the                                                               
preference  would be  applied."   For example,  the personal  use                                                               
sablefish fishery  in Southeast has  no bag or  possession limit;                                                               
however, the  commercial fishery  there has  been reduced,  so if                                                               
the personal  use fishery needed  to be reduced, the  board would                                                               
need  to work  through  a  management plan  situation  to find  a                                                               
balance between the commercial and personal use fisheries.                                                                      
4:56:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  EDGMON asked  whether changing  the language  of the  bill                                                               
from  escapement  goal  to  management  goal  "put  more  of  the                                                               
responsibility  of implementing  this bill  in the  hands of  the                                                               
Board of Fisheries."                                                                                                            
MR. HILSINGER  opined the bill  specifically refers to  the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  putting  restrictions  on other  fisheries.    The                                                               
change from  escapement goal to  management goal was a  good one,                                                               
as escapement  goals are primarily  present in  salmon fisheries,                                                               
and personal use fisheries include  a variety of species, some of                                                               
which are managed based on  biomass thresholds and harvest rates,                                                               
or other kinds of management practices.                                                                                         
[Due to technical difficulties, the  audio recording ends at 4:57                                                               
4:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EDGMON announced that HB 266 would be held.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 266--Draft 2nd CS.PDF HFSH 3/29/2010 3:00:00 PM
HB 266
HB 266--SE Alaska Fishermens Alliance Opposed 3.28.2010.pdf HFSH 3/29/2010 3:00:00 PM
HB 266
HCR 15--U of W SAFS Ltr.PDF HFSH 3/29/2010 3:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15--NMWT Land Trust Ltr.PDF HFSH 3/29/2010 3:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15--Fogels Q and A.PDF HFSH 3/29/2010 3:00:00 PM
HCR 15