Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/25/1998 01:12 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HB 285 - POINT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL FISH VIOLATION                            
                                                                               
Number 0025                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the first item of business would be HB
285, "An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial                
fishing permits and privileges."                                               
                                                                               
Number 0105                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN, sponsor, paraphrased the sponsor                     
statement for CSHB 285(RES), explaining that the bill was                      
introduced to address concerns about illegal fishing activities                
committed by commercial fishers in his own district and in other               
commercial fishing communities throughout the state.  He indicated             
that when fishers are convicted for such activities, some consider             
it a cost of doing business.                                                   
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN informed members that the intent of this                   
legislation is to establish a point system against a commercial                
fishing permit holder for a conviction of commercial fishing laws              
found under Title 16.  Should 12 or more points be assessed against            
a permit holder during any consecutive 36-month period as a result             
of convictions, the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) is            
given the authority to suspend the permit for a one-year period.               
A suspension of two years occurs when 16 or more points are                    
accumulated during a consecutive 48-month period.  A suspension of             
three years is invoked when a permit holder accumulates 18 or more             
points during any consecutive 60-month period.  Two points will be             
deducted from the total points assessed against a permit if the                
permit holder is not convicted of a violation of commercial fishing            
laws during a 12-month period after the date of the last                       
conviction.  Representative Ivan noted that the bill outlines the              
assessment of points, the suspension process, the notice and appeal            
process, and the notification to the CFEC by the court system.                 
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN explained that another provision in CSHB
285(RES) affects emergency transfers of a permit.  Should the                  
permit holder decide to transfer the permit, any points accumulated            
by the person in possession of a permit will also be assessed                  
against the person to whom it is transferred.  This provision will             
discourage permit transfers by a permit holder who has accumulated             
a large number of points and is trying to avoid suspension by                  
transferring the permit to another fisher.                                     
                                                                               
Number 0324                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN indicated that although they had originally                
targeted against permits, they had decided to target the permit                
holders because of concerns by lending institutions such as the                
Commercial Fisheries and Agricultural Bank (CFAB).                             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN pointed out that while many fishers operate                
lawfully, others take advantage of the high income, breaking a few             
laws and then paying off the violations.  This bill discourages                
such behavior and levels the playing field for honest commercial               
fishermen.  Representative Ivan added, "And there were some                    
concerns by commercial fishermen, but we've addressed those and                
compromised in order to ... preserve the permit system."                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN noted that there had been input by CFAB, by the            
CFEC, and by Department of Public Safety personnel who enforce                 
fishing violations; he believes most of their concerns had been                
addressed.  He advised members that Bruce Twomley of the CFEC and              
Tom Wright, his own staff member, could respond to questions.                  
                                                                               
Number 0439                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE commented that he hopes this will solve               
the problem at Egegik, where people who get away with a violation              
once can "make a payday."  He referred to page 2, which lists                  
violations.  He asked whether those are all the violations possible            
or just the most egregious ones.                                               
                                                                               
Number 0487                                                                    
                                                                               
TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan Ivan,                 
Alaska State Legislature, answered that they are the most                      
egregious, and they fit under the Title 16 violations.  He                     
explained, "There might be some very minor violations that might               
not be included in here, but those are so minor in nature that it              
was decided not to do any point assessment.  We could go on and                
have a three- or four-page list of points, with all the Title 16               
violations. ... We had two work sessions on this bill of about                 
three hours each, and this was decided that these were the most                
egregious."                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 0530                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER noted that the sponsor statement says              
the CFEC is given the authority to suspend the permit.  As he reads            
the bill, however, it seems to be mandatory.  He asked whether the             
intent is that it be mandatory.                                                
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said yes.                                                  
                                                                               
Number 0571                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ referred to the list on page 2 and              
said he doesn't see points for fish that are undersized or of the              
wrong gender, for example.                                                     
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT suggested perhaps Colonel Glass could address that.                 
                                                                               
Number 0624                                                                    
                                                                               
JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife                   
Protection, Department of Public Safety, answered via                          
teleconference from Anchorage that these are mostly commercial                 
fishing violations.  He agreed with Mr. Wright that they are the               
most egregious ones; through all the work sessions, these were                 
highlighted by Colonel Glass's staff and by members of the                     
committee that worked on this bill as the ones that really needed              
to be addressed.  Colonel Glass also agreed that some smaller ones             
will probably get through.  He pointed out that just as not every              
violation generates points against a driver's license, they                    
anticipate the same with this bill.                                            
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS advised members that the Fish and Wildlife Protection            
Division supports this bill in its entirety.  He stated,                       
"Representative Ivan we applaud for doing this.  This has come at              
the request of the commercial fishermen in Bristol Bay, primarily,             
but almost all the groups that I've spoken with fully support this             
bill."                                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether that answered Representative                      
Berkowitz' question about gender or size.                                      
                                                                               
Number 0698                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said it did.  He pointed out that his                 
experience has been that those kinds of violations occur with crab.            
He asked whether they could find some way of including those,                  
noting that in his experience those violations have occurred fairly            
frequently, particularly regarding undersized crab.  He then asked             
how many people would lose their licenses under this scheme.                   
                                                                               
Number 0739                                                                    
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS replied, "That's unknown.  We do in some cases have              
multiple violations on a regular basis, most especially last year,             
I believe it was, when they did an in-river fishery; there were                
people that were violating and possibly accumulating points, two or            
three violations a day for fishing in closed waters.  Now, if                  
they're a violation, they're only going to get half the number of              
points, so it would take probably six.  The exact number I don't               
have a hard number on."  He suggested perhaps Bruce Twomley from               
the CFEC could address that.  He restated that there are multiple              
violators out there, whom this will affect.                                    
                                                                               
Number 0790                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN followed up on Representative Berkowitz' question               
about gender and size violations for crab fishing, saying it seems             
that could certainly be as important as fishing with an improperly             
marked vessel.                                                                 
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS replied, "You're right, and it's one that we just                
overlooked."                                                                   
                                                                               
Number 0813                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if all commercial fishers in              
Alaska hold permits or if they just have commercial fishing                    
licenses.  He asked about the distinctions between those.                      
                                                                               
Number 0863                                                                    
                                                                               
BRUCE C. TWOMLEY, Chairman, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission              
(CFEC), responded, "Anyone who is an operator of gear, anyone who              
is a captain responsible for a unit of gear, has to has a license              
issued by us.  It's a limited entry permit or an interim use                   
permit, as opposed to crew licenses that are administered by the               
Department of Fish and Game.  So the captains would be swept in.               
The people who have a stake ... in a limited entry permit or an                
interim use permit would be swept in, in this legislation."                    
                                                                               
Number 0908                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked, "There's no such animal as a                    
commercial fishing license, there are these two types of permits,              
which, if you are engaged in commercial fishing, you have to have              
one or the other?"                                                             
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY said that is correct; they need one or the other.                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether "permit holder" is the                   
appropriate term of art here.                                                  
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY replied, "For our purposes, yes. ... This covers the               
permits we issue, we administer."                                              
                                                                               
Number 0939                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "On that point, somebody with a                     
commercial fishing license can go to work for any permit holder if             
the permit holder will hire them.  The permit holder, ... however,             
can't just go fishing without the permit.  So, the person with the             
most to lose here is the permit holder."                                       
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that fishing in closed waters or during             
a closed season is a major violation.  He observed, deferring to               
Representative Ivan's judgment, that wanton waste is equally as                
serious but is penalized at a lower level than the other two.  He              
asked why wanton waste is at a lower level of penalty.                         
                                                                               
Number 1003                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT explained that it was debated and there was a policy                
decision, made within the working group, to make it a four-point               
violation.  While everyone had seemed to like it, they are not                 
adamant about four points by any means.                                        
                                                                               
Number 1035                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked whether bycatch is considered wanton                
waste.                                                                         
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT said he'd guess that under some scenarios it would be               
wanton waste, but under other scenarios, no.  He said he really                
couldn't answer, stating his assumption that Representative Bunde              
was talking about the trawl industry.                                          
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE affirmed that.  He suggested that most                    
commercial fishermen won't be involved in wanton waste because they            
want to sell the product.  He said he could see two scenarios.                 
First, someone might leave nets in the water and ignore them, with             
the fish subsequently rotting.  The second scenario would involve              
bycatch.  He added, "I've never heard anyone charged in a case of              
bycatch with wanton waste, but they're certainly throwing away the             
product."                                                                      
                                                                               
Number 1085                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT suggested Colonel Glass would be the best person to                 
answer that.  He said he would imagine the wanton waste on a                   
trawler would occur when they go beyond their allotted bycatch                 
limit.                                                                         
                                                                               
Number 1114                                                                    
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS stated that he had nothing to add, except that most              
of the trawlers are covered under the federal auspices and are                 
closely monitored by those people, too.                                        
                                                                               
Number 1134                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether setnet sites are covered under             
this as well.                                                                  
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT said yes.                                                           
                                                                               
Number 1168                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated his understanding that these                   
violations are all strict-liability violations.                                
                                                                               
BRUCE TWOMLEY explained that two levels of violations are addressed            
in the bill:  strict-liability violations and misdemeanors.  He                
said he believes the points set out cover the misdemeanor level,               
and a following section assigns half of those points for the                   
strict-liability violations.                                                   
                                                                               
Number 1168                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "But there are some strict-                  
liability misdemeanors, if I recall, too, which is an abnormality              
within the law.  But the point I wanted to make was, for example,              
you get fishing in closed waters, an over-the-line-type offense.               
There's two types.  There's the aggressive going over the line                 
deliberately, and there's the engine failure or drifting over the              
line problem.  And is there any way of distinguishing between those            
two cases, in terms of point assessment?"                                      
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY said he believes that kind of distinction takes place              
all the time in the field, when the enforcers actually charge                  
someone.  He suggested perhaps Colonel Glass could address that.               
                                                                               
Number 1212                                                                    
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS said that is correct.  Most strict violations, as                
such, are dealt with that way.  However, for the most serious and              
egregious violations, such as fishing way over the line, those                 
people start out at a misdemeanor level.  They also deal on a                  
regular basis with situations where there is a net in the wheel,               
for example; those circumstances are mitigators, handled in the                
field at the time of the violation, for the most part.                         
                                                                               
Number 1250                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked, "Colonel Glass, am I to assume that,               
like in many other cases, there is prosecutorial discretion?  And              
this, of course, is only after the person has been charged and                 
convicted of these violations that this would come into play."                 
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS said that is correct.  Although the bill originally              
indicated it was from the date of violation, now it is upon the                
date of conviction that the points are assessed.                               
                                                                               
Number 1284                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN stated his understanding that it is not uncommon for            
someone to be cited for one or more of these violations, and that              
the offender can plead to a lesser offense.  He asked what they                
normally plead down to, for going over the line, for example.                  
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS replied that normally, if a person is charged with               
fishing in closed waters, it is a violation; most of the people                
plead to that, as opposed to a misdemeanor.  As Representative Ivan            
has indicated, a standard rate of penalty is applied.  He cited an             
example of a $3,000 penalty with $1,000 suspended, so that there is            
a $2,000 fine that is considered a cost of doing business in                   
Bristol Bay.                                                                   
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked how that pleading would affect this point                 
system.                                                                        
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS answered, "As long as it's a violation, it would                 
still be half of the six points.  So, each pleading would still be             
three points, instead of the six."                                             
                                                                               
Number 1364                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN posed a situation where a person has a one-year                 
suspension, gets a two-point reduction, and then the next day                  
receives a six-point violation.  He asked whether the new violation            
would offset the previous day's two-point bonus.                               
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT explained that the two-point reduction would take place.            
The points are not assessed until the date of conviction.  If that             
person were convicted, the new points would then be assessed.                  
                                                                               
Number 1436                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Colonel Glass whether this would be              
a good tool and in what way it would enhance the enforcement of                
laws in Alaska.                                                                
                                                                               
Number 1481                                                                    
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS said he believes this will greatly enhance his                   
division's enforcement abilities.  He restated that in Bristol Bay,            
people feel that going across the line and doing these type of                 
violations is just the cost of doing business.  Colonel Glass                  
explained, "Now, when I say that, that's not my words.  This is the            
400-plus commercial fishermen in Bristol Bay region alone that I               
have spoken to personally in regards to this issue.  They think                
that it's excellent."                                                          
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS recounted that the previous week, he wrote a letter              
in response to an individual who had seven violations in the last              
five years; that individual had tried to explain to Colonel Glass              
that he was not a chronic offender.  Colonel Glass said those are              
the types of people that make it difficult for the honest, law-                
abiding fishermen, which probably 98 percent of them are.  "In                 
fact, we're trying to make it more on a level playing field for                
those people, and we feel that this bill will do just exactly                  
that," he concluded, adding that this was brought forth by the                 
fishermen, who themselves want it.                                             
                                                                               
Number 1547                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether this help in enforcement would be                 
because of the fear of loss of the permit, or whether there was a              
plan to have additional staff to patrol.                                       
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS stated the belief that the specter of losing one's               
permit, and the resulting large loss of income, will be a deterrent            
to a potential violator.  He said his agency will not be doing any             
more enforcement than they already do, because they are "maxed out"            
in that regard.                                                                
                                                                               
Number 1599                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT advised members that as a permit holder and a commercial            
fishermen himself, he knows that if he got a ticket for six points,            
he would be very careful about where he put the net again and how              
he played the line.  He said Cook Inlet is becoming that same type             
of fishery, as are other fisheries throughout the state.                       
                                                                               
Number 1637                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES said this revisits an issue from a              
previous year, when they considered increasing the fines on these              
types of violations.  She asked whether anyone recalled the fate of            
that legislation.                                                              
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT replied that he remembered a bill from a few years ago,             
sponsored by Senator Halford, that increased commercial fishing                
fines.  Mr. Wright pointed out that there is much latitude from                
court to court, which is where they run into a problem.                        
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she recalled that now.  She then                     
commented that she likes the idea of the point system.  She said               
when people just paid a fine for a speeding ticket, it was no big              
deal, but the points assessed against the driver's license made a              
big difference.                                                                
                                                                               
Number 1726                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE advised members that he is somewhat familiar              
with the Egegik fishery.  If someone goes over the line even 20                
feet and can stay there 10 minutes, they make many thousands of                
dollars, putting the people who stay just behind the line at a                 
great disadvantage, because the fish are so narrowly focused they              
can literally cut off the incoming stream.                                     
                                                                               
Number 1762                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether this might be almost self-policing, as            
it would be to honest fishermen's advantage to take the boat number            
of an offender.                                                                
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT agreed that in some aspects, this may be self-enforcing.            
When people receive notices of points being assessed after a                   
conviction, fishermen will become more careful, regardless of                  
whether there is enforcement in the area.                                      
                                                                               
Number 1789                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ pointed out that Alaska has fewer "fish               
cops" than the state of Rhode Island does.  He stated his                      
understanding that Colonel Glass has 80 or 85 officers working for             
him, covering the entire state, which Representative Berkowitz said            
is a huge problem.  "And anything we can do to magnify their force,            
something like this, is something we ought to think about doing,"              
he concluded.                                                                  
                                                                               
Number 1817                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether the judiciary looks at points            
as a further penalty and whether that had affected the level of                
fines relating to driving offenses.  He then asked whether anyone              
had any ideas about that.                                                      
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Representative Porter?"                                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded, "No."                                         
                                                                               
Number 1856                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Section 7, which he said                   
relates to revocation of a permit that has been pledged as security            
for a loan.  He noted that there are many citations to statutes                
there.  He then referred to Section 11, which he said refers to an             
entry permit pledged as collateral for a loan.  He asked what the              
effects of these sections are.  He further asked what occurs in                
this instance.                                                                 
                                                                               
Number 1889                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY replied, "The effect of those two provisions is to                 
ensure that if the permit itself is security to one of the two                 
state-authorized loan programs for a loan, that the security is not            
lost.  The individual may lose the privilege, but the security is              
still maintained for the benefit of the two agencies."                         
                                                                               
Number 1905                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether it is possible that a                    
commercial bank or another institution other than the state                    
programs would have a security interest in the permit.                         
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY replied, "That's not the case.  There's only two state-            
authorized loan programs that can take a security interest in an               
entry permit.  Otherwise, the permit has been characterized by the             
legislature as a privilege, one that the legislature can modify at             
will."                                                                         
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested that only the Internal Revenue               
Service (IRS) could have a claim against it, and not any other                 
commercial financial institution, for purposes of                              
collateralization.                                                             
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY said that is correct.                                              
                                                                               
Number 1939                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Section 11 and asked about                 
existing law relating to a buy-back provision.                                 
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY answered that it is existing law, and the function of              
this section is to roll in the termination of the debtor's interest            
under this new legislation into the existing provision.                        
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that it is a new subsection under            
Section 10.  He asked whether the only debtor's interest that would            
be created would be with one of the two state-owned institutions.              
He asked whether there could be any other kind of debtor or                    
interest in that permit.                                                       
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY replied, "Not a private debtor, but arguably Child                 
Support [Enforcement Division] and the Internal Revenue Service                
could have a claim."                                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said these permits are not used as security            
interests for any other kind of indebtedness, and they are                     
restricted by state statute in that regard.  He asked whether it is            
a correct assumption that they are not going to be interrupting any            
commerce here, or creditors' rights and relationships, by passing              
this statute.                                                                  
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY said that is correct.                                              
                                                                               
Number 2005                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked about the process for buying a permit that                
comes back to the CFEC, and whether someone could buy it from the              
commission for the unpaid balance under the buy-back program.                  
                                                                               
MR. TWOMLEY replied, "The mechanics of it are that the lending                 
program gets to dispose of the permit.  But if there's a buy-back              
program in place, they have to make an offer to the commission                 
first, assuming we had funds to administer a buy-back program.                 
They'd have to make the offer to us before they offered the permit             
to the public."  He noted that it is a buy-back by the commission.             
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG likened it to taking in stock; they are                
buying it back to diminish the number of permits available.                    
                                                                               
Number 2051                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT pointed out that someone under suspension would be out              
of that fishery for a year's period, except for the possibility of             
being a crew member.                                                           
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked, "Now, if you didn't have the funds to buy it,            
could a third party then buy it for the unpaid balance?"  [Mr.                 
Twomley nodded.]                                                               
                                                                               
Number 2077                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred to a provision on page 4, line               
23, which allows for bail forfeiture essentially to count as                   
conviction for purposes of assessing points.  He asked whether                 
anyone had looked into due process or other constitutional                     
provisions that might allow that.                                              
                                                                               
Number 2103                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT said he couldn't respond to that, and that it was a                 
subsection inserted by the drafter.                                            
                                                                               
Number 2136                                                                    
                                                                               
DEAN PADDOCK came forward to testify on his own behalf, stating                
that he lives in Juneau and fishes commercially in Bristol Bay.  He            
specified that he was speaking to identify with and hopefully                  
validate the sponsor's statements, and he also identifies with the             
statements of the Representative from North Pole.  He told members             
this has long been requested by the legal fishing community.  "The             
rest, I guess, are going to have to look out for themselves," he               
added.                                                                         
                                                                               
MR. PADDOCK suggested that one major problem remains for the                   
fishermen, and, to some degree, for Public Safety.  Particularly in            
Bristol Bay, the boundaries of these fishing lines are identified              
largely by Loran C lines.  Therefore, there is a question of where             
the line is at the moment that a violation is alleged to have                  
occurred.  "And that, of course, is the problem which this bill                
attempts to solve," he added.                                                  
                                                                               
MR. PADDOCK stated, "I do hope that Public Safety, the Division of             
Commercial Fisheries, the Board of Fisheries and the fishing public            
will continue to attempt to address this issue.  I believe this                
bill will be effective largely through its ability to scare the                
heck out of everybody, including the legal fishermen."  He referred            
to the "law of unintended consequences," noting that he is not an              
attorney.  He suggested that is what Representative Berkowitz'                 
question probably addressed.  Mr. Paddock concluded by saying in               
spite of this "hopefully minor concern," this bill has his support.            
He urged the committee to go ahead on it full-steam.                           
                                                                               
Number 2315                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he'd had the pleasure of going to                
Bristol Bay and fishing with Mr. Paddock during the summer.                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN informed members, "We've had some input from                    
attorneys along the side line, and figure that it's unusual but                
legal."                                                                        
                                                                               
Number 2329                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT indicated he had consulted with Commissioner Otte and               
George Utermohle, the drafter of the bill, and this is based on the            
guidelines in the forfeiture statutes of the CFEC.  It is designed             
so that someone charged with a violation, if it is serious enough,             
can go in, post bail, post collateral, go back out and keep                    
fishing, and come back after the fishing season and take care of               
that.                                                                          
                                                                               
Number 2356                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the analogy between this and driver's               
license points is obvious.  He stated, "And the question of double             
jeopardy has been litigated in the area of driver's license points,            
whether a court can fine and then an administrative suspension is              
a violation of double jeopardy.  It is very well established by the            
courts that it is not, and I'm sure that the same ruling would be              
given in this case."                                                           
                                                                               
Number 2382                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked what the sponsor's desire is, in response to              
concern that this doesn't cover size or gender violations,                     
especially relating to crab.  He also mentioned the issue of                   
bycatch.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 2389                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN responded that he doesn't have any problem with            
the recommendation by Representative Berkowitz.  He said they could            
handle it either in the current committee or on the floor,                     
whichever is the committee's desire.                                           
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES and REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ both suggested               
doing a conceptual amendment in this committee.                                
                                                                               
Number 2404                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE announced he would like to remove his concern             
about bycatch, saying that he believes wanton waste and bycatch are            
two different things.  "My only concern was wanton waste should                
have been, in my mind, higher, but it's not a reason to hold the               
bill," he added.                                                               
                                                                               
Number 2408                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that there had been an omission and              
policy calls.  He suggested that the committee briefly look at what            
violations of fishing laws and fines there are, to see whether                 
there is anything else they want to add or subtract.  He also said             
he didn't want to hold the bill any longer than needed.                        
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN acknowledged that admitted oversight but expressed              
concern about holding it up to go back over policy.                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said it seems there is a difference between               
the crab issue and this fishing issue.                                         
                                                                               
TAPE 98-24, SIDE B                                                             
Number 0006                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES continued, saying it seems that the list in               
this bill specifically apply to that Bristol Bay fishing area.  She            
said she would be comfortable passing the bill along as it is, but             
she would also be comfortable, if the sponsor had no problem with              
it, adding those two issues to the list, as a conceptual amendment.            
She said she didn't want to hold the bill up.                                  
                                                                               
Number 0022                                                                    
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS pointed out that when his officers go through a crab             
vessel, they go by percentage of females and percentage of                     
undersized crab.  If there were amendments relating to the crab                
fishery, his division would have to get those percentages to plug              
in.  "And I don't recall right off the top of my head, but it seems            
to me that it has to be more than, like, 5 percent undersized                  
before we would take any action in any case," he stated, adding                
that the most egregious ones, which would be well over that                    
percentage, are "hammered pretty good."                                        
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said it doesn't seem to fit the purpose of                
this bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Representative Berkowitz, who had originally              
raised the point, what he thinks about it.                                     
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he doesn't know much about fishing or            
crabbing.  However, his experience prosecuting and doing defense               
work was that the undersized crab problem is pervasive.  He said               
that if they are trying to discourage behavior, the crabbers need              
discouragement just as much as anyone else.  He noted that they are            
not picking up people for one undersized or one female crab; that              
certainly doesn't rise to the level of anyone's attention.  But if             
people are misbehaving enough, they ought to feel the pinch.                   
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that he certainly understands what Colonel            
Glass is saying.  However, this wouldn't get into the percentages              
if they just made another line entry, "size or gender violation, so            
many points."                                                                  
                                                                               
COLONEL GLASS said that would be fine with him.                                
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked how many points that should be.                           
                                                                               
Number 0106                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said, "Not trying to be negative, but now I'm            
uncomfortable.  I don't feel that this is the committee is the one             
to discuss the ramifications of crabbing and crab violations and               
the degree of violations as it equates to the degree of points.                
That is a Resources Committee function.  The legality of this seems            
clear.  It is intended, I think, to address one area of resource               
management, and that isn't crabbery.  If Resource folks want to do             
that, then they should get a bill to do that.  But I'm                         
uncomfortable doing it here at the table."                                     
                                                                               
Number 0140                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ offered to make a conceptual amendment, to            
resolve it.  He referred to the House Resources Standing Committee,            
which had been heavily occupied with the subsistence issue lately,             
and he noted that multiple committee referrals exist so that new               
ideas can be generated as a bill moves through the process.  He                
also pointed out that some or all of these restrictions apply to               
crab as well as to fin fisheries; he said he saw no particular                 
problem with having something specific to crabbing.  He concluded,             
"That's a law enforcement question, not so much a resource                     
question, which it would seem to me properly within our purview."              
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Representative Berkowitz was making an            
amendment.                                                                     
                                                                               
Number 0172                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "Conceptual amendment, to include            
the crabbing violations:  undersize, gender."                                  
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether he had a point system.                            
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied that he couldn't say what the                 
points were going to be.                                                       
                                                                               
Number 0188                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT offered to work with Representative Berkowitz or his                
staff, or with the Department of Public Safety, to try to come up              
with the proper point assessment.  He said it is a good idea.                  
                                                                               
Number 0209                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he felt it was drifting into an area with             
which he isn't totally familiar.  He would try to accommodate the              
amendment but could make no assurances that they would arrive at               
that.  Representative Ivan emphasized that he didn't want to                   
endanger the bill, which is very much needed in the Bristol Bay                
area for line enforcement purposes.                                            
                                                                               
Number 0237                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his conceptual amendment, saying             
he would discuss with Representative Ivan possibly doing something             
when this goes to the floor.                                                   
                                                                               
MR. WRIGHT pointed out that salmon fishermen helped to put this                
together.                                                                      
                                                                               
Number 0252                                                                    
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move from committee CSHB
285(RES), with individual recommendations and attached fiscal                  
notes.                                                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether there was any objection.  There being             
none, CSHB 285(RES) moved from the House Judiciary Standing                    
Committee.                                                                     

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