Legislature(1997 - 1998)
02/19/1998 01:14 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 285 - POINT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL FISH VIOLATIO CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 285, "An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial fishing permits and privileges." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute. Number 0679 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 285, version 0-LS0879\H, Utermohle, 2/16/98, as a work draft. There being no objection, it was so adopted. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN M. IVAN, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 285, explained the proposed committee substitute is intended to address the concerns of illegal fishing activities throughout his area and the state. The original bill targeted the permit, but due to compromise, the committee substitute addresses the individual holding or owning the permit. He thanked the following expert witnesses who contributed to the committee substitute: Jerry McCune, United Fishermen of Alaska; Bruce Twomley, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; Ed Crane, Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; Greg Winegar, Division of Investments; Colonel John Glass, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection; George Utermohle, Legislative Legal and Research Services; Cameron Jensen (ph), attorney from Wasilla; and the Honorable Fred Dyson, a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN announced his staff, Tom Wright, is also here to answer any technical questions. Number 0802 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Alaska State Legislature, explained there are three amendments that need to be considered. They are technical in nature. Number 0909 MR. WRIGHT explained the first amendment would provide for an immediate effective date. Most want to see the bill go into effect this year. The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission does not have a problem with it. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 1, Line 2, after "and privileges" Insert "; and providing for an effective date" Page 9, insert a new section after Sec. 13. "Sec. 14. This act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c)." MR. WRIGHT explained the second amendment would provide for an immediate transfer of information on a weekly basis between the court system and the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission rather than on an immediate basis. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 4, Line 20, after "this title shall" Delete "immediately" Page 4, Line 21, after "to the commission" Insert "on a weekly basis" MR. WRIGHT explained the third amendment would provide for points to be assessed on the date of the last conviction rather than the last violation. It was a suggestion from the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 3, Line 27, after "the date of the last" Delete "violation" Insert "conviction" Number 1087 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked, if a commercial fishing permit is revoked, who would retain the ownership. Number 1099 MR. WRIGHT replied the only revocation process is through the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. The committee substitute does not deal with revocation any more because there would have been a significant number of administrative headaches and cost. Instead, there will be a one, two, or three year suspension. Number 1127 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the title of the committee substitute needs to be changed. MR. WRIGHT replied, "No." There is a revocation process that the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission can use within its statutes that is modified to a degree in the proposed committee substitute. Number 1186 JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, testified via teleconference in Kodiak. The division and department continue to support the proposed committee substitute in its entirety. "We" have worked with the House Resources Committee and with Representative Ivan's office to get it to this point. The division and department would like to see it pass. It would be a very, very effective tool. Number 1213 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN explained he road with Colonel Glass last summer at the North Line in Egegik. He commended the guys for putting their lives on the line in their small boats. He asked Colonel Glass how many repeat offenders are there for this type of offense. Number 1262 COLONEL GLASS replied there are many repeat offenders and even repeat offenders on the same day. The proposed committee substitute would give the department a great deal of help. Number 1322 BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman/Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Department of Fish and Game, explained the commission and the department support the bill. He thanked Representative Ivan for pulling together all of the interested parties. Number 1356 DEAN PADDOCK stated he is a Bristol Bay fisherman and fishes in other parts of the state. He supports the bill. He is not sure whether the bill is perfect, but it is a very complicated situation. The bill started by addressing problems in Bristol Bay, but it now is crafted to work as a statewide statute. In 1988, he sold his permit, but keeps his boat in Bristol Bay, because of personal disservice of the fishery and enforcement of the "lines." He moved to Prince William Sound, but continues to fish in Bristol Bay. Today, he fishes in the quietest district of the bay and in a gentleman-like fashion. It is possible to fish in Bristol Bay without getting into trouble. Occasionally, a person might get into trouble without inviting it, but that is what the courts are for. He expects there will be an increase in litigation because of certain aspects of the bill. Bristol Bay is an intense fishery and there are vast amounts of dollars at stake. He does not know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars he has foregone by fishing in a strictly legal fashion. In conclusion, the bill is needed to bring order. Number 1668 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated one can only appreciate the fishery by being there. There is no other way to describe it. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the three amendments. Number 1749 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt Amendments 1, 2 and 3. There being no objection, they were so adopted. Number 1796 LEONARD EFTA testified via teleconference in Kenai. He supports the bill, but he is concerned about the restrictions becoming a money maker and costing a person his permit. Otherwise, he is in full favor of the bill. Number 1858 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES read the following subsection: "(g) If a limited entry permit that has been pledged as security under AS 16.10.333 or 16.10.338 is revoked under AS 16.43.970, the debtor's interest in the permit is terminated by operation of law without further notice as of the date that the revocation takes effect." REPRESENTATIVE BARNES wondered whether the permit would be collateral. In other words, if the permit is revoked who would be liable. Number 1906 MR. TWOMLEY replied the purpose is to preserve the collateral and security for the benefit of the two loan programs mentioned in the subsection. The holder would lose and the two loan programs would get the benefit of the security. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked Mr. Twomley whether the two loan programs would get the benefit of the limited entry permit. MR. TWOMLEY replied, "Yes." They would get the security. Number 1977 NANCY HILLSTRAND, Representative, Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries, Incorporated, testified via teleconference in Homer. The Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries supports HB 285 and applauds Representative Ivan's efforts to help the fishing industry regulate itself. The concept needs to be expanded to other areas in Alaska as well to help bring violators of regulations into compliance. Number 2029 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to move the proposed committee substitute for HB 285, version 0-LS0879\H, Utermohle, 2/16/98, as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 285(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee.