Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/19/1998 01:14 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                      
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             
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.                             

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