Legislature(1993 - 1994)
05/02/1994 05:30 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATOR MILLER announced HB 448 (WASTE & USE OF SALMON; HATCHERIES) S) to be up for consideration. GERON BRUCE, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the hatcheries are cited in locations where they will contribute to the common property fishery and where there is a terminal special harvest area where the hatchery return can be harvested distinct from wild stock. A majority of the harvest is for cost recovery. This legislation would increase the revenue the associations are earning from their hatchery returns. Both the public and private sectors have invested a lot of money in this industry. He said it is important to remember that the salmon that have returned to the terminal area are within a few days of dying. Whether they are harvested or not, they will die in a short period of time. It is important to realize we are dealing with hatchery stocks which are not part of the management of sustained yield of the wild stocks. SENATOR ZHAROFF said his concern is that the roe does not become the primary objective. His proposed letter of intent takes care of that. MR. BRUCE said they concur with the letter of intent. Number 278 RICK LAUBER, Pacific Seafood Processors Association, agreed with Mr. Bruce, but he couldn't support this bill. Alaska has the most outstanding record in the United States regarding wanton waste, particularly regarding roe stripping. He said that all of the arguments in favor of this legislation are economic and there are many times that you can make more money by stripping roe and discarding the carcass. Violation of the basic principals of this state is the reason they oppose wanton waste in any form. He said the legislature has already helped the aquaculture associations in other legislation this year. Number 347 KATE TROLL, Executive Director, Southeast Alaska Seiners, said they have copy of a letter signed by Petersburg Vessel Owners, Aleutian East Borough, Alaska Crab Coalition, and Alaska Long Line Fishermen's Association in support of maximizing the value of salmon and avoiding the waste of surplus salmon roe. They support the idea, but there are far greater downside implications to HB 448. Alaska is well known for its strong wanton waste law and its support of full utilization of fisheries resources. This position has been instrumental in federal arenas to uphold Alaska's ability to manage and protect both near and offshore fisheries. HB 448 would seriously erode Alaska's credibility. This bill would also allow hatcheries and processors to be accountable to different standards. This makes it difficult to not allow exceptions for other sectors in the future. She concluded that they do support SB 251. RAY GILLESPIE, representing the four regional aquaculture associations, said he supported this legislation. The alternative to a permit system that this bill proposes is to allow the salmon with the valuable roe to rot on the beach. This legislation defines very narrow circumstances. These are hatchery fish, returning to terminal harvest area, whose flesh has been declared unfit for human consumption. He said they endorse the letter of intent, the purpose of which is to ensure the Commissioner through regulations ensures that there are no other feasible options before he issues a permit and allows the roe to be taken. BILL THOMAS, commercial gill netter, gave a fisherman's perspective and supported this bill. SENATOR ADAMS moved Senator Zharoff's letter of intent. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR DONLEY moved amendment # 1. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said different charities have received large donations of fish from the aquaculture associations that would otherwise be wasted. He explained that this amendment makes clear that some runs of a hatchery are covered from liability if they are giving away fish that is considered marginal. SENATOR MILLER said amendment # 1 was adopted. SENATOR ADAMS moved to pass CSHB 448(RES) from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered.