Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/02/1994 05:30 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 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.                                                                      

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