Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/27/1997 01:21 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE March 27, 1997 1:21 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair Representative Fred Dyson Representative Joe Green Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Ramona Barnes Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21 Relating to amendment of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 128 "An Act relating to water quality; directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct water quality research; establishing the Water Science Oversight Board; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 141 "An Act relating to a vessel permit moratorium for the Alaska weathervane scallop fishery; relating to management of the scallop fisheries; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 141(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 144 "An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation to charge certain fees relating to registration of pesticides and broadcast chemicals; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HOUSE BILL NO. 19 "An Act relating to licensing of sport fishing services operators and fishing guides; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 16(RES) am Relating to reauthorization and reform of the Endangered Species Act. - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 21 SHORT TITLE: REQUESTING CONGRESS TO AMEND ANILCA SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK, Ogan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/97 314 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/97 314 (H) RESOURCES, STATE AFFAIRS 03/13/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/13/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/20/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/20/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) BILL: HB 128 SHORT TITLE: WATER QUALITY; WATER SCIENCE OVERSIGHT BD SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HUDSON JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/97 318 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/97 318 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 02/18/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/18/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/20/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/20/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/27/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/27/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/18/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/18/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/19/97 756 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED - REFERRALS 03/19/97 756 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/19/97 756 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 03/20/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/20/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/25/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 141 SHORT TITLE: SCALLOP FISHERY/VESSEL MORATORIUM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/17/97 374 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/17/97 374 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 02/26/97 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/26/97 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/27/97 508 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) 5DP 02/27/97 508 (H) DP: AUSTERMAN, KUBINA, HODGINS, IVAN 02/27/97 508 (H) OGAN 02/27/97 508 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 03/18/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/18/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/27/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 434 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4230 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 141. EARL KRYGIER, Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-6112 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 141. MARK KANDIANIS, Owner F/V Provider 326 Center Avenue, Suite 205 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-3309 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 141. BRUCE SIEMINSKI P.O. Box 1302 Seward, Alaska 99664 Telephone: (907) 224-3636 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 141. MAX HULSE, Owner F/V LaBrisa P.O. Box 770881 Eagle River, Alaska 99577 Telephone: (907) 694-2413 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 141. WILLIAM KOPPLIN P.O. Box 192 Ester, Alaska 99725 Telephone: (907) 479-5426 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 141. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-34, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:21 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Ogan, Hudson, Masek, Dyson and Green. Representatives Nicholia and Joule both arrived at 1:24 p.m. Absent were Representatives Barnes and Williams. HJR 21 - REQUESTING CONGRESS TO AMEND ANILCA Number 0091 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the first order of business was House Joint Resolution No. 21, relating to amendment of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). He advised that public testimony was closed following the special testimony the previous week. Number 0115 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease, at Representative Dyson's request, at 1:23 p.m. He called the meeting back to order at 1:29 p.m. Number 0187 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE read from the state constitution, Article XII, Section 12, which says in part: "The State of Alaska and its people forever disclaim all right and title in or to any property belonging to the United States or subject to its disposition, and not granted or confirmed to the State or its political subdivisions, by or under the act admitting Alaska to the Union. The State and its people further disclaim all right and title in or to any property, including fishing rights, the right or title to which may be held by or for any Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut, or community thereof, as that right or title is defined in the act of admission. The State and its people agree that, unless otherwise provided by Congress, the property, as described in this section, shall remain subject to the absolute disposition of the United States." REPRESENTATIVE JOULE referred to extinguishment of aboriginal rights under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and to John Borbridge's testimony March 13 regarding the conference committee that met prior to ANCSA. Representative Joule said it was not the intent of Congress to totally disclaim hunting and fishing rights for Alaska Natives. Because the state and the Secretary of Interior did not settle the issue, Title VIII of ANILCA was introduced. Number 0458 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said under ANILCA, the state agreed to language regarding rural people that did not specify Native Alaskans. Concessions had been made then to accommodate the state's concerns. He believes HJR 21 goes against a deal that was made and he objects to it. He suggested figuring out a way to resolve the issue from a broader perspective. Number 0650 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said on its face, HJR 21 appears to be a good- faith attempt that calls for interested parties to sit down and find common ground on definitions in the agreement. He does not see it as an attempt to go back on anything. However, to his disappointment, it is not being perceived that way. Without all the parties at the table, he does not believe there will be an Alaskan solution acceptable to everyone. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he is troubled by his own vote, as he gave his word to vote it out of committee. He recommends that everyone put energy toward finding common ground and some basis on which to all sit down at the table. He expressed great distress at the polarization, reactions, and paranoia on several sides of the issue. He does not want his vote in committee to be construed as taking sides or breaking a deal. Neither does not believe this effort, well-intended as it appears, will be successful unless major portions of the Native community come forward and find common ground with others. He emphasized he is casting no aspersion. Number 0884 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON concurred. He recognizes the difficulty of resolving this issue to everyone's satisfaction. He believes the most important element of HJR 21 is trying to prevent federal takeover of management of Alaska's fish and game. It does not resolve subsistence nor take one side over another. However, testimony from rural regions indicates no support for it, which troubles him. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said he does not know how to regain trust, have meaningful discussion and find a solution. It clearly will call for leadership and statesmanship, with less divisiveness. He expressed uncertainty as to his final vote, but believes it does no good to keep the resolution in committee. He suggested this issue should go through the whole process. He hopes people from rural and Native communities will help find a solution and break the impasse. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated his belief that there is enough fish and game to satisfy everyone's interests. He said he worries about failing to act and letting the federal takeover of management of Alaska's fish and game become so entrenched that Alaska cannot get it back. "So I guess I'm pleading for the real leaders, who understand this issue better than I do, to help us find solution," he concluded. Number 1106 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA stated her opposition to HJR 21. She feels that it is not a resolution to the federal-state subsistence impasse. It divides communities, it is not written with a spirit of cooperation, it is unnecessary, and it does not build trust. It also eliminates customary trade. For example, people who are widowed, elderly, crippled or have some kind of a disease that precludes them from fishing or hunting for their own families may use customary trade to exchange gasoline for fish or meat. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA mentioned supplementing budgets with subsistence. She said rural people cannot survive without resources such as big game and fish. She also said HJR 21 ensures that regional advisory councils are ineffective or abolished. "We have great pride in voting for the person that represents us on these regional councils," she stated, noting that council members live in the area, follow caribou herds, know game and fish populations and work closely with biologists. Number 1270 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said HJR 21 weakens Title VIII of ANILCA, which they depend on for survival and connection to cultural activities. Title VIII connects them to customary trade options and to the earth and all its resources. She emphasized that Title VIII only falls into place for the rural priority when there is a resource shortage. In her district, that had not yet happened. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA pointed out there are private lands under Native corporations in her region. Although they could do so, they have not kicked anyone off those lands for hunting or fishing. She said they are trying to work with outsiders and those from urban Alaska who fish and hunt in her district. "They're great for our economy," she said. "We realize that. And we welcomed them into our communities. I've gone up and talked to those guys. They've had a lot of exchanges with us." She concluded by saying HJR 21 further divides village communities from urban communities. She does not believe HJR 21 will resolve the impasse. Number 1401 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN acknowledged this is a much-discussed, sensitive and divisive issue. He pointed out Alaska's enormous size and said the square miles are equivalent to the "main actors" in the Civil War. He said in that case, the ultimate good was worth the strife. Here, there are two polarized views that will never come together. However, cultures and times are changing, with use of motorized vehicles and boats in rural areas, for example. Whereas when he came to Alaska, people thought it absurd to walk a mile for a moose, now that short distance would be welcome. Saying Alaska will forever remain as it was 100 or 50 years ago is not heading into the 21st century with the right attitude. He believes Alaska's fight collectively should be with the federal government, not internally over a few issues. As painful as it may be, he plans to support HJR 21. Number 1664 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK said the subsistence issue has been around many years, and the state has tried to resolve it. The congressional delegation has consistently requested a position from the state on this issue. Now, federal agencies have draft regulations in place to initiate preemption action against the state, including state land and navigable waters. She said HJR 21 looks at the fine points as far as what the state will be up against. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK stated that preemptive regulations could ultimately have a big impact on commercial fisheries, and they could be initiated as early as October 1997. Finding common ground is important, and it is the reason she introduced HJR 21. The resolution is designed to return fish and wildlife management to the state, while retaining some preference for subsistence on public lands. It is also designed to specifically exempt state and private lands or waters from any federal preemption, which she believes is extremely important. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said the majority of the Senate and House clearly indicated a state constitutional amendment is neither possible nor desirable at this time. Therefore, the only possibility of relief from federal preemption lies within amending ANILCA. Delays in amending ANILCA only place the state at greater risk of total preemption by the federal government. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK spoke of efforts by former Governor Hickel and current Lieutenant Governor Ulmer to resolve this issue. The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) rejected attempts in both cases. The AFN has adopted a no-net-loss position; she noted that committee members have copies of this policy. Representative Masek said the question is what is necessary to protect the state's interests, including all users of Alaska's fish and wildlife. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK acknowledged testimony regarding fears that the rural preference will be in jeopardy. She emphasized that HJR 21 retains the rural preference. She concluded by thanking everyone for their input and opinions. Number 1928 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said he too has a heavy heart. He emphasized that he is acting with malice towards none. His goal in moving HJR 21 is to facilitate conversation and hopefully bring all parties to the table. "Because if we don't do this, then all the motivation for solving this goes away," he stated. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said the problem people have with customary trade is not that it's "here's some fish for some gas." He does not believe anyone would have a problem with that. However, people have a problem with outright sale of large quantities of subsistence-caught fish or game. He believes that goes against the spirit of subsistence. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised listeners that this is not a law but a resolution, an advisory position of the legislature asking Congress to make these changes. He shares the concern that Alaska is running out of time. His concern is for the resource. Looking at the state of Washington, for example, he does not believe either rural or urban Alaskans want their resource compromised like that. Number 2017 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN recounted how a pastor had shown excitement over change resulting from a crisis. He noted that HJR 21 brings this situation to a crisis. Many feel threatened by it, which he understands wholeheartedly. However, he believes the crisis will bring necessary change. It will require leadership by not only the legislature but the Governor's office, the Native community, the Alaska Outdoor Council and others. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN expressed hope for a consensus. He said according to Co-Chairman Hudson, when a consensus is reached, generally everybody is a little bit unhappy and then you know it is a good consensus. Co-Chairman Ogan said he wants to move HJR 21 because otherwise the issue will not be resolved. Number 2123 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA noted that the congressional delegation requested that Alaska come forward with unified voice on a solution to this problem. "We don't have a unified voice," she stated, asking whether passing the resolution out of committee was for nothing. She asked whether the sponsor wished to address that. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK declined, shaking her head. Number 2160 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated his wish to bring people to the table to discuss this. He said he would be working towards that goal. He reiterated his reason for moving HJR 21 is that if it stays in committee, the discussion ends. Number 2196 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE advised that the congressional delegation indicated they had been putting together waivers to extend this. He suggested letting them know this issue is on the table, that Alaska would like to leave it on the table and have them obtain a waiver. Work could then be done in the interim. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE acknowledged that a conclusion may not reached by the next session. He noted that some people have a problem with customary trade and barter, some with the state providing definitions, for example. He suggested taking up one issue at a time, dealing with it and then putting it away, so that people do not feel they must address everything at once. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE, responding to Representative Green's comments, said "our people have learned to adapt." He noted that although motorized boats are enjoyed, people still use skin boats for whaling because they are quiet. Although the equipment has changed, the harvest, the attitude and the spiritual connection have not. Number 2344 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion to move HJR 21 out of committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE objected and asked about the tabled motion made at a previous hearing by Representative Barnes, currently absent. Number 2390 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease at 2:11 p.m. He called the meeting back to order at 2:17 p.m. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated his belief that the motion by Representative Barnes, left on the table at the March 13 meeting, had died because it was not taken up March 20. He believed the current motion was proper. Number 2430 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON expressed appreciation for Representative Joule's suggestion of a waiver, which he understood to be postponement of the federal takeover. He offered to work on a joint resolution to that end. He agreed with Representative Nicholia that HJR 21 would do no good without a "wide buy-in" by most Alaskans. TAPE 97-34, SIDE B Number 0006 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he would not vote to move the bill further than committee unless he sees wider agreement. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE maintained his objection. Number 0053 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked for a roll call. Voting to move HJR 21 from committee were Representatives Masek, Dyson, Green, Hudson and Ogan. Voting against it were Representatives Nicholia and Joule. Representatives Barnes and Williams were absent. So HJR 21 moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. SSHB 128 - WATER QUALITY; WATER SCIENCE OVERSIGHT BD Number 0075 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was Sponsor Substitute for House Bill No. 128, "An Act relating to water quality; directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct water quality research; establishing the Water Science Oversight Board; and providing for an effective date." Number 0087 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON advised that final action was deferred at the March 25 hearing to allow Representative Green to address questions. He further advised that the letter recently received from the Alaska Clean Water Alliance refers to standards in the original bill, not SSHB 128. Number 0165 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that his concern had been whether small companies or individuals abiding by existing standards might experience hardship because of changing standards. For example, he knew of cases where samples for toxicity tests were sent to three different labs because of conflicting results; that is unaffordable to mom-and-pop operations. However, after talking with the mining community and people in the science field, he is satisfied. Number 0289 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move SSHB 128 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. There being no objection, SSHB 128 moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. HB 141 - SCALLOP FISHERY/VESSEL MORATORIUM Number 0344 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 141, "An Act relating to a vessel permit moratorium for the Alaska weathervane scallop fishery; relating to management of the scallop fisheries; and providing for an effective date." Before the committee was CSHB 141(FSH), version 0-LS0112\R. AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman, said HB 141 implements a moratorium within state waters off Alaska, similar to that being implemented by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), which affects federal waters off Alaska. She read from the sponsor statement: "Without a moratorium implemented in state waters, it is probable that there would be an increase in effort on our state water scallop stocks, as well as on the associated marine habitat, and create an unmanageable fishery. "Worldwide, scallops have proven to be susceptible to overfishing and boom/bust cycles. Scallops are a long-lived shellfish. The large scallop meats which bring premium prices come from scallops eight years or older. "The Alaska scallop fishery started in 1968. Nineteen East Coast scallop vessels came to Alaska and took 1.7 million pounds of scallop meat. The fishery continued at a harvest level of 1.3 million pounds of meat annually until 1973. Catches dropped off sharply after '73, and fishing ceased in 1978 when the scallop beds were depleted. This boom-and-bust cycle was repeated in the 1980s and appeared to be repeating for a third time in the 1990s until the state developed a fishery management plan for scallops in 1993. All scallop fishing was stopped in February 1995 in order to prevent an East Coast scalloper, Mr. Big, from fishing in unregulated federal waters. The fishery reopened in late 1996 under a federal management plan. "At present, weathervane scallops are managed jointly by the federal government and the State of Alaska. There is a federal fishery management plan to delegate management authority of scallops to the state `in process,' but it has not been finalized. The management plan includes mandatory 100 percent observer coverage, caps on the amount of crab bycatch which can be taken and area-specific quotas. Under new language in the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the State of Alaska could exercise management authority out to 200 miles under delegated authority. "It is also in the State of Alaska's best interest that both the state and federal scallop fisheries have similar management plans and be managed by the State of Alaska. Representative Austerman's goal is delegation of management authority by the U.S. Department of Commerce to the State of Alaska with a more restricted moratorium base. It should be noted that the council's Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review found that four vessels could efficiently harvest the Alaska scallop quotas. "Within this legislation, Representative Austerman has separated out the weathervane scallop fishery conducted in Area H, or Cook Inlet. That fishery is unique in that it is managed an entirely separate fishery, has different gear specifications and has more recently been developed. "HB 141 is needed to ensure careful consideration [note: written statement says conservation] of the scallop stocks, as well as the marine habitat in which the scallops live, and to ensure that the bycatch of other marine animals, such as crabs, are properly controlled and managed. It's imperative to implement a moratorium on new entrants into the weathervane scallop fishery now." Number 0492 MS. DAUGHERTY discussed the three proposed amendments. Amendment 1 stems from a drafting oversight and makes language within the bill consistent. More substantial, Amendment 2 changes one of the qualifying years for the Area H fishery from 1995 to 1994, as that area was closed in 1995. On the basis of fairness, it also allows inclusion of someone who consistently participated in that fishery but with different vessels. Amendment 3 resulted from the fact that the statewide scallop fishery is due to open July 1. Without the amendment, someone could fish July 1 and possibly qualify under HB 141. Therefore, the date will be June 30. Number 0560 EARL KRYGIER, Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager, Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), came forward to testify. He coordinates many interactions between the state and federal governments because many Alaska resources are either on the three-mile boundary or cross back and forth. He noted that with him from the division was Ken Griffin, coordinator for crab and scallop. Those resources are under fishery management plans in the federal zone. MR. KRYGIER said through 1995, the fishery was managed wholly by the state. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the state can extend its authority to manage vessels registered under state law into federal waters. Until 1995, that was never challenged. However, in 1995, the F/V Mr. Big, a large offshore catcher-processor, did not register with the state and fished with no seasons or size limits. That obviously created a problem. MR. KRYGIER advised that worldwide, scallops are susceptible to overfishing. Many overfished resources have been depressed for 10 or 20 years and may never return. Compared with that of other areas of the United States, the resource off Alaska is small. For example, on the East Coast, 30 million pounds of shucked meats are taken annually. Off Alaska over the last five years, the harvest has been 700,000 to 1.8 million pounds. The ADF&G has set an upper limit for extraction of the statewide resource at 1.8 million pounds. MR. KRYGIER said because of increased fishing beginning in 1990, the state developed a management plan. They conducted research and set guideline goals, such as making sure habitat and bycatch were not impacting other important species. MR. KRYGIER explained that scallops do not move around once they settle. Therefore, the state manages the fishery by small regions, which are either a bed or a series of beds. In some areas, reasonable harvest rates are determined by surveys. In others, the annual limit is based on a long-term, mid-level catch range. Number 0747 MR. KRYGIER said the state requires offshore vessels to carry certified observers; it costs $6,000 to $7,000 per month for an observer. The state is trying to become a better manager by gathering information about the resource. MR. KRYGIER said presently, the offshore fisheries are harvested by fairly large catcher-processor vessels, ranging from 80 to 114 feet in length, which carry up to 12 crew members. In scallop fisheries, efficiency is basically restricted by the number of crew members, who hand-shuck the meat. MR. KRYGIER reported that in Cook Inlet, the harvestable resource is only 20,000 to 28,000 pounds. A number of years ago, the Board of Fisheries recognized a special fishery there. It limited dredge size to six feet and set up crab bycatch levels to keep fishermen out of important crab areas such as Kamishak Bay. In addition, the ADF&G sometimes sends out a department employee as a short-term observer; the fishermen do not pay for that. He noted that in the offshore fishery, two 15-foot-wide dredges are used simultaneously. It is more industrial than the small-boat fishery inshore, which has vessels up to 70 feet long. Number 0869 MR. KRYGIER said after the Mr. Big came in and tried to fish uncontrolled in federal waters, the state asked the NPFMC to close the waters, which they did for 18 months. During that time, the state tried to put together a joint management regime to help manage this fishery. MR. KRYGIER advised that federal managers are not really interested in managing that fishery because the state has done so for a long time. Currently, they mirror closures by the state. He stated, "They'd like to get to the point where they actually delegate the authority back to the state to manage, and there would be the two management plans. They have put in place a moratorium in federal waters. And since ... many of the beds are trans-boundary beds, they're right on the three-mile line, and we don't have exact measurements of the numbers of animals in those beds, it's impossible for us to say that so much could be take on one side, inside the three-mile zone, and so much in the federal zone. Fishermen have fished those beds, back and forth across the line, so ... either you're an outside fisherman or you're a Cook Inlet fisherman." Number 0927 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated his understanding that during harvesting, a big scoop was pulled, picking up everything. MR. KRYGIER said it is a dredge, a metal bag that has a bar on the front. It digs into the surface a little bit. In places like Yakutat, where there are observers on board vessels, there is almost no bycatch of any other species. In other areas, there is some bycatch. "But we have the observers on board, and we'll actually shut down a fishery if they're starting to cause some interaction problems," he explained. Number 0972 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN compared dredging with mowing a lawn. He asked what happens to the scallop bed. MR. KRYGIER replied that on similar beds on the East Coast, harvest had occurred for numerous years. The dredge kind of bounces along the bottom, without digging in all the way. It has rings large enough to allow most smaller scallops to pass through. Since 1968, a number of beds have been harvested in a sustainable manner. The ADF&G is not concerned about impacts on the beds themselves, as long as enough spawning biomass remains to ensure replacement. Number 1056 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether this plan covers both state and federal waters. MR. KRYGIER replied this is presently for state waters. However, it is similar to that put together for federal waters. It is a little more restrictive, but it basically mirrors the major portions of the fishery that ADF&G is concerned about. Number 1091 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether, once harvested, a bed could be harvested again, and after how long. MR. KRYGIER indicated there could be an annual harvest of a portion of the beds. For example, at Kayak Island there had been a sustainable annual harvest of 50,000 pounds from one bed. After the Mr. Big came in, that fishery was shut down for a year, after which the bed was surveyed. This year, only 20,000 pounds was allowed. The ADF&G hopes within a few years it will return to a sustainable harvest level of about 50,000 pounds. Number 1163 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked why there is such a significant difference in harvest levels between the East Coast and Alaska. MR. KRYGIER explained that the East Coast has a large area of highly productive beds, probably related to the Gulf Stream. The scallops are broadcast spawners, similar to oysters. Beds remain in one place, and the males and females broadcast spawn into the water. Many settle in the same bed or at the edges. However, if currents are strong, they settle in new areas. In Alaska, the area productive for scallops is smaller than elsewhere. In addition, a few areas have been permanently closed to scalloping to protect bycatch of crab, for example. Number 1266 MARK KANDIANIS, Owner, F/V Provider, came forward to testify. An Alaska scallop fisherman since 1980, he had been through two boom- and-bust cycles of the fishery, in addition to the current slower bust cycle. In 1992, there was an influx of boats, new arrivals from the East Coast, including the Mr. Big. The Mr. Big attracted attention from the East Coast, which had mismanaged its fisheries. In Alaska, there had been little regulation. Suddenly, vessels were coming to Alaska, going through the Panama Canal two at a time, resulting in a "feeding-frenzy type of fishery." Number 1364 MR. KANDIANIS indicated they approached the NPFMC in 1992 for a federal moratorium; however, it took three or four years to get it in place. The scallop fishermen suffered. The fleet more than doubled in size, beyond the break-even capacity. The Mr. Big then got its permit back from the state, "by some mistake, I guess," and went out to fish alone in federal waters, with no observers, and fished in areas where the guideline harvest quotas had been taken. As a result, the NPFMC closed the fishery for 18 months. Mr. Kandianis lost a half million dollars net, and the captain of his boat lost his home and family. MR. KANDIANIS said this legislation is important. Although perhaps too liberal, it is, he has been told, probably the best deal he will get for now. He believes the fishery can support three or four boats, less in some years. However, the limits the state has come up with are almost double that. Mr. Kandianis suggested the scallopers would "fight it out on the grounds" to find out who would survive economically. He urged passage of HB 141. Number 1513 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 1, 0- LS0112\R.1, Utermohle, 3/4/97, which read: Page 5, line 1: Delete "Alaska" Insert "the state and the adjacent United States exclusive economic zone" CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection. There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 1531 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 2, 0- LS0112\R.4, Utermohle, 3/27/97, which read: Page 3, line 24: Following "registration area": Insert "(1)" Delete "1995" Insert "1994" Following "1996": Insert "; and (2) during each of at least three calendar years between 1984 and 1996, inclusive" Page 3, following line 24: Insert a new subsection to read: "(f) Notwithstanding (d) and (e) of this section, a vessel owner who does not own a commercial fishing vessel that qualifies for a vessel permit for a scallop fishery registration area may receive a vessel permit for that registration area if the vessel owner owned and fished two or more commercial fishing vessels whose combined participation in the scallop fishery for that registration area would satisfy the requirements for a vessel permit for that registration area under this section. The commission shall issue a vessel permit under this subsection to the last commercial fishing vessel that the vessel owner owned to satisfy the requirements for the vessel permit for the registration area if the vessel owner still owned that commercial fishing vessel on July 1, 1997. Reletter the following subsections accordingly. Page 3, line 28: Delete "(d) - (f)" Insert "(d) - (g)" Number 1539 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN objected for discussion. MS. DAUGHERTY explained that the first part is necessary because the Area H fishery was closed in 1995. Next, it places a requirement of three calendar years. The bulk deals with situations where a person did not consistently fish the same vessel during the qualifying years. This is a vessel moratorium; the amendment makes a slight adjustment in talking about vessel owners instead of just vessels. Number 1715 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN removed his objection. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was further objection. There being none, Amendment 2 was adopted. Number 1722 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 3, which read: page 3, line 14: change "July 1" to "June 30" MS. DAUGHERTY explained because the statewide fishery opens July 1, someone could qualify by fishing one day in 1997. This stays with the intent that everyone who qualifies has already fished this year. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection. There being none, Amendment 3 was adopted. Number 1801 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked what the "United States exclusive economic zone" is. MS. DAUGHERTY replied it is from three to 200 miles. Number 1810 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to page 2, line 20, which says it is the intent of the legislature that the Board of Fisheries maintain 100 percent observer coverage for all vessels engaged in the Alaska weathervane scallop fishery. Referring to the zero fiscal note, he asked how this will be paid for. MS. DAUGHERTY explained that is for "statewide," the outside fishery, and the vessels pay for it. Number 1883 BRUCE SIEMINSKI testified via teleconference from Seward in opposition to HB 141. He came in Alaska in 1968 to fish scallops and has been here since. He noted there is no provision for the original fishermen who are still trying to get money together to buy a vessel. Although he believes the fishery should be managed to a certain extent, he opposes the permit system giving the right to only a few people. MR. SIEMINSKI reported that there had been observers aboard the vessels all the time he fished from 1970 to 1975. He said for every crab a scalloper killed, a crabber probably killed 100,000; he saw no danger from scallopers in that regard. Number 1978 MR. SIEMINSKI referred to Area H and suggested the state look at more of the three-mile limit for the whole state. There are other places where scallops can be fished year-round and into the three- mile limit, such as off Yakutat, the Fairweather Grounds, Sitka and elsewhere. He suggested that be allowed. MR. SIEMINSKI restated his opposition to this permit system. He cited the example of permitting at Bristol Bay 20 years ago. Those families have children who are now grown, and there is now one permit for five or six families, or one boat carrying six or seven people. He concluded by asking what would be done for people who had been here a long time but were waiting to get back into the fishery. Number 2099 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN reminded Mr. Sieminski he could submit written testimony as well. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease at 3:00 p.m. He called the meeting back to order at 3:01 p.m. Number 2129 MAX HULSE, Owner, F/V La Brisa, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. A scallop fisherman who owns a boat with his son, he referred to a fax he had sent concerning their history of scallop fishing. They had written the proposal to open the scallop fishery in Cook Inlet. They fished scallops from 1982 until 1988, and in 1994 and 1996, during which time they owned and fished three different vessels. He thanked those responsible for Amendment 2, adopted that day, which allows them to fish in Cook Inlet. MR. HULSE said they will qualify in the moratorium in federal waters to fish both Cook Inlet and the outer fishery in Alaska. However, he believes they have enough equity in the Alaska scallop fishery that they should also qualify in statewide waters. He further believes minor changes in HB 141 could allow that without affecting the overall intent of the bill. Number 2304 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Amy Daugherty was nodding her head, indicating she expects Mr. Hulse to be in touch with her. He encouraged anyone else to do likewise. Number 2330 WILLIAM KOPPLIN testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying he has owned a small scallop boat in Homer for three or four years. He referred to a fax he had sent. He stated, "We have fished in state waters; we have fished in federal waters. And this bill would not allow us to fish in federal waters. And I just don't see that's fair, since we are Alaskan residents. It is an Alaska resource." He said he has proposed amendments that he will contact "the proper channels" about. MR. KOPPLIN had been told that in 1996, the scallop quota was approximately 1.5 million pounds. He said the ex-vessel price per pound for scallops is seven dollars, which comes to $10.5 million. TAPE 97-35, SIDE A Number 0001 MR. KOPPLIN asked where the analysis came from that says the fishery can only handle four boats. He said originally, the NPFMC was going to allow 11 vessels. "Even 11 boats divvying up $10.5 million seems like a pretty decent catch," he said. Number 0083 MR. KRYGIER responded that in 1996, there were 733,000 pounds harvested. At seven dollars a pound, the total value was $5.13 million, and the average per vessel was about $500,000 per vessel. He understood Mr. Kopplin to be mixing both Area H and the statewide fishery when talking about the two numbers. "There's about four vessels under the federal and state moratorium for the Cook Inlet area," he said. "And the total is eleven under one and seven under the other for the outside waters. So that's the difference." Number 0166 MR. KOPPLIN asked whether eleven vessels were allowed for the federal waters, with only four now being allowed under HB 141. MR. KRYGIER replied, "The number is actually five in Cook Inlet. We've added that extra one with that inclusion, and seven on the outside. So that's a total of twelve." Number 0223 MR. KOPPLIN referred to page 5, lines 4 through 12. He asked whether someone could send or fax him the applicable statutes. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that section was being removed from the statute. He suggested Amy Daugherty could discuss it with him. Number 0320 MR. KOPPLIN asked whether, if HB 141 is adopted, it will supersede the moratorium placed by the NPFMC or whether there would be two different moratoriums and sets of regulations. MR. KRYGIER explained, "Presently, the federal moratorium is still in the federal process. It hasn't been published. The council's already ready to go to the next step, and the next step would be a license program. And what they'll do is, is they'll adopt a license program which basically mimics what you do in the state moratorium, so that they'll both be consistent out the back door." Number 0411 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to move the amended committee substitute with the attached fiscal note. He asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, CSHB 141(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 0436 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 3:11 p.m.