Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/16/2004 09:00 AM House FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 409-SEINE VESSEL LENGTH                                                                                                    
[Contains discussion of HB 415]                                                                                                 
Number 0063                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 409, "An  Act relating  to the maximum  length of                                                               
salmon  seine  vessels; and  providing  for  an effective  date."                                                               
[HB 409 was  sponsored by Representative  Williams by  request of                                                               
the Joint Legislative Salmon  Industry Task Force; Representative                                                               
Williams, who  was on  teleconference, deferred  to Tim  Barry to                                                               
add anything further.]                                                                                                          
CHAIR  SEATON  informed members  of  a  possible interaction  and                                                               
conflict  in philosophy  between  HB  409 and  HB  415; thus  the                                                               
hearing  on  HB  409  would  be interrupted  later  in  order  to                                                               
consider  its relationship  with  HB 415  before  moving it  from                                                               
committee.     He   announced   that   public  testimony   [begun                                                               
February 9] would resume.                                                                                                       
Number 0256                                                                                                                     
MAC MEINERS, Purse Seine Vessel  Owner and Purse Seiner, began by                                                               
indicating he  fishes off  Kodiak Island  using a  38-foot vessel                                                               
and has  a permit  in Southeast  Alaska.   He offered  his belief                                                               
that the  limit for seine  boats should be increased  for several                                                               
reasons:   for  safety;  to be  able to  process  fish on  board,                                                               
especially now that  the markets have changed; and  to get higher                                                               
quality.   Mr. Meiners surmised that  at age 52, he  is about the                                                               
average age for a permit  holder and remarked, "I started seining                                                               
in 1967,  and I'd like  to see some  kind of change  soon, before                                                               
I'm done."                                                                                                                      
Number 0361                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON asked why Mr.  Meiners wants the limit raised beyond                                                               
58 feet if his vessel is 38 feet now.                                                                                           
MR. MEINERS answered that the gear  doesn't change.  He has a big                                                               
net, a big skiff,  and a big block.  If he had  to change now, he                                                               
wouldn't want to  have to change again because of  the cost.  For                                                               
example, if he  wants to get a good RSW  [refrigerated sea water]                                                               
system  and  start onboard  processing,  now  is  the time.    In                                                               
further response, he  said he'd like to reinvest  in the industry                                                               
and that perhaps some changes would  come along to make it viable                                                               
again  so  fishermen can  make  money.   "Unless  things  change,                                                               
you're  crazy to  put any  kind of  money into  the fishery,"  he                                                               
added, stating the need for some kind of incentive.                                                                             
MR. MEINERS, in  response to further questions,  said he'd fished                                                               
58-footers  as a  kid  and  through the  herring  seasons and  so                                                               
forth; they're a great tool for  fishing for sockeye at the south                                                               
end of  Kodiak Island.  With  the markets changing and  the fleet                                                               
shrinking, however, he  said he feels the need  to "range around"                                                               
and go to the Alaska Peninsula  and Cook Inlet, for instance, and                                                               
to the hatcheries; he doesn't  catch hatchery fish now because he                                                               
can't pack enough to town to  make it pay.  Mr. Meiners explained                                                               
that he  needs a vessel  that allows onboard processing  in order                                                               
to make  more money;  he estimated  68 feet to  72 feet  would be                                                               
right.  For deck space, an extra  10 feet or so is needed because                                                               
the current  rules say there must  be a covered deck  in order to                                                               
process on board.                                                                                                               
Number 0681                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON pointed out that  [HB 409] doesn't eliminate the 58-                                                               
foot limit, but just moves  the authority from the legislature to                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                         
MR. MEINERS said he understood  that, but emphasized the need for                                                               
some tools in order to move forward.                                                                                            
Number 0756                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  Mr. Meiners to elaborate on  why a 72-                                                               
foot boat, for example, would increase the range.                                                                               
MR. MEINERS responded that it's  not only range, but also safety,                                                               
because a  bigger boat is  a safer platform.   With the  price so                                                               
low, he  said, people are  doing things they haven't  done before                                                               
because "they have to make  it, especially with the larger boats;                                                               
they're fishing a lot rougher  weather, they're taking a lot more                                                               
chances, and a lot of times,  the fish are there when it's really                                                               
rough - that's always the best fishing."                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  whether   there  is  an  appreciable                                                               
difference between  a 58-foot boat  and a 72-foot boat,  then, in                                                               
the ability to fish "bigger water."                                                                                             
MR. MEINERS said there is a  tremendous amount of difference.  In                                                               
addition to  the length, he  noted that the beam  would increase.                                                               
He emphasized  the need to be  able to process on  board in order                                                               
to move forward right now.                                                                                                      
Number 0894                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  asked  whether  Mr. Meiners  favors  the  66                                                               
percent vote of those who hold the entry permits.                                                                               
MR. MEINERS  replied, "If  it's by the  same fishermen  only, and                                                               
not the setnetters,  meaning the ... seine  permit holders should                                                               
be able to vote on seine permit issues."                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG asked  whether  Mr. Meiners  would object  to                                                               
having no  vote and just  letting the Board of  Fisheries decide,                                                               
as happens for other fishery regulations.                                                                                       
MR. MEINERS  responded that he'd  just let the board  rule, which                                                               
would be easier.                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  acknowledged that Representative Heinze  had joined                                                               
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
Number 1028                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE indicated  she'd heard  that the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries  wouldn't  have  money  to   implement  a  lot  of  its                                                               
authority because of budget cuts.   She asked Mr. Meiners whether                                                               
that is of concern to him.                                                                                                      
MR.  MEINERS surmised  he'd  have  to deal  with  it, as  happens                                                               
wherever there  are budget  cuts.  He  said he'd  participated at                                                               
Board  of Fisheries  meetings many  times and  was awaiting  this                                                               
cycle on Kodiak Island, which should be "a lot of fireworks."                                                                   
Number 1089                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  expressed  strong concern  about  leaving                                                               
that provision  [for a vote] in,  since nowhere else does  it say                                                               
that  after  the  Board  of   Fisheries  makes  a  decision,  the                                                               
fishermen can  decide whether they like  it.  She asked  why it's                                                               
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SEATON  suggested   addressing   that  during   committee                                                               
MR. MEINERS opined that it would never work.                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  acknowledged  that Representative  Guttenberg  had                                                               
joined the meeting.                                                                                                             
Number 1176                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  whether there is a  threat that larger                                                               
businesses,  which  can  afford  much  larger  boats,  may  drive                                                               
smaller seiners out of business.                                                                                                
MR. MEINERS replied that the  smaller seiners are out of business                                                               
anyway, and  a few  remain because of  "low budget,  high yield."                                                               
He said he's  tired of "going on a camping  trip" with no shower,                                                               
for example, and  wants "a little better business  plan going in,                                                               
if we could expand the horizons."                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  whether  that  could be  accomplished                                                               
with a 58-foot boat.                                                                                                            
MR. MEINERS  reiterated the  need for  onboard processing  and an                                                               
extra 10  or 15  feet to  do that.   He  said as  markets shrink,                                                               
there are fewer places to sell fish for any kind of money.                                                                      
Number 1322                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA explained  that although  he's convinced  of                                                               
the need to increase the limit  to 72 feet, for example, he isn't                                                               
convinced about  increasing it to  200 feet, and there  isn't any                                                               
upper limit in the bill.                                                                                                        
MR.  MEINERS  pointed  out  that  there  are  gear  restrictions.                                                               
Suggesting the size  of cable needed on a 200-foot  boat would be                                                               
cost-prohibitive, he stated  his belief that there  won't be 200-                                                               
foot boats.   Providing details on  seine nets, he said  it's the                                                               
net that  catches the fish,  and he has a  huge net on  his small                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA   asked   whether  a   loophole   in   gear                                                               
restrictions would let someone with  a much bigger boat carry two                                                               
or three seine nets, for instance, if the technology [changed].                                                                 
MR. MEINERS said  laws are such that there can  only be one piece                                                               
of fixed gear on a boat.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS remarked  that  the  gear type  dictates,                                                               
more than the size of the boat.                                                                                                 
Number 1486                                                                                                                     
BRUCE SCHACTLER, Board Member, United  Fishermen of Alaska (UFA),                                                               
testified on his own behalf  and as an elected, at-large delegate                                                               
on the UFA board,  though not on behalf of the  board itself.  He                                                               
offered his belief that Mr. Meiners had covered it quite well.                                                                  
CHAIR  SEATON,  in  response  to a  remark  from  Mr.  Schactler,                                                               
clarified  that the  proposed  vote is  following  [the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries' decision], and regulations  don't go into effect until                                                               
the [permit] holders approve the regulations.                                                                                   
MR. SCHACTLER said  he believes this is unworkable  and that he'd                                                               
like to  have the Board of  Fisheries make a ruling  that is "the                                                               
end of the  show."  He agreed with Mr.  Meiners about processing,                                                               
saying it can't be done effectively  on a 58-footer, though a few                                                               
are trying.   Mr.  Schactler said there  just isn't  enough room,                                                               
including enough  bunks for  the people  involved or  enough deck                                                               
space; at  minimum, another 15 feet  or so is needed  to sort and                                                               
bleed the fish,  for example, and a dedicated  processing area is                                                               
required.   He  also suggested  it isn't  realistic that  someone                                                               
will come  into this  program with  a huge  vessel, or  that many                                                               
people will do this at all.                                                                                                     
Number 1707                                                                                                                     
MR.  SCHACTLER  mentioned  going   forward  with  processing  and                                                               
marketing one's  own fish, and  emphasized the need  for options.                                                               
He said  there have been no  changes in the limited  entry system                                                               
of 1972  or the "58-foot  limit of 1959,"  and yet the  world and                                                               
the markets  have changed.   He  asked the  committee to  view it                                                               
from that perspective and said there  is no scam or hidden agenda                                                               
here.   He asserted that  people won't  catch more fish  with 70-                                                               
foot boats  and remarked, "It's what  you do with the  fish after                                                               
you catch  them; that's what  this bill is  all about."   He said                                                               
he'd  certainly  support  this,   and  stated  his  intention  of                                                               
testifying on the  next bill [HB 415].  In  response to questions                                                               
from  Chair Seaton,  Mr. Schactler  said his  52-foot vessel  has                                                               
been for sale for  two or three years and he'll  move to a larger                                                               
vessel as soon as he sells this one.                                                                                            
Number 1916                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG conveyed his  understanding that Mr. Schactler                                                               
has  participated   in  allocation  issues  and   the  change  in                                                               
regulations in the  Kodiak management area.  He  asked whether he                                                               
believes  this [58-foot  limit] would  be an  easy regulation  to                                                               
MR. SCHACTLER  replied that  it should  be, although  he wouldn't                                                               
bet on what  a group of fishermen  might want to do.   He related                                                               
his belief  that someone with a  75- or 80-foot [seine  boat] who                                                               
is also processing those fish will  catch fewer fish.  It takes a                                                               
long time and a lot of people  to process these fish; after a set                                                               
is made, those fish need to  be taken care of before more fishing                                                               
takes place.   Expressing the desire to catch  100,000 pounds but                                                               
sell  it for  $4 [a  pound], rather  than 1.5  million pounds  at                                                               
6 cents or 7 cents, he suggested  people will support the bill if                                                               
they realize  it isn't  a scam  or an  allocation issue  and that                                                               
there's no loophole.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE OGG asked whether  Mr. Schactler supports just the                                                               
Board [of  Fisheries] having the  authority, with no vote  by the                                                               
MR. SCHACTLER replied, "Yes, I do.   Just leave it with the board                                                               
and call it good."                                                                                                              
Number 2094                                                                                                                     
DOUG MECUM,  Director, Division  of Commercial  Fisheries, Alaska                                                               
Department  of  Fish &  Game  (ADF&G),  said he'd  reiterate  his                                                               
comments  made at  the  previous hearing.    Explaining that  the                                                               
department has  no management or conservation  concerns regarding                                                               
the  58-foot limit,  he  expressed confidence  that  if any  such                                                               
concerns  arise, they  can be  worked  out through  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries process, as  this bill envisions.  He  also agreed with                                                               
previous testifiers  that the fisheries  are limited by  the gear                                                               
in terms of "catching power."                                                                                                   
MR. MECUM  referred to  concerns voiced  at the  previous hearing                                                               
about the  referendum process; he offered  his understanding that                                                               
legislative counsel had questioned  the constitutionality of that                                                               
provision.  Mr.  Mecum explained that under  the current process,                                                               
a  proposal is  submitted by  the public  or the  department; the                                                               
Board  of Fisheries  receives  comment from  the  public and  the                                                               
department; the board  considers the proposal; if  it is adopted,                                                               
the  department  writes the  regulation;  the  Department of  Law                                                               
reviews and then  certifies the regulation; that  is submitted to                                                               
the lieutenant  governor for  signature; and  if it's  signed, it                                                               
becomes  law  in 30  days.    He  surmised that  this  referendum                                                               
[proposed in  HB 409] would  get inserted between  the Department                                                               
of  Law's  certification  and the  submittal  to  the  lieutenant                                                               
governor, a four- or five-month process "on the outside."                                                                       
Number 2219                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  remarked that  the bill  seems fine,  but he                                                               
wants to  ensure it's  written properly.   He said  generally the                                                               
legislature  cannot  just tell  an  agency  to write  regulations                                                               
without providing standards; otherwise,  it's delegating away its                                                               
legislative authority,  which the  court will say  isn't allowed.                                                               
Representative  Gara  asked  what   standards  the  seine  permit                                                               
holders  or  the  board  would have  to  consider  when  deciding                                                               
whether  to extend  the length  of a  seine boat.   He  expressed                                                               
concern that standards  might need to be included in  the bill if                                                               
they aren't in statute already.                                                                                                 
MR.  MECUM  acknowledged  he  isn't a  lawyer,  but  related  his                                                               
understanding that the  bill's intent is to make  it possible for                                                               
the  board  to  consider  allowing vessels  in  the  purse  seine                                                               
fishery that are longer than 58  feet.  He said the 58-foot limit                                                               
has been  around a  long time  and the board  would use  the same                                                               
kinds  of standards  it  would use  for  adopting regulations  in                                                               
general, that  is, "consideration of management  and conservation                                                               
purposes  and  issues associated  with  this,  going through  the                                                               
Administrative [Procedure] Act, just as per usual."                                                                             
Number 2334                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA,  noting  that   he'd  missed  the  previous                                                               
hearing, asked whether the state  does this already for different                                                               
classes of vessels.                                                                                                             
MR. MECUM  replied that several  fisheries around the  state have                                                               
vessel limits; he  cited some Pacific cod  fisheries developed in                                                               
recent years  in the  Chignik, Sand Point,  and Kodiak  areas, as                                                               
well as an area by Adak  where a new fishery was established some                                                               
years ago and "kind of built  around this 58-foot limit, I think,                                                               
really, partly  as a  matter of convenience,  that is,  trying to                                                               
establish  more  local,  slower-paced fisheries  to  benefit  the                                                               
local  communities,  utilizing  ... the  existing  58-foot  seine                                                               
limits, since most of these boats,  at the maximum, ... are limit                                                               
MR.  MECUM  reported  that other  regulations  deal  with  vessel                                                               
limits, the  most notable being  in Bristol Bay, where  a 32-foot                                                               
limit has  existed for  a long  time under  a Board  of Fisheries                                                               
regulation.    Furthermore, the  board  has  been approached  and                                                               
proposals submitted many times in  the past, most recently at the                                                               
Bristol Bay  meeting a few  months ago, when he  indicated people                                                               
wanted   to   provide  more   deck   space   to  do   value-added                                                               
[processing], for example.  He  said the board didn't repeal that                                                               
[restriction], however,  because of a lot  of negative testimony.                                                               
Mr. Mecum  offered his belief  that [HB 409] is  constructed such                                                               
that  it allows  the Board  of  Fisheries to  work through  those                                                               
kinds of issues with the public.                                                                                                
Number 2436                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  conveyed his  belief that  this [58-foot]                                                               
restriction is the only one in statute.                                                                                         
Number 2453                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  asked  whether  Mr. Mecum  knows  of  any                                                               
reason  this  provision allowing  more  deck  space shouldn't  be                                                               
MR. MECUM  reiterated that  the department  has no  management or                                                               
conservation issues  or concerns associated with  this, and would                                                               
have the  opportunity under the  legislation to work  through any                                                               
that  arise.   He said  it's a  policy call  of the  legislature,                                                               
since there are some socioeconomic issues.                                                                                      
Number 2496                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  asked Mr. Mecum  whether he sees any  problems with                                                               
removing the  seine fleet's  58-foot limit  as it  might interact                                                               
with the  58-foot limit in  Western Alaska, which exists  to slow                                                               
down the groundfish fisheries and for conservation there.                                                                       
MR. MECUM said he doesn't.  He elaborated:                                                                                      
     If  someone  submitted  a  proposal  to  the  Board  of                                                                    
     Fisheries to  allow larger vessels in  those fisheries,                                                                    
     which  is  what they  would  have  to  do to  get  that                                                                    
     lifted,  the   board  would   consider  that   and  the                                                                    
     department  would provide  comment.   I think  allowing                                                                    
     larger vessels  in that fishery would  certainly be ...                                                                    
     something the board had the authority to do.                                                                               
     But ...  allowing those larger vessels  would certainly                                                                    
     be  at  odds  with   the  objectives  and  the  guiding                                                                    
     principles that the Board  of Fisheries has established                                                                    
     for  those, that  is,  local-based, small,  slow-paced,                                                                    
     benefiting  the  communities,  and  ...  spreading  the                                                                    
     season  length out  to improve  markets, et  cetera, et                                                                    
        cetera.  In my mind - it's just my ... personal                                                                         
     opinion - it's unlikely that they would repeal that.                                                                       
Number 2580                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  mentioned testimony  about 70- to  80-foot vessels.                                                               
He  asked, if  those  vessels  were becoming  catcher-processors,                                                               
whether  existing  vessels would  qualify  under  the U.S.  Coast                                                               
Guard  classification or  whether  reclassification would  fairly                                                               
much mean  that all  vessels, to participate  in that  way, would                                                               
have to be new, constructed  to ABS [American Bureau of Shipping]                                                               
standards,  and  so  forth.    He asked  whether  Mr.  Mecum  was                                                               
familiar with "any of that that's gone on."                                                                                     
MR. MECUM said he wasn't familiar enough to respond.                                                                            
Number 2619                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG, with  regard to  the vote  [of permit                                                               
holders] proposed in  the bill, asked whether  the department had                                                               
considered how  that process would  take place,  including notice                                                               
requirements, ensuring eligibility to vote, and so forth.                                                                       
MR.  MECUM  said it  was  discussed  and  he understood  what  he                                                               
believed the  sponsor was  trying to  accomplish.   He emphasized                                                               
that  it's a  choice for  the legislature,  but offered  his view                                                               
that the  referendum or election  would make it  fairly difficult                                                               
to  change this  [58-foot] requirement.   He  said his  intent in                                                               
developing regulations  would be  to work off  a current  list of                                                               
permit holders,  depending on  when the  election would  be held;                                                               
there would be one vote only.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  asked   whether  Mr.  Mecum  foresees                                                               
changes  in gear  types  down  the road,  following  a change  to                                                               
larger vessels.                                                                                                                 
MR. MECUM  replied that he's  sure there will be  such proposals,                                                               
but believes it's unlikely they'll  be adopted, although it's not                                                               
outside  the  realm of  possibility.    He  said seines  used  in                                                               
Southeast  Alaska are  fairly large,  for example,  and he  feels                                                               
"fairly  confident  that we'll  be  able  to work  through  those                                                               
issues ...  associated with  changes in  vessel size  through the                                                               
Board of Fisheries process."                                                                                                    
Number 2790                                                                                                                     
HARVEY  GOODELL,  Setnetter,  noting  that he  fishes  on  Kodiak                                                               
Island, expressed concern about  allocation issues.  For example,                                                               
[seiners]  may  say they  want  larger  vessels  in order  to  be                                                               
catcher-processors,  but may  just  end up  harvesting, with  the                                                               
ability to fish  in tougher weather than now; this  would be hard                                                               
on Mr. Goodell's  fishery.  A lot of 58-foot  boats around Kodiak                                                               
no  longer  seine,  and  he   indicated  people  are  trying  out                                                               
processing on some of the smaller  boats.  He closed by saying it                                                               
seems a little early to go this route.                                                                                          
MR.  GOODELL replied  to questions  from  Chair Seaton.   On  the                                                               
proposed vote, he said it seems  all gear types in an area should                                                               
have some say.  As far  as transferring authority to the Board of                                                               
Fisheries, he  said the board  has a  pretty full platter  and he                                                               
has a concern  about going that route; he  acknowledged that some                                                               
of that  may stem from fear  down the road of  having larger gear                                                               
types  [for seiners].   In  response to  Representative Gara,  he                                                               
said  around Kodiak  maybe one-third  of  [seine] permit  holders                                                               
actually fish  these days; polling  all of them might  impact his                                                               
setnet fishery.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked whether  the allocation concern is that                                                               
there'll be more fish for seiners and fewer for setnetters.                                                                     
MR. GOODELL said it seems the potential is there.                                                                               
CHAIR SEATON  asked Mr. McCune,  who'd testified at  the previous                                                               
hearing, whether  UFA [United  Fishermen of  Alaska] had  taken a                                                               
position on the bill.                                                                                                           
Number 3001                                                                                                                     
GERALD   McCUNE,  Lobbyist   for  United   Fishermen  of   Alaska                                                               
identified himself.   [Tape  04-6 ends;  nothing was  recorded on                                                               
Side B.]                                                                                                                        
TAPE 04-7, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
MR. McCUNE  said he was in  the process of getting  it cleared up                                                               
as to whether people [in UFA] want the vote.                                                                                    
Number 0177                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA read  the  last sentence  of  a letter  from                                                               
Cordova  District Fishermen  United  (CDFU)  [dated February  11,                                                               
2004, in  opposition to HB 409]  as follows:  "We  feel this bill                                                               
will not  help in the  revitalization of the salmon  industry but                                                               
could actually be  a detriment to the Prince  William Sound seine                                                               
fishery by  encouraging fishermen  to overcapitalize."   He asked                                                               
whether that's a concern Mr.  McCune could comment on and whether                                                               
any UFA members had discussed it with him.                                                                                      
MR. McCUNE surmised that a  business decision would be made based                                                               
on  the person's  plan and  the size  limit set  by the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries, for example.   Noting that he's president  of CDFU, he                                                               
said in  Prince William Sound  "they never wanted  bigger vessels                                                               
there,"  and  seining  there  with  an  80-  or  90-footer  isn't                                                               
practical for  because it's primarily  rocky.  He added  that all                                                               
permit holders have  the ability to go to the  Board of Fisheries                                                               
if somebody brings  forward a proposal and the  board accepts it.                                                               
"That means setnetters and everybody in  the area gets to go have                                                               
their say, not just the seiners,"  he remarked.  "So everybody in                                                               
the whole  area gets to go  to that Board of  [Fisheries] meeting                                                               
and have their say on this  ... 58-foot limit, because it becomes                                                               
a public ... arena then."                                                                                                       
Number 0377                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE noted that  the aforementioned letter talks                                                               
about needing  a consistent,  stable market.   She asked  why the                                                               
author would  oppose allowing better  processing space  for other                                                               
MR. McCUNE said that's a  good question and added, "They're split                                                               
on several issues."   He said about 90 seiners  there fished last                                                               
year, out of 260, and explained:                                                                                                
     You have to have a market  to be able to fish in Prince                                                                    
     William Sound,  obviously, and that's tied  to whatever                                                                    
     ...  arrangements you  made  with  your processor.  ...                                                                    
     It's a combination  of a couple of things.   People are                                                                    
     scared  of ...  other people  coming in  and trying  to                                                                    
     take  their   market,  ...  or  they   still  know  the                                                                    
     safeguards are  in there,  but they're  not comfortable                                                                    
     with that,  I guess. ... That's  what I got out  of the                                                                    
     meeting that we had there in Cordova.                                                                                      
Number 0508                                                                                                                     
STEPHEN  WHITE,   Senior  Assistant  Attorney   General,  Natural                                                               
Resources Section,  Civil Division  (Juneau), Department  of Law,                                                               
began by saying  he has been advising and  representing the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries   for  about  a   dozen  years.    He   noted  that                                                               
Mr. Utermohle  [drafting  attorney  with  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research Services,  who'd written a memorandum  dated December 3,                                                               
2003,  to  Representative  Williams]  had  raised  the  issue  of                                                               
whether  this opportunity  for the  fishermen to  vote after  the                                                               
board  has adopted  the  regulation  violates the  constitutional                                                               
"delegation  of powers"  doctrine.    Mr. White  said  this is  a                                                               
legitimate question; he himself is  looking into it.  He reported                                                               
that there are  no Alaska decisions either for or  against it, in                                                               
terms  of  constitutionality, though  there  are  cases in  other                                                               
states  that he's  looking  at.   Right  now,  it's an  unsettled                                                               
MR. WHITE  turned attention to concerns  raised by Representative                                                               
Gara  about  allocation issues  that  might  arise if  the  board                                                               
considers increasing a vessel's limit.  Mr. White said:                                                                         
     It's  important  to  note  that  in  the  statute  that                                                                    
     governs the board's authority,  if any allocation issue                                                                    
     gets presented  to the board  by a proposal,  the board                                                                    
     is required  to go  through criteria and  determine the                                                                    
     allocation  impacts  on   competing  fishery  ...  gear                                                                    
     groups.  And they have  to look at things like historic                                                                    
     participation  or   historic  catch  between   the  two                                                                    
     groups,  the  economic  impacts,  the  benefit  to  the                                                                    
     communities, and  so forth.   So the law  requires them                                                                    
     to go through specific criteria  in order to resolve an                                                                    
     allocation issue if that's raised in a proposal.                                                                           
MR. WHITE, in response to  a question from Representative Wilson,                                                               
said [the  board members]  must address  those criteria  the best                                                               
they  can; otherwise,  the decision  affecting allocation  can be                                                               
challenged successfully in court.                                                                                               
Number 0679                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked whether  [the board] must  weigh those                                                               
impacts  and  make a  finding  that  there won't  be  undesirable                                                               
impacts on allocation, or just has to consider them.                                                                            
MR. WHITE  answered that  he thinks the  consideration has  to be                                                               
meaningful.   Giving an  example of  an allocation  involving two                                                               
competing gear groups, he said  if there's information before the                                                               
board  which deals  with  that issue,  then  the [board]  members                                                               
should  talk  about  it,  but  can  use  their  own  professional                                                               
experience to make a determination.  He continued:                                                                              
     The  courts require  them ...  to take  a hard  look at                                                                    
     issues.    They  don't   require  them  to  necessarily                                                                    
     objectify things  and determine  ... 60-40  or anything                                                                    
     like that.  As long  as they've considered the evidence                                                                    
     before  them   and  made  a  decision   that  has  some                                                                    
     reasonable basis, that's all the courts require.                                                                           
Number 0796                                                                                                                     
MR.  WHITE,   in  response  to   Chair  Seaton,   clarified  that                                                               
allocation  issues  are  spread  across the  proposals  at  board                                                               
meetings and may  involve 40 to 60 percent of  them.  Noting that                                                               
ADF&G doesn't weigh in on the allocation issues, he explained:                                                                  
     They strictly are there to  help the conservation side.                                                                    
     But  once allocation  issues come  up,  then the  board                                                                    
     relies  upon   the  testimony   of  ...   the  affected                                                                    
     fishermen and  ... processors and  so forth.   And they                                                                    
     look  at  it all,  and  they  apply the  criteria  I've                                                                    
     mentioned, and  they come up  with a decision.   And in                                                                    
     recent   years  their   decisions   have  been   fairly                                                                    
     successful in terms of being  able to be defended by my                                                                    
Number 0900                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  Mr.  White whether  a  statement  of                                                               
intent should  be included in  the bill that says,  "By extending                                                               
the  boat  size  limit,  our  intention  is  not,  then,  to  ...                                                               
encourage future  changes in gear  requirements."  He  noted that                                                               
an  issue  had been  raised  by  Representative Guttenberg  about                                                               
increasing the size  limit and then having the  owners of 90-foot                                                               
boats request gear-change rules, to the detriment of others.                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON emphasized  that the bill doesn't  change the vessel                                                               
size limit,  but transfers authority  to make those  decisions to                                                               
the Board of  Fisheries.  He requested that  the discussion focus                                                               
on the bill, not the framework  of "as if we were eliminating the                                                               
statewide 58-foot limit here."                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  pointed out that  this says there will  be a                                                               
process by which to increase the  vessel size limit.  He surmised                                                               
that  someday  under this  process  the  58-foot limit  would  be                                                               
increased;  otherwise,  the  committee  wouldn't  be  considering                                                               
passage of the bill.                                                                                                            
[Chair  Seaton requested  that  Representative  Gara restate  his                                                               
question to Mr. White, which he did.]                                                                                           
Number 1102                                                                                                                     
MR. WHITE replied  that he thinks letters of  intent, rather than                                                               
express statutory  language, are  problematic because  they state                                                               
intent  and yet  don't provide  a specific  restriction.   If the                                                               
foregoing  is the  intent, Mr.  White suggested  that a  proposed                                                               
committee substitute  (CS) be  drafted that  says, "If  the board                                                               
extends  vessel  length,  they   should  not  therefore  consider                                                               
subsequent gear  changes in the  fishery."  He clarified  that he                                                               
wasn't recommending it [one way  or another], but that legally it                                                               
would be clearer to put it in statute.                                                                                          
MR. WHITE,  with regard to  the Board  of Fisheries, said  he has                                                               
seen a lot of gear change  [proposals] come before the board; the                                                               
board  looks at  those  very carefully  and considers  allocation                                                               
issues, economic  issues, and  so forth.   He remarked,  "So far,                                                               
they've  not had  a difficult  time  of disassociating  something                                                               
like extending a  vessel length with adding additional  gear.  So                                                               
- my experience - it would not ... create a problem."                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  suggested if this gets  into [specifying]                                                               
gear types,  the Board of  Fisheries might as well  be disbanded,                                                               
which he surmised committee members don't want to do.                                                                           
Number 1220                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG noted  that the first part  of the bill                                                               
gives  the  board  the  ability  to change  the  vessel  size  by                                                               
regulation, but the  last part says that if  things change, those                                                               
vessels can't  be [forced  to leave]  the fleet.   He  asked what                                                               
happens to the board's management ability in that case.                                                                         
MR. WHITE  replied that he  thinks it's something the  board will                                                               
consider when deciding in the  first place whether to expand [the                                                               
size limit].                                                                                                                    
Number 1288                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  whether  it's normal,  when  the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  has  options,  that "grandfather  clauses"  remain  in                                                               
effect even if a regulation is changed back.                                                                                    
MR.  WHITE   responded  that  grandfather  clauses   have  "legal                                                               
legitimacy" and  have been upheld.   They're often used  in order                                                               
to  prevent distress  to people  who've already  invested, if  it                                                               
would  create great  economic hardship  for  them to  get rid  of                                                               
their vessels,  for example.   He said  it's not uncommon  to see                                                               
those things "throughout regulatory action."                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON mentioned cod plans that went into effect and a 58-                                                                
foot  limit in  Area M  in Western  Alaska.   He noted  that [the                                                               
board] didn't  say anyone  who'd been  fishing with  a 120-footer                                                               
could continue to  fish, but had generated a  regulation saying a                                                               
boat  must be  [58 feet  or less]  in order  to participate.   He                                                               
asked  whether doing  this in  statute sets  a precedent  for the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries, since the  regulation could be  changed back                                                               
but then wouldn't be in effect for those vessel owners.                                                                         
MR.   WHITE  replied   that  this   statutory  authority   -  the                                                               
grandfather clause  - would be  limited to this  circumstance and                                                               
wouldn't create any precedent either way in other circumstances.                                                                
Number 1460                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  asked whether  anyone else wished  to testify.   He                                                               
then closed public testimony.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  emphasized   that  this  doesn't  change                                                               
anything   [except  the   authority],  and   said  nothing   gets                                                               
steamrolled through a Board of Fisheries meeting.                                                                               
Number 1481                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   SAMUELS   began   discussion  of   what   became                                                               
Amendment 1.  Noting  that he has a problem with  the vote of the                                                               
permit holders, both  in the legal sense raised  by Mr. Utermohle                                                               
and philosophically,  he asked,  "Would we  let the  oil industry                                                               
vote on  the [regulations]  that we  apply to  them, and  if they                                                               
don't like  them, they get  to veto them?   I don't  think that's                                                               
the way that we want to go."                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  specified that [Amendment 1]  would be on                                                               
page 1, lines 9-14, deleting the sentence that reads:                                                                           
     A regulation adopted by the  board to authorize the use                                                                
     of a  vessel longer  than 58 feet  overall length  in a                                                                
     salmon  seine   fishery  or  to  amend   or  repeal  an                                                                
     authorization  to  use a  vessel  longer  than 58  feet                                                                
     overall length in  a salmon seine fishery  may not take                                                                
     affect [sic]  unless at least  66 percent of  the entry                                                            
     permit holders  for that fishery favor  the adoption of                                                                
        the regulation at a referendum conducted by the                                                                     
Number 1570                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  turned attention  to what became  Amendment 2.   He                                                               
asked Representative  Samuels about  statutorily fixing  the "58-                                                               
foot  grandfather clause"  in here,  when  it's not  done in  any                                                               
other Board of Fisheries regulations.   That sentence of the bill                                                               
[page  1, line 14,  through  page  2, line  4,  later deleted  by                                                               
Amendment 2], reads as follows:                                                                                                 
     If a  salmon seine vessel  longer than 58  feet overall                                                                
     length is  used in a fishery  under regulations adopted                                                                
     under this  subsection, the vessel  may continue  to be                                                                
     used  in  the   fishery  notwithstanding  a  subsequent                                                                
     reduction in the maximum length  of vessels that may be                                                                
     used in the fishery by the board.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS said  he  reads this  as  saying that  if                                                               
someone invested  in a  70-foot boat  but 20  years from  now the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries changed the [regulation]  back, "you wouldn't                                                               
want to penalize  this guy who now has a  debt load of $2 million                                                               
on a  boat, and  now you  tell him he  can't use  his boat."   He                                                               
added that  nobody is paying  cash for  these boats, and  thus he                                                               
reads this as protecting that person's debt.                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said he  was curious  about the  philosophy, noting                                                               
that there isn't  a similar protection for Bristol  Bay such that                                                               
if it goes to a 27-foot  limit, everybody with a 32-foot boat can                                                               
forever  use it.   He  said he  understands the  purpose, but  is                                                               
slightly uncomfortable  saying the  regulatory authority  will be                                                               
moved to the  Board of Fisheries but that something  will be left                                                               
in statute based on that length.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  replied, "I  see ... where  you're going,                                                               
but  this is  the  only length  that's in  statute  anyway."   He                                                               
acknowledged that  it all could  be turned  over to the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries or  a little bit  could be  kept [in statute];  he said                                                               
it's  a policy  choice.   He highlighted  the difference  between                                                               
this and  the situation  in Bristol  Bay, and  questioned whether                                                               
more than a  couple of people would buy 70-foot  [seine] boats if                                                               
the board  were to pass  such a proposal.   He said he'd  hate to                                                               
penalize people who are willing to invest in the industry.                                                                      
Number 1748                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  clarified  that  he was  looking  at  other  board                                                               
actions relating to  the Pacific cod fishery,  for example, where                                                               
90-foot   and  110-foot   boats  were   fishing  but   the  board                                                               
reconfigured  the fishery;  those boats  no longer  were able  to                                                               
participate  in  that  fishery.    He said  it  seems  this  bill                                                               
[creates] a special exemption relating  to seine vessels, whereas                                                               
for all  other vessels the  board has the ability  to restructure                                                               
the  fisheries.    "I'm  not  saying  that  we  should  wipe  out                                                               
anybody's  investment," he  added.   "It just  seems that  if the                                                               
philosophy is to move this to  the Board of Fisheries, ... I have                                                               
a little unease with leaving portions in."                                                                                      
Number 1811                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON explained that  she was considering whether                                                               
to  have the  board make  the decisions  or retain  some for  the                                                               
legislature.    She  then remarked  that  perhaps  the  decisions                                                               
should be  given to  the Board of  Fisheries, which  doesn't make                                                               
these decisions lightly;  thus perhaps all that  [new language in                                                               
the final two sentences of Section 1] should be removed.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE   HEINZE  commented   that   with  the   amendment                                                               
Representative  Samuels is  proposing,  she  is comfortable  with                                                               
giving it to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                            
Number 1859                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG   alluded  to   the  fact  that   current  AS                                                               
16.05.835(a), which Section 1 of the bill amends, states:                                                                       
          (a) A salmon seine vessel may not be longer than                                                                      
     58 feet overall length  except vessels that have fished                                                                    
     for salmon  with seines in  waters of the  state before                                                                    
     January  1,  1962,  as 50-foot,  official  Coast  Guard                                                                    
     register length vessels.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG   offered  his  belief  that   the  foregoing                                                               
recognized that  some vessels participating  in the  fishery were                                                               
over the  58-foot limit.   "Just because they were  designated as                                                               
Coast  Guard  50-foot vessels,  they  probably  were 50-foot  and                                                               
bigger,"  he  explained,  noting  that those  were  protected  to                                                               
continue in the fishery.  The  bill says unless the board creates                                                               
a  regulation [allowing  a  longer vessel],  the  statute [is  in                                                               
effect].   He  suggested  this creates  a hybrid.    He said  the                                                               
[sentence  that  became the  subject  of  Amendment 2]  seems  to                                                               
reflect that  same policy and  perhaps recognizes that  the boats                                                               
used for  this specific  fishery wouldn't have  a purpose  in any                                                               
other fishery.   He stated support for moving  [the authority] to                                                               
the Board of  Fisheries and for the proposed  amendment, when and                                                               
if it's made, to remove that one sentence.                                                                                      
Number 2007                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  returned  attention to  what  would  become                                                               
Amendment   1,  saying   he   was   uncomfortable  removing   the                                                               
requirement  for a  vote of  66 percent  [of the  permit holders]                                                               
without at  least hearing from  the sponsor or those  who crafted                                                               
the bill.   He  referred to  the statement  [in the  letter] from                                                               
CDFU, saying they'd probably like  a voice in their seine fishery                                                               
as to  whether or not larger  vessels come in; he  suggested that                                                               
is probably the motivation for the 66 percent vote requirement.                                                                 
[Chair  Seaton  called  upon  Representative  Williams,  but  was                                                               
informed by  the teleconference  operator that he'd  stepped away                                                               
for a minute.]                                                                                                                  
Number 2077                                                                                                                     
TIM BARRY,  Staff to Representative  William K.  Williams, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, said  this legislation  came  from the  Joint                                                               
Legislative Salmon  Industry Task Force ("Task  Force"), which he                                                               
believes made  this decision as a  whole [on the 66  percent vote                                                               
requirement].  He suggested House  Special Committee on Fisheries                                                               
members who were  on the Task Force might be  able to speak about                                                               
discussions that occurred.   "I don't think  it's a make-or-break                                                               
thing for  Representative Williams," he added,  noting that Chair                                                               
Seaton had discussed this with Representative Williams as well.                                                                 
Number 2118                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed out  that  he  wasn't on  the  "production                                                               
subcommittee" that dealt with this  bill, but said the Task Force                                                               
had dealt with  the bill "and there was a  comfort level from the                                                               
fishermen representatives  that were  there."  Noting  that there                                                               
had been  two House  Special Committee  on Fisheries  hearings at                                                               
which fishermen  could come forward  and express  their concerns,                                                               
Chair Seaton said he wasn't  "hearing from the broad industry the                                                               
same ...  kind of angst  that we  heard from several  people that                                                               
were ... on the Task Force."                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE OGG,  speaking as another Task  Force member, said                                                               
Chair Seaton had covered it succinctly.                                                                                         
Number 2170                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG referred  to the  66 percent  vote and                                                               
said it seems to nullify the  bill because it would never happen.                                                               
With respect  to giving the  board the authority and  then taking                                                               
it away [by retaining the  grandfathering language], he expressed                                                               
concern  about that  as well.    Although people  will have  made                                                               
investments,  that  language allows  [the  board]  to manage  the                                                               
fisheries  and then  it [no  longer  can if  there is  a need  to                                                               
decrease the  size limit].  He  said people go in  with risks and                                                               
things happen.   He suggested that  if the authority is  going to                                                               
be  given to  the  board,  it should  then  have that  authority.                                                               
"Otherwise, don't do it," he concluded.                                                                                         
Number 2222                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  said  he  has  a similar  feeling  on  the  second                                                               
[sentence of the  new language, page 1, line 14,  through page 2,                                                               
line 4].  He agreed that  if the Board of Fisheries increases the                                                               
length and  then finds it's  a problem,  the board is  stuck with                                                               
that  forever.     He  said   he  has  a  problem   leaving  that                                                               
"grandfather-reversion  clause" in,  and wants  the amendment  to                                                               
include everything from  line 9 to the end [of  the new language,                                                               
page 2,  line 4].  That  way, [authority] is given  to the board,                                                               
which can consider allocation issues,  is charged with management                                                               
of the fisheries, will  have to do the best job  it can, and will                                                               
have  to manage  the  fisheries  for the  best  interests of  the                                                               
Number 2308                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  on page 1,                                                               
lines   9-14,  deleting   the  sentence   that  begins   with  "A                                                           
regulation"   and  ends   with  "referendum   conducted  by   the                                                       
department."  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                  
Number 2328                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  moved to  adopt Amendment 2,  deleting the                                                               
sentence beginning on page 1, line 14, through page 2, line 4.                                                                  
Number 2364                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  objected for purposes of  discussion.  He                                                               
said  he  could argue  both  sides  of  this, and  asked  whether                                                               
Representative Williams was available yet.                                                                                      
[Chair Seaton  asked whether Representative Williams  was back on                                                               
teleconference; there was no response.]                                                                                         
MR.  BARRY  offered  his  belief that  the  thinking  behind  the                                                               
sentence [to be  deleted by Amendment 2]  was what Representative                                                               
Samuels had  spoken about earlier:   if  the bill passes  and the                                                               
board raises  the limit,  some fishermen  will buy  larger boats;                                                               
this  sentence provides  some assurance  that if  the board  then                                                               
lowers  the  limit, those  fishermen  won't  have to  sell  their                                                               
Number 2494                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON asked  Mr. Barry  whether he  believes the                                                               
Board of Fisheries  should have the ability to change  it back if                                                               
the fishery is at risk because [the board had raised the limit].                                                                
MR. BARRY said he didn't  know whether there'd been discussion of                                                               
when  the fishery  itself is  at risk.   He  added, "If  the idea                                                               
behind this  piece of  legislation is  to encourage  fishermen to                                                               
diversify,  to try  to  do  new things,  to  add  value to  their                                                               
product, ... the  idea was to give them some  assurance that that                                                               
investment will not be for naught."   He further said the idea is                                                               
that  fishermen will  be able  to operate  "in that  fashion" for                                                               
many years to come, although regulations might change.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON expressed  concern.   Mentioning Southeast                                                               
Alaska, she  emphasized the need  for flexibility [by  the board]                                                               
for the sake of the fishery.                                                                                                    
MR. BARRY replied that he  thinks he can speak for Representative                                                               
Williams  when  saying  he would  share  Representative  Wilson's                                                               
concerns.   Mr.  Barry reiterated  that there  was some  concern,                                                               
which he  believes was expressed  by fishermen, that  they wanted                                                               
assurance  that it  will be  worth it  if they  invest in  larger                                                               
CHAIR SEATON  suggested that the  same desire for a  guarantee of                                                               
control had related to the 66 percent vote requirement.                                                                         
Number 2561                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  pointed out that everyone  wants assurance                                                               
when investing in  a business that there'll be no  risk, but said                                                               
that's part of every endeavor.   She added, "That's why they have                                                               
to  weigh  carefully  what  they're  going to  do  and  what  the                                                               
ramifications could  be. ...  We all  do that  when we  invest in                                                               
CHAIR SEATON said he'd support  the amendment.  He explained that                                                               
he has  the same  concern about  taking away  the ability  of the                                                               
board, since the purpose of this  [bill] is to give it regulatory                                                               
flexibility.    He  agreed  that  the  board  doesn't  do  things                                                               
lightly.   Unless it became  a conservation problem in  a fishery                                                               
or an  unintended consequence  posed a  real problem  in managing                                                               
the  fishery,  he  surmised  that  there  would  be  "real  legal                                                               
problems" if the board acted without a rational basis.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GARA added, "We don't  have to worry about it also                                                               
because  ...  there  are  a  hundred  different  gear  and  other                                                               
requirements in the  statutes.  Not all of those  are followed by                                                               
another sentence  that says, 'If  this is changed in  the future,                                                               
all existing things  will be grandfathered in.'"  He  said he was                                                               
comfortable taking it out [and thus supporting Amendment 2].                                                                    
Number 2665                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE said  she was  comfortable retaining  that                                                               
language.   It seems the  Joint Legislative Salmon  Industry Task                                                               
Force is  trying to do  everything it  can to help  the industry,                                                               
she said,  and while she  understands what  Representative Wilson                                                               
is  saying about  risk,  the  fishermen should  be  helped out  a                                                               
little bit.  Thus she'd have trouble supporting the amendment.                                                                  
CHAIR SEATON  said he doesn't  believe it's so much  the person's                                                               
financial  risk, but  the  risk to  the fishery.    If there  are                                                               
unintended  consequences from  lengthening  the  vessels and  the                                                               
board  needs to  redo  the  regulations in  order  to manage  the                                                               
fishery, that's a  question to consider.  He  said he understands                                                               
the investment argument, however.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS said  he would  reluctantly maintain  his                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE OGG and REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE also objected.                                                                     
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Gara, Guttenberg,                                                               
Wilson,   and   Seaton   voted   in   favor   of   Amendment   2.                                                               
Representatives  Heinze,  Samuels,  and  Ogg  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 2 was adopted by a vote of 4-3.                                                                            
CHAIR  SEATON announced  that  the  hearing on  HB  409 would  be                                                               
suspended temporarily.                                                                                                          
HB 415-FISHING IN MORE THAN ONE FISHERY                                                                                       
[Contains discussion of HB 409]                                                                                                 
Number 2800                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 415, "An  Act authorizing a  commercial fisherman                                                               
to fish in each fishery  for which the commercial fisherman holds                                                               
a commercial fishing  entry permit; relating to the  power of the                                                               
Alaska  Commercial Fisheries  Entry Commission  and the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries to limit the number of  fisheries in which a person may                                                               
hold an entry permit and operate  gear during a fishing season or                                                               
a year; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
Number 2807                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON moved  [to  adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS),  Version 23-LS1416\H,  Utermohle, 2/13/04,  as a                                                               
work draft].                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that Version H was before the committee.                                                                 
Number 2817                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON explained  that there is a  philosophical issue that                                                               
he wanted the  sponsor or his staff  to address.  In  HB 409, the                                                               
position is that  these authorities should be moved  to the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  to   do  regulations  and  have   control  of  the                                                               
fisheries, including  allocation issues  and so forth.   However,                                                               
HB  415 takes  regulations that  the  Board of  Fisheries has  in                                                               
place  and overrides  them.   He pointed  out that  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries and  the Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC)                                                               
have regulations  such that someone  can only fish in  one salmon                                                               
administrative area  per year.   Thus he wanted the  committee to                                                               
address  the conflicting  philosophies  before  voting on  either                                                               
[Representative Williams, sponsor, deferred to Mr. Barry.]                                                                      
Number 2951                                                                                                                     
TIM BARRY,  Staff to Representative  William K.  Williams, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, explained  that  Representative Williams  had                                                               
introduced  HB 415  at the  request  of the  United Fishermen  of                                                               
Alaska (UFA).   Noting that  this issue was discussed  during the                                                               
Joint Legislative  Salmon Industry Task Force  process, Mr. Barry                                                               
said UFA had  asked Representative Williams to  sponsor this bill                                                               
separately.   He  deferred to  Mr. McCune [lobbyist  for UFA]  to                                                               
address  the issue  raised by  Chair  Seaton.   [Tape 04-7  ends;                                                               
nothing was recorded on Side B.]                                                                                                
TAPE 04-8, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON,  noting  that  floor  session  would  begin  soon,                                                               
announced  that the  committee  would wait  to  address the  bill                                                               
further.  [HB 415 was held over.]                                                                                               
HB 409-SEINE VESSEL LENGTH                                                                                                    
Number 0090                                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEATON  returned attention to  HOUSE BILL NO. 409,  "An Act                                                               
relating  to the  maximum  length of  salmon  seine vessels;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
Number 0153                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG noted  that now the bill  just says the                                                               
authority is  being given to the  board, and he doesn't  know the                                                               
board's position on this.  He  remarked that it certainly is more                                                               
palatable the way  it is now, and noted that  he'll hear it again                                                               
in the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  announced that he  was going to  support the                                                               
bill, but  wanted to state  a concern.   He said he  is satisfied                                                               
the bill  as written  is fine  constitutionally, but  offered his                                                               
belief  that, as  a  matter of  practice,  it is  a  bad idea  to                                                               
propose  legislation  that  tells  an  agency  to  come  up  with                                                               
regulations without  telling the agency the  concerns and without                                                               
giving any direction as to the motivation.                                                                                      
Number 0294                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved to report  HB 409, as amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSHB  409(FSH) was                                                               
reported from the House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects