Legislature(2015 - 2016)GRUENBERG 120

03/24/2016 10:00 AM House FISHERIES

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10:08:16 AM Start
10:08:43 AM Alaska Board of Fisheries (bof)
10:33:35 AM HB300
11:06:38 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- Fishermen's Fund Advisory & Appeals Council
- Board of Fisheries
Moved CSHB 300(FSH) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 300-FISH/SHELLFISH HATCHERY/ENHANCE. PROJECTS                                                                    
10:33:35 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 300, "An  Act relating to management  of enhanced                                                               
stocks of fish; authorizing the  operation of nonprofit shellfish                                                               
hatcheries;  relating   to  application   fees  for   salmon  and                                                               
shellfish  hatchery  permits;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
10:34:19 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   300,  Version  29-GH2653\W,  Bullard,                                                               
3/21/16, as the working document.                                                                                               
CHAIR STUTES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
10:35:30 AM                                                                                                                   
SAM  COTTEN,  Commissioner,  Alaska  Department of  Fish  &  Game                                                               
(ADF&G), introduced HB 300, and  said it allows the department to                                                               
issue permits  for shellfish  enhancement and  for rehabilitation                                                               
projects,  as  well as  for  the  construction and  operation  of                                                               
shellfish  hatcheries by  non-profit  corporations  for the  same                                                               
purpose.   The  goal  to  help improve  the  state's economy  and                                                               
provide a method to increase  the available harvest of shellfish.                                                               
For  further details  addressing the  recommended changes  to the                                                               
original bill, he deferred comment.                                                                                             
10:37:20 AM                                                                                                                   
FOREST   BOWERS,   Deputy   Director,  Division   of   Commercial                                                               
Fisheries, Alaska Department of Fish  & Game (ADF&G), said HB 300                                                               
caused a  number of questions  due to  a need to  standardize the                                                               
text  of the  bill and  reflect a  unified syntax.   The  general                                                               
public experienced confusion due  to the inclusion of terminology                                                               
which the  department considered  routine.   Additionally, strong                                                               
public interest  was evident regarding shellfish  enhancement and                                                               
the rehabilitation  of shellfish fisheries.   After incorporating                                                               
the public feedback,  the bill required a title change.   Also, a                                                               
paragraph was added to prohibit  permit holders from procuring or                                                               
placing  genetically   modified  shellfish  into   state  waters.                                                               
Specifications  for  brood  stock  sourcing was  included  and  a                                                               
series  of  definitions were  added.    Finally, an  immunity  of                                                               
liability clause  was inserted, and  a provision for  donation of                                                               
shellfish to a food bank was removed.                                                                                           
10:40:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES   removed  her   objection,  and   without  further                                                               
objection, Version W was before the committee.                                                                                  
10:40:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BOWERS referred  to the committee packet,  to paraphrase from                                                               
the  document titled,  "Sectional  Analysis, HB  300, Version  W,                                                               
Shellfish Stock Rehabilitation  and Fishery Enhancement Projects,                                                               
March 23, 2016," which read as follows:                                                                                         
     Sec. 1                                                                                                                   
     Provides  the Alaska  Board of  Fisheries authority  to                                                                    
     direct the department to  manage production of enhanced                                                                    
     shellfish stocks,  beyond brood  stock needs,  for cost                                                                    
     recovery harvest.                                                                                                          
     Sec. 2                                                                                                                   
     Increases the  permit application  fee for  new private                                                                    
     nonprofit salmon hatcheries from $100 to $1,000.                                                                           
     Sec. 3                                                                                                                   
     Adds a  new Chapter  12 to  Title 16,  "Shellfish Stock                                                                    
     Rehabilitation   Efforts,  Enhancement   Projects,  and                                                                    
     Provides direction  to the commissioner on  issuance of                                                                    
     permits   for   private   nonprofit   shellfish   stock                                                                    
     rehabilitation  and  fishery enhancement  projects  and                                                                    
     associated  shellfish  hatcheries   and  establishes  a                                                                    
     $1,000  permit application  fee.  This section  directs                                                                    
     the commissioner  to consult with technical  experts in                                                                    
     the  relevant   areas  before  permit   issuance.  This                                                                    
     section provides for  a hearing prior to  issuance of a                                                                    
     permit  and describes  certain  permit terms  including                                                                    
     cost recovery fisheries, harvest,  sale, and release of                                                                    
     hatchery-produced  shellfish,  and selection  of  brood                                                                    
     stock   sources.  This   section  describes   reporting                                                                    
     requirements and  terms for modification  or revocation                                                                    
     of a permit.                                                                                                               
     Sec. 4                                                                                                                   
     Provides  the  Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission                                                                    
     authority to  issue special harvest area  entry permits                                                                    
     to    holders    of   private    nonprofit    shellfish                                                                    
     rehabilitation, enhancement or hatchery permits.                                                                           
     Sec. 5                                                                                                                   
     Defines  legal fishing  gear for  special harvest  area                                                                    
     entry permit holders.                                                                                                      
     Sec. 6                                                                                                                   
     Exempts  shellfish   raised  in  a   private  nonprofit                                                                    
     shellfish project from the farmed fish definition.                                                                         
     Sec. 7 and 8                                                                                                             
     Establish  tax exemption  for  a nonprofit  corporation                                                                    
     holding  a   shellfish  hatchery,   rehabilitation,  or                                                                    
     enhancement permit.                                                                                                        
     Sec. 9                                                                                                                   
     Exempts  shellfish harvested  under  a special  harvest                                                                    
     area entry permit from certain taxes.                                                                                      
     Sec. 10                                                                                                                  
     Establishes  an effective  date of  the fee  for salmon                                                                    
     hatchery permits described in sec. 2.                                                                                      
     Sectional Analysis, HB 300 - 2 - April 4, 2016                                                                             
     Sec. 11                                                                                                                  
     Authorizes   the  department   to  adopt   implementing                                                                    
     Sec. 12                                                                                                                  
     Establishes  an immediate  effective date  for sec.  12                                                                    
     pursuant to AS 01.10.070(c).                                                                                               
     Sec. 13                                                                                                                  
     Establishes an  effective date  for sec.  9 concomitant                                                                    
     with sec. 2 effective date.                                                                                                
10:43:41 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BOWERS added that the  bill was structured after the existing                                                               
statutes  governing  salmon,  private,  non-profit,  programs  to                                                               
utilize applicable elements.                                                                                                    
10:44:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
10:44:33 AM                                                                                                                   
HEATHER  MCCARTY, Spokesperson,  Central  Bering Sea  Fishermen's                                                               
Association,  stated  support  for  HB 300,  and  said  the  crab                                                               
fishery  has not  undergone a  stock resurgence,  and enhancement                                                               
appears to  be the best  means to bring  the industry back.   The                                                               
technology exists, and many committee  and public members support                                                               
an enhancement approach.                                                                                                        
10:49:17 AM                                                                                                                   
JULIE  DECKER, Executive  Director, Alaska  Fisheries Development                                                               
Foundation,  stated  support  for  HB 300,  paraphrasing  from  a                                                               
prepared statement,  which read as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
     The  Alaska  Fisheries  Development  Foundation  (AFDF)                                                                    
     would  like  to  express  support   for  HB  300.  AFDF                                                                    
     recognizes that  HB 300 is  part of a larger  effort to                                                                    
     develop mariculture in Alaska.                                                                                             
     AFDF's membership  is comprised of  seafood harvesters,                                                                    
     seafood  processors,  and  support  sector  businesses.                                                                    
     Since  1978,  AFDF's  mission   has  been  to  identify                                                                    
     problems  and  opportunities  that  are  common  across                                                                    
     Alaska's   seafood  industry   and   to  help   develop                                                                    
     solutions  utilizing applied  research and  development                                                                    
     which  balance  economic benefits  with  sustainability                                                                    
     One  of  AFDF's recent  projects  is  to spearhead  the                                                                    
     Alaska  Mariculture  Initiative,   which  is  meant  to                                                                    
     expedite the development of  mariculture in Alaska with                                                                    
     the vision to grow a $1 billion industry in 30 years.                                                                      
     Governor  Walker's  recent  Administrative  Order  #280                                                                    
     establishes the  Alaska Mariculture  Task Force  and is                                                                    
     also   part   of   this  larger   effort   to   develop                                                                    
     mariculture.  The  purpose  of  the Task  Force  is  to                                                                    
     provide  recommendations for  a  comprehensive plan  to                                                                    
     develop a  viable and sustainable  mariculture industry                                                                    
     producing   shellfish  and   aquatic  plants   for  the                                                                    
     and communities.                                                                                                           
     HB 300  plays an important  role in the  development of                                                                    
     mariculture  in Alaska.  HB  300  creates a  regulatory                                                                    
     framework  with   which  ADF&G  can   manage  shellfish                                                                    
     fishery enhancement,  restoration and hatcheries,  in a                                                                    
     similar  fashion as  the current  management of  salmon                                                                    
     fishery  enhancement and  hatcheries. This  would allow                                                                    
     interested  stakeholders to  either  continue or  begin                                                                    
     enhancement and/or restoration of  species such as King                                                                    
     crab, sea cucumber, geoduck, abalone, or razor clams.                                                                      
     I would  like to  briefly address concerns  of negative                                                                    
     impacts to  wild shellfish from hatchery  shellfish. As                                                                    
     a   Client  for   the   Alaska  Responsible   Fisheries                                                                    
     Management (RFM)  sustainability certification program,                                                                    
     AFDF  has  a  unique  position and  viewpoint  on  this                                                                    
     issue. On  one hand, AFDF hears  concerns from industry                                                                    
     that  ADF&G's  fishery  enhancement  policies  are  too                                                                    
     restrictive, increase  cost, and slow progress.  On the                                                                    
     other   hand,  AFDF   is  also   in  the   position  of                                                                    
     facilitating  a review  of ADF&G's  fishery enhancement                                                                    
     policies   by  independent   third                                                                                         
     determine whether they  follow internationally accepted                                                                    
     standards  for  sustainably managed  fisheries.  Alaska                                                                    
     salmon maintains RFM  certification, because of ADF&G's                                                                    
     policies  which  are  designed around  a  precautionary                                                                    
     approach  that  prioritizes  wild  fish  and  minimizes                                                                    
     adverse impacts to wild stocks.  Following is a list of                                                                    
     some  of  ADF&G's   enhancement  policies:    genetics,                                                                    
     disease,   pathology,   siting  of   hatcheries,   fish                                                                    
     culturing  techniques,   release  strategies,  harvest,                                                                    
     habitat,   marking,   transportation,   planning,   and                                                                    
     reporting.  Given these  extensive  policies, AFDF  and                                                                    
     independent  third                                                                                                         
     is fulfilling its constitutional  mandate to manage our                                                                    
     fishery resources for sustainability.                                                                                      
     Finally, I understand that  a committee substitute (CS)                                                                    
     will be  introduced at Thursday's meeting  that mirrors                                                                    
     the  latest  version of  the  companion  bill (SB  172)                                                                    
     which  was passed  out of  Senate Resources  Committee.                                                                    
     This  is  our  preferred   version  with  changes  that                                                                    
     improve  the  clarity  and intent  of  the  bill.  AFDF                                                                    
     supports  this  CS  of  HB   300  and  appreciates  the                                                                    
     Administration's  proactive  role  in  introducing  the                                                                    
10:53:13 AM                                                                                                                   
NANCY  HILLSTRAND, Pioneer  Alaskan Fisheries,  stated opposition                                                               
to  HB 300,  and said  the governance  of shellfish  needs to  be                                                               
independent  of  the  statutes  that  were  written  for  salmon.                                                               
Legislation  needs  to  address   shellfish  specifically.    She                                                               
pointed out  that a species  of king  crab was released  into the                                                               
Bering Sea and is now considered invasive.                                                                                      
10:57:07 AM                                                                                                                   
GINNY  ECKERT, PhD,  Professor,  University  of Alaska  Fairbanks                                                               
(UAF),  stated  support  for  HB  300,  and  paraphrased  from  a                                                               
prepared statement,  which read as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
     The  Steering   Committee  of  the  Alaska   King  Crab                                                                    
     Research, Rehabilitation and  Biology (AKCRRAB) program                                                                    
     would  like to  express  appreciation  and support  for                                                                    
     House Bill 300, version W.                                                                                                 
     The  AKCRRAB  program  is a  coalition  of  university,                                                                    
     federal  and stakeholder  groups, formed  in 2006  with                                                                    
     the goals of adding  to the scientific understanding of                                                                    
     crab life history and ecology,  as well as the eventual                                                                    
     rehabilitation  of   depressed  king  crab   stocks  in                                                                    
     Alaska.  AKCRRAB  is  developing  scientifically  sound                                                                    
     strategies for hatching, rearing  and out planting king                                                                    
     crab in  Alaska, in order  to help  restore populations                                                                    
     to self-sustainable levels.                                                                                                
     In phase  one, from  2006 to 2011,  AKCRRAB researchers                                                                    
     made  significant  accomplishments  in  developing  and                                                                    
     improving  methods of  hatchery rearing  of larval  and                                                                    
     juvenile  king crab  from wild-caught  brood stock,  to                                                                    
     the  point where  large-scale  production is  feasible.                                                                    
     Parallel field  and laboratory studies of  crab ecology                                                                    
     and  population  genetics  were also  conducted  during                                                                    
     this time.                                                                                                                 
     In the second and  current phase, hatchery studies have                                                                    
     been    complemented    by   studies    essential    to                                                                    
     understanding  optimal release  strategies, appropriate                                                                    
     habitat, and  potential impact on  existing ecosystems.                                                                    
     This research  is providing  the science  necessary for                                                                    
     informing  the responsible  release of  hatchery-reared                                                                    
     animals. Increased knowledge  will allow scientists and                                                                    
     managers  to  assess  the feasibility  of  ecologically                                                                    
     sound   rehabilitation   of  depressed   stocks,   with                                                                    
     potentially substantial benefits to Alaska.                                                                                
     In  the  third  and  final phase,  AKCRRAB  intends  to                                                                    
     evolve from  the current,  research-oriented coalition,                                                                    
     to a  formal entity  focused on  transitioning hatchery                                                                    
     techniques   and    out   planting    technologies   to                                                                    
     communities and  industry as part of  statewide efforts                                                                    
     to  help rehabilitate  depleted  king  crab stocks.  As                                                                    
     phase three develops, the  program will require support                                                                    
     and  guidance   from  the  State  of   Alaska,  as  the                                                                    
     transition  from  feasibility  to  implementation  will                                                                    
     need to be guided with a new regulatory structure.                                                                         
     House  Bill  300, as  aligned  with  the recent  Senate                                                                    
     Resources Committee Substitute for  Senate Bill 172, is                                                                    
     a  response  to  the  need   for  new  regulations  for                                                                    
     shellfish  culture. The  AKCRRAB Steering  Committee is                                                                    
     pleased  that the  Administration  and the  Legislature                                                                    
     are addressing  this need. In  a preliminary  review of                                                                    
     the  proposed  legislation,  the  original  version  of                                                                    
     Senate  Bill  172,  we   identified  several  areas  of                                                                    
     concern  for  AKCRRAB  program  participants.  We  were                                                                    
     pleased that  our concerns, and  those of  others, were                                                                    
     addressed in the Committee Substitute.                                                                                     
     We intend  to participate fully in  further discussions                                                                    
     and  hearings   on  this  important   legislation.  The                                                                    
     AKCRRAB  Steering Committee  stands  ready to  interact                                                                    
     with Committee members and staff  as needed. Please let                                                                    
     us know how we can be of help.                                                                                             
10:59:49 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS   MIERZEJEK,   Director    of   Administration,   Community                                                               
Development Quota  (CDQ), stated  support for  HB 300  and opined                                                               
that  it could  generate  economic  opportunities throughout  the                                                               
western coastal areas of Alaska.                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES closed public testimony.                                                                                           
11:01:34 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ  asked  about   sea  otter  management  and                                                               
whether reducing populations would have a positive impact.                                                                      
11:02:51 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  BOWERS responded  that sea  otters are  limiting shell  fish                                                               
production  in some  areas  of  the state.    However, the  areas                                                               
impacted by the  sea otter may be  good rehabilitation locations,                                                               
especially if  the otters have  moved to other areas.   Certainly                                                               
abalone would be a good species for rehabilitation, he opined.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ said when  speaking about restoration versus                                                               
rehabilitation, what are the differences.                                                                                       
MR.  BOWERS  explained  scenarios  for both  approaches:    Stock                                                               
rehabilitation and fisheries enhancement  are what the department                                                               
practices,  and   restoration  is   not  the   agencies  purview.                                                               
Rehabilitation is when a native  species have been extirpated, or                                                               
nearly so,  and the  effort is  to rebuild  a species  to natural                                                               
production levels.   Enhancement  relates to  boosting production                                                               
of fisheries  above natural levels  for additional yield,  in the                                                               
common property  fishery.   The majority of  the projects  in the                                                               
area of salmon are for enhancement purposes, he finished.                                                                       
11:06:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER moved  to report  the proposed  CS for  HB
300,  Version 29-GH2653\W,  Bullard,  3/21/16,  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There  being no  objection, CSHB  300(FSH) was  reported                                                               
from the House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Fishermen's Fund - Alward.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Alward Support NPFA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Alward Support UFA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries - Payton.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries - Ruffner.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Ruffner & Cain Support UFA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Ruffner Support NPFA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB300 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 ver W Changes.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 ver W Work Draft (H FSH).pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 ver A.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 Fiscal Note DFG.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 Support PVOA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 Support UFA.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
HB300 Sectional Analysis ver W.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
Ruffner Support - KMcGahan.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Payton Oppose - KMcGahan.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
Payton Oppose - RMcGahan.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB300 Support AFDF.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300
SOKI Support Ruffner Cain Payton.pdf HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB300 Support Eckert McCarty.PDF HFSH 3/24/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 300