Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/22/2018 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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10:03:05 AM Start
10:04:13 AM Presentation by Dr. S. Bradley Moran, Dean, College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, Uaf
10:42:17 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Postponed to 2/27/18>
Introduction of Committee Substitute
+ Presentation by Dr. S. Bradley Moran, Dean, TELECONFERENCED
College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, UAF
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    6ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
               HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                           
                        February 22, 2018                                                                                       
                            10:03 a.m.                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  UAF COLLEGE OF FISHERIES & OCEAN SCIENCES                                                                     
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 231                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry                                                                       
Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
S. BRADLEY MORAN, PhD; Dean                                                                                                     
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS)                                                                                  
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-Presented a PowerPoint regarding the UAF                                                              
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.                                                                                        
GORDON KRUSE, PhD; Professor                                                                                                    
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CSOF)                                                                                  
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-Presented  a PowerPoint regarding the UAF                                                             
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
10:03:05 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries  meeting  to  order  at  10:03  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins, Eastman,  Neuman, and Stutes were  present at the                                                               
call to order.                                                                                                                  
^Presentation  by   Dr.  S.  Bradley  Moran,   Dean,  College  of                                                               
Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, UAF                                                                                                 
          Presentation by Dr. S. Bradley Moran, Dean,                                                                       
           College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, UAF                                                                       
10:04:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a  Presentation  by  Dr.  S.  Bradley  Moran,  Dean,  College  of                                                               
Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, UAF                                                                                                 
10:05:07 AM                                                                                                                   
S.  BRADLEY MORAN,  PhD;  Dean, College  of  Fisheries and  Ocean                                                               
Sciences (CFOS), introduced himself.                                                                                            
GORDON  KRUSE, PhD;  Professor,  College of  Fisheries and  Ocean                                                               
Sciences   (CSOF),   University   of  Alaska   Fairbanks   (UAF),                                                               
introduced himself  and advised he  is located at the  Lena Point                                                               
facilities in Juneau.                                                                                                           
10:05:35 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN MORAN offered to provide a  brief overview of the College of                                                               
Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS).   Turning to slide 2, titled                                                               
"Statewide Presence," he  stated that the college was  one of the                                                               
largest   combined  research   and  academic   unit  in   Alaska,                                                               
consisting of over 300 faculty, staff  and students as well as 12                                                               
locations across  Alaska.   He identified  Fairbanks as  the only                                                               
non-coastal region  for the CFOS.   He directed attention  to the                                                               
graph that explains the CFOS budget  for fiscal year (FY) 17.  He                                                               
asked  to highlight  the over  $6 million  infusion to  the CFOS,                                                               
noting the overall revenue to Alaska  at $54 million, which was a                                                               
good investment  for Alaska returning  $8 for every  $1 invested.                                                               
A large  part of  the budget  was for  the research  vessel (R/V)                                                               
Sikuliaq,  the only  ice-capable  research vessel  in the  entire                                                               
nation that the CFOS operates.   He pointed out $24.6 million for                                                               
research, which would be close to the FY 18 projected budget.                                                                   
DEAN MORAN turned  to slide 3, titled  "Academic Programs," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     ? Fisheries  Bachelor of Science (research focus)                                                                          
     ? Fisheries  Bachelor of Arts (broader focus)                                                                              
     ? Fisheries  Master of Science and Ph.D.                                                                                   
       Marine Biology  Master of Science and Ph.D.                                                                              
     ? Oceanography  Master of Science and Ph.D.                                                                                
     ? New Masters of Marine Studies                                                                                            
     ? New Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Undergraduate                                                                           
DEAN MORAN identified  that the CFOS has expanded  its degrees to                                                               
include  B.S.  in Ocean  Sciences,  Masters,  and Ph.D.  programs                                                               
offered at  the University  of Alaska  Fairbanks (UAF)  in Marine                                                               
Biology, Fisheries,  and Oceanography.  These  programs have been                                                               
growing and  the CFOS  currently has  over 100  graduate students                                                               
and approximately 60 undergraduate students, he said.                                                                           
10:07:49 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES  asked whether the [degree  programs] were available                                                               
in all the satellite schools.                                                                                                   
DEAN MORAN answered yes; that  the college extensively uses video                                                               
conferencing (Vicon).                                                                                                           
10:08:11 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN  MORAN  turned  to  slide 4,  titled  "Research  &  Economic                                                               
Drivers," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     ? Alaska Sea Grant Program                                                                                                 
     ? Coastal Marine Institute                                                                                                 
     ? Institute of Marine Science                                                                                              
     ? Kasitsna Bay Laboratory                                                                                                  
     ? Kodiak Seafood & Marine Science Center                                                                                   
     ? Lena Point Fisheries Facility                                                                                            
     ? Ocean Acidification Research Center                                                                                      
     ? Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center                                                                         
     ? Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center                                                                                       
     ? R/V Sikuliaq & Seward Marine Center                                                                                      
DEAN MORAN  stated he listed  the top components of  the college.                                                               
He  added that  the Alaska  Sea Grant  Program was  a partnership                                                               
with the National Oceanic  and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).                                                               
The  Institute  of  Marine Science  was  another  grant  program,                                                               
funded  through the  Bureau of  Ocean  Energy Management  (BOEM).                                                               
The  program handles  all the  research.   He mentioned  that the                                                               
Kodiak Seafood &  Marine Science was the  only seafood processing                                                               
pilot plant in the state  and that CFOS was aggressively pursuing                                                               
partnerships between that facility and  industry.  The Lena Point                                                               
Fisheries Facility was  where the bulk of  the fisheries programs                                                               
are located.   The  college has  an Ocean  Acidification Research                                                               
Center that has done fantastic  work in coastal waters in support                                                               
of fisheries and water quality,  he said.  The Rasmuson Fisheries                                                               
Research Center supported by the  Rasmuson Foundation assists the                                                               
undergraduate  fisheries program.   Lastly,  the R/V  Sikuliaq, a                                                               
$200  million  NSF  [National   Science  Foundation]  owned  CFOS                                                               
operated research vessel, operates out of Seward.                                                                               
10:10:06 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN MORAN turned  to slide 5 titled  "Partnerships," which read,                                                               
in part, as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
     Pollock Conservation Cooperative is UAF's largest                                                                          
     donor and since 2000 it has donated $20M                                                                                   
     CFOS donors support the following:                                                                                         
     Research Programs Fisheries                                                                                                
     Undergraduate Program                                                                                                      
     Undergraduate Scholarships                                                                                                 
     Graduate Fellowships                                                                                                       
     R/V Sikuliaq Exhibit at the UA Museum of the North                                                                         
     R/V Sikuliaq Alaska Homecoming Center for Salmon and                                                                       
     Society National Ocean Sciences Bowl                                                                                       
     Marine Advisory Program                                                                                                    
     Citizen Science Initiative                                                                                                 
     AK Young Fishermen's Summit                                                                                                
DEAN  MORAN stated  that the  Pollock Conservation  Cooperative's                                                               
donations  were  highly dependent  on  the  education tax  credit                                                               
program,  which was  due  to  sunset in  the  current  year.   He                                                               
expressed hope that  the tax credit program would  not be allowed                                                               
to sunset.                                                                                                                      
10:10:59 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN  MORAN   turned  to  Slide   6,  titled   "CFOS  Mariculture                                                               
Facilities,  Faculty   and  Research,"  which  read   as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     Facilities available for research:                                                                                     
     Kodiak Seafood  and Marine Science Center:  Seafood R&D                                                                  
     facility; research  kitchens, biochemistry,  food labs;                                                                    
     test & develop new seafood products.                                                                                       
     Kasitsna  Bay  Laboratory: Running  sea-water,  wet/dry                                                                  
     labs,  cold room;  research  on  kelp and  invertebrate                                                                    
     ecology, e.g. conditions  for successful settlement and                                                                    
     growth, development.                                                                                                       
     Seward  Marine   Center:  Adjacent  to   Alutiiq  Pride                                                                  
     Shellfish   Hatchery,   facility    for   research   on                                                                    
     mariculture studies.                                                                                                       
     Lena Point:  CFOS research and teaching  facility in SE                                                                  
     CFOS   faculty   funded    for   mariculture   research                                                                
     (seaweeds, invertebrates):                                                                                             
     Keith  Criddle  (aquaculture),  Ginny  Eckert  (crabs),                                                                    
     Sarah  Hardy  (sea  cucumbers), Quentin  Fong  (seafood                                                                    
     science), Amanda  Kelley (ocean acidification  w/ kelp,                                                                    
     clams),  Brenda Konar  (kelp  harvesting, clams),  Mike                                                                    
     Stekoll (kelp)                                                                                                             
DEAN MORAN  stated that the  takeaway from  slide 6 is  that CFOS                                                               
has a lot of capacity to grow mariculture in Alaska.                                                                            
10:11:44 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES took this opportunity  to commend the Kodiak Seafood                                                               
and Marine  Science Center (KSMSC).   She said it has  had a huge                                                               
role in the mariculture industry and would continue to do so.                                                                   
She hoped the  University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)  would find a                                                               
way  to keep  this facility  operational  since it  was the  only                                                               
processing and  testing facility in  the state.  She  pointed out                                                               
that the  KSMSC has  been instrumental  in developing  the value-                                                               
added products in the seafood industry.                                                                                         
10:12:31 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN MORAN  agreed, noting  the key word  is "potential"  for the                                                               
KSMSC.   He  stated  that "Blue  Evolution,"  [a seaweed  farming                                                               
entrepreneur],  has  leased  space  and  is  in  the  process  of                                                               
increasing its leased space.                                                                                                    
10:12:46 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN MORAN turned to slide  7, titled "Arctic Research Icebreaker                                                               
Consortium,"   which  read   as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
       Networking & coordination                                                                                                
     ? Transnational access                                                                                                     
     ? Joint research activities                                                                                                
DEAN MORAN said the R/V Sikuliaq  was part of the Arctic Research                                                               
Icebreaker Consortium funded by the  European Union.  The UAF has                                                               
been receiving funding in support  of the R/V Sikuliaq along with                                                               
research vessels  from Norway, Sweden,  the United  Kingdom (UK),                                                               
and Canada.   He emphasized that this was "a  really big deal" as                                                               
Alaska was currently on the  international stage leveraging state                                                               
and federal investments.  He stated that concluded his remarks.                                                                 
10:13:43 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE   turned  to  slide   8,  titled   "Training  Alaska's                                                               
Professional  Fisheries  Workforce:  Undergrads," which  read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
       ?Since 2007, there have been 74 graduates from our                                                                       
      undergraduate fisheries program                                                                                           
     ? 59 Bachelor of Science (BS)                                                                                              
     ? 15 Bachelor of Arts (BA)                                                                                                 
     ? Employment of graduates with BS and BA:                                                                                  
     ? 45% - work for state and federal agencies in Alaska                                                                      
       (e.g., ADF&G, NMFS)                                                                                                      
     ? 27% - attending graduate school                                                                                          
     ? 14% - work for fishing industry                                                                                          
     ? 14% - work for UAF                                                                                                       
DR.  KRUSE said  that the  UAF's fisheries  undergraduate program                                                               
has grown to  be one of the  largest in the nation.   The program                                                               
has  the highest  retention  rate  of all  programs  at the  UAF,                                                               
retaining approximately  80 percent of its  graduates as compared                                                               
with 40  to 60 percent  for other programs,  h said.   He briefly                                                               
reviewed the statistics on slide 8.                                                                                             
10:15:03 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE  directed attention to  slide 9, titled  "Employment of                                                               
CFOS Fisheries M.S. and Ph.D.  Alumni," consisting of a pie graph                                                               
identifying  that 49  percent of  MS  and PhD  graduates work  in                                                               
Alaska.  He  reported that the UAF has had  521 graduate students                                                               
with Masters, and PhD degrees.   He directed attention to the pie                                                               
chart  that  showed  the  distribution  of  employment,  with  21                                                               
percent employed by the State  of Alaska, primarily by the Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), with 33 percent was unknown.                                                                 
He  reported  that  16  percent  were  employed  by  the  federal                                                               
government, primarily  in the  National Marine  Fisheries Service                                                               
(NMFS), but also with the  US Geological Survey (USGS), US Forest                                                               
Service  (USFS) and  other agencies.    He pointed  out that  the                                                               
National  Oceanic  and  Atmospheric  Administration  (NOAA),  Ted                                                               
Stevens  Marine  Research  Institute  (TSMRI)  at  Auke  Bay  was                                                               
dominated by UAF's  graduates.  If these  graduates were removed,                                                               
the facility  would need to  close since these  employees perform                                                               
substantial work, including doing all  the stock assessments.  He                                                               
further  reported that  the NOAA  Alaska  Regional Office  Deputy                                                               
Regional Administrator,  Doug Mecum,  was one of  UAF's fisheries                                                               
graduates.   He  related  that  4 percent  work  in business  and                                                               
consulting,  mentioning   Matt  More,  General   Manager,  Alaska                                                               
Pacific  Seafoods  in  Kodiak,  Warner  Lew,  Bristol  Bay  Fleet                                                               
Manager,  Icicle Seafoods,  and  Sandro Lane,  who developed  the                                                               
Taku  Smokeries/Taku Fisheries  in  Juneau and  later became  co-                                                               
owner of  Trident Seafoods.   Mr.  Lane invented  the cold-press,                                                               
virgin salmon oil  product, marketed as Omega 3,  to obtain value                                                               
from fish that would have otherwise been thrown away.                                                                           
10:17:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS acknowledged  the names  mentioned                                                               
were leaders  in fisheries  management.  He  shared that  he once                                                               
met  someone in  Juneau  at GonZo  waffle shop,  who  had been  a                                                               
student in his  freshman oceanography class.   This student, from                                                               
Pennsylvania,  was  then pursuing  her  master's  degree at  CFOS                                                               
because it is one of the best programs in the nation.                                                                           
DR. KRUSE  responded that  the university was  very proud  of its                                                               
10:18:42 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked for a  breakdown of the  51 percent                                                               
of  CFOS's   M.S.  and   PhD  alumni   not  working   in  Alaska.                                                               
Specifically, he  wondered if  CFOS knew  if graduates  were from                                                               
out of  state, came to school  here, and returned to  their place                                                               
of  origin after  graduation versus  how many  Alaskans graduated                                                               
and consequently left the state for work.                                                                                       
DR.  KRUSE reiterated  that  49  percent of  its  alumni work  in                                                               
Alaska.  Of the remaining 51  percent, 33 percent were unknown, a                                                               
fraction of  which was  undoubtedly working  in Alaska,  he said.                                                               
He  agreed that  the CFOS  program attracts  students from  other                                                               
places who  complete the program,  and some return to  their home                                                               
states.  He added that the  program has not tracked the number of                                                               
students  from  out-of-state and  what  fraction  stay in  state;                                                               
however, he  acknowledged that would  be a  good thing.   He also                                                               
acknowledged  that these  graduates are  highly sought  after and                                                               
are recruited by universities, state, and federal governments.                                                                  
10:20:25 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE turned to page  10, titled "CFOS Fisheries Graduates in                                                               
Alaskan  Economy," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                               
       Commercial fisheries:                                                                                                  
      ?In 2015, Alaska commercial fisheries yielded 6B lb                                                                       
        (60%) of the nation's fishery landings                                                                                  
       ?$1.8 billion ex-vessel value.                                                                                           
         ?Seafood industry is Alaska's largest private                                                                          
        employer, averaging ~60,000 workers.                                                                                    
       Sport fisheries/Subsistence:                                                                                           
        ?In 2007, 475,534 resident/nonresident licensed                                                                         
        anglers    spent    $1.4     billion    trip-related                                                                    
        expenditures, supporting ~16,000 jobs in Alaska                                                                         
      ?Important customary and traditional uses of fishery                                                                      
DR. KRUSE  reviewed the statistics  on slide  10.  He  added that                                                               
three  of  CFOS's  faculty  are members  of  the  Scientific  and                                                               
Statistical Committee  for the  North Pacific  Fishery Management                                                               
Council   (NPFMC),  together   with  two   colleagues  from   the                                                               
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), who  make up a third of the                                                               
total scientific  body making  scientific recommendations  to the                                                               
NPFMC on  federal fisheries management.   The committee  sets the                                                               
catch limits for  all the federally managed  fisheries in Alaska.                                                               
He characterized  this as an being  incredible responsibility for                                                               
the   scientists  who   have   tremendous   pride  in   producing                                                               
sustainable fisheries of this magnitude.                                                                                        
10:22:08 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE  turned to  slide 11,  titled "Department  of Fisheries                                                               
Research  Topics," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                               
     Topics  Genetics, biology, ecology, migration,                                                                           
     population dynamics, fishery oceanography, economics,                                                                      
     human dimensions, and fishery management                                                                                   
     Freshwater  salmon, whitefishes, northern pike,                                                                          
     rainbow trout, Arctic char, burbot, lampreys                                                                               
     Marine  Pacific halibut, rockfishes, sablefish,                                                                          
     pollock, cod, salmon, herring, crabs, shrimp, skates,                                                                      
     dogfish, etc.                                                                                                              
     Mammals  sea lions, seals, walrus and whales                                                                             
DR.  KRUSE   explained  that  the  department   performs  fishery                                                               
research as  other universities  would do, noting  that it  has a                                                               
vibrant  freshwater program  throughout  the state  in lakes  and                                                               
streams.  He  stated that the CFOS works on  a plethora of marine                                                               
species  supporting  valuable  commercial fisheries  as  well  as                                                               
recreational marine  fisheries, noting a few  species were listed                                                               
on this  slide.  The  CFOS also  has one marine  mammal scientist                                                               
who works on a variety of marine mammals.                                                                                       
10:22:56 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE  turned to  slide  12,  titled "Algal  Toxins  Trigger                                                               
Increased Closures for a Lucrative  Clam Fishery," which read, in                                                               
part, as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                               
     Uncovering the mechanisms behind wintertime paralytic                                                                      
     shellfish toxicity in geoduck clam fisheries in                                                                            
     Southeast Alaska                                                                                                           
     Wild  harvest  of  geoduck  clams   in  SE  Alaska  has                                                                    
     declined  as a  result  of failed  tests for  paralytic                                                                    
     shellfish  toxins  (PSTs);   76%  of  management  areas                                                                    
     failed weekly PST over 4 harvest seasons.                                                                                  
     Our  team  is   coordinating  with  resource  managers,                                                                    
     fishers, and  stakeholders to understand why  this clam                                                                    
     fishery  is experiencing  an  increase  in closures  so                                                                    
     that we can address management and mitigation needs.                                                                       
DR. KRUSE  offered to provide  a few  examples of the  work done,                                                               
directing attention to  some of the projects.   He mentioned that                                                               
Southeast  Alaska  has  a  valuable geoduck  clam  fishery.    He                                                               
directed  attention  to  the  chart   of  slide  12,  noting  the                                                               
exponential  growth value  that has  plummeted in  the past  four                                                               
years  due to  paralytic shellfish  toxins (PSTs).   He  reported                                                               
that 76 percent of the  management areas have failed their weekly                                                               
PST tests resulting in a great decline.                                                                                         
DR. KRUSE  stated that  a team of  graduate students  and faculty                                                               
member  has been  working with  fishery  managers, fishermen  and                                                               
other stakeholders to try to  understand the cause of the decline                                                               
and what  could be done  in terms  of management to  mitigate the                                                               
10:23:49 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE  turned  to  slide 13,  titled  "Improved  Release  of                                                               
Hatchery  Salmon," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                               
     How are nearshore predators responding to hatchery                                                                         
     released salmon?                                                                                                           
     Key Preliminary Results                                                                                                  
     ?  Pacific staghorn  sculpin and  Dolly Varden  consume                                                                    
     salmon  smolts (mostly)  and juveniles  during May  and                                                                    
     June, including areas near hatchery release sites.                                                                         
     ? As a  result, hatchery salmon may  be less vulnerable                                                                    
     to  predators  because they  are  released  at a  large                                                                    
     Optimal release strategies that improve smolt survival                                                                     
     to avoid highest risk of predation                                                                                         
     Contribution of predation to early marine survival of                                                                      
     juvenile salmon                                                                                                            
     Research Team: Dr. Anne Beaudreau (UAF PI), Mr.                                                                          
     Douglas Duncan (UAF student)                                                                                               
     Collaborating Organizations: University of Alaska                                                                        
     Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, Alaska                                                                          
     EPSCoR program, and the Age Tag Mark Lab of the Alaska                                                                     
     Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                
     Funders: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea                                                                      
     Grant, Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc.                                                                                  
DR.  KRUSE discussed  this  Southeast  Alaska project,  improving                                                               
release of  hatchery salmon,  funded by  the Douglas  Island Pink                                                               
and Chum Hatchery  (DIPAC).  He explained  the hatcheries release                                                               
salmon and  hope to obtain  a return  on their investments.   The                                                               
hatcheries are very  interested in reasons for  any reductions to                                                               
returns.  They have invested in  a study to determine the fate of                                                               
hatchery-released salmon, including  determining what species has                                                               
been  eating the  smolts and  juvenile salmon  when the  fish are                                                               
first  released,  he  said.   He  reviewed  the  key  preliminary                                                               
results,  noting  that the  Pacific  staghorn  sculpin and  Dolly                                                               
Varden  consume most  of  the  smolts in  May  and  June.   These                                                               
predators tend to focus on  smaller fish so if hatcheries release                                                               
larger  smolts  and  juveniles, perhaps  some  predation  can  be                                                               
avoided.   He  reviewed the  application, noting  one goal  is to                                                               
determine the  optimal release strategies  and when and  where to                                                               
release the fish to reduce predation mortality.                                                                                 
10:24:55 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE  turned to slide  14, titled "Killer  Whale Depredation                                                               
in Longline  Fisheries," that  identified problems,  results, and                                                               
outcomes,  with  photo of  an  orca  whale and  longline  fishery                                                               
depredation,   which  read,   in  part,   as  follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Problems: Management:                                                                                                    
     ? Inaccurate stocks assessments Fishermen:                                                                                 
     ? Reduced catches                                                                                                          
     ? Increased costs Whales:                                                                                                  
     ? Risk of entanglement                                                                                                     
     ? behavior change                                                                                                          
     39-73% reduction in survey catches, and 35-70%                                                                             
     reduction in commercial catches of halibut, sablefish                                                                      
     and Greenland turbot.                                                                                                      
     ? Adjustments to NMFS stock assessments (in process)                                                                       
     ? NPFMC now allows use of pot gear in Gulf of Alaska                                                                       
DR. KRUSE  suggested many members  may be aware of  killer whales                                                               
[Orca  whales]  taking  fish  from   fishing  lines  in  longline                                                               
fisheries in Alaska.   This has been a real  problem for halibut,                                                               
sablefish,  and   Greenland  turbot  fisheries,  he   said.    He                                                               
explained that  the NOAA  and NMFS  conduct longline  surveys and                                                               
have had  difficulty determining  what species has  been removing                                                               
bait  from their  lines,  which can  result  in inaccurate  stock                                                               
assessments.    Killer   Whale  depredation  reduces  fishermen's                                                               
catches and  increases their costs.   He stated that  whales risk                                                               
entanglement.  He reviewed the results and outcomes.                                                                            
10:26:16 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE turned to slide  15, titled "Interactions between State                                                               
Fisheries  and   Steller  Sea  Lions,"  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     Problem: Decline of western stock of Steller sea lions                                                                   
     raised concerns about fishery interactions. Is there                                                                       
     evidence that state fisheries are partly responsible?                                                                      
     Approach: Statistical analysis of trends on sea lion                                                                     
     rookeries and state fishery catches.                                                                                       
     Results: No evidence for effects of state fisheries on                                                                   
     sea lions was found.                                                                                                       
     Outcome: Additional costly restrictions were not                                                                         
     imposed on state-managed fisheries to mitigate effects                                                                     
     on sea lions.                                                                                                              
10:27:08 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS asked  about killer whale predation                                                               
shown  on slide  14.   He  related his  understanding that  sperm                                                               
whales also  were predators.   He wondered  if the  statistics of                                                               
35-75 percent reduction  was attributed only to  killer whales or                                                               
to the category of all whale species predation.                                                                                 
DR. KRUSE responded that the  statistics referred to both species                                                               
and added it  was primarily orcas and sperm  whales in Southeast.                                                               
He offered that  orca whales tend to be up  north and dominate in                                                               
taking Greenland turbot off hooks in the Bering Sea.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS said  it was  amazing that  whales                                                               
hear the boat hydraulics and beeline to the bottom.                                                                             
10:28:23 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. KRUSE  turned to  slide 16, titled  "Analysis of  Tanner Crab                                                               
Size  Limit,"   which  read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
     Problem: Many sublegal Tanner  crab reach terminal molt                                                                    
     and  will  never  grow  to  legal  size,  resulting  in                                                                    
     excessive discards and  waste. Approach: Computer model                                                                    
     analysis of catch, bycatch, and fishery economics.                                                                         
     Results:  Lower size  limit reduces  discard mortality,                                                                    
     increases  CPUE, produces  higher yields  and revenues,                                                                    
     and lowers marginal fishing costs.                                                                                         
     Outcome:  Board  of   Fisheries  approved  proposal  to                                                                    
     reduce the  size limit, improving the  profitability of                                                                    
     the Tanner crab fishery                                                                                                    
DR. KRUSE  commented fishermen were  catching mature  Tanner crab                                                               
that were  sublegal, dumping  back crab  that would  never become                                                               
legal,  which resulted  in  discard mortality.    The Bering  Sea                                                               
Fishery  Research Foundation  (BSFRF) funded  this project.   The                                                               
Board of Fisheries  approved a proposal to reduce  the size limit                                                               
and it improved the profitability  of the Tanner crab fishery, he                                                               
10:29:25 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE  turned to  slide  17,  titled  "Declines in  Size  of                                                               
Pacific  Halibut," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                               
     Problem:  The  average  weight  of  an  age-20  halibut                                                                  
     declined from  120 lb  in 1988  to 45  lb in  2015. The                                                                    
     stock also declined.                                                                                                       
     Methods: Cumulative  effects of  size-selective fishing                                                                  
     and harvest rates were evaluated by simulation models.                                                                     
     Results: High harvest  rates and size-selective fishing                                                                  
     explains 30-65% of the decline in the Gulf of Alaska.                                                                      
     Outcome: The  International Pacific  Halibut Commission                                                                  
     has  revised their  stock assessment  model to  fix the                                                                    
DR.  KRUSE stated  that  another CFOS  project  was studying  the                                                               
declines in  the size  of Pacific  Halibut.   He stated  that the                                                               
CFOS did computer-simulation modeling  analyses of the cumulative                                                               
effects  of size-selective  fishing,  in  other words,  fishermen                                                               
taking larger  fish, and  harvest rates.   This study  found that                                                               
high harvest  rates and size-selective fishing  explained between                                                               
30 to 65 percent  of the decline in the Gulf of  Alaska and up to                                                               
100  percent   of  the   decline  in   Southeast  Alaska.     The                                                               
International  Pacific  Halibut  Commission  has  modified  their                                                               
model and fixed the bias.   He hoped that this would soon improve                                                               
the halibut stocks.                                                                                                             
10:30:42 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE  turned  to  slide   18,  titled  "Beaufort  Sea  Fish                                                               
Monitoring,"  which showed  a photograph  and map,  and read,  in                                                               
part, as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                               
     Goal: As part of  their commitment to environmental and                                                                  
     social  responsibility, since  1985 Hilcorp  has funded                                                                    
     surveys  of nearshore  fishes in  the Beaufort  Sea for                                                                    
     potential impacts of oil and gas development.                                                                              
     Methods:  Fyke nets  sampled daily  from  late June  to                                                                  
     early September.                                                                                                           
     Results:  Ongoing  research   is  focusing  on  climate                                                                  
     effects   on  fish   communities,  bioenergetics,   and                                                                    
DR.  KRUSE  stated that  the  Beaufort  Sea fish  monitoring  was                                                               
funded  by the  Hilcorp Energy  Company,  which was  a survey  of                                                               
nearshore fish  to explore the  potential impacts of oil  and gas                                                               
development.  The  researchers sampled the sea with  Fyke nets, a                                                               
type  of  fish trap.    Although  the  researchers did  not  find                                                               
impacts from  the oil and  gas development, this study  has found                                                               
effects of climate change on  fish communities, bioenergetics and                                                               
growth.   This research funds  two graduate students,  a fulltime                                                               
technician, and a senior undergraduate thesis, he said.                                                                         
10:31:45 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  KRUSE summarized  his presentation,  hoping he  had conveyed                                                               
the huge role  the CFOS plays in Alaska's fisheries.   The CFOS's                                                               
graduates  comprise  a large  percentage  of  the scientists  and                                                               
biologists,  biometricians, and  managers  of  state and  federal                                                               
fisheries.   The CFOS performs  research, high-quality  work that                                                               
supports   the   scientific   basis   for   Alaska's   lucrative,                                                               
sustainable  fisheries.     The   CFOS  serves  on   the  NPFMC's                                                               
scientific  committee,  making   decisions  about  catch  limits.                                                               
Sustainable Alaska fisheries  are the envy of the  nation and the                                                               
world, he  said.  The  CFOS's program has  played a huge  role in                                                               
that  success, he  stated.    He thanked  the  committee for  its                                                               
10:33:08 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  related  his  understanding  that                                                               
funds for the R/V Sikuliaq  were secured through federal sources.                                                               
He asked whether the presenters  could speak more specifically to                                                               
the origin  of the funding and  the operating budget for  the R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq in terms  of contracting out to  third party researchers                                                               
or continued federal support.                                                                                                   
10:33:38 AM                                                                                                                   
DEAN  MORAN agreed  the R/V  Sikuliaq was  paid for  with federal                                                               
funds.   He related that it  was built in Wisconsin.   He advised                                                               
that the  American Recovery and Reinvestment  Act (ARRA) provided                                                               
about $200 million  of the federal funding.  He  related that the                                                               
other  institutions that  operate a  global-class vessel  are the                                                               
University of  Washington, Woods Hole  Oceanographic Institution,                                                               
Woods Hole,  Massachusetts; Scripps Institution  of Oceanography,                                                               
University of California San Diego;  and Columbia University.  In                                                               
terms of  the operating budget,  the CFOS recently  submitted the                                                               
ship's proposal for $30 million  for five years from the National                                                               
Science  Foundation to  continue the  R/V Sikuliaq's  operations.                                                               
Additional funding would come from  the Office of Naval Research,                                                               
the North  Pacific Research Board,  and the European Union.   The                                                               
annual infusion from NSF has been about $12 to $13 million.                                                                     
10:34:58 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  for the  cost of  the Tanner  crab                                                               
DR.  KRUSE did  not specifically  recall but  offered his  belief                                                               
that the  approximate cost  was from $75,000  to $100,000  for an                                                               
18-month project.                                                                                                               
CHAIR STUTES asked whether that  information could be provided to                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
10:36:14 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   appreciated    that   the   R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq's  homeport  was  in  Alaska   and  not  Lake  Union  or                                                               
somewhere  else  in   the  Lower  48.    He   asked  for  further                                                               
clarification  on  what  services  can be  supplied  to  the  R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq and how it worked to have Alaska as homeport.                                                                          
DEAN MORAN  asked for further  clarification on the  question and                                                               
if it was for shoreside support for the R/V Sikuliaq.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS agreed it  was for shoreside report                                                               
and to  be certain the  R/V Sikuliaq  was able to  obtain routine                                                               
maintenance in Alaska.                                                                                                          
DEAN MORAN said  he was glad for the question  and noted it would                                                               
be competed  by federal law by  2023.  He clarified  that at that                                                               
time  the  University of  Washington  could  compete to  takeover                                                               
homeport of the vessel.   He stated that shoreside facilities and                                                               
cost  effectiveness   was  critical.     Currently,   the  Seward                                                               
infrastructure,  the  dock  and  shoreside support,  need  to  be                                                               
improved to  be competitive.   He acknowledged that  the Hatfield                                                               
Science  Center  at  Oregon  State University  has  a  very  nice                                                               
facility.  This  vessel has been operated as  other vessels have,                                                               
through the  University National Oceanographic  Laboratory System                                                               
(UNOLS) in  terms of scheduling.   He stated  that he is  on very                                                               
good terms with many staff, that  the CFOS has received very good                                                               
post-cruise  assessment reports  on every  cruise.   Every single                                                               
cruise  that works  on  the  North Slope  or  interacts with  the                                                               
Alaska Native communities must be  presented to the Alaska Eskimo                                                               
Whaling  Commission  one year  in  advance.   Currently  the  R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq operates very well but  the state and university must be                                                               
mindful that in 2023 others would  like to operate the vessel and                                                               
will actively compete for the $12 to $13 million budget.                                                                        
10:39:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  further asked  what would  need to                                                               
happen  for   the  University  of  Washington   or  Oregon  State                                                               
University to wrest control of the R/V Sikuliaq from Alaska.                                                                    
DEAN MORAN responded that the CFOS  will have to write a proposal                                                               
to continue  operating the R/V Sikuliaq.   He added that  the R/V                                                               
Sikuliaq  was the  largest infrastructure  that the  NSF owns  in                                                               
addition to telescopes.                                                                                                         
10:40:37 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS appreciated  the role  the college                                                               
plays.  He  further asked for the strategic  goals or initiatives                                                               
for CFOS future endeavors.                                                                                                      
DEAN MORAN answered  that he moved to Alaska two  years ago.  The                                                               
staff and faculty  provided a decade-long plan,  which he offered                                                               
to  provide  it to  the  committee.    He  said that  the  CFOS's                                                               
overarching goal  is to become  a top-notch college  of fisheries                                                               
and  ocean  science going  forward  in  research, education,  and                                                               
public engagement.                                                                                                              
10:41:30 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES thanked  CFOS staff,  Dr. Kruse  and Dr.  Moran for                                                               
presenting today.                                                                                                               
10:42:17 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Fisheries meeting  was adjourned  at 10:42                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Presentation by College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.pdf HFSH 2/22/2018 10:00:00 AM
Presentation College of FIsheries