Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/06/1995 09:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 107(FSH)                                               
       An  Act relating  to restrictions  attached  to certain                 
       commercial fisheries limited entry permits.                             
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB  107 (FSH) be brought                 
  on for discussion.   SENATOR  TAYLOR came forward,  directed                 
  attention to SCS CSHB 107  (Res), and explained that changes                 
  therein  would  result  in  a  title change  and  subsequent                 
  debate.    He  suggested  that  the  bill  is  of sufficient                 
  importance  that consideration should  revert to the version                 
  transmitted by the House.                                                    
  Senator Taylor  acknowledged that problems with  the present                 
  limited  entry  system should  be  addressed.   However, the                 
  proposed bill is not  the vehicle in which to do  so.  If it                 
  is not possible  to act  on the House  bill, Senator  Taylor                 
  suggested a two-year extension of  the moratorium to prevent                 
  depletion of the  resource by "outside  boats."  That  could                 
  occur  since  the original  moratorium  is in  its wind-down                 
  year, and  open season on  entry into the  dungeness fishery                 
  would result if something is not passed this year.                           
  Co-chairman Halford voiced interest in ensuring that permits                 
  are not transferable.  Prior  discussion indicates that such                 
  action  is  too  late in  coming.    While  permit entry  to                 
  individual fisheries is acceptable, transfer of permits  for                 
  money is wrong.                                                              
  KATHERINE BUCHANAN, aide to Representative Grussendorf, came                 
  before  committee.   She  explained  that the  original bill                 
  would allow the limited entry commission  to use "a few more                 
  tools  to decide how to  limit the entry . .  . ."  Original                 
  limited entry provisions  were for salmon.  The crab fishery                 
  is different.  The proposed  bill would allow the commission                 
  to base  the limited entry permit on the past number of pots                 
  fished, if it chose to do so.                                                
  BRUCE TWOMLEY, Limited  Entry Commission, Dept. of  Fish and                 
  Game, came before  committee.   He explained  that the  bill                 
  only applies to fisheries not yet  limited.  The net fishery                 
  would  not  be impacted.   In  response  to a  question from                 
  Senator Rieger, Mr.  Twomley explained  that all net  salmon                 
  fisheries  are  100%  limited.   He  acknowledged  that some                 
  herring  and  other  species  are  not under  limited  entry                 
  Responding  to  a  further comment  by  Senator  Rieger, Mr.                 
  Twomley  said  that  the commission  has  no  authority over                 
  halibut, advising, "The  feds have  captured that through  a                 
  treaty entered  some  time  ago."    The  proposed  bill  is                 
  directed to a  specific fishery  with an existing  deadline.                 
  The  Southeast  dungeness  fishery  is  under  a  moratorium                 
  authorized  by  legislation.    The  moratorium  expires  in                 
  January.   A dungeness  fleet  is poised  outside of  Alaska                 
  ready to take advantage of the  opening unless the state can                 
  follow through with a plan.   The proposed bill represents a                 
  plan and "something near a consensus" that members of fleet,                 
  bureaucrats, and  legislators have  been able  to work  out.                 
  This  solution   would  maintain  controls   and  avoid  the                 
  threatened invasion.                                                         
  Ms. Buchanan explained that the  Senate Resources version of                 
  the bill would allow  permits to be stacked.   An individual                 
  fisherman  issued a 50-pot  permit could purchase additional                 
  permits  up  to  a  300-pot  maximum.   Co-chairman  Halford                 
  reiterated that  the change necessitated  a title  amendment                 
  and suggested that need for new title language be avoided at                 
  this late stage of the session.                                              
  Senator Rieger asked  if the limited entry  commission would                 
  support the  change within  SCS CSHB  107 (Res)  had it  not                 
  necessitated a title change.  Mr. Twomley explained that the                 
  commission  did not  oppose the  change nor would  it oppose                 
  deletion.   Of primary interest  is the bill  transmitted by                 
  the House.                                                                   
  Further  discussion  of  the  reach  of the  Senate  version                 
  Senator   Zharoff   inquired  concerning   additional  tools                 
  provided  to the  commission  by  the  proposed bill.    Mr.                 
  Twomley  referenced  ability to  limit  growth in  fisheries                 
  which  are  not  now  limited.   He  spoke  specifically  to                 
  fisheries consisting of a large variety of people fishing at                 
  different  levels of participation  and cited  the Southeast                 
  dungeness fishery as an example.                                             
  In response to  an additional question from  Senator Zharoff                 
  concerning  public input,  Mr. Twomley assured  that maximum                 
  public input would  be guaranteed under  existing law.   Any                 
  proposal would have to be put  before the public and proceed                 
  through the "entire process."                                                
  Senator Zharoff asked if the bill would impact sea urchin or                 
  sea cucumber fisheries.  Mr.  Twomley acknowledged that both                 
  the House and Senate versions could encompass those areas.                   
  Discussion followed  between Senator Rieger and  Mr. Twomley                 
  regarding limited entry permit transfer procedures and  laws                 
  governing  transfer.    Mr.  Twomley  said that  Alaska  law                 
  generally controls because transfer does  not occur until or                 
  unless the limited  entry commission approves the  transfer.                 
  He acknowledged limited intrusion of federal law.                            
  Senator Zharoff  MOVED for  passage of  CSHB 107 (FSH)  with                 
  individual recommendations and the accompanying zero  fiscal                 
  note.  No objection  having been raised, CSHB 107  (FSH) was                 
  REPORTED OUT of committee  with a zero fiscal note  from the                 
  Dept. of Fish and Game.   Senator Rieger and Senator Zharoff                 
  signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford and Senators  Phillips and Sharp signed                 
  "no recommendation."                                                         
  Co-chairman  Halford  announced that  the  meeting  would be                 
  recessed at this time prior to commencement of work on HB 78                 
  and HB 217.  The meeting was recessed at approximately 10:55                 
  a.m. and scheduled to reconvene at 12:30 p.m.                                

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