Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/22/1995 01:17 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
            HB 107 RESTRICTED LIMITED ENTRY PERMITS                           
 Number 235                                                                    
 The next agenda item was HB 107.  KATHERINE BUCHANAN, legislative             
 aide to Representative Grussendorf, discussed HB 107.  The measure            
 contains another management tool for the Commercial Fisheries Entry           
 Commission (CFEC) to preserve the dungeness crab resource.  It does           
 not mandate the CFEC use any particular system.  When first                   
 introduced, HB 107 was identical to SB 42.  The only change to the            
 original bill was deletion of a sentence saying the fishing                   
 capacity allowed under an entry permit may not be changed after the           
 permit is issued, on page 2, lines 22-23.   The Department of Law             
 suggested that amendment because it clarifies that nothing in the             
 bill should limit the powers of the Board of Fisheries.  The                  
 moratorium on the crab fishery expires January 2, 1996, therefore             
 if no action is taken now, the Southeast dungeness crab fishery               
 will be open to all entrants.  The crab fisheries in British                  
 Columbia, Washington State, and California are closed to entry,               
 therefore Alaska would be the only nearby crab fishery opening                
 which CFEC believes would put a lot of pressure on the resource.              
 Number 270                                                                    
 BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman of the CFEC, verified the moratorium will             
 expire by statute in early January, 1996.  Without HB 107, the                
 fishery will be open, and CFEC anticipates a gear rush, with much             
 pressure emanating from outside Alaska.                                       
 SENATOR HALFORD asked if HB 107 essentially establishes a new set             
 of permits.  MR. TWOMLEY responded it is a variation on existing              
 permits.  For fisheries that could be limited in the future, HB 107           
 provides a means to contain a growth in effort.  The existing law             
 was designed in 1973 for salmon; HB 107 allows the CFEC to address            
 fisheries that are quite a bit different.                                     
 Number 290                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD stated HB 107 is the exact format that would be               
 used for other restrictions, such as restrictions on transfer of              
 existing or new permits, or of any permits after a current transfer           
 or transferred after a certain date.  MR. TWOMLEY replied he                  
 understands HB 107 to only authorize the CFEC to limit the capacity           
 of permit holders to the fishing capacity exercised by the permit             
 holder prior to limited entry.  SENATOR HALFORD indicated he was              
 referring to the sections amended in the title and the germaneness            
 question as it applies to other limits on permits.                            
 SENATOR HALFORD noted he does not have any objections to the bill,            
 but would like to hold it in committee for further review of other            
 options.  SENATOR LEMAN commented the same bill was heard by the              
 committee two months ago, and Senator Halford made the same request           
 at that time.  He agreed to hold the bill until the following                 
 SENATOR LEMAN discussed an amendment in committee members' packets,           
 which neither CFEC nor the bill sponsor object to.  SENATOR TAYLOR            
 moved the adoption of the amendment.                                          
 SENATOR TAYLOR explained the amendment provides more flexibility              
 for fishermen involved in this limited entry fishery so that they             
 can enter and exit the fishery by allowing for the purchase or the            
 sale of smaller increments of gear than the 100-200-300 pot license           
 under which they operate.  They could not fish more than the                  
 maximum allowed.                                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted the bill has a Finance Committee referral.               
 MR. TWOMLEY stated the CFEC concurs with the amendment.                       
 There being no objection to the adoption of the amendment, the                
 motion carried.                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD withdrew his request to hold the bill in committee,           
 and moved SCS HB 107(RES) out of committee, with the accompanying             
 fiscal note, with individual recommendations.  There being no                 
 objection, the motion carried.                                                

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