Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/22/1995 01:17 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 Wednesday. 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.