Following below is a summary of legislation affecting commercial fishing or fish and game resources that was introduced in the first set of pre-filed legislation on January 7th. 104 bill were pre-filed. In some instances we summarized the information and in other instances we used the language contained in the legislation. You can access any legislation at http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/start.asp
HB 20 “An Act providing for a priority for a fishery that is restricted to residents when fishing restrictions are implemented to achieve a management goal.” Introduced by Representative Stoltze: AS 16.05.251 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (j) except as provided by AS 16.05.258, when the harvest of a stock or species is limited to achieve a management goal, the Board of Fisheries shall place restrictions on all other fisheries before restricting personal use fisheries. In this subsection, “management goal” means the escapement or estimated population size of the exploited stock that provides the greatest potential for sustained yield as established by the board.
HB 59 “An Act relating to loans made to commercial fishermen under the Commercial Fishing Loan Act for product quality improvements and energy efficiency upgrades; and providing for an effective date.” Introduced by Representative Seaton: (l) For a new loan under AS 16.10.300 – 16.10.370 made on or after the effective date of this Act, the department may provide a reduction of the interest rate of not more than two percent if at least 50 percent of the loan proceeds are used by the borrower for product quality improvements or energy efficiency upgrades if the improvements or upgrades use products manufactured or produced in the state. When the department offers a reduction under this subsection, the department shall provide the reduction to all loan applicants who meet the criterion described in this subsection. In this subsection, “manufactured or produced” means a processing, developing, or making an item into a new item with a distinct character and use.
HB 60 “An Act relating to aquatic farm permitting involving geoducks and to geoduck seed transfers between certified hatcheries and aquatic farms.” Introduced by Representative Seaton: Section 1. AS 16.40.100 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (g) The Commissioner may not use the absence of wild geoduck stock within a management area described in AS 16.40.145 as the reason for denial of an aquatic farm permit under this section. If, under this section, the commissioner issues a permit for an aquatic farm to culture geoducks in a management area that does not have wild geoduck stocks when the permit is issued, the permit may not allow operations for that purpose in the intertidal habitat or environment. Section 2. AS 16.40 is amended by adding a new section to read: Section 16.40.145 Geoduck seed transfer between a certified hatchery and an aquatic farm. Consistent with AS 16.40.140 (b)-(d), a hatchery certified under AS 16.40.100 may transfer geoduck seed to an aquatic farm located in a fisheries management area established under this title that is contiguous to the Gulf of Alaska.
SB 20 “An act relating to personal use fishing permits; and establishing the personal use fishery fund.” Introduced by Senator Wagoner: This legislation takes personal use fishing out of the current fishing and hunting license and instead would require a separate license. For personal use fishing; in lieu of a sport fishing license, each resident shall obtain a personal use fishing permit and pay a personal use fishing permit fee of $25 for each personal use fishery in which the resident participates during the year. The personal use fishery fund is established and shall be administered by Dept of Revenue. Notwithstanding AS 16.05.110(a), personal use fishing permit fees shall be deposited into the fund and may be appropriated for administrative and other costs incurred by the Dept. of Fish and Game as a result of personal use fisheries. Nothing in this subsection creates a dedicated fund.
SB 24 “An Act establishing the Sport Fishing Guide Services Board and licensing requirements for sport fishing guide-outfitters, sport fishing outfitters, sport fishing assistant guides, and sport fishing transporters; making conforming amendments; allowing the Department of Fish and Game to collect information on guiding services; and providing for an effective date.” Introduced by Senator McGuire: This legislation is 23 pages long and is the result of the State limited entry work group from several years ago that I served on as the lone commercial representative. It closely mimics the Guide Services Board for Hunting interests.
Other legislation – titles only
HB 8 “An Act relating to certain federal regulations and presidential executive orders; relating to the duties of the attorney general; and providing for an effective date.” Rep. Keller
HB 10 “An Act relating to the registration fee for noncommercial trailers and to the motor vehicle tax for trailers” Rep. Stoltze
HB 34 “An Act relating to eligibility to serve on state boards, commissions, and authorities.” Rep. Doogan
HJR 2 “Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to a biennial state budget and to the duration of regular sessions of the legislature to accommodate a biennial state budget” Rep. Gatto