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Recent News

UFA ACTION ALERT: HB 35 Conflict of Interest BOF/BOG

    House Bill HB 35– Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game will be heard in House Resources on Wednesday March 27 and Friday March 29.  The sponsor of this bill, Representative Stutes, has urged all fishermen to please weigh in to support this bill.  UFA strongly SUPPORTS HB 35 as it will allow Board of Fisheries board members to participate during deliberation on proposals that they may have a conflict of interest with. This bill will NOT allow them to vote, but fully participate in deliberations which they are currently prohibited from doing.
     
    It’s easy to send in a letter of support!
     
    Send an email of support to: matt.gruening@akleg.gov
     
    Here is an example:
     
    Dear Representative Stutes,

    I support HB 35- Conflict of Interest bill.  This bill will greatly improve the process of the Board of Fisheries by allowing board members with particular knowledge and experience in their region and/or fishery to fully participate in deliberations, lending their expertise on the subject.  This will make for a more transparent process and also may encourage more individuals to put their name forth to become a board member.
     
    Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
    Sincerely,
     
    Name
    City, State
    Boat Name

    ***********************
    Prepared by UFA staff and made possible by the support of UFA Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/.

    UFA Legislative Update: March 17, 2019

      Dear UFA Members and Friends,

      In this issue:

      Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (March 11 – March 15)

      House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee
      The House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee met on March 12 where they continued overview of the Fish and Game Budget.  You may watch the meeting here.  On March 14, the committee reviewed the Division of Commercial Fisheries budget. You may watch the meeting here.

      House Fisheries Committee
      The House Fisheries Committee met on March 12 where they heard HB 35, the Conflict of Interest bill.  Public testimony was taken and UFA testified in front of the committee.  The bill was moved out of committee and referred to House Resources. You may watch the meeting here.  On March 14, the committee met again and heard a presentation on salmon hatcheries, the Alaska Hatchery Research Program, and being a wise consumer of Science. You may watch the meeting here.

      Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of March 18 – March 22, 2019.

      Tuesday, March 19

      House Fisheries Committee  – Gruenberg 120
      9:45 a.m. 

      • The committee will hear presentations on hatcheries by the regional aquaculture associations and McDowell group. Visit Meeting Page.

      House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee – Gruenberg 120
      10:00 a.m. 

      • Voting on Fish and Game budget action items. Testimony (invitation only).  Visit Meeting Page.

      Wednesday, March 20

      House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee – Gruenberg 120
      3:00 p.m.

      Senate Resources– Butrovich 205
      3:30 p.m.

      Thursday, March 21

      House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee – Gruenberg 120
      11:00 a.m. 

      House Fisheries Committee – Gruenberg 120
      11:15 a.m. 

      • The Committee will hear HB 41– Shellfish Enhancement Projects; Hatcheries- by Representative Ortiz. *Public Testimony*.  Visit Meeting Page. 

      Senate Community and Regional Affairs– Beltz 105
      3:30 p.m.

      Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).

      To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …To testify, it’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php. If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing: 

      • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
      • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
      • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

      To watch hearings online go to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

      To watch floor sessions and other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

      To find your legislators and contact info see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

      Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

      SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources.
      SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports).  Currently in Senate Finance with no hearing scheduled at this time.
      SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes) Currently in Senate Community and Regional Affairs. Hearing on March 21.
      HB 35– Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports). Currently in House Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      HB 41– Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports). Currently in House Fisheries.  Hearing on March 21.
      HB 65– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes).  Currently in House Fisheries with no scheduled meetings at this time.

      Please support our business members – see links on our website
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      UFA Legislative Update: March 8, 2019

        Dear UFA Members and Friends,

        In this issue:

        • FDA Lifts Import Ban on Genetically Engineered Salmon
        • Public Comment Period for Pebble Draft EIS
        • ADFG Notices Regulation to end Fresh Water Logbook Program
        • Sitka Herring Lawsuit Update
        • **Legislative Happenings from this Week**
        • **Legislative Meetings of Interest for Next Week**
        • How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing
        • Bills Related for Fisheries, and other Bills of Interest to Fishermen

        FDA Lifts Import Ban on Genetically Engineered Salmon
        On March 8, the FDA announced they are lifting the import ban on Genetically Engineered salmon. Read Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Press Release

        For over a century, Alaska fishermen have prided themselves on sustainably harvesting wild salmon from Alaska’s clear, pristine waters. We are proud of our legacy of providing families across the nation with delicious, healthy salmon, and consumers have come to associate high quality with Alaska wild salmon. For the FDA to lift an import ban on “frankenfish” without requiring clear labeling to show that these products are genetically engineered is a disservice to consumers and a blow to Alaska’s hardworking fishing communities. We strongly support the efforts of our Congressional delegation to ensure that GE salmon is clearly labeled; giving Americans the information they need to make informed decisions about the seafood they purchase to feed their families.

        Public Comment Period for Pebble Draft EIS:
        The public has 83 days left to comment on the Pebble Mine permit application that Pebble submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers in late 2018.   Despite requests by fishermen, stakeholders, and local residents, along with comments by both of Alaska’s senators that the public comment period for the 1,400 page document is too short and should be extended, they have as of today not granted more time.  UFA adheres this is the wrong mine in the wrong place and encourages members to submit comments here.

        ADFG Notices Regulation to End Fresh Water Logbook Program
        The Alaska Department of Fish and Game noticed a regulation to eliminate the requirement to obtain and complete Freshwater Sport Fish Guide Logbooks for those services and guides operating in fresh waters. You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, by submitting written comments to Shellene L. Hutter, Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526.  Additionally, the Department of Fish and Game will accept comments by facsimile at (907) 465-2604 and by electronic mail at shellene.hutter@alaska.gov. The comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 8, 2019. You may find the full regulation here.

        Sitka Herring Lawsuit Update
        The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) is taking their lawsuit against ADF&G and the Board of Fish to the State Supreme Court. This lawsuit alleges that there isn’t a reasonable opportunity to harvest herring roe on branches for subsistence uses due to commercial herring harvest. Article: STA Requests State Supreme Court Reversal on Injunction Denial.


        -Frances Leach, Executive Director


        Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (March 4  – March 8)

        House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee
        The House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee met on March 5 where they conducted an initial overview of the Fish and Game Budget.  You may watch the meeting here.

        House Fisheries Committee
        The House Fisheries Committee met twice this week.  The meeting on March 5 was a presentation by the Deans of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks titled “Building Alaska’s Blue Economy – Alaska’s College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences.” You may watch the meeting here.  The meeting on March 7, was a Confirmation Hearing: Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Designee, Doug Vincent-Lang and introduction of HB 35– Conflict of Interest: Board of Fisheries/Game.  You may watch the meeting here.  HB 35 is scheduled to be taken back up in House Fisheries on March 12.

        Senate Labor and Commerce
        On March 5, Senate Labor and Commerce took up SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.   Testimony was taken and UFA testified in support of this bill. The committee voted to move the bill out of committee where it was referred to Senate Finance. You may watch the meeting here.


        Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of March 11 – March 15, 2019.

        Tuesday, March 12 

        House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee – Gruenberg 120
        10:00 a.m.

        House Fisheries Committee  – Gruenberg 120
        11:00 a.m.

        Wednesday, March 13

        House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
        1:20 p.m.

        • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees- Fishermen’s Fund Advisory. *Public Testimony*.  Visit Meeting Page

        Thursday, March 14

        House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee – Gruenberg 120
        10:00 a.m.

        House Fisheries Committee – Gruenberg 120
        11:00 a.m.

        House Finance Committee – Adams Room 519
        1:30 p.m.

        Friday, March 15

        Senate Resources – Butrovich 205
        3:30 p.m.

        House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
        1:20 p.m.

        • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Brune, Department of Environmental Conservation *Public Testimony*.  Visit Meeting Page.

        Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).


        To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …To testifyit’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php. If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

        • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
        • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
        • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

        To watch hearings onlinego to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

        To watch floor sessionsand other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

        To find your legislators and contact infosee http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.


        Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

        SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources.
        SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports).  Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
        SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes)
        HB 35– Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports)
        HB 41– Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports)
        HB 65– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes)

        Please support our business members – see links on our website
        To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/


        This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
        To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/