Category Archives: Legislative Update

UFA Legislative Update: March 22, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    In this issue:

    • ACTION ALERT: HB 35 Conflict of Interest BOF/BOG
    • Worldwide Notice to all Mariners who use GPS Equipment
    • **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

    **Action Alert: House Bill 35: Conflict of Interest BOF/BOG**
    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 deliberations 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. Please consider sending in an email of support to Representative Stutes’ Fisheries Aide Matt Gruening at: matt.gruening@akleg.gov

    Worldwide Notice to All Mariners Who Use GPS Equipment
    The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a Worldwide Notice to all mariners who use GPS equipment that on April 6-7, 2019, a parameter in the GPS system will “roll over” to zero, which may affect older GPS equipment, or equipment that has not received firmware or software updates recently. Read the Notice. For Alaska specific information, click here.  Civil GPS users are encouraged to report disruptions or anomalies to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center, or via phone at 703.313.5900, 24 hours a day.

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director

    **********************************************************************
    Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (March 18 – March 22)

    House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee
    The House Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee met on March 19, 20, and 21.  The meeting on March 19 (Watch Meeting Here) looked at budget action items.  The meeting March 20 (Watch Meeting Here) dealt with closeout and budget amendments.  And lastly, the meeting on March 21 (Watch Meeting Here), dealt with the budget narrative report closeout. 

    The Governor submitted 29 Fish and Game budget action items. The House Finance Subcommittee accepted 10 of them. The House Finance Subcommittee rejected 19 of them.  

    The items the House Finance Subcommittee accepted are:

    • 4 items removing the now depleted Charter Fishing Revolving Loan Fund as a fund source from the Division of Commercial Fisheries for various management assessments and surveys ($997.0)
    • 1 item removing the now depleted Charter Fishing Revolving Loan Fund as a fund source from the Division of Sport Fisheries for the saltwater logbook program ($150.0)
    • 1 item adding $800.0 SDPR for the Bristol Bay Science Research Institute Watershed Projects
    • 1 item restoring CFEC receipt authority
    • 1 item replacing uncollectable I/A receipt authority with CIP receipt authority in the Division of Wildlife
    • 1 item eliminating an Admin Officer II in Statewide Support Services
    • 1 item adding $29.4 UGF for OIT salary adjustments billed to the Department of Fish and Game

    The items the House Finance Subcommittee rejected are:

    • 6 items reducing travel across all fund sources by 50% in the Division of Commercial Fisheries
    • 10 items reducing travel across all fund sources by 50% in all other divisions
    • 1 item eliminating Special Areas Management
    • 1 item transferring a director-level PCN and associated funding from the Division of Habitat to OMB
    • 1 item transferring a director-level PCN and associated funding from the Division of Subsistence Research to OMB

    Subcommittee Amendments:

    The following House Finance Subcommittee budget amendments are submitted to the House Finance Committee for consideration:

    1. An amendment removing the following wordage: At the discretion of the Office of Management and Budget, funding may be transferred between all appropriations in the Department.
    2. Add $557.8 UGF to the Division of Commercial Fisheries allocated to the following regions:Southeast Region Fisheries Management – add $257.8 UGF
      Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region Fisheries Management – add $300.0 UGF
    3. Add $350.0 Fish & Game Fund to Sport Fisheries for the saltwater logbook program
    4. Add $439.2 UGF to the Division of Commercial Fisheries allocated to the following regions:Central Region Fisheries Management – add $239.2
      Westward Region Fisheries Management – add $200.0
    5. Intent language stating that it is the intent of the legislature that the Department of Fish and Game retain the State Subsistence Research Division Director PCN (11-0400) and the Habitat Division Director (11-6001) and that these PCNs and associated funding not be used outside of those allocations.
    6. Remove $12.7 I/A receipts from the travel line of the Commissioner’s Office in the division of Statewide Support Services
    7. Remove $0.5 Fed Receipts, $0.2 UGF, and $4.5 I/A Receipts from the travel line of Administrative Services in the Division of Statewide Support Services
    8. Remove $4.3 EVOS Civil Fund from the travel line of EVOS Trustees Council in the Division of Statewide Support Services
    9. Add $800.0 Fish & Game Fund to use as match for Pittman-Robertson Funds

    Additionally… Representative Ortiz offered an amendment to add $557.8 of UGF (1004) to the following allocations for the following Regional Fisheries Management Projects:

    • RKC Research (SEAK) $50
    • Chilkat Escapement (SEAK) $84.7
    • Sablefish Stock Assessment (SEAK) $50
    • Salmon Aerial Surveys (SEAK) $53.1
    • Shrimp Stock Assessment (SEAK) $20
    • Juvenile Chinook Marine (AYK) $300

    House Fisheries Committee
    On March 19, the House Fisheries Committee hosted Hatchery Presentations by Regional Aquaculture Associations as well as the Mcdowell Group who gave a presentation on the Economic Impacts of Alaska’s Salmon Hatcheries.  Watch the Meeting Here.

    On March 21, the House Fisheries Committee heard HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries.  Public Testimony was held and the bill was moved out of committee and sent to House Finance. Watch the Meeting Here.

    Senate Resources
    SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation was heard in Senate Resources on March 20 where public testimony was held.  Watch the Meeting Here.  The bill is scheduled again to be heard on March 27 in Senate Resources.

    Senate Community and Regional Affairs
    SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share had its first hearing on March 21.  Public Testimony was held.  Watch the Meeting Here. The bill did not move out of committee.

    Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of March 25 – March 29, 2019.

    **Please Note**: House Fisheries will not be meeting this week

    MONDAY, MARCH 25

    House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Presentation: Pebble Project Status & Updates on Permitting & Environmental Impact Statement by Tom Collier (CEO), John Shively (Chairman), James Fueg (VP of Permitting).  Testimony (Invitation Only). Meeting Link.

    Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Presentation: The Pebble Partnership: Project Update, Draft EIS & Next Steps.  Meeting Link

    House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
    6:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Brune, Department of Environmental Conservation.  *Public Testimony* (Please sign up by 7:15 p.m. to be added to the queue).  Meeting Link

    TUESDAY, MARCH 26

    House Arctic Policy, Economic Dev., & Tourism – Barnes 124
    11:00 AM ~ **Teleconference (Listen Only) & Streamed live on AKL.tv**

    • Presentation: From the Artic to Southeast- Present & Future Alaska Maritime Operations by Captain Ed Page, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired) Exec. Dir., Marine Exchange of Alaska. Meeting Link

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27

    Senate Finance Committee – Senate Finance 532
    9:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims. *Public Testimony*Meeting Link

    House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HB 35 – Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game. *Public Testimony*  Meeting Link

    Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation Testimony (Invitation Only)

    FRIDAY, MARCH 29

    House Resources Committee – Barnes 124
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HB 35 – Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game. Testimony (Invitation Only) Meeting Link

    Senate Resources Committee – Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback. *Public Testimony*  Meeting Link

    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 with a hearing scheduled for March 27.
    SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Currently in Senate Finance with a hearing scheduled for March 27.
    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 with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback (Micciche) Currently in Senate Resources with a hearing scheduled for March 29.
    HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports) Currently in House Resources with hearing scheduled for March 27 & 29.
    HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    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 hearings 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 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/