Updated Commercial Fishing Facts

 

As Alaska’s largest private‐sector employer, commercial fishing is a major contributor to employment and wages.  Read More

Support Our Business Members

UFA is proud to support our Business Members and we thank you for helping protect Alaska’s seafood industry. Read More

Become a
UFA Member / Renew

Support our mission to promote and protect the common interest of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry.  Read More

 

 

UFA
Updates

Keep informed with news concerning Alaska fishermen today. Read more

Recent News

UFA Legislative Update: March 1, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    In this issue:

    • **LAST CALL**UFA Seeking Nominations/Applications for At-Large UFA Board Members
    • Hatchery Comments for Upcoming BOF Hatchery Committee Meeting
    • **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

    **LAST Call for Nominations UFA At-Large Members**
    UFA’s Nominations are now open for UFA Board for At-Large Members!If you are an individual or Lifetime members and would like to apply, please visit our website and fill out a nomination form.  Deadline for Nominations is Today, Friday, March 1!

    Hatchery Comments for Upcoming BOF Hatchery Committee Meeting
    The Board of Fisheries will be holding a public Hatchery Committee meeting in Anchorage on March 8.The deadline for on-time comments has passed, but there is still an opportunity to submit comments to the BOF for consideration on the importance of hatcheries to our state.You may fax comments (up to 10 pages single-sided) to the BOF at 907-465-6094 or you may deliver them 21 copies at the meeting.Don’t have a fax?Use a free online faxing service like Fax Zero.

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director



    Legislation – Happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (February 25 – March 1)

    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
    The House Fisheries Committee had a presentation by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s (ASMI) Interim Executive Director, Jeremy Woodrow, about ASMI itself, a market update, as well as an analysis of the harvest value, volume, and competition in relation to the Alaska seafood industry. Watch Here.



    Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of March 4 – March 8, 2019.

    Tuesday, March 5, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120

    • 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. the Department of Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee will have a presentation on the fiscal outlook, as well as a budget overview. *Note that all members of the House Special Committee on Fisheries are also members of the Department of Fish and Game Finance Subcommittee.*
    • 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the House Special Committee on Fisheries will hear a presentation by the Dean 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

    Thursday, March 7, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120

    • Confirmation Hearing: Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Designee, Doug Vincent-Lang

                Public Testimony 

    • HB 35– Conflict of Interest: Board of Fisheries/Game

    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 – UFA Supports) Currently in Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports)
    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/

    UFA Legislative Update: February 22, 2019

      UFA Legislative Update – February 22, 2019
      **Correction: In Legislative update sent earlier this morning, it stated UFA opposes SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  UFA SUPPORTS SB 61. **

      Dear UFA Members and Friends,

      In this issue:

      • House of Representatives Organize
      • Hatchery Comments for Upcoming BOF Hatchery Committee Meeting
      • Sitka Herring Lawsuit Update
      • UFA Endorses Robert Ruffner for Alaska Board of Fisheries
      • UFA Seeking Nominations/Applications for At-Large UFA Board Members
      • **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

      House of Representatives Organize
      With the election of Representative Bryce Edgmon last week, the House was able to make committee assignments this week. Elected to House Fisheries are Stutes (chair), Edgmon, Kopp, Kreiss-Tomkins, Tarr, Vance, and Pruitt. Other committee assignments may be found here.

      Hatchery Comments for Upcoming BOF Hatchery Committee Meeting
      The Board of Fisheries will be holding a public Hatchery Committee meeting in Anchorage on March 8. The deadline for on-time comments has passed, but there is still an opportunity to submit comments to the BOF for consideration on the importance of hatcheries to our state. You may fax comments (up to 10 pages single-sided) to the BOF at 907-465-6094 or you may deliver them 21 copies at the meeting. Don’t have a fax? Use a free online faxing service like Fax Zero.

      UFA Endorses Robert Ruffner for Alaska Board of Fisheries
      At UFA’s annual Spring Meeting, the board of directors voted to endorse BOF member Robert Ruffner for reappointment to the BOF. Mr. Ruffner has a proven track record of carefully researching and weighing each issue before the board. He has taken great efforts to listen to all sides of the arguments with an open mind, and is known for making the resource the priority—using science to make informed decisions. Ultimately, UFA believes Mr. Ruffner is an ideal candidate for the BOF and will represents all sides fairly.

      Sitka Herring Lawsuit Update
      On Wednesday, Judge Schally denied the Sitka Tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction on the upcoming Sitka herring fishery. The tribe still has the option to take the issue to the Supreme Court.Read More…

      **Call for Nominations UFA At-Large Members**
      UFA’s Nominations are now open for UFA Board for At-Large Members! If you are an individual and Lifetime members and would like to apply, please visit our website and fill out a nomination form.  Deadline for Nominations is Friday, March 1!

      -Frances Leach, Executive Director



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

      SB 61– Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims – “An Act relating to claims against protection and indemnity insurance policies of vessel owners.” Introduced by Senator Stevens on February 18.  This bill was referred to Labor & Commerce and Senate Finance and read the first time on February 18.   UFA supports this bill.

      SB 63– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share -“An Act repealing the fisheries business tax allocation to municipalities; repealing the refunds to local governments of fisheries business taxes; repealing revenue sharing for the fishery resource landing tax; providing for an effective date by amending the effective date of sec. 36, ch. 61, SLA 2014; and providing for an effective date.”  Introduced by Senate Rules at the Request of the Governor on February 18.  This bill was read the first time on February 18 and referred to the Community and Regional Affairs and Finance Committees.  You may watch the first hearing here: February 18, Senate Finance MeetingUFA Opposes this bill.

      HB 35– Conflict Of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game -“ An Act relating to participation in matters before the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game by the members of the respective boards; and providing for an effective date”  Introduced by Rep. Stutes.  This bill was read the first time on February 20 and referred to the House Special Committee on Fisheries and the Resources Committee.  UFA Supports this bill.

      HB 41– Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries -“ An Act relating to management of enhanced stocks of shellfish; authorizing certain nonprofit organizations to engage in shellfish enhancement projects; relating to application fees for salmon hatchery permits; and providing for an effective date”  Introduced by Rep. Ortiz.  This bill was read the first time and referred to the House Special Committee on Fisheries and the Finance Committee. UFA Supports this bill.

      HB 65– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share -“ An Act repealing the fisheries business tax allocation to municipalities; repealing the refunds to local governments of fisheries business taxes; repealing revenue sharing for the fishery resource landing tax; providing for an effective date by amending the effective date of sec. 36, ch. 61, SLA 2014; and providing for an effective date”  Introduced by House Rules by Request of the Governor.  This bill was read the first time and referred to the House Special Committee on Fisheries and the Community & Regional Affairs and Finance Committees. UFA Opposes this bill.


      Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of February 25 – March 1, 2019.

      Tuesday, February 26- 10 a.m.
      House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
      Presentation by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s (ASMI) Interim Executive Director, Jeremy Woodrow, about ASMI itself, a market update, as well as an analysis of the harvest value, volume, and competition in relation to the Alaska seafood industry.

      At this time, none of the bills we are currently tracking are scheduled for hearings this coming week- but this may change.  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, 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 – UFA Supports) Currently in Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports)
      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/

      UFA Legislative Update: February 15, 2019

        Dear UFA Members and Friends,

        In this issue:

        • Governor Dunleavy Releases FY20 Alaska State Budget
        • House of Representatives Elects Speaker of the House
        • UFA Seeking Nominations/Applications for At-Large UFA Board Members

        Budget:
        The Governor’s Budget was released on Wednesday with $1.8 billion in state spending cuts, including many restructuring changes.  Here are the highlights and concerns that impact commercial fisheries.

        • Forthcoming legislation will reorganize and consolidate the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) and move it into the ADF&G Commercial Fisheries Division.
        • $4.6 million reduction (2%) in the DFG operating budget and $1.2 million reduction in Unauthorized General Funds (2%).  There is a $1.64 million cut to the Division of Commercial Fisheries.  This seems like a lot, but given that education was cut 26%, Alaska Marine Highway was cut 69%, Health and Social Services were cut 26%, and University of Alaska was cut 41%, ADF&G budget proved to fair the cuts better than most.
        • All state Departments received a 50% travel budget cut.  This will hit ADF&G (particularly the Boards Support/Board of Fisheries) and ASMI hard due to the amount of travel required in these departments.
        • ASMI did not receive any cuts to their budget since it was already at zero, but the 16.3% increase they were hoping was not given so they will be working with a F19 budget.
        • Alaska Marine Highway General fund cut 69%, fuel cut 81%, and routes eliminated between Alaska and Washington and Kodiak to Unalaska.
        • Over 600 job losses statewide with increases in positions to Office of Management and Budget. ADF&G to lose two Division Director positions (Subsistence and Habitat).  ASMI will lose no positions.
        • State-owned rural airports being considered for closure.

        United Fishermen of Alaska will be holding our Annual Spring Meeting next week and discussing the budget in our Statewide Committee section. Once legislation comes out to implement these cuts and reorganization, we will be able to provide more information on how we are going to approach things.

        House Organization:
        Yesterday, after 31 days in session, the House organized elected Representative Bryce Edgmon (D) as Speaker of the House.Committee Chairs and members are still be formalized at the time of this update.

        **Call for Nominations UFA At-Large Members**
        UFA’s Nominations are now open for UFA Board for At-Large Members!If you are an individual and Lifetime members and would like to apply, please visit our website and fill out a nomination form.  Deadline for Nominations is Friday, March 1!

        -Frances Leach, Executive Director

        **********************************************************************
        Contents:

        1. Legislation – happenings from this week…
        2. Legislative meetings of interest for next week
        3. To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing
        4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen

        **********************************************************************
        1. Legislation – happenings from this week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (February 11-15)

        SB. 22 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries- “An Act relating to management of enhanced stocks of shellfish; authorizing certain nonprofit organizations to engage in shellfish enhancement projects; relating to application fees for salmon hatchery permits; and providing for an effective date” a bill introduced by Senator Stevens on January 16. The bill had a second hearing in Senate Resources on February 11 where an amendment with new language was introduced to include the BOF to hold an annual public hearing/meeting regarding the status of shellfish enhancement projects, shellfish hatcheries, and mariculture industry in the state.  The amendment carried and the bill was referred to Senate Finance and has not been assigned a hearing as of yet.
        You may watch the hearing here: February 11, 2019 Senate Resource Meeting

        SB. 51 – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation- “An Act requiring the designation of state water as outstanding national resource water to occur by law; relating to the authority of the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Department of Natural Resources to nominate water for designation as outstanding national resource water; relating to management of outstanding national resource water by the Department of Environmental Conservation; and providing for an effective date” a bill introduced by Senate Resources and first heard on February 11.

        **********************************************************************
        2. Legislative meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of February 18-22, 2019.

        With the house getting organized today, there will likely be House committee meetings held next week that are not yet scheduled.  Please check the Committee Calendar for more information.

        **********************************************************************
        3. 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.

        **********************************************************************
        4. Bills related to fisheries, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

        SB. 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports)
        SB. 51 – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources)

        **********************************************************************
        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/