"An Act authorizing the Board of Fisheries to adopt regulations regarding fishing by a person who holds two entry permits for a salmon fishery. "
"This legislation does not force the purchase or sale of entry permits. It is not a mandate for fleet consolidation; but, rather, another tool that could assist specific fisheries in dealing with their respective challenges."
- Rep. Samuels
SCS CSHB 251 (RES) would allow the Board of Fisheries to assign additional fishing privileges to persons who hold two commercial fishing entry permits in a particular salmon fishery. This bill would enhance market forces in reducing excess permits in those fisheries where permits are underutilized.
This legislation does not force the purchase or sale of limited entry permits. It is not a mandate for fleet consolidation; but, rather, another option accorded the Board of Fisheries that could help in specific salmon fisheries where challenges to the economies of scale exist.
Proposals to allow additional fishing privileges would be submitted to the Board of Fisheries for its consideration. The board would only be able to hear this type of request in its normal, three-year cycle; agenda change requests would not be allowed. The board would still be constrained by all other statutes and regulations governing it. Escapement, conservation, and allocation needs would still be considered in any proposal that would come before the Board under this bill.
The change by the House Resources Committee narrowed the language from the original bill to more clearly specify circumstances in which proposed action may be brought before the Board.
The Senate Resources Committee returned to more generalized language once it was determined that the Board of Fish already has some of the specific authority as listed in the House Resources version.
SCS CSHB 251 (RES) does not mandate any changes in commercial salmon fisheries management, but simply provides the Board with another management tool. The measure is supported by the United Fishermen of Alaska, the state's Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Southeast Alaska Seiners' Assn., and many individual fishermen in the salmon fleet.
Section 1: Amends AS 16.05.251 by adding a new subsection which allows the Board of Fisheries to grant a holder of two entry permits in a salmon fishery, additional privileges in that fishery. Those added privileges may include the use of additional or modified gear; additional fishing time or expanded fishing areas; or other such conditions as the Board considers appropriate for the conservation, development, and/or utilization of the salmon fishery resource.
SCS CSHB 251 (RES) carries a ZERO fiscal note, and a 90-day effective date.