Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy released the list of eleven Alaskans who will serve on the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force. The mission of the task force is to better understand the unintended bycatch of fish such as halibut and salmon caught in both State and federal waters. The two remaining seats on the task force will be non-voting seats filled by members of the Alaska Legislature.
“While Alaska’s healthy and sustainable fisheries are an example for the entire world to follow, bycatch has remained a contentious issue of concern of all Alaskans,” said Governor Dunleavy. “The 11 Alaskans who stepped forward to serve on the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force represent key stakeholder groups and are recognized for not only their knowledge of fisheries, but their commitment to sustaining the resource for generations of Alaskans to come.”
The Governor’s appointees are:
John Jensen, Chair – Mr. Jensen has over a half century of experience in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. He is serving his seventh term on the Alaska Board of Fisheries and was appointed to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in 2018.
Tommy Sheridan, Vice-chair – Mr. Sheridan will hold the public member seat on the task force and fills the role of vice-chair. He is the owner of Sheridan Consulting and is a member of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.
Brian Gabriel – Mr. Gabriel has served as mayor of the City of Kenai since 2016 and previously held a seat on the city council for six years.
Linda Kozak – Ms. Kozak occupies the halibut fisher seat in addition to running a fisheries consulting service. She also serves on the board of United Fishermen of Alaska.
Raymond May – Filling the salmon fisher seat is Mr. Raymond May. He owns and operates a commercial fishing vessel out of Kodiak Island, and is a council member for the Native Village of Port Lions.
Erik Velsko – Mr. Velsko will occupy the seat reserved for a crab fisherman. He has worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska since 1997 and is a member of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Advisory Panel.
Mike Flores – Mr. Flores has owned and operated a sport fishing charter business in Ninilchik since 1994. He is also a board member on the State of Alaska’s Big Game Commercial Services Board.
Stephanie Madsen – Ms. Madsen is the Executive Director for the At-Sea Processors Association.
Ragnar Alstrom – Holds the Community Development Quota (CDQ) representative seat on the task force. Mr. Alstrom is the executive director for the Yukon Delta Development Association.
Kevin Delaney – Mr. Delaney is the founder of Delaney Outdoors, a fisheries consulting firm he opened in 2010. He was the director for the Division of Sport Fish, Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 2005 to 2010.
Duncan Fields – Mr. Duncan fills the seat reserved for an organization representing Alaska Natives. He is a long-time resident of Kodiak Island and owns a consulting firm that represents two Native corporations.
Governor Dunleavy has tasked the group to study the following areas:
• Determine what impacts bycatch has on fisheries.
• Evaluate and recommend policies informed by a better understanding of the issue of bycatch of high-value Alaska fishery resources.
• Ensure State agencies are leveraging available resources to better understand the issue of bycatch.
• Utilize the best available science to inform policy makers and the public about these issues.
Click here to read the Bycatch Administrative Order.