A long-time Kodiak fisherman has been selected by Governor Bill Walker to replace a likewise long-time local on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The names of Theresa Peterson of Kodiak, along with Michael “Buck” Laukitis of Homer were forwarded to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce by the governor Wednesday.
Peterson and Laukitis were nominated to replace Duncan Fields and David Long, whose terms expire in August.
Peterson currently serves on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Advisory Panel, and is an active member of Alaska Jig Association and the Community Fish Network. She has been a commercial and subsistence fisherman for over 30 years, and is the Outreach Coordinator for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council.
Laukitis is a commercial fisherman and the owner of Magic Fish Company and Compass Rose Properties. In 2014, he helped develop the Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan. He is a longstanding member of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees, whose mission is to promote philanthropic and charitable activities in the community of Homer.
Governor Walker submitted also submitted two alternate names for each vacant seat. Eric Olson of Anchorage and Paul Gronholdt of Sand Point are alternates to Peterson for Seat 1, while Linda Behnken of Sitka and Art Nelson of Anchorage were also recommended as alternates to Laukitis’ Seat 2 nomination.
Governor Walker said that each of the nominees provides “balanced and insightful experience that will benefit the council, and contribute to fisheries management and conservation in the North Pacific region.”
One of eight regional councils established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council manages groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, makes allocation decisions for halibut in concert with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and jointly manages salmon, crab, and scallop fisheries with the State of Alaska.
The 15-member council is made up of 11 voting members and four non-voting members. Seven of the voting members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce upon recommendation by the governors of Alaska and Washington. The four remaining voting members include Department of Fish and Game officials from Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, and the Alaska regional Director for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Each member serves a three-year term on the council, and may be reappointed for up to three terms.