I've put my name in for an open seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which oversees the Federally-managed EEZ fisheries from 3-200 miles offshore from Alaska.
Many of you know me through my time on the Board of Fisheries, and some may know me only through these forums. I'm not posting here to ask for complete strangers to spam the Governor with letters supporting me, but if you know me well enough, I'd sure appreciate your help. I feel that my strength lies in a broad understanding of our fisheries and stakeholders while not having a direct, and conflicting, involvement in those fisheries managed by the Council.
My letter to the Governor, asking for his nomination, is posted below.
The Governor must submit his nominations to the US Secretary of Commerce by March 15. Support letters are best if sent NOW.
Comments can be submitted to the Governor by mail:
Governor Sean Parnell
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001
or by web form:
Thank you, Art Nelson
Dear Governor Parnell,
I submit this letter and resume, and respectfully request to be considered for appointment to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. I believe I would be a useful and well-suited addition to the Council, bringing a wide range of experience and knowledge, and an ability to make balanced decisions to ensure the sustained health and harvest of our fishery resources.
I grew up spending summers as a crewmember on my parentsí commercial salmon fishing vessels on the Copper River flats and in Prince William Sound, and also spent a summer commercial salmon trolling and halibut longlining near Elfin Cove. Iíve lived in, traveled, and worked closely with the people of Norton Sound, advocating for their subsistence rights and needs,while at the same time working closely with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to assess and help rebuild chum salmon stocks. I was involved in the same effort throughout western Alaska, from Bristol Bay to Kotzebue, with the Bering Sea Fishermenís Association, serving not only subsistence fishers, but balancing those needs with the interests of commercial fishermen. I worked to boost Alaskan hires on the offshore pollock fleet for the At-sea Processors Association, an organization representing the pollock catcher/processor fleet in the Bering Sea. I have also represented the interests of the Community Development Quota program in the development of Federal legislation.
The main theme of my career has been serving western Alaskans as an advocate for their involvement in and benefit from the fisheries of the Bering Sea, as well as the protection and rebuilding of AYK salmon runs for the benefit of subsistence and inshore/in-river commercial fishermen.
Throughout my life in Alaska, I have been an avid outdoorsman and sport fisher, and I take special joy in passing that along to my three sons. Whether itís casting a fly on a clear western Alaska river, trolling for silvers around Pony Cove, jigging for halibut near Esther Island, or simply enjoying the peace and solitude of a slower day of fishing, Iíve always enjoyed the beauties and bounties that Alaskaís fisheries have to offer.
My experience on the Board of Fisheries and active participation in the North Pacific Fishery Management Council process may be equally important. During my time on the Board of Fisheries, I served on the Joint Protocol Committee that interfaced with the Council on issues of overlapping jurisdiction or of mutual interest, and also served as a representative of the Board on the Councilís Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee. I have also, in my professional capacity, or as a member of the public, been participating in the Council process since 1994 on issues such as salmon bycatch controls and sport halibut management.
My candidacy for the Council would be more than an appointment that represents just subsistence, commercial or sport interests and I believe my unique range of knowledge and experience carries a balanced representation of all three and a strong advocacy for Alaskaís best interests in the management of the EEZ fisheries in the north Pacific Ocean and in the Bering Sea.
Thank you for your consideration.