Appointees Named to Pacific, North Pacific, Western Pacific Regional Councils

Image via Department of Commerce.

Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced appointments of 20 new and returning members of the eight regional fishery management councils, including two each for the North Pacific and Pacific councils and three for the Western Pacific council.

On the North Pacific Council, Angela Drobnica was appointed and Nicole Kimball was reappointed to fill two obligatory seats for Alaska.

Drobnica, of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Development Association, had previously served on the council’s Advisory Panel. She will fill the seat of former council member Cora Campbell, president and chief executive officer of Silver Bay Seafoods. Kimball is a vice president of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association in Seattle.

For the Pacific Council, this year’s reappointments include Peter Hassemer of Idaho to the obligatory seat, and Marc Gorelnik of California to the at-large seat.

During his 28 years at Idaho Fish and Game, Hassemer has worked in both research and management and served on various Columbia River basin and West Coast technical and management bodies. Prior to that, Hassemer taught fisheries and marine biology programs at Alaska’s Sheldon Jackson College.

Gorelnik, who said he has fished recreationally in California since he was a child, fishes commercially offshore of San Francisco Bay for salmon, tuna, groundfish and Dungeness crab.

For the Western Pacific Council, Raimondo reappointed William Sword of American Samoa to the obligatory seat, and appointed Judith Guthetz of Guam and Shaelene Kamakaala of Hawaii to at-large seats. 

Sword, a recreational fisherman, is a civil engineer/manager for Pacific Energy SouthWest Pacific in American Samoa. Guthetz, a former member of the Guam Legislature, has served as a professor at the University of Guam and is currently a teacher in the Guam Department of Education. Kamakaala, a Native Hawaiian rights lawyer, acts as a translator for harvesters on fisheries issues.

The regional councils, established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, deal with a range of issues to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks and manage fisheries sustainably.

They are responsible for developing region-specific fishery management plans that safeguard and enhance the nation’s fisheries resources. Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental organizations and academia.

Council members, who serve three-year terms, are eligible to be reappointed to serve three consecutive terms.