The surprise announcement this past week came after Kodiak commercial harvester Duncan Fields, a former member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, withdrew his nomination for the state fisheries board. Walker said that Cain, who has served on the Board of Fisheries for the past two years, had intended to end his tenure when his first term expires this summer, but has since reconsidered his involvement.
Alaska State Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, noted that there had been tremendous pressure from sport fishing organizations across the state, from legislators and the governor regarding Fields’ appointment.
“Board of Fisheries’ confirmations tend to be a lightning rod for controversy,” Stutes said, in a legislative update to her constituents this week.
Despite her best efforts along with many others to convince people that Fields was the right choice, he faced a lot of pressure to withdraw his name. “He would have been a fair, smart, and effective member of the board,” she noted.
The Kenai River Sportfishing Association meanwhile hailed the change of nominees as a victory for sport, personal use and subsistence fishermen.
Cain worked as an Alaska Wildlife Trooper for 25 years and a decade as a criminal justice planner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He is currently a contractor, providing enforcement training and support, and has extensive statewide experience with various fisheries, gear groups and harvest methods.
Walker earlier reappointed Orville Huntington, of Huslia, Alaska, to the board. Huntington serves as the wildlife and parks director for the Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks.
Legislators must approve both reappointments.