New Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commissioner Named

Mike Porcaro.

Mike Porcaro, a radio talk show host and advertising consultant, has been appointed by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy to serve on the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC), which oversees the state’s commercial fishing permits.

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) is a two-member agency that’s independent from the state’s executive branch. Its mandate is to provide due process hearings and appeal processes for disputes related to limitations on fishery participation.

The commission was established in the 1970s after Alaska voters approved a constitutional amendment to limit access to the state’s commercial fisheries — a right that had previously been guaranteed to all residents.

Porcaro’s appointment occurred in August, but no formal announcement was made at the time by the governor’s office. Porcaro, who was inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009, has previously had Dunleavy as a guest on his radio show.

The position, which pays up to $136,000, runs through March 2025. Porcaro, who has no background in commercial fisheries, fills the seat vacated by Melvin Smith, who resigned for personal reasons in May 2022.

Requirements for the post include that the applicant has no vested interest in fisheries and that commissioners have broad professional experience, but not necessarily in fisheries.

CFEC licensing staff issue some 17,000 permits and about 8,000 commercial fishing vessel licenses annually. The commission previously three commissioners, but in 2015, after a legislative audit, recommendations were made to reduce the number of commissioners by one.

Porcaro’s resume, as released by the governor’s office, states that Porcaro established Porcaro Communications in 1981, with a focus on clients in telecommunications, media, tourism, transportation, retail, health care, distilling, quick service restaurants, construction, oil and gas, pipelines, mining and political campaigns.

Glenn Haight, the CFEC’s other commissioner, said it was not clear whether Porcaro would work full time as a CFEC commissioner. If not, he would be paid only for hours he reported having worked, Haight said.