Incumbent Robert Alverson, of Bothell, Washington, and Jeffery Kauffman, of Wasilla, Alaska have been appointed effective Dec. 13 to serve as interim Alaska commissioners on the International Pacific Halibut Commission, NOAA Fisheries officials said Nov. 30.
Their appointments would ensure that US interests are well represented on the IPHC after terms for the current non-federal US commissioners expire in December, NOAA officials said.
The US State Department appointments will remain in effect until presidential appointments are confirmed.
Alverson, who fills the non-Alaska resident commissioner’s seat on the IPHC, is the manager of the Fishing Vessel Owners Association, a trade association of longline vessel operators based in Seattle. He was appointed to his seat on the IPHC in 2014.
Alverson has also served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Kauffman, a commercial halibut fisherman for the past 31 years, will replace Don Lane, of Homer, in the council’s Alaska resident seat.
Kauffman is the chief executive officer of the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, the management organization for St. Paul Island under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program. He has served on the IPHC’s management strategy advisory board since it was initiated in 2013, and on the IPHC’s conference board for about a decade. He is also a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Advisory Panel.
Jim Balsiger, NOAA Fisheries Alaska regional administrator in Juneau, will continue to serve as US Commissioner in the federal NOAA seat through December 2016.
Dan Hull, chairman of the NPFMC, will serve as backup US Commissioner as needed, effective Jan. 1, 2016, NOAA officials said.
US commissioners to the IPHC are appointed for a term not to exceed two years, but are eligible for reappointment. They are charged with representing the interests of the US and all its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery, while working to develop Pacific halibut stocks to levels that will permit the optimum yield from the Pacific halibut fishery.
The IPHC will hold its 92nd annual meeting Jan. 25 through Jan. 29, in Juneau, Alaska.
The meeting is scheduled to open on Jan. 25 with presentations on the fishery, the 2015 stock assessment, and the harvest decision table, and conclude Jan. 29 with commission approval of catch limits and regulations.
All public and administrative sessions are open to the public and will be webcast and posted on the commission website, www.iphc.int.
The most up-to-date information on the annual meeting is on the annual meeting page of the commission’s website, or by calling the IPHC office at 206-634-1838.