Anchorage, Alaska – Six Alaskans nominated by Governor Sean Parnell were appointed by the U.S. secretary of state to serve on a panel for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. The panel serves as a forum for promoting the conservation of anadromous stocks and ecologically related species in the North Pacific Ocean; and advises the U.S. Section of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission on living marine resource conservation and high seas fishery enforcement issues.
Art Nelson, of Anchorage, is the interim executive director for the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association. He previously worked as the executive director for Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, and as director of Alaska operations for At-Sea Processors Association. Nelson previously served on the Board of Fisheries. He is currently obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Fairbanks.
Dale Kelley, of Juneau, has been the executive director for Alaska Trollers Association since 1988. She is a panel member of the Pacific Salmon Commission, board member on United Fisherman of Alaska, and is co-chair of the Southeast Alaska Chinook Mitigation Task Force. She previously served as a commissioner to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Andrew Bassich, of Eagle, is a retired relief captain for Holland America Westours Inc. He leads an active lifestyle as a trapper and dog mushing guide. In addition, Bassich serves his community as a member of the Yukon River Panel, Eastern Interior Regional Advisory Council; and is chairman of the local fish and game advisory committee.
Steve Reifenstuhl, of Sitka, is the general manager of Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, executive director of the Southeast Herring Conservation Alliance, and executive director of Alaska Herring Conservation Alliance. He serves on the North Pacific Research Board, Sitka Charitable Trust Board, and Sitka Economic Development Association Board. In his spare time, Reifenstuhl competes in Ironman competitions and is a product tester for product development for Patagonia, Inc. He received a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.
Robert Ruffner, of Soldotna, has been the executive director for Kenai Watershed Forum since 1997. He is a board member and finance chair for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce; and member of the Planning Commission and Road Service Area Board for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Ruffner received a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Minnesota.
John Jensen, a lifelong resident of Petersburg, has been a commercial fisherman since 1965, owning and operating four fishing vessels, and is the owner of Jensen’s Boat Rentals. He is a member of the Board of Fisheries. Jensen has fished in Southeast Alaska, Bristol Bay, the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, Western Alaska, and in waters around the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Chain. He has fished for salmon, halibut, red king crab, tanner crab, brown king crab, octopus, Dungeness crab, and herring.