UFA Welcomes At-Large Board Members and Executive Committee

United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is pleased to announce the re-election of Bruce Schactler and the election of Tyson Fick, Melanie Brown, and Cynthia Wallesz to the UFA board of directors as at-large members. Read More…Read More…

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Press Release: UFA Welcomes At-Large Board Members and Executive Committee

    For Immediate Release 

    Contact:  Frances Leach, Executive Director,  (907) 586-2820

    UFA Welcomes At-Large Board Members and Executive Committee

    United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is pleased to announce the re-election of Bruce Schactler and the election of Tyson Fick, Melanie Brown, and Cynthia Wallesz to the UFA board of directors as at-large members. UFA’s individual and lifetime members elect four at-large directors every two years to represent the more than 450 individual, lifetime, and crew members on the organization’s board. The at-large directors will serve two-year terms beginning April 15, 2019 on the UFA Board of Directors. Also taking effect on April 15 is the return of Duncan Fields to the UFA Executive Committee as Administrative Chair.

    UFA welcomes the return of Tyson Fick and Cynthia Wallesz to the board, now as elected at-large members. Fick represented the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers group from 2017 to 2018 and Wallesz represented United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters on the UFA board from 2015 to 2018.

    Tyson Fick previously worked as communications director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute as well as executive director at ABSC. Based in Juneau, he now fishes Southeast salmon gillnet, salmon handtroll, and Dungeness crab, and is a co-owner of Taku River Reds.

    Cynthia Wallesz of Petersburg, Alaska and Boise Idaho has been a Southeast salmon drift gillnetter for 25 years and direct marketing her family’s salmon since 1999. She has also longlined for halibut, and fished Dungeness crab in Washington, and has been active in the Petersburg Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and Southeast Alaska Rainforest Wild. Since earning a Master’s degree in Sustainable Business in 2012, she has consulted with small businesses and nonprofits to help them strategize their futures, work efficiently and meet their goals.

    Melanie Brown of Juneau has been fishing since 1979 in her family’s Bristol Bay setnet operation and as a crew member in Togiak herring, Kotzebue Sound and Norton Sound setnet fisheries. She is an alternate member of the Juneau Douglas Advisory Committee and in her second term on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Salmon Species Committee, and a board member of Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

    Bruce Schactler of Kodiak, has fished salmon seining in Southeast and Kodiak, Tanner crab in Kodiak and Togiak, longlining for cod and halibut, and herring throughout the state. He also is the Director of the Alaska Global Food Aid Program with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and National Director for the National Seafood Marketing Coalition. He co-authored the UFA Marketing Plan in 2001 which led to USDA Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for seafood, USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance eligibility for fishermen, and inclusion of Alaska salmon and herring in food aid programs. Mr. Schactler has served as an at-large board member since 1993 and received the 2013 UFA Fisherman of the Year award, and will continue in his role on the executive committee as UFA Marketing chair.

    The UFA Executive committee was elected at the spring meeting in February with seats taking effect on April 15. Changes for 2019 include Jerry McCune as chairman of UFA’s Environmental Issues committee, and the return of Duncan Fields as chairman of the UFA Admin committee, which he previously held from 2011 to 2015. UFA’s officers Matt Alward (President), Bob Kehoe (Vice President), and Chad See (Secretary) were each re-elected to serve another one year term.

    United Fishermen of Alaska is the statewide commercial fishing trade association, representing 35 Alaska commercial fishing organizations participating in fisheries throughout the state and adjacent offshore federal waters. More information is online at www.ufafish.org .

    UFA Legislative Update: April 22, 2019

      Dear UFA Members and Friends,

      In this issue:

      • Johnstone Not Confirmed to BOF
      • UFA is Hiring
      • **Legislative Happenings from Last Week**
      • **Legislative Meetings of Interest for Next Week**
      • How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing
      • Bills Related for Fisheries, and other Bills of Interest to Fishermen

      Johnstone Not Confirmed to BOF
      On April 17, the joint meeting of the House and Senate voted not to confirm Karl Johnstone to the Alaska Board of Fisheries with a vote of 24 Yeas and 33 Nays with 3 excused.

      The roll of the Senate was taken with the following result:Yeas: Birch, Coghill, Costello, Giessel, Hughes, Kawasaki, Shower, von Imhof, Wilson. Nays: Begich, Bishop, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kiehl, Micciche, Olson, Reinbold, Stedman, Stevens, Wielechowski.

      The roll of the House was taken with the following result: Yeas: Eastman, Johnson, Johnston, LeBon, LeDoux, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Revak, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Wilson. Nays: Carpenter, Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Hannan, Hopkins, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, Kreiss-Tomkins, Lincoln, Ortiz, Spohnholz, Story, Stutes, Tarr, Thompson, Vance, Wool, Zulkosky.Excused: Jackson, Neuman, Tuck.

      United Fishermen of Alaska would like to send a thank you to all our user groups and commercial fishermen who testified and wrote letters in opposition to Johnstone. This truly was a group effort and it demonstrates how powerful we can be when we all use a united voice.

      UFA is Hiring
      United Fishermen of Alaska is seeking an Office Manager based in Juneau to work in a fast-paced environment.  The Office Manager is responsible for general office work including membership correspondence, bookkeeping, filing of paper and electronic records, meeting preparation, and staff support to the Executive Director. The position is based in Juneau, Alaska. For a more detailed job description, please go to UFA’s website: UFA Office Manager Description.

      -Frances Leach, Executive Director

      Legislation – Happenings from last week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (April 15 – April 19)

      House Floor- Tuesday, April 16

      • HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game was read a third time and passed with 29 Yeas and 9 Nays.  Yeas:  Carpenter, Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Hannan, Hopkins, Jackson, Johnston, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, LeDoux, Lincoln, Ortiz, Revak, Spohnholz, Story, Stutes, Talerico, Tarr, Thompson, Tuck, Vance, Wilson, Wool, Zulkosky. Nays:  Eastman, Johnson, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Tilton. Excused:  Kreiss-Tomkins, Neuman

                  The bill was referred to Senate State Affairs and Resource committee.

      Joint House Fisheries Committee and House Resources Committee– Monday, April 15
      **Watch the Meeting Here**

      • Joint House Fisheries and House Resource Committee convened to hold a confirmation hearing on Alaska Board of Fisheries appointees.  Public testimony was taken. 

      Senate ADFG Subcommittee, Tuesday, April 16
      **Watch Meeting Here**
      The Senate Finance Fish & Game budget subcommittee straight up accepted all of the Governor’s FY20 proposals for the DFG budget, which means, among other things:

      • $997k less for commercial fisheries management
      • 50% reduction in funds for travel across all divisions (including com-fish)
      • $280k less for special areas management
      • Transfer of two director-level positions and associated funding from the Division of Habitat and Division of Subsistence Research to the Office of Management and Budget. (these jobs will no longer be associated with Fish & Game related duties)

      They also cut out more by eliminating a communications director position in the Commissioner’s Office.

      It should be noted the House Fish & Game subcommittee did accept some of the Governor’s proposals too, listed below, but not all which is what the Senate did.

      • Restoring CFEC receipt authority
      • Adding $800k of statutory designated receipt authority for the Bristol Bay Science Research Institute Watershed Projects
      • Eliminating and Addmin Officer II in Statewide Support Services

      Legislative Meetings of interest for this week of April 22 – April 26, 2019.

      MONDAY, April 22

      House Finance – Adams 519
      1:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      Senate Resources – Butrovich 205
      3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      TUESDAY, April 23

      House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
      10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      • HB 116 – Aquatic Farm/Hatchery Site Leases. **Public Testimony (Invited & Public)** Meeting Link
      • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. **Public Testimony (Invited & Public)** Meeting Link

      WEDNESDAY, April 24

      House Resources– Barnes 124 
      1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      • Presentation: Fisheries Taxes in Alaska by Dept. of Revenue by Brandon Spanos, Deputy Director, Tax Division, Dept. of Revenue     Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, Dept. of Revenue Elizabeth Nudelman, Revenue Audit Supervisor, Fish Tax Group, Dept. of Revenue Meeting Link
      • Presentation: Alaska Commercial Fishing Industry Update by Frances Leach, Exec. Dir., United Fishermen of Alaska Meeting Link
      • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. <Pending Referral>

      House Finance – Adams 519
      1:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      • SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims. <Pending Referral> **Public Testimony** Meeting Link

      THURSDAY, April 25

      House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
      10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      FRIDAY, April 26

      House Resources– Barnes 124 
      1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

      • HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. <Pending Referral>

      Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).



      To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …
      To testify it’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php . If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

      • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
      • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
      • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

      To watch hearings online go to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

      To watch floor sessions and other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

      To find your legislators and contact info see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

      Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

      SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      SB 61  – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with a scheduled hearing on Wednesday, April 24.
      SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes) Currently in Senate Community and Regional Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback (Micciche) Currently in Senate Resources with hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22.
      SB 99 – Personal Use Fishing Priority (Kawasaki- UFA Opposes).  Referred to Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      HB 35 – Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports) Referred to Senate State Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      HB 41 – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22.
      HB 65 – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes) Currently in House Fisheries with hearing scheduled for Thursday, April 25.
      HB 105 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  (Ortiz- UFA Supports) Moved out of House Fisheries and assigned to House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
      HB 116 – Aquatic Farm/Hatchery Site Leases. (Story). Currently in House Fisheries with a hearings scheduled for April 23 and 25.
      HR 8 – 2019 International Year of the Salmon Resolution. Currently in House Fisheries with a hearings scheduled for April 23, 24, and 26.

       Please support our business members – see links on our website
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      UFA Legislative Update: April 10, 2019

        UPDATE – SATURDAY HEARING CANCELLED – Last Comment Opportunity is Monday April 15 – beginning at 6:30 PM.

        House Fisheries and House Resources will hold a joint meeting on Monday, April 15 at 6:30 PM in Capital Building 106 to take testimony on all BOF appointees.


        Dear UFA Members and Friends,

        House Fisheries Committee Scheduled for tomorrow, April 11 has been canceled due to floor hearings scheduled for 10 am.  The meeting is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday- we will send an update when we know for sure.

        There will be another opportunity to call in and testify this Saturday, April 13 at 9:00 AMin House Resources.  Testimony can be as simple as “My name is XX ,and I live in XX and participate in XX fisheries, and I oppose Karl Johnstone to the BOF because he has a history of being biased on the BOF”  Call in instructions below. We need folks to call in, so please spread the word.

        Also, if you haven’t already, please send in written comments. You may submit comments easily on the Alaska State Public Opinion Message.  Please send your email to ALL legislators.  This online message form is for residents of Alaska only.  If members are not a resident of Alaska, they will need to email legislators directly.  Contact UFA for a full email list of legislators at ufa@ufa-fish.org.

        To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …
        To testify it’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php . If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing: “JOINT HOUSE RESOURCES / HOUSE FISHERIES COMMITTEE MEETING ON BOARD OF FISHERIES APPOINTMENTS”

        • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
        • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
        • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

        To watch hearings online go to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

        To watch floor sessions and other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

        To find your legislators and contact info see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

        This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
        To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/