Gov. Mike Dunleavy has nominated an executive at Coastal Villages Region Fund as his top choice to serve on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.
Ryuichi “Rudy” Tsukada is the chief operating officer at Coastal Villages. That’s one of six western Alaska nonprofits that own catch shares in the Bering Sea fisheries, through the Community Development Quota program. Tsukada’s employer also owns a Bering Sea factory trawler.
The nomination, if approved by the U.S. secretary of Commerce, would continue the tradition of seating members on the North Pacific council with roots in the pollock industry, which the council manages.
The selection disappointed subsistence advocates and small-boat fishermen who are calling for more diversity of experience on the council.
Dunleavy, in his nomination letter, said the state makes an effort to seek out women, people of color and people from historically underrepresented communities. He said Tsukada is known in sportfishing circles in Southcentral Alaska for helping to popularize kayak angling – fishing for halibut and salmon from a kayak.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the governor to nominate a preferred candidate as well as two alternate nominees. Dunleavy proposed two directors from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as alternates.