Alaska Region Selects New Protected Resources Division Chief

March 08, 1999 - 10:15 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

The Alaska Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is pleased to announce its selection of P. Michael (Mike) Payne for the position of Assistant Regional Administrator (Chief) for Protected Resources, says Steven Pennoyer, Alaska Regional Administrator. Mike will also serve as the Acting Chief for the Region's Habitat Conservation Division.

Mike brings to the Alaska Region a wealth of experience. Since 1991, Mike has worked for the Office of Protected Resources at NMFS Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland and since April 1996, Mike has been the Chief of the Marine Mammal Division within the Office of Protected Resources. In that capacity, he directed all scientific, educational, and technical aspects of NMFS's programs relating to the management of endangered, threatened, and protected marine mammal species and their habitat conservation. He has worked with representatives of fishing organizations, national/state/local fisheries and conservation offices, the scientific community, and public interest groups concerned with marine mammals and endangered species, resulting in a balanced awareness of conservation and fisheries issues. "It is imperative that everyone work together to achieve the difficult dual objectives of protecting marine mammals and endangered species while maintaining viable fisheries and local traditions" says Payne.

While at Silver Spring, he has worked on recovery and conservation programs/fisheries issues in the Atlantic on harbor porpoise and gillnet fisheries, the highly endangered northern right whales, and other large whales and coastal dolphins in the Atlantic, and also for blue, sei, and fin whales. On the Pacific coast, Mike has been involved with issues pertaining to the Hawaiian monk seals and has been directly involved with current Alaska issues, pertaining to Steller sea lions in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, and with beluga whales in Cook Inlet. Mike was also one of those who helped develop the Conservation Plan for the northern fur seal on the Pribilofs and has worked with Alaska regional staff and Alaskan Native Organizations on Pribilof Island issues since 1991.

Mike has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Central College at Pella, Iowa, and a Master of Science Degree from Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa. He has also participated in the Boston University Marine Program at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

In his new position with the Alaska Region, Mike will be responsible for all aspects of NMFS's programs relating to the management of endangered, threatened, and protected marine mammal species in Alaska, as well as with the Alaska Region's programs directed at habitat conservation. "I believe being able to work within a state and region where protected species and their habitat issues have been interwoven over time with the fishing industry and within the heritage of the Alaskan native community is a tremendous opportunity. I look forward to continue working with the State and other Federal agencies, the fishing, scientific and local communities, and public interest groups in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest."

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on February 11, 2019