NOAA announces the U.S. State Department is appointing two alternate U.S. commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, to serve on an interim basis until Presidential appointments are made. The alternate appointments are effective December 13, 2015.
- Robert Alverson, of Bothell, Washington, in the non-Alaska Resident seat
- Jeffery Kauffman, of Wasilla, Alaska, in the Alaska Resident seat
These appointments will ensure U.S. interests will continue to be well-represented on the IPHC after terms for the current non-Federal U.S. Commissioners expire in December 2015.
Current U.S. Commissioners Robert Alverson, non-Alaska Resident seat, and Don Lane, Alaska Resident seat, will represent the U.S. at the December 2015 IPHC Interim Meeting, being held December 1-2 in Seattle.
NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Administrator Jim Balsiger will continue to serve as U.S. Commissioner in the Federal NOAA seat. His term expires in December 2016.
In April and August of 2015 NOAA Fisheries publicly solicited nominations for presidential appointments to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC. Twelve nominations were received to fill the two expiring non-government seats.
The nomination list included very strong candidates with significant experience in the Pacific halibut fishery and fisheries management. After a thorough review of all candidates, selections were made based on who would be the best candidate for the issues coming before the IPHC over the next few years. Both appointees received broad support.
Daniel Hull, the sitting Chairman of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, will provide depth to the U.S. IPHC bench by serving as backup U.S. Commissioner if needed. His appointment is effective January 1, 2016.
Presidential appointments for the two non-Federal IPHC U.S. Commissioner seats are pending, and expected to be made next year.
U.S. Commissioners are appointed for a term not to exceed two years, but are eligible for reappointment.
In their official IPHC duties, Commissioners represent the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery, while working to develop the Pacific halibut stocks to levels that will permit the optimum yield from the Pacific halibut fishery.