Alaska’s Board of Fisheries will likely be one member short when it meets in Anchorage next week to discuss Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim area finfish issues.
Juneau resident William Brown resigned earlier this week and in an email said he was leaving the board for personal reasons not related to any health matter.
Gov. Sean Parnell has 30 days to fill the seat Brown vacated. His selection will have to be approved by the state legislature.
The seven-member board sets state fisheries regulations and management plans. Without Brown, decisions could more easily come to a tie.
Brown was generally considered to represent recreational interests and had a background in economics in addition to owning Taku Reel Repair.
While a replacement is unlikely to be named before the board’s next meeting, which begins Jan. 15, a new board member should be in place for the remainder of the meetings this spring. The board will take up Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands finfish issues Feb. 26 to March 4, and statewide finfish issues March 19 to 24. Both of those meetings are in Anchorage.
The state is soliciting names to replace Brown, and fishing organizations have said they are working on finding likely candidates.
United Fishermen of Alaska’s new Executive Director Julianne Curry said that organization is waiting to hear back about the governor’s criteria for a replacement.
Brown was appointed by former Gov. Sarah Palin for his first term in 2008, and then reappointed by Gov. Parnell for a second term. His term was set to end in June 2014.