Fish board seat remains on peninsula

Jeremiah Campbell of Seward picked to fill Ed Dersham's vacated term

Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's barely been a month since Ed Dersham resigned his seat on the Board of Fisheries and Gov. Frank Murkowski has already found someone to fill Dersham's shoes.

Last week Murkowski named Jeremiah Campbell of Seward to fill the vacant seat for the remained of Dersham's term.

"Jeremiah brings with him extensive experience in both sport and commercial fishing and it is my hope he will use that experience to make sound decisions in regard to managing our fisheries," Murkowski said in a press release.

Campbell was away moose hunting when the governor made the announcement, but was happy to hear the news when he returned home.

"I'm really excited about the position and I'm glad it stayed on the peninsula. I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work," Campbell said.

Campbell is a lifelong Alaskan and a 1987 graduate of Seward High School. He is secretary of the Seward Fish and Game Advisory Committee and vice president of the Seward Charter Boat Association.

Campbell fished commercially for 11 years in Lower Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay and the Gulf of Alaska. He currently works as a registered guide and charter boat operator and owner of Alaska Northern Outfitters.

"I've been in the trenches. I know what's going on with these fisheries because of my background, and I'm looking forward to using this knowledge. I think I bring some good diversity to the board," he said.

"I have no set agenda in regard to favoring one user group over any other. I believe in looking at each fishery individually and objectively, looking at the biology and all other information, deciphering it, hearing all sides and then going with what my gut tells me."

Since he's his own boss as an outfitter, Campbell said he should always be able to make time to attend to fisheries-related issues.

"I'm easy to talk to and being self-employed, I can always make myself available for people who want to discuss the issues," he said.

Dersham, who served eight years on the board, resigned in August to become project coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Commercial Fisheries Division.

He said he's only met Campbell a few times, but so far he's liked what he's seen in regard to his replacement.

"He has a balanced background and he seems like a fair-minded individual with no preconceived notions," Dersham said.

The appointment still requires legislative confirmation. The Board of Fisheries is scheduled to meet in a work session in Girdwood on Oct. 13 and 14.

Campbell's term expires June 20, 2006.

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