Soldotna man joins federal fish board

Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Soldotna man has been picked to serve on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the top advisory board for Bering Sea and other major commercial fisheries.

Ben Ellis was appointed Friday by Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. He replaces Soldotna developer Bob Penney.

Ellis has been active on advisory panels and boards related to fish matters on the state and federal level. He's also a former manager of a seafood processing plant.

Ellis was one of three nominees submitted by former Gov. Tony Knowles in October. Knowles indicated at the time that his preferred choice was former state Fish Board member Dan Coffey, but Coffey was passed over by the commerce secretary. The other nominee submitted by Knowles was former Sitka charter guide Bill Foster.

Ellis will serve until the next August, the end of Penney's original term.

The North Pacific Council makes recommendations on a wide range of fish issues for the deep waters of the North Pacific.

The governor of Alaska nominates five of the eleven voting members and the top fish manager of the state is also a voting member, so Alaskans form a majority of the policy-making board. The governor of Washington state nominates two members and top fishery managers of Washington and Oregon also serve and vote. The council also has four non-voting members.

The current chairman of the council is Dave Benton, a former top assistant in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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