United Fishermen of Alaska announced changes to its Executive Committee, effective April 15. UFA’s officers remain unchanged as Jerry McCune will continue to serve as UFA president, joined by Matt Alward as vice president and Chad See as secretary.
On the UFA Executive Committee, Megan O’Neil of Petersburg Vessel Owners Association replaces Kathy Hansen as statewide chair. Hansen will continue to serve on the executive committee, replacing Ian Pitzman of United Cook Inlet Drift Association in the at-large executive committee seat. O’Neil was formerly UFA’s PR and membership committee chair. Bob Thorstenson of Southeast Alaska Seiners rejoins the UFA executive committee as PR and membership chair.
Zach Hill joins the executive committee as co-chair of administrative committee, serving along with Bob Kehoe. Duncan Fields is stepping down as administrative co-chair after 14 years continuous service on the executive committee as UFA secretary or administrative chair.
The UFA Executive Committee after this year’s changes includes:
President Jerry McCune, Cordova District Fishermen United;
Vice President Matt Alward, North Pacific Fisheries Association;
Secretary/Treasurer Chad See, Freezer Longline Coalition;
At-Large EC member Kathy Hansen, Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance;
Administrative Co-Chair Zach Hill (at-large board member);
Administrative Co-Chair Bob Kehoe, Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association;
Enhancement Chair Gary Fandrei, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association;
Fish Farm & Environmental Chair Chip Treinen, Southeast Alaska Herring Conservation Alliance;
Marketing Chair, Bruce Schactler (at large board member);
National Co-Chairs Stephanie Madsen and Mark Gleason;
PR & Membership Chair, Bob Thorstenson;
Statewide Chair, Megan O’Neil;
Subsistence Chair, Steve Reifenstuhl.
United Fishermen of Alaska is the statewide commercial fishing trade association, representing 34 Alaska commercial fishing organizations participating in fisheries throughout the state and its offshore federal waters.
Alaska LNG plans summer work: water tests, drilling
The managers of the Alaska LNG Project are moving forward on field work planned for this summer, including water tests, offshore work and borehole drilling onshore in Nikiski.
With only one season left before the project will go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval, the summer field work will be more limited in scale — about a third the scale of what it was in the summer of 2015, said Jeff Raun, project advisor for the Alaska LNG Project, during a community meeting April 14 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.
Field work will begin both onshore and in Cook Inlet beginning in April, with the offshore work ending in June or July “to get out of the way of the fishermen,” Raun said. An offshore vessel will do more follow up bathymetry work on smaller scale than the work done in 2015, filling in patches that need more information on the surface geology on the bottom of Cook Inlet, he said. Onshore, the workers will drill approximately 50 more boreholes about 150 deep, part of a requirement for any project that deals in hydrocarbons, Raun said.
The one new component will be water tests. Residents have raised concerns about the proposed plant’s water use, worrying that such a large plant will reduce the amount of water available for residents.