NPFMC elects Angel Drobnica as new Chair

Three of Alaska's six voting NPFMC members represent CDQ groups that are heavily invested in Bering Sea pollock, crab and other fishing vessels.

by | October 25, 2023

Filed Under Management | Meetings | NPFMC

Brings voting CDQ reps on the Council to three

Bill Tweit and Angel Drobnica, NPFMC vice-chair and chair

Angel Drobnica was elected as Chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at its meeting earlier this month in Anchorage.

Drobnica is Director of Fisheries and Government Affairs for the Aleutian-Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), an Alaska Native operated CDQ group. The group represents the communities of Akutan, Atka, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski and St. George Island of the Pribilofs. Angel has served on the Council’s Advisory Panel for 7 years, 2 of them as Chair.

APICDA’s Aleutian Longline Company owns a fleet of four freezer longliners 

Drobnica replaces Simon Kinneen who was NPFMC chair since 2018. At the same time, Kinneen was Vice President and Quota
and Acquisitions Manager for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, also an Alaska Native operated CDQ group.

Also at the October meeting – Bill Tweit of Washington was re-elected as vice-chair of the NPFMC. Tweit has been the Washington State representative on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council since 2005, and the vice-chair since April 2015. He is a Special Assistant to the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. His other duties include management of harvest and hydropower impacts in the Columbia River basin in conjunction with the Treaty Indian Tribes of the basin and the states of Oregon, Idaho and Montana; coordination of Invasive Species issues for the Department; and development of mitigation agreements for the impacts of Columbia Basin development on fish and wildlife.

Governor Dunleavy’s newest appointee to the NPFMC – Ruichi “Rudy” Tsukada – also was sworn in as a new Council member at the October meeting. Mr. Tsukada is Chief Operating Officer for Coastal Villages Region Fund, another Alaska Native operated CDQ group serving 20 communities in western Alaska. Tsukada previously managed CVRF’s in-region fisheries program from 2002- 2005.  He also worked as CEO for the Quinault Nation Enterprise Board overseeing the business enterprises of the Quinault Indian Nation and President of Aleut Enterprise, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Aleut Corporation.

CVRF’s newest trawl vessel, the 341-foot Northern Hawk, is homeported in Seattle

Kenny Down of Washington also was reappointed to the NPFMC for a third term. Council. Mr. Down is owner of Seaquest Venture, a small maritime contract and investment advisory company in Seattle. He worked from 2012-2018 as the President and CEO for one of the largest participants in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands hook-and-line catcher processor sector. 

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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