U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the appointments of Buck Laukitis and Theresa Peterson to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council June 27, further strengthening Gov. Bill Walker’s fisheries management position on preserving local fisheries participation in coastal Alaska.

The nominations will go into effect Aug. 11. Governors submit nominations to the Commerce Department, which must then be approved by the secretary.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is the most economically powerful of eight regional councils that oversee federal fisheries between three and 200 miles off the U.S. coast. As of 2014, the North Pacific region accounts for 65 percent of the nation’s total seafood harvest value, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports.

Peterson and Laukitis replace Duncan Fields and David Long, respectively. Fields, a Kodiak attorney and fisherman, finished his third three-year term in June 2016, the maximum terms allowed consecutively under the U.S. fisheries governing regulation, the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

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