As my blog begins to take shape, I hope to use it as a forum to discuss important and timely issues facing the fishing industry. Next week a major regulatory decision will be made by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to decide on a “Preferred Alternative” for how the West Coast seafood industry is managed. The decision will have a major impact on preserving the economic viability of the seafood industry, including coastal communities and jobs throughout Oregon, Washington and California. Naturally, this is an issue of great importance to me and to Pacific Seafood.

Along with the Coastal Jobs organization, seafood industry leaders, restaurant owners and local businesses, I believe a balanced approach to an Individual Quota system is crucial. A shared market quota system will not only end the current “race for fish”, but will also ensure protection of groundfish stocks, stabilize prices for consumers, and encourage environmental stewardship, while recognizing all stakeholders in the seafood industry – from fishermen and processors to the coastal communities that rely on the seafood industry and the jobs it provides.

In June, the Council voted on a Preferred Alternative granting 20% quota share to processors and 80% to harvesters. Although not the optimum result for either of the primary stakeholders, the preliminary vote did reflect a reasonable compromise and I sincerely hope the Council’s final vote in November maintains this. The seafood industry is at stake.

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For my introduction into the blogosphere, it makes sense to tell you a little bit about who I am. I’m a third generation company leader of Pacific Seafood and serve as president and CEO. My grandfather started the company in 1941 as a small, fresh seafood retail counter operation in Portland, Oregon. My father, Dominic, still works at our seafood shop on SE Powell.

Though I didn’t always know I would one day become a part of it, I grew up in this business and it is a huge part of who I am. And thanks to a strong management team who is committed to our company mission of operational excellence, Pacific Seafood has grown to include processing West Coast seafood from Alaska to Mexico. It’s really about the people – our customers, vendors and team members – who make us who we are and keep us moving forward. You’ll learn more about that in future blog posts.

I like the outdoors. I love the Pacific Northwest and have always called it home. There is a spirit here and I have made it a point to get involved in this great community. I am on the University of Portland Board of Regents and involved with the Oregon Restaurant Association. I am also active in the seafood industry including National Fisheries Institute and their Better Seafood Bureau.

One of my personal drives – and a core mission of Pacific Seafood’s- is sustainability, and we have been rolling out a number of initiatives to improve our carbon footprint – from major recycle programs to processing our waste into organic fertilizer to reducing trucks on the road. We are very committed to the responsible use of environmental resources to ensure a safe sustainable seafood supply for generations to enjoy. This is an important topic that I look forward to sharing more on in future posts.