Surprise! Gov. Dunleavy’s Pick for Toothless Bycatch Committee Has Major Conflict of Interest
JUNEAU, AK — Today, government watchdog Accountable.US called on Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy to get serious about addressing Alaska’s bycatch crisis, pointing to his appointment of Stephanie Madsen to the toothless Bycatch Review Task Force, citing extensive conflicts of interest given her role as Executive Director of the At-Sea Processors Association, whose member companies are responsible for the bulk of the salmon bycatch problem in Alaska.
It is time for the Governor to get serious about addressing Alaska’s bycatch crisis. He should stop hiding behind this toothless task force and quit relying on the guidance of people who advocate on behalf of the very companies making the problem worse for the state’s native communities and small fishers. Stephanie Madsen’s conflict of interest here is so brazen it would make the fox guarding the henhouse blush.”
Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US
Madsen has made millions representing companies, like Trident Seafoods, American Seafoods and Arctic Storm Management, who collectively harvest thousands of salmon each year as bycatch. The five companies that are members of APA comprised more than half of the Chinook bycatch in 2021 from the BSAI/GOA pollock trawling fisheries.
Additionally, Madsen has made clear that she supports industry over conservation time and again, through signing on to letters opposing Biden’s 30×30 conservation goals and taking minimal action on bycatch in the past. She has also been a consistent donor to Republican politicians, donating over $20,000 to GOP candidates and causes, including to Governor Dunleavy’s campaign.
Read Accountable.US’s full research report here.
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