Fish Radio

Regnart resigns as CommFish director

September 11, 2015

Jeff Regnart steps down as AK Commercial Fisheries Director on Oct. 2 Credit: adfg

Jeff Regnart steps down as AK Commercial Fisheries Director on Oct. 2
Credit: adfg

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Jeff Regnart resigns as state Commercial Fisheries Director. He shares thoughts after this –

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Alaska’s fishing industry was stunned this week with news of the sudden resignation of state Commercial Fisheries Director, Jeff Regnart.  He steps down on October 2nd.

It’s due to family reasons. I just can’t be in the state full time like this job needs to be. I’ve got family that’s Outside. aging parents ….   

Regnart started as a Fish and Game field tech in high school, and over 30 years worked his way to management jobs at Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay. He took over as director of the commercial fisheries division in 2011.

Regnart has been a well liked and respected director. Things have changed dramatically during his four years at the helm, he says, most notably, the budget belt tightening.

From a fiscal climate that was one of growth – new products, new fishery opportunities, to one now of fiscal restraint. We have to be very careful about how we spend our dollars. Not that we weren’t careful before, but now we’re looking at what should be left in the water, what can we give up and hopefully still perform the job.  

Another big challenge, he says, is a retiring workforce –

Because we do have over the next 3-4 years we are going to lose a lot of senior people, they could retire, and when you lose that corporate knowledge, that resident intellectual property of what we gather as we go through our careers, it’s hard to replace.

Regnart says the biggest change he’s seen over three decades is the rapid transfer of information.

So we’ve really had to change our game, how we manage fisheries. We have to be much more on the ball with written explanations and justifications because people want to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and they want to know it right now, because the information is available right now. So we’ve had to change how we bring data in from the field, how we process it, synthesize it and get it out into the public.

Alaska’s fish stocks are in good shape, Regnart says –

The resources look healthy across the board. There always will be natural ups and downs  but for the most part things look as good as they’ve looked for quite a few years, doesn’t matter if it’s groundfish or p cod or pollock, salmon.  

He is quick to credit his co-workers for any successes.

My success is all been because of the people who did the work, quite truthfully.

 Jeff Regnart will stay involved with Alaska’s fisheries as a consultant for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.