Meet Jamie Goen, ABSC's Executive Director
There are opportunities in life when events come together in surprising and exciting ways. If you had told me as a kid growing up in Florida celebrating graduations over king crab legs that I would someday be representing the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers as their Executive Director, I would have asked how my life could possibly take me there and sign me up!
Early in my career, I traveled the world on oceanographic vessels running scientific equipment, having sailed every ocean except the Arctic. It was traveling the world, seeing the variety of fishing communities, and thinking about how they play a role in sustainably managing their resources that I really became interested in fishermen and fishing communities. I grew up spending summers on my grandparents’ farm and witnessed how working the land year after year provided a deeper level of understanding about the resource. It seemed to me this same intimate knowledge of and relationship with the land also translated to fishermen and their knowledge of and relationship with the ocean.
Photo by Shannon Garbaccio
I went back to school to get my Master’s degree from the University of Washington in marine policy, focusing on using fishermen’s knowledge in management. After graduate school, I worked for the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association Vessel Safety Program briefly before landing a position at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or NOAA Fisheries) where I worked for 15 years, predominantly on fishing quota programs (also called catch shares). Most of my time at NOAA Fisheries was with the Pacific coast groundfish fishery where I worked on the Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Permit Stacking Program and was the lead on implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program. In addition, I also worked in New England for a year on the Atlantic Sea Scallop Quota Program. Later in my time at NOAA Fisheries, I worked in DC temporarily on special assignment as the Congressional Affairs Liaison to the head of NOAA Fisheries handling all congressional requests, helping prep witnesses and briefing materials for congressional hearings, and coordinating national announcement of high profile federal actions. Most recently, with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, I was part of their leadership team and was Branch Manager overseeing their data collection programs from fisheries and from fisheries-independent surveys, as well as being involved in regulations and fisheries policy.
Throughout my career, I have been drawn to stakeholders and their role in managing resources, helping them navigate process and encouraging their voice. While in the past it has been from inside governance bodies, I am very excited to be representing the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers directly as an industry voice to maximize the benefits from the Crab Rationalization Program, to provide delicious crab to consumers, and to ensure a sustainable fishery for generations to come. My life has taken me to interesting places and provided many an adventure and I am excited to be working with the crabbers.
I look forward to getting to know you all, to hearing about your life’s adventures and your vision, and to building the future of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers together.