The Oregon Albacore Commission (OAC) was formed at the request of the fishing industry and created by the Oregon Legislature in October 1999 and is a part of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Commodity Commission Program. The Commission is funded by an assessment of the cash value on all Albacore landed in the state. This assessment is split equally between the harvester and the first receiver,The OAC serves the commercial albacore troll fishing industry by supporting and engaging in activities and research programs that benefit the production, harvesting, handling, processing, marketing and use of Oregon Albacore.The nine members of the Commission – five producers (fishermen), three handlers, and one public member – are appointed by the ODA director and serve three-year terms.
Rick Goché – Producer, Coquille (Chair)
I have been involved in the seafood business from research to retail for over 40 years. I fish the F/V Peso II for Albacore and market a large portion of my catch under our family brand “Sacred Sea”www.sacredseatuna.com As Chairman of the Oregon Albacore Commission I take pride in helping to promote Oregon Albacore for my friends in the fleet and the processors who support us. My dream is to one day see most of the Albacore Tuna we land in Oregon be consumed in Oregon.
Clay Archambault – Producer, Newport
Clay Archambault is the owner and operator of F/V Island Girl and has been involved in the fishing industry for over 20 years. Through Island Girl Seafoods, Inc., he gained experience in producing and running a small business, as well as handling and processing tuna and other pelagics. Clay believes that becoming an OAC commissioner will allow him to help in the efforts to sustain our industry locally and globally. “With an increasing demand for quality and local commodities to consumers, we should ramp up our efforts to an many consumers as possible.”
Mike Babcock – Handler, Charleston
We began Oregon Seafoods in 2010. We are an Albacore processor and have been very active in the industry. Not only are products produced for the company brand Sea Fare Pacific, we also process for several other brands in Oregon as well. We are active members of the Western Fishboat Owners Association and the American Fishermen Research Foundation.
Oregon Seafoods invested in modern pouch technology as well as a canning line with the idea of processing U.S. caught fish in Oregon on a scale large enough to market nationally and export. We have also created value added products like our ‘Albacore Curry’ (Sea Fare Pacific Brand) and cold smoked Albacore pouches that can be found in the marketplace.
My desire is to see our local Albacore fishery continue to gain market share and be treated as the special product that it is. My goal would be to see all U.S. landed Albacore be processed right here in the U.S. It would then be sold domestically or could be exported as a finished product.
Ericka Carlson – Public Member
Ericka Carlson is a native Oregonian who has great pride in our region’s agricultural bounty. In 2003, after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, NY, she returned to Portland and taught cooking classes featuring the best from local farmers, fishers, and ranchers. She enjoyed promoting our region’s products and teaching people to cook using the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. As publisher of Edible Portland magazine, she continued this work reaching nearly 90,000 readers each quarter with the stories of Oregon agriculture. The goal of the magazine was not simply to tell these stories, but to get people to engage with the bounty of our region by getting out and experiencing our farms, ranches, and fishing communities, and most importantly to encourage people to buy Oregon products and support the livelihoods of all our producers and more broadly, our state’s economy.
Growing up, Larz earned the Eagle Scout, Bronze Palm, God and Country Award, and Order of the Arrow. He graduated Cum Laude from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. He was a salmon fisherman in Alaska from 1977 through 1982. After fishing, he worked as an export manager at Viking International, then Seaprodex in Australia, and since 1988 he has worked for the Pacific Seafood Group. Larz is a commissioner representing the processors.
Shawn Ryan – Producer, Charleston (Vice Chair)
Shawn Ryan is a native Oregonian and started fishing in 1976 in California, Oregon, and Washington as a deckhand fishing salmon and albacore in the summers, and herring, crab, rock cod, and blackcod in the winters. He bought his first boat in 1982 and fishes primarily salmon and albacore for a living. He is one of the board of directors for Western Fishboat Owners Association, a director for American Fishermans Research Foundation, and an Oregon Albacore Commissioner.
Tim Thomas – Producer, Garibaldi
F/V Steel Fin II – Albacore, Crab, Salmon
Tim has been commercial fishing for 37 years, and participated in a variety fisheries Tuna (Purse Seine), Swordfish, Shark, Shrimp, Crab and Albacore. He started fishing in Southern California in 1976 and migrated to Garibaldi Oregon in 1987. He is currently a Board Member for the American Albacore Fishing Association as well as the Oregon Albacore Commission, and a member of the Fisherman’s Advisory Committee for Tillamook County.
Nancy Fitzpatrick – Executive Director
Nancy Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Southern California and after receiving a teaching degree from the University of California at Riverside, she traveled with her husband Mike to Beaverton Oregon to begin teaching. During the summers they learned to commercial fish for salmon from a dory boat in Pacific City. Their passion and love for the ocean led them to Lincoln City to continue fishing on the coast and begin new careers with two young daughters in tow. Nancy began working for the Oregon Salmon Commission (OSC) in 1989 and then the Oregon Albacore Commission in 2006. She is the Executive Director for both commissions representing these commercial fisheries through promotion, education, communication, and research.