Chris Woodley is the Executive Director of Groundfish Forum, a trade association representing five companies who operate 19 trawl catcher-processor vessels in the various flatfish, Atka mackerel, Pacific Ocean perch, and Pacific cod fisheries of the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska. Groundfish Forum’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of Amendment 80 fisheries while promoting sustainable harvests on safe vessels, providing economic prosperity to the maritime communities in which we operate, minimizing fishery impacts on habitat, and reducing bycatch.
Prior to joining Groundfish Forum in 2014, Chris served 24 years in the U.S. Coast Guard marine safety / prevention programs where he specialized in environmental compliance, vessel safety, marine casualty investigations, oil spill response and waterways management. For 19 continuous years, his duty stations were in Alaska and Washington State and it was during that time he developed an extensive knowledge of the region’s maritime and commercial fishing industries. Chris retired in the rank of Captain from the 14th Coast Guard District in 2014.
Throughout his Coast Guard career, Chris has been a strong advocate for fishing vessel safety, developing innovative and collaborative programs with the fishing industry. He is credited with developing the At-the-Dock Stability Checks for the Bering Sea crab fleet as well as developing the Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement (ACSA) for the Amendment 80 and freezer longline sectors. As an experienced marine casualty investigator, he has assisted U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigators in numerous formal investigations involving the loss of fishing vessels in Alaska including the Arctic Rose (2001), the Alaska Ranger (2008), and most recently the Destination (2017).
Chris continues to be heavily involved in fishing vessel safety. He is the most recent Chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Fishing Vessel Safety Advisory Committee: the National Committee Co-Chair of for the United Fishermen of Alaska; and serves as a member of the Aleutian Island Waterway Safety Committee.