National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

It was heartening to learn, especially on Valentine's Day, that there are folks out there who are showing fishermen a little love.

Massachusetts legislators are introducing a bill in Congress that would establish a national health care plan for fishermen. The program uses the Massachusetts Fishing Partnership Health Plan as a model for a national program.

The Massachusetts plan, adopted in the 1990s, gives low-cost health insurance to some 2,000 fishermen and family members who previously were without health care coverage or were underinsured.

The bill would authorize $50 million over five years for program planning, implementation and continuation grants in states with commercial fishing industries.

Even better, there's bi-partisan support for such a program. To wit: Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), John Tierney (D-Mass.), and William Delahunt (D-Mass.) are the bill's sponsors, and co-sponsors are Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), Don Young (R-Alaska.), Tom Allen (D-Maine), and Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.).

Wow. Democrats and Republicans find a worthy cause that they can all get behind. Fishermen will take all the love they can get.

Inside the Industry

The Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel working group is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 in Boston to discuss using commercial fishing vessels to supplement current stock assessment surveys conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

Read more...

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

Read more...
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