Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 15 February 2008
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.
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...