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 New England Fishery Management Council recently elected Dr. John F. Quinn of Massachusetts and E. F. “Terry” Stockwell III of Maine to serve respectively as chairman and vice chairman in the year ahead. The two have led the Council since 2014 but reversed roles this year. 

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Vigor will debut an affordable 142-foot freezer longliner designed specifically for North Pacific fishing at the 2016 Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle.

 

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