National Fisherman


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee yesterday passed legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that would help boost the West Coast groundfish fishery and protect maritime jobs.
 
The Revitalizing the Economy of Fisheries in the Pacific Act aims to help fishermen by ensuring they receive the same interest rates on federal loans as other businesses, and extends the length of these loans from 30 to 45 years. In addition, the legislation caps the fees that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is able to collect from fishermen.
 
The legislation passed through the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday by a voice vote. It will now proceed to the full Senate.
 
A companion bill has been introduced by U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03) and Jared Huffman (D-CA-02). Cantwell’s legislation is cosponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Mark Begich (D-AK).
 
“It’s been rewarding to work in a bipartisan sense and in a regional sense on such an important issue,” Cantwell said during the hearing. “The bill gives common sense financing solutions to our West Coast groundfish fishery and its ability to refinance on their buyback loans. The West Coast ground fishery supports thousands of family wage jobs.”
 
Read the full story at Sen. Maria Cantwell>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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