Alaska freezer longline fleet receives congressional approval to form Bering Sea fishery cooperative
September 16, 2010 -- The Freezer Longline Coaltion (FLC) applauded passage today of Senate bill 1609, the “Longline Catcher Processor Subsector Single Fishery Cooperative Act,” by the U.S. House of Representatives. S. 1609, which now goes to President Obama for his signature, establishes a process and framework for the formation of a fishery cooperative among eligible members of the longline catcher processor subsector in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
“Today’s vote by Congress is a win-win for vessel operators, crew, and the environment,” said David Little, president of the FLC. Little, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife described a few of the most valuable benefits to the nation of fisheries cooperatives, “Eliminating the race for fish will allow vessel operators to safely slow down with the knowledge that they will still catch their share of the resource. A slower pace will improve safety, allow the crew more time to rest and provide greater job stability by extending the fishery over the entire year. Fishermen will have greater flexibility to maximize the value of their catch, they will increase product yield and quality, and will become even better stewards of the resource.”
S. 1609 passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent on November 19th, 2010. It was sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mark Begich (D-AK). Identical legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives and supported by a bipartisan coalition of members including Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA), Doc Hastings (R-WA), Don Young (R-AK), Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Dave Reichert (R-WA).
“The FLC is so thankful for the bipartisan support this legislation received from members of the Washington and Alaska Congressional Delegations, and especially to Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressman Rick Larsen, and Congressman Doc Hastings who lead the effort to pass legislation this year, and for their consistent support of sustainable fishing practices,” said Kenny Down, executive director of the FLC.>> Back to News and Events