Congress Passes Coast Guard Reauthorization with 3-Year Vessel Discharge Exemption

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seafoodOn behalf of the Seafood Harvesters of America, President Chris Brown offered the following statement on the passage of the Coast Guard Reauthorization, which includes a 3 year extension of the moratorium on vessel discharge permitting requirements:

“We’re deeply grateful to everyone who was instrumental in passing a reauthorization that extends the discharge permit for commercial fishing vessels — Senator Begich for sponsoring, Senators Cantwell, Rockefeller, Thune and Rubio for co-sponsoring and all those in the House who played an integral role. We also appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Senators Murkowski and Boxer in pushing for a permanent moratorium. As soon as the President signs this bill into law, thousands of seafood harvesters will breathe a sigh of relief because Congress worked together to avert a dangerous fish cliff of burdensome red-tape and costly fines.

“The 3 year extension of the existing moratorium will save America’s fishermen from being forced to apply for various permits just for spraying off our decks. And we look forward to building on this extension as a first step toward passing a permanent exemption that provides certainty to our nation’s fisheries. Hopefully, this bipartisan effort to put aside the special interests for the greater good of ensuring a plentiful and lasting seafood harvest for tens of millions of consumers, grocers and restaurants will serve as a model for addressing future issues impacting our coastal fishing communities.”