Alaska’s largest statewide commercial fishing trade association is tracking movement in Congress on revisions of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act, which is key to Coast Guard appropriations for fiscal 2013 and 2014.
Separate House and Senate versions of the legislation are yet to be reconciled.
United Fishermen of Alaska is keeping a close eye on revisions of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act now before Congress, which will authorize Coast Guard appropriations for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
“There is a House version and a senate version and they will have to be reconciled,” said Mark Vinsel, executive director of UFA, in an interview following UFA’s fall meeting in Anchorage in mid-October.
Vinsel said in an interview following UFA’s fall meeting in Anchorage that the organization also supports the federal reconstructed observer program, including development of electronic monitoring and start-up funds for that.
When the Alaska Legislature reconvenes in January, UFA will also be keeping a close eye on the committee substitute for House Bill 121, which is related to certain commercial fishing loans and loans to purchase fishing quota shares by certain community quota entities.
HB 121 would establish the commercial charter fisheries revolving loan fund, the mariculture revolving loan fund, and the Alaska microloan revolving loan fund.
Vinsel said UFA wants to be sure the intent is there for long term low interest loans.
During its fall meeting, UFA also honored Ray Riutta, and, posthumously John Winther and Eric McDowell, both of whom passed away earlier this year.
Riutta, the outgoing executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, was presented with UFA’s Man of the Year award.
Veteran commercial fisherman John Winther of Petersburg and Eric McDowell, of the McDowell Group research and consulting firm in Juneau, were both inducted posthumously into the UFA Hall of Fame.
The Fisherman of the Year award went to scallop harvesters Jim and Mona Stone.