Coast Guard Reauthorization Act

The House passed HR 3619 on October 23, 2009 and the Senate passed their version on May 7, 2010.  The legislation will now go to a conference committee to reconcile the differences.  As of June 1st the Conference committee members had not yet been announced.  We have heard that Senator Cantwell favors the fishing vessel safety provisions enacted by the House.  This contains some of the same provisions that we objected to several years ago.  Classing or safety compliance programs for vessels over 50 feet by 2020.  Mandatory training for all commercial fishing vessel operators and possibly some requirements for crew.  Mandatory coast guard courtesy exams every two years.  Below is a pdf file of the comments that we are submitting to our Congressional Delegation and the conference committee when appointed.  There are other items in the legislation that we don’t make a mention of but that might affect us in the future.  These include:  1) The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall assess and report to Congress on the feasibility of efforts to mitigate the threat of small boat attack in security zones of major ports, including specifically the use of TRANSPONDERS or RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION devices to track small boats. 2.) Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment for Cook Inlet. 3.) Report on the improvements to reduce Human error and near miss incidents for oil spills.

SEAFA Comments Link to HR 3619

After receiving feedback from fishermen we have sent additional comments to the staff working on reconciling the two bill requesting that an exemption be given to those fishermen who currently have a buoyant apparatus to continue to be allowed to use it due to the cost of purchasing the equipment and the additional cost they would have to replace it.

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