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Public Statements

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I appreciate Senator MURKOWSKI raising this issue, as I know it is of great importance to both our States, and I am happy to discuss the intent and effect of the provision to which she is referring. Senator MURRAY and I have worked closely with Senator BEGICH, with the Commerce Committee, and with our colleagues in the other body to develop this language for inclusion in the Coast Guard bill. Section 307 of H.R. 2838 does, as Senator MURKOWSKI states, clarify longstanding restrictions that apply to certain vessels under the American Fisheries Act. The intent of this language is to maintain the status quo between two separate and distinct fisheries: one regulated under the American Fisheries Act and the other by Amendment 80 to the Bering Sea Fishery Management Plan. There has always been a careful balance struck between these two sectors, and we need to maintain that balance in order to protect the investments and job opportunities they provide. This language is in no way intended to upset that balance, but rather to insure that the status quo of separate and mutually exclusive sectors remains in place while affording the Amendment 80 fleet the opportunity to replace their older vessels with new ones and to encourage the economic investments that would follow.

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