Senator Lisa Murkowski today commended the Senate Commerce Committee for passing two bipartisan bills out of committee that she advocated for as lead Republican co-sponsor: the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act and the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act. The Pirate Fishing bill would crack down on illegal fishing operations that are harming America's fisheries and Alaska's economy by creating harsh enforcement mechanisms against violators; the Small Aircraft bill would fight the FAA's sluggish bureaucracy by requiring new certification standards so Alaska's small aircraft fleet can update its technology.
"In Alaska, our skies are our highways and our seas are our factories and farms -- we need smart, sensible policies that protect these critical parts of our culture and economy," said Murkowski. "Our small aircraft fleet deserves the right to move confidently and safely into the 21st century with the best equipment available, and our fisheries deserve to be guarded from illegal threats to their catch."
Pirate Fishing Elimination Act: Bans ships engaging in pirate fishing from U.S. ports , as well as enact stiff penalties for any businesses or groups in America that support illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). Each year illegal fishing produces between 11 and 26 million tons of seafood, resulting in economic losses with a global value of between $10 and $23 billion. IUU fishing for crab in Russia has had an adverse impact on Alaska crab fishermen by disrupting the market and lowering price. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) originally introduced this bill.
Small Aircraft Revitalization Act: Allows Alaska's existing fleet to upgrade its standards -- rather than asking owners and Alaskans to buy new aircraft -- by establishing a date for the modernization and implementation of the FAA's small aircraft and parts certification process. The bill directs the FAA to make changes proposed by the Aviation Rulemaking Committee by that date, composed of aviation authorities and industry representatives from around the world, and remove barriers limiting investments in new designs and make available lifesaving safety equipment for existing airplanes. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) originally introduced this bill.