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Fishing Vessel Safety Bill Goes to President For Signing

Fishing vessel safety regulations are part of a larger Coast Guard Appropriation Bill passed by Congress Wednesday Night. The bill requires new fishing vessels built after 2012 to be classified by an independent classification society. Vessels built prior to 2012 longer than 50 feet will need to comply with the new regulations by 2020. The Act updates and expands training and safety equipment requirements and requires record keeping. Alaska fishing vessel owners of certain fish processors will be able to build new replacement vessels and transfer their licenses to the new vessels, a recommendation that was made by the NTSB following the sinking of the fishing vessel ALASKA RANGER. In addition to fishing vessel safety, the bill also provides increased protection for oil spills in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

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