This is tailor-made law for Alaska.
Rep. Don Young’s bill — Young Fishermen’s Development Act — which isn’t named for the Alaska congressman, but for the youth he had in mind when he introduced it, is headed to President Trump for his signature.
Trump, who is all about business and building and maintaining industry, will do that.
The bill is to address the longtime decline in the number of younger Alaskans — and others — entering the commercial fishing industry.
It will create the first ever national grant program through the Department of Commerce to support training, education and workforce development for the next generation of commercial fishermen, according to a Young press release. The bill was introduced in the House. Dan Sullivan offered a companion bill in the Senate.
“Young commercial fishermen are facing bigger challenges than ever before — new barriers to entry, limited training opportunities, lack of support, and now, a global pandemic,” Young says. “Fishing is important not only to Alaskan culture, but it is central to our rich history. Our legislation is about supporting the livelihoods of fishing communities … by making the next generation aware of the opportunities available …
“My work on behalf of our fishing fleet is not done,” he says. “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our fishermen, processors, and countless others who depend on a strong, thriving seafood industry. In the 117th Congress, I will continue fighting for a future of opportunity nd prosperity for fishermen of all ages.”
As Sullivan says, Alaska is the “superpower of seafood.” This bill will go a long ways in sustaining it.