Officials: Fishing Training Grant Critical for Safety

fishing boatCHATHAM – Congress passed a bill today that will help ensure the safety of local fishermen, according to US Congressman William Keating (D-Bourne).

The bill, HR 5769, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, reauthorizes funding for the US Coast Guard for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.  Included in the legislation was a Keating Provision that reauthorized critical fishing safety training grant programs.

“I am pleased that my provision to extend the reauthorization for fishing safety and research grants was included in the final Coast Guard conference bill that just passed the House,” said Keating.  “As the Representative for the largest coastal district in the Commonwealth that is home to our historic fishing industry, ensuring that fishermen receive necessary training is of great importance to me.  Many don’t realize, but commercial fishing is one of the deadliest jobs in America according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These grant programs will teach basic safety skills while saving in search and rescue costs.”

“This is truly great news for fishermen and their families,” said JJ Bartlett, the President of Fishing Partnership Support Services. “Fishermen work in one of the deadliest industries in the country, yet few have access to safety and survival training. This program will save taxpayers’ money because trainings will reduce the number of search and rescue missions. Most importantly, it will save fishermen’s lives.”

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The Fishing Safety Training and Fishing Safety Research grant programs seek to provide further access to training resources, as well as research on technologies and tools that would enhance safety on fishing boats.