Small-Boat Fishing Groups Make Pleas to New Congress

CHATHAM – Local fishermen were in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to present their issues and concerns to the new Congress.

Cape Codders and other fishermen from across the nation with the Fishing Communities Coalition make the trip whenever a large number new representatives or senators are elected.

Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance CEO John Pappalardo was among those who visited over 30 Congressional offices.

He said that securing funding for fisheries management, managing a sustainable industry, and providing a clearer financial path for new fishermen to join the career path were among the top talking points.

“Fisheries have been a bi-partisan issue, and I would expect that when we and other industry groups make the case for how important the jobs and the protein these fishermen provide are, it’ll be a pretty easy sell,” Pappalardo said.

He also said that there was some discussion over converting many of the species caught for export into a domestic product.

The importance of building on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was also touched on, he said.

Pappalardo said he advocated for the National Young Fishermen’s Development Program, an initiative which would tackle the increasingly high cost of entry and limited growth opportunities young men and women face in the career path.

The trip took place before the announcement of a potential federal budget cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Pappalardo said he and his colleagues will keep an eye on that.

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