Senator Markey Amendment to Critical Fisheries Research Grant Program Passes Senate as Part of Sullivan Legislation


Bipartisan legislation will establish a Fisheries Advisory Committee to help identify projects for funding under the Saltonstall-Kennedy Fisheries Grant Program


Washington (August 29, 2018) – The Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program, established in 1954, provides critical support for developing and maintaining sustainable fisheries, providing almost $9 million in funding this year. The U.S. Senate passed the American Fisheries Advisory Act (S.1322), a bill introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), to establish a new committee in order to give greater consideration to industry efforts to promote and develop domestic fisheries. The bill includes provisions authored by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) to ensure that the operational costs of the new advisory committee do not take funds away from the grant program, that funded projects are scientifically sound and designed to produce valuable results, and that there is balanced stakeholder representation on the newly formed Committee


“Massachusetts Senators Leverett Saltonstall and John Kennedy created this immensely important grant program to sustainably address the needs of fishing communities, and the creation of an American Fisheries Advisory Committee will provide an opportunity for industry interests to be better represented in the grant awarding process,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. “I am proud that my amendment will help to address the needs of fishermen, while supporting scientifically rigorous research that promotes sustainable fisheries. I thank Senator Sullivan for working with me to continue to support science and our historic fisheries in Massachusetts.”


A copy of the amendment can be found HERE.


“Saltonstall-Kennedy grants are often recognized for making real, meaningful impacts in our nation’s fishing industry, but without the proper input and oversight from our fishermen we’re missing out on a number of opportunities for improvement and growth, particularly for marketing and overall global competitiveness,” said Senator Sullivan. “Reestablishing this advisory committee is an important step forward for the strength of our fisheries and the long-term vitality of American caught seafood. I often say, Alaska is the superpower of seafood, but in order to maintain that remarkable status we must better focus federal grant dollars towards the priorities and needs of our nation’s fishing industry, including fishermen, vessel owners, distributors and processors. I commend lawmakers and industry groups from across the country for coming together in support of this legislation, and look forward to its swift passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.”