Washington (November 14, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) praised today’s passage of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018. As a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, Senator Markey worked with Senator Shaheen to include provisions in the legislation that would support the issuance of fishing safety training grants and secure the reauthorization of $3,000,000 per year for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. The bill also includes a federal exemption for commercial fishing vessels from the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act.


“Working in the fishing industry can be dangerous, and we owe it to our hardworking fishermen that they are well trained and can come back to dock every day and return to their families safe and sound,” said Senator Markey. “I thank Senator Shaheen for her partnership on these important programs and look forward to seeing this legislation become law.”


“Fishing is one of the most dangerous professions in the country, which is why it’s critical that we invest in safety training to make sure our local fishermen come home safe,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very pleased to see these fishing safety programs included in this legislation, and appreciate having Senator Markey as a partner in this effort. I will continue to advocate on behalf of our fishermen and the fishing industry, which are so important to the economy of New Hampshire.”


“This is great news for the men and women who risk their lives to feed us. There is a direct connection between the funds authorized today by the Senate and the lives and safety of commercial fishermen,” said J.J. Bartlett, president of the Massachusetts-based Fishing Partnership Support Services, a non-profit that provides services to fishermen and their families, including regular safety trainings. “From the fishermen who take our trainings and subsequently encounter emergencies at sea, such as a fire or a man overboard, we know that these trainings save lives and prevent serious injuries.  There’s a great need for these trainings and we’re very pleased to see the Senate meeting that need.”


In April, Senator Markey led a letter to the Senate Appropriation Committee requesting stable and robust funding for fishing safety training programs.