The “Young Fishermen’s Development Act” was signed into law on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The goal of the act is to “preserve United States fishing heritage through a national program dedicated to training and assisting the next generation of commercial fishermen.” The bill received bipartisan support and was championed by Reps. Young (AK), Moulton (MA), Golden (ME), Pingree (ME), and Radewagen (AS), and by Sens. Sullivan (AK), Murkowski (AK), Markey (MA), Collins (ME), King (ME), and Cantwell (WA).
The bill addresses challenges faced by new entrants in the fishing industry. Under the new law, competitive grants will support local and regional initiatives supporting fishermen across the nation. Eligible initiatives may include programs, workshops, and services for fishermen on a range of topics, including seamanship, marketing, fisheries management, and more. Implementation is anticipated in 2022 through the National Sea Grant Office.
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