Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler | Representing Southwest Washington's 3rd District

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Jaime Herrera Beutler West Coast Crab Management Bill Passes U.S. House of Representatives

Solution makes successful cooperative management of Dungeness fisheries permanent, helping support 60,000 maritime jobs

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Washington, DC, January 30, 2017 | comments
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan bill to permanently extend a decades old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bill passed overwhelmingly .
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Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan bill to permanently extend a decades old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bill passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 388-0.

The states of Washington, Oregon, and California cooperatively manage the West Coast crab fishery in federal waters under a tri-state agreement that Congress first authorized in 1998. The bill would make that existing authority permanent. The agreement expired without a replacement in 2016.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has partnered with Jaime and is leading the bill in the U.S. Senate.  

“I’m pleased that my colleagues in the House passed the permanent extension of the tri-state agreement that is imperative for the future success of the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery,” said Jaime. “I’m working to support senate efforts to follow suit and also pass the bill, so it can be signed into law and we can end the uncertainty for the West Coast crab fishery as soon as possible.  We need our crab fishermen supporting hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits to our communities, and this agreement is vital to that effort.”  

Crab populations vary greatly by year, depending on food availability and ocean conditions. The Dungeness crab catch tends to peak every 10 years, and can fluctuate by tens of millions of pounds between years. In order to manage appropriately, fishery managers must coordinate between states to ensure management and conservation goals are achieved. 

Washington state’s Dungeness crab industry brings $61 million into the state’s economy annually. Crab fishermen in the state harvest an average of 9.5 million pounds of crab per year, supporting more than 60,000 maritime jobs. 

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