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VIDEO: U.S. House Approves Jaime Herrera Beutler’s West Coast Crab Management Bill

Legislative solution helps support nearly 61,000 Washington seafood industry jobs, saves taxpayer money, maintains sustainable fishery

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Washington, DC, October 6, 2015 | comments
Today, Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bill to permanently extend a 17-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery passed the U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous support.
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Today, Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bill to permanently extend a 19-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery passed the U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous support. The next step after U.S. House final passage would be consideration by the U.S. Senate.

Click here to for video of Jaime’s remarks

 

Jaime’s remarks on the U.S. House floor in favor of the West Coast Crab Management Bill:

 “Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise today to ask my colleagues  to support H.R. 2168, the West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act. This bipartisan bill is an important solution for the residents of coastal communities in Southwest Washington. 

 “The successful, two decades-old tri-state Dungeness crab management agreement will expire the on September 30, 2016. This bill simply makes that working management authority between Washington, Oregon, and California permanent.

 “For over the 20 years, these states have overseen one of the most valuable fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. In 2014, fishermen delivered 53 million pounds of crab totaling nearly $170,000,000.  This economic activity helps support 61,000 jobs related to the seafood industry in Washington state alone.

 “How has it maintained this success?  The fishery has been managed in a sustainable way. And importantly, it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

 “However, should that authority expire, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, says its management of the fishery will cost taxpayers over $1.15 million each year. Simply put, this bill maintains local control on the West Coast, ensures sustainability of the Dungeness crab fishery, and saves taxpayer dollars.

 “I want to thank Chairman Bishop and House Natural Resource staff for bringing this bill to the floor. It’s commonsense I urge the House to vote Yes on this bill to ensure a bright, stable economic future for coastal crab-dependent communities, like Ilwaco, Washington, and many others on the West Coast.” 

Background:
The states of Washington, Oregon, and California cooperatively manage the West Coast crab fishery under a tri-state agreement that Congress first authorized in 1996.  The states work with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, a federal and state partnership, to manage the stocks, and to conduct fishery science. The agreement is set to expire in 2016.  Jaime’s West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act would make that existing authority permanent. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has partnered with Jaime and is leading the bill in the U.S. Senate.  

The West Coast Dungeness crab industry supports hundreds of jobs in Washington state and across the West Coast. Dungeness crab is key part of Washington state’s seafood industry, which supports 60,955 jobs. Washington state commercial fishing, processing and recreational fishing businesses provide $1.1 billion a year in wages with an estimated gross business revenues valued at $8.6 billion. Washington’s crab fishermen harvest an average of 9.5 million pounds of crab per year. There are 228 coastal commercial Dungeness crab license holders in Washington state. Across the West Coast, fishermen landed more than $87.4 million pounds of crab valued at $252 million dollars in 2013.

 

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