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Jaime Herrera Beutler’s West Coast Crab Management Bill Headed to President’s Desk

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Washington, DC, August 4, 2017 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the U.S. Senate for passing her bipartisan bill to permanently extend a decades-old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bill now heads to the president’s desk for signature to become law.
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the U.S. Senate for passing her bipartisan bill to permanently extend a decades-old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bill now heads to the president’s desk for signature to become law.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) partnered with Jaime to get the bill passed in the U.S. Senate last night. Jaime successfully secured unanimous support and led it through the U.S. House in January of this year.

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 makes that existing authority permanent. The agreement expired without a replacement in 2016.

“It’s vital to our crab fishermen and the tens of thousands of maritime jobs that depend on proper management of our Dungeness fisheries that this tri-state agreement becomes permanent,” said Jaime. “I join our coastal communities in anticipation of this bill being signed into law and notching an important win for west coast crab fishermen.”

Why this bill is vital to Southwest Washington crab fishermen:

·         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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