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President Signs Jaime Herrera Beutler’s West Coast Crab Management Bill into Law

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Washington, DC, August 22, 2017 | comments
President Trump signed Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bill Friday to permanently extend a decades-old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bipartisan bill now becomes law.
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President Trump signed Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bill Friday to permanently extend a decades-old fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery. The bipartisan bill now becomes law. Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) partnered with Jaime to get the bill passed in the U.S. Senate. 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.

Today, I join with so many others in our coastal communities to celebrate an important milestone for crab fishermen of Southwest Washington,” said Jaime. “This commonsense agreement has been a model for sustainable fishery management, and it has now been made permanent. I’m proud to have the president sign into law this bill that will give certainty – vital to the success of any industry – to the crab fishing businesses that support families and livelihoods in Southwest Washington.”

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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