OLYMPIA – A bill to help rebuild the Seattle-based North Pacific Fishing Fleet passed by a 97-1 vote in the Washington State House of Representatives on Thursday.
HB 1154, sponsored by Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, ensures the region’s competitiveness in maritime, fishing, and seafood process industries by providing temporary incentives to support the rebuild and replacement of aging fishing vessels.
“Our fishermen and women have been the backbone of Western Washington’s economy for as long as people have lived on the Puget Sound,” Tarleton said. “This bill gives badly-needed support to one of our most prosperous industries, while also accelerating our transition to a clean-energy future.”
Furthermore, Rep. Tarleton serves as the co-chair of Governor Jay Inslee’s Washington Maritime Blue Task Force and Advisory Council, which has been tasked by the governor to accelerate robust, sustainable innovation in the maritime sector.
“This bill will complement the work our task force is doing to keep our oceans blue through modernization,” Tarleton said. “While 40-year-old ships are treasures, they impact our environment much more than newer vessels.”
This bill is the result of crucial federal legislation to save our fisheries, beginning with the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1976 that stemmed the tide of overfishing and rebuilt our fish stocks through the creation of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. It was made possible by federal legislation in 2014 to provide financing for aging vessels.
HB 1154 now heads to the Senate for consideration. You can follow the progress of this bill on Rep. Tarleton’s bill blog.
Rep. Tarleton’s committee testimony in support of HB 1154 (1/18/17)
House floor debate on HB 1154 (2/8/18)