Washington DC meets the FCC
Pictured above (left to right) is lobbyist Jeff Pike, Shannon Carroll and Hannah Heimbuch from the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Congressman Don Young, Claire Fitz-Gerald from the Cape Cod Commerical Fishermen's Alliance, Jeff Farvour and Frank Balovich from the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In October 2015, CEO John Pappalardo and Policy Analyst Claire Fitz-Gerald from the Fishermen's Alliance traveled to Washington, D.C. for an important advocacy mission with the year-old Fishing Communities Coalition [link].
The Fishing Communities Coalition is an association of community-based, small-boat commercial fishing groups, representing more than 1,000 independent fishermen and business owners from Maine to Alaska. The group was created to strengthen and unify the individual voices of their member organizations, including the Fishermen's Alliance.
The group spent two full days on Capitol Hill highlighting issues important to fishing communities including bycatch reduction, at-sea monitoring, electronic monitoring and a sensible and strong Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization bill, our nation’s primary fishing law. Their presence was an important step to ensure that members of Congress hear from small-boat fishermen and appreciate how the regulations and resolutions they pass directly affect American fishing families.
"We have unique issues and are different from what they might see as the 'seafood industry,'" says John Pappalardo. "We sense that fisheries are not the highest priority in Washington right now, so that is why it is so important to show them that small-boat fishing communities like Cape Cod still exist across the nation." He adds that it is imperative for fishermen to get involved and, rather than “be managed,” to actively help drive discussions surrounding their own fisheries.
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