Amata-cosponsored fishing bills examined In committee
Delegate Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R) is an original cosponsor of two fishing-related bills examined in a United States House Committee on Natural Resources hearing, and cosponsored another Pacific bipartisan bill on education policy. The hearing of the House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife is an important step in advancing these bills forward for a vote.
One of the bills is the bipartisan Young Fishermen’s Development Act, HR 1240, which would strengthen the future of fishing in American Samoa, and promote the development of the next generation of commercial fishermen with federal grant support.
For the first time, this legislation would create a national grant program through the United States Department of Commerce that would improve training, education, and workplace development for the next generation of commercial fishermen.
“Fishing is the backbone of our economy in American Samoa,” said Aumua Amata. “This program will help ensure that our young fishermen are equipped and prepared for the dynamic 21st-century world. This effort can assist young commercial fishermen in overcoming challenges, by providing resources and emphasizing training for better-paying jobs.”
Additionally, she is an cosponsor of the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act, HR 1218, which would add options for research and development grants related to fisheries. Also, this bill would clarify more balanced representation for the region on the American Fisheries Advisory Committee, leading to better input from the Pacific region.
Amata also cosponsored the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2019, HR 2405, introduced by Chairman Jared Huffman (D) of California before the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife. This effort promotes studies, courses and educational programs related to ocean and marine topics.
The Young Fishermen’s Development Act was introduced in February by the Dean of the House, Representative Don Young (R) of Alaska and Representative Jared Golden (D) of Maine, Representative Seth Moulton (D) of Massachusetts and Amata. It would authorize up to $200,000 in competitive grants through NOAA’s Sea Grant Program to support new and established local and regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for young fishermen. These programs, workshops and services include seamanship, navigation, electronics, and safety; vessel and engine care, maintenance, and repair; innovative conservation fishing gear engineering and technology; entrepreneurship and good business practices; direct marketing, supply chain, and traceability; financial and risk management, including vessel, permit, and quota purchasing.