Moulton Introduces Young Fishermen’s Development Act in Gloucester
April 10th, 2017
Bill to empower young people to have a future in the fishing industry
Salem, MA – On Saturday morning, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) held a press conference at Fisherman’s Wharf in Gloucester to introduce H.R. 2079, the Young Fishermen’s Development Act. Moulton’s bipartisan legislation creates a national grant program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the training and education of our nation’s next generation of commercial fishermen. At the press conference, Moulton was joined by the Mayor of Gloucester, Sefatia Romeo Theken, State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, as well as local fishing leaders Angela Sanfilippo, Vito Giacalone, and his son, Chris Giacalone, owner of Gloucester Fisherman’s Wharf.
“The fishing industry is vital to the Sixth District and to our entire region, but we’re at a crossroads,” said Moulton. “This legislation will help to sustain the fishing industry by ensuring that our young people not only have a future in fishing, but are also empowered with the training and resources needed to thrive in the 21st century economy. I’m grateful to Congressman Young for his collaboration on this bill and broader efforts to support our young fishermen.”
Moulton introduced this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Don Young (R-AK) as no federal programs currently exist to provide resources for young people who want to go into the fishing industry. The legislation is modeled after the successful Department of Agriculture’s New Farmers program that provides young farmers with the resources and support they need to start businesses. The bill’s establishment of a competitive federal grant program will equip local organizations with the necessary tools to develop training, education, outreach, and technical assistance for young fishermen. Training workshops will not only focus on seamanship, vessel maintenance, and safety, but also on the entrepreneurial skills necessary to open and operate a successful commercial fishing business.
“Representatives Moulton and Young understand that the success of young fishermen is vital to the survival of fishing communities in New England and across the country,” said John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “We look forward to working with them on this important effort to ensure the next generation of commercial fishermen are on the water and ready to sustainably harvest America’s seafood.”
Moulton’s legislation is part of his broader efforts to bring innovation into the region’s fishing industry. Initiatives include:
Fish 2.0 New England Business Development Workshop: Partnered with the national Fish 2.0 organization to host this free, three-day business development workshop in the district for sustainable seafood entrepreneurs.
Supporting the Gloucester Fresh campaign and Cape Ann Fresh Catch: Collaborated with the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association to promote underutilized fish species and educate consumers on the benefits of underutilized fish species.
Local Foods, Local Places Initiative: Worked with Gloucester to become one of 26 US communities chosen to participate in this White House initiative to expand economic opportunities in the fishing industry and support healthy living.