There are new rules for fishing boats, but since these news rules are still in the process of being written, people who want to have their say can influence the final outcomes. These regulations are part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2010.
Changes affecting boat owners who fish have already caught some people off guard. People fishing in Alaska were not aware of changes to boundaries, but their lack of knowledge brought the new regulations to light. Now that more people are aware of the changes in place, they will be looking to see how they can play a part in shaping rules that have yet to be solidified.
According to Ken Lawrenson, Fishing Vessel Safety Coordinator with the Coast Guard in Juneau:
Within the sections that relate to fishing-vessel safety, Lawrenson said, some items are more discretionary, where wording and intent is general and nonspecific to let the industry and Coast Guard develop the regulations. But some regulations are very “black and white” and happening fast.
One rule that fishing communities are less than thrilled about is a stipulation about the standards for fishing boats build after July 2012-those that are more than 50 feet and can fish past three nautical miles have to adhere to new guidelines.