Mar 22 2011
Maritime Lien Reform Act Would Protect Fishing Permits
Tuesday, 22 March 2011

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            For the third time in five years, Alaska's congressional delegation is introducing legislation that would protect Alaskan's fishing permits from liens. The Maritime Lien Reform Act of 2011 failed to get enough support in the House and Senate in both 2008 and 2006.

            If passed would protect fishermen's livelihoods by allowing them to continue to work and pay their debts in times of financial hardship.

Bob King is an aide to Senator Mark Begich:


--          (Maritime Lien 1                    34 sec              "Over the years the ... problems they may be in.")


            Though permits can be bought and sold, King says they are a different kind of property than a fishing boat, for example.


--          (Maritime Lien 2                    41 sec              "Well, they are transferrable ... it is transferrable.")


            King says the majority of commercial permit holders are Alaskan residents, but about a quarter of them live outside. He said that may give the bill leverage as it makes its way through Congress:


--          (Maritime Lien 3                    22 sec              "Well, hopefully so ... that's our strategy.")


            Congressman Don Young called the act a win-win for fishermen, creditors and Alaska. Senator Lisa Murkowski described it as imperative to keep fisherman on the water to earn a living and pay back their creditors.

            Alaska law already protects limited entry permits from liens. The Maritime Lien Reform Act will protect them on a federal level.