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Coast Guard deadline arrives for mandatory fishing vessel examinations


Date: Oct. 16, 2012
District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Anchorage

JUNEAU, Alaska — The deadline for the Coast Guard’s mandatory commercial fishing vessel safety examinations for vessels that operate more than three miles from the territorial sea baseline takes effect Tuesday.

This requirement, which affects commercial fishing fleets nationwide, comes as a result of Congress' passing of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. To help fishermen come into compliance with the regulations that apply to their vessel, the Coast Guard has built an on-line commercial fishing vessel "checklist generator" at the following link, http://www.uscg.mil/d13/cfvs/DocksideExams/vFinal.swf.  This tool will help owners and operators to understand their specific equipment and operational requirements.  The checklist can be used to examine the vessel and prepare for the Coast Guard visit.

"We are looking to work with the fishing industry in a fair, reasonable and flexible manner to bring all commercial vessels into compliance with these new requirements," said Ken Lawrenson, the Coast Guard District 17 commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator.  “It is in the best interests of all commercial fishermen operating their vessels more than three miles beyond the territorial sea baseline of the United States to contact and start working with their local Coast Guard marine safety unit, if they do not presently have a valid dockside safety exam decal."

A letter from the Coast Guard to the commercial fishing industry explaining the dockside safety exam requirements is available at www.fishsafe.info.  In Alaska, fishermen are asked to schedule an exam with their nearest Coast Guard Sector or Marine Safety Detachment:

In Ketchikan, 907 225-4496
In Sitka, 907 966-5454
In Juneau, 907 463-2448
In Valdez, 907 835-7223
In Homer, 907 235-3292
In Kodiak, 907 486-5918
In Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, 907 581-3466
In Anchorage, 907 271-6700