Tag Archives: Jones Act

The Jones Act Drives America’s Finest Into Exile

America’s Finest, a brand-new 264-foot fishing trawler, ought to be the pride of the fleet. As a newspaper in its birthplace of Anacortes, Wash., explained, the ship features an “on-board mechanized factory, fuel-efficient hull, and worker safety improvements”—priceless features for fishermen operating in the treacherous seas off Alaska. The ship is also said to have a smaller carbon footprint than any other fishing vessel in its region. According to Fishermen’s Finest, the company that ordered the ship, it would be the first new trawler purpose-built for the Pacific Northwest since 1989. Sadly, it seems increasingly doubtful that the ship will ever ply its trade in U.S. waters. >click to read<09:07

No rescue by Congress for $75M fishing boat in Anacortes that can’t fish in U.S. waters

A state-of-the-art $75 million factory trawler moored at an Anacortes dock is called “America’s Finest,” but that name could end up being a cruel irony for the shipyard and fishing company that hoped to put it to work. The still-unfinished vessel is not allowed to dip a net in U.S. waters because the hull contains too much steel modified overseas. A congressional waiver to overcome that failed to make it into the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed Friday by President Donald Trump. Mike Nelson, vice president of Dakota Creek Industries Anacortes, said the failure to gain >click to read<22:59

Senator pursuing new route to Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest

The push to get a Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest will take a new tack in the U.S. Senate. Earlier this week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee approved its own version of the Department of Homeland Security reauthorization bill. The Senate’s version did not include an amendment approved by the House of Representatives to grant a waiver for the USD 75 million (EUR 61 million) ship built by Dakota Creek at its Anacortes, Washington facility for Fishermen’s Finest. >click to read< 14:09

Anacortes delegation travels to Unalaska

Visitors from Anacortes, Wash., traveled to the Aleutian Islands last week to urge the Unalaska City Council to stop asking the U.S. Congress to restrict a stranded factory trawler from buying cod at sea. Earlier, Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty sent the state’s congressional delegation a letter urging “sideboard” restrictions on any Jones Act waiver granted to the new factory trawler America’s Finest. The vessel ran afoul of federal domestic content law when it was discovered it had excess foreign steel in its hull. Now, the state-of-the-art $74 million flatfish factory trawler can’t fish in the U.S., unless Congress grants a waiver. >click to read< 12:531

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm. The Block Island Wind Farm consists of only five wind turbines and is tiny in comparison to the large offshore wind farms operating off the coasts of Europe, but Deepwater Wind is planning larger wind farms off the coasts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Jersey. Other developers are doing the same with other projects up and down the East Coast of the United States. >click to read< 14:37

Puget Sound fishing firms tussle in Congress over new ship that ran afoul of federal law

By now, the $75 million America’s Finest should be deep into its first winter harvest season, catching and processing yellowfin sole and other fish in the Bering Sea. Instead, the 264-foot vessel — the largest trawler built in the Pacific Northwest in recent decades — is still unfinished. It sits moored at a dock at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, and the shipyard has laid off more than 130 employees. Fishermen’s Finest wants the Washington and Alaska congressional delegations to back a straightforward waiver to the century-old Jones Act, which requires vessels transporting cargo and people between U.S. ports to have a hull largely made of American materials. >click to read< 13:46 

Unalaska business owner denounces city position on trawler

The mothershippers are fighting back with the help of a local proxy in a politicized commercial fishing tussle reaching all the way to Washington, D.C. The latest round of the inshore-offshore battle between Fisherman’s Finest’s cod factory trawlers, onshore seafood processors, and a local government, is taking on the familiar feel of the vintage pollock war. An Unalaska business owner is denouncing a city position calling for restrictions on the beleaguered vessel America’s Finest, a brand new vessel stranded in an Courtesan, Wash., shipyard since it ran afoul of the federal Jones Act by exceeding the legal limits of foreign steel in its hull. >click to read< 13:38

Mayors go to D.C. to lobby for Anacortes shipbuilder

The mayors of Anacortes and Mount Vernon traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to urge legislators to forgive a local shipbuilder’s mistake. In speaking to the state’s Congressional delegation, Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere lobbied for a waiver that would allow a ship built in the city to be used in U.S. waters, thus protecting the jobs of those who work for the shipbuilder. America’s Finest, the vessel in question, was built by Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes for the Kirkland-based company Fisherman’s Finest for use in the Bering Sea. click here to read the story 13:50

U.S. Coast Guard Issues New Jones Act Build Guidance

U.S. maritime laws generally referred to as the “Jones Act” restrict U.S. domestic commerce to “U.S.-built” vessels. Because the rules governing what constitutes “U.S.-built” are technical and esoteric, and the consequences of not meeting the standards can be financially catastrophic for the shipyard or vessel owner or both, the U.S. Coast Guard has a regulatory process where it provides advance guidance confirming that a prospective project satisfies the applicable criteria. On October 4, 2017, the Coast Guard issued build determinations for the two Kanaloa-class combination container and roll-on/roll-off vessels to be constructed by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO). These build determinations have taken on added importance because of the America’s Finest project. click here to read the story 15:04

US Waives Jones Act to Secure Fuel for Hurricane Responders

The U.S. government on Friday said it was temporarily waiving a law that limits the availability of cargoes on the U.S. coasts, a step that will ensure enough fuel reaches emergency responders during Hurricane Irma and in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. The Department of Homeland Security waived the requirement for one week. This will allow oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign-flagged vessels. click here to read the story 10:03

U.S.-Built Trawler is Not Jones Act-Qualified

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued another letter ruling on U.S. built vessels with foreign-made components. The latest case involves a factory trawler named America’s Finest under construction in the state of Washington. Certain “cold-formed” steel plates were already installed as part of the hull and the cold-forming process was conducted overseas. A U.S. shipyard requested coastwise and fisheries trade status for the vessel, and was just denied by the U.S. Coast Guard. click here to read the story 08:17

Dakota Creek Industries trying to make things right in eyes of Congress

Dakota Creek Industries owner Mike Nelson and his staff have been looking for ways to appease federal lawmakers following the mistake the company made in building the $75 million fishing vessel America’s Finest. The mistake — using too much foreign-formed steel in the vessel’s hull — requires a waiver from the U.S. Congress in order for the ship to fish domestically. The waiver would be for the Jones Act, which requires domestic fishing vessels be built in the U.S. These days, Nelson glances frequently at his cell phone hoping for good news concerning his company’s lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. click here to read the story 12:12

New Anacortes-built trawler could be grounded by old law, endangering two local firms

The largest, most modern American-made trawler built in nearly three decades may be barred from fishing in U.S. waters, with financial repercussions to its local builder and buyer “so draconian that neither company may survive.” That’s the scenario painted by the law firm that Anacortes shipyard Dakota Creek Industries has hired to seek a rare waiver from a century-old law called the Jones Act, which they acknowledge wasn’t properly followed when the shipyard began building the state-of-the art, $75 million vessel Americas Finest. The shipyards mistake using too much foreign steel that was modified before coming into the U.S. could mean the advanced ship must be sold abroad at a big loss. click here to read the story 08:40

the outsourcing of US domestic fisheries

In my job as a research fishery biologist, I work closely with the Hawaii commercial fishing industry. This industry is dominated by pelagic longline vessels that target tuna and related species for both the U.S. and global markets. The vessels are all U.S. flagged and the captains are all U.S. citizens as the Jones Act dictates, but the crew is almost always outsourced to foreign labor— which should violate the Jones Act. [email protected]  00:00