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Abstract

This note speaks to the importance and potential impact of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act. This ongoing, historical legislation, ultimately signed into law on January 5, 2021, will establish funds over several fiscal years to support the future of commercial fishing. The Alaska and New England regions are discussed briefly to show the significance of the commercial fishing industry to those areas. An overview of the Act is provided, and the context for its need is explained as it relates to the industry’s entrants. Further, the phenomenon known as “graying of the fleet” is examined, as well as some of the barriers young fishermen and women face when entering the industry. Finally, two areas of case law, from Alaska and Massachusetts, are included to show how related, positive outcomes could result from the mission set forth by the Act.

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