KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

No Waiver For Fishermen's Finest Trawler

Mar 29, 2018

Fishermen's Finest sought a Congressional waiver for America's Finest. The vessel's construction violated the Jones Act.
Credit Courtesy of Fishermen’s Finest

A month after Fishermen’s Finest failed to lobby Unalaska over its troubled factory trawler, the Washington company has been dealt another blow.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week did not include a waiver that would allow the boat to fish in American waters.

That means America’s Finest is still stranded in an Anacortes shipyard, thanks to a federal law that limits the amount of foreign steel allowed in American vessels.

Fishermen’s Finest pushed for a waiver to forgive the construction mistake. But the Unalaska City Council asked Congress to place restrictions on the trawler, which local officials say could endanger shoreside processors and revenue from cod fishing.

It’s unclear how much Unalaska’s stance hurt the request for an exemption.

Without the waiver, CEO Dennis Moran told the National Fisherman that his company will try to sell the boat to an international buyer.