Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Late last week, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at supporting rural fishing communities.
The Fishing Industry Credit Enhancement Act would allow businesses that directly support the fishing industry to access loans from the agricultural loan program. Senator Murkowski referred to the bill as “a straightforward, common-sense amendment to the Farm Credit Act of 1971 ensuring businesses that support Alaska’s fishing industry – our ranchers of the sea – have the same financing opportunities as businesses supporting our land-based farmers and ranchers.”
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) has long advocated to include fishing-related businesses in the existing agricultural loan program. Expanding the existing program to fishing-related businesses will give access to competitive financing and help to ensure that services throughout the fishing industry are maintained. “We have long supported any efforts to improve access to financing for the industry. We thank Senator Murkowski for being responsive to concerns and requests from industry members and introducing the Fishing Industry Credit Enhancement Act,” said UFA President Matt Alward.