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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 11, 2013 - 12:40 pm

begichfish

Senate Democrats hosted Deadliest Catch Captain Keith Colburn on the Hill today to say that he can’t go fishing because of the government shutdown.

Colburn was testifying at this afternoon’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the economic impacts of the government shutdown.

“This is the first time in my 28 years of fishing that I haven’t been in the Bering Sea in October getting ready to go fish,” Colburn said “Many fishermen and coastal communities are already facing tough times. This unnecessary shutdown may be the tipping point if the situation isn’t resolved soon… I’m a small businessman in a big ocean with big bills. I need to go fishing.”

The Bristol Bay red king crab season is scheduled to open Tuesday with a quota of 8.6 million pounds, worth $100 million, but since the NOAA biologists who issue needed permits are furloughed, fisheries cannot open, said Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D).

“Alaska prides itself on its fishery management, and our fishermen and fishing communities depend on it. Without the important work that NOAA does, these fishermen can’t do their jobs,” said Begich. “The potential loss of millions of dollars for Alaska fishermen is one of many examples of economic uncertainty facing our country due to this unnecessary shutdown. I thank Capt. Colburn for coming to Washington to highlight the impact the shutdown is having on the economies of our fisheries.”

Begich also said the shutdown could prevent NOAA from doing its routine year-end reallocation of unused quota for cod and pollock and prevent biologists from analyzing data to set harvest levels for next year, resulting in more conservative quotas.

He stressed that if the crabbers miss the lucrative Asian holiday market, American seafood could be replaced with illegal Russian crab.

Other witnesses at the hearing included National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman and Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO Marion C. Blakey.

Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) released a report on the shutdown’s impacts at today’s hearing, including unsafe toys and car crashes. From the report:

  • With the holiday season just weeks away, consumers should be aware that the safety of children’s toys may not be guaranteed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). All CPSC port inspectors in the field have been furloughed, preventing the CPSC from screening products at ports of entry. CPSC port investigators annually screen thousands of product shipments and prevent millions of potentially dangerous product units from reaching store shelves – including children’s products containing excessive lead content and sleepwear that violates flammability standards.
  • The travelling public will have to wait longer for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to finish important safety and modernization updates. The FAA has halted the development, operational testing, and evaluation of technologies and safety standards for NextGen – the agency’s program to modernize the air traffic control system and make the National Airspace System safer and more efficient.
  • Services that are the lifeblood to small businesses are on hold, including those performed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and they are having a serious impact on the economic livelihood of independent fishermen. The NMFS determines fishing quotas and permit approvals that are pre-requisites for the beginning of fishing seasons across the country. Furloughs of NMFS biologists who perform these functions threaten to delay and truncate the lucrative king crab fisheries season in Alaska and Washington. The season was set to start on October 15 and typically lasts between one to two months.
  • Investigations regularly performed by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are not occurring. When federal investigators are unable to examine transportation accidents, they are prevented from compiling information about mistakes that can contribute to making transportation systems safer. Moreover, the agencies have no way of completing routine investigations of crashes, including to inspect the recent Tesla Model S that experienced a battery fire on October 1.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Let me get this straight. Its not that he can't literally go fishing, its that he can't legally go fishing unless he says mother may I and the Feds say yes. Before this shutdown I never realized how vital it was for the government to regulate anything that moves (or doesn't).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let the states take over all this stuff and keep the Feds out of everyone's hair. Then we can slash Fed taxes and more effectively finance and manage projects using people on the ground and close to the situation instead of some one-size-fits-all massive bureaucracy. It's been shown a lot of the stuff being shut down needs no Fed oversight anyway.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The shutdown isn't blocking his fishing. Political gamesmanship by the administration to make the shutdown look worse is blocking his fishing.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
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I have faith that my sister woz like they say truley taking home money part time from their computer>>>>>>>>> . >WWW.JOBS60.ℂOM
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Go fish.
When the bureaucrat gets his retroactive pay, he can write the retroactive permit.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've lived through several government shutdowns, and my life was not affected one iota...until now. Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite programs. The government not allowing these men to fish and film he shows has me outraged
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
So he does not have permission to go fishing. The man who issues the permits is not at work. And if he goes fishing is there a man to catch him, and ask to see his permit? If yes, the government is playing dishonest games. If no, the fisherman could be in a boat. He does not have to go to Washington.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another case of the Obamaites creating maximum hardship. If all that is required is the issue of permits, and the permits enable the jobs of thousands and millions of pounds of food into the market, why aren't the permit issuers jobs essential. Certainly more essential than tens of thousands of govt. work hours and millions of dollars worth of Obamacades to block off National parks.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know why it was Cpt. Keith? Because the Hilstrands, the Hansons, Junior and the rest are all out fishing and d*** the consequences!

Well, I don't know about the rest, but the Hilstrands I could see out fishing. They're the ones who openly said on national TV that they illegally buried their dad on national park land and acknowledge it every time with fireworks going and coming.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Screw the statist buggers and go fishing! Are we know so cowed by The Feral Gov't that we cannot function without their largesse?

Pitiful, just pitiful.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
So go fishing ! Who cares what Obamas SA says.Tough guy image is all BS eh Colburn!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wah, wah. Stop whining. The government is shut down, get over it. Who thought that shutting down (parts of) the federal government wouldn't have any impacts? Maybe this guy will think differently when it comes to casting his next ballot.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"....... economic uncertainty facing our country due to this unnecessary shutdown".

Well Senator Blowhard, Democrat from Alaska, where is your concern for the economic slowdown across the entire nation caused by deficit creating fools like you (from both parties) and the Marxist Moron in the White House? Millions of folks in this country who are out of work because of political disasters like you aren't buying your Alaskan crabmeat when they can't afford Spam.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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