USCG's mandatory commercial fishing vessel safety examinations for those operating more than three miles from the territorial sea baseline take effect.
This requirement, which affects commercial fishing fleets nationwide, comes as a result of Congress' passing of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.
To help fishermen come into compliance with the regulations that apply to their vessel, the Coast Guard has built an on-line commercial fishing vessel "checklist generator" available here. This tool will help owners and operators to understand their specific equipment and operational requirements and the checklist can be used to examine the vessel and prepare for the Coast Guard visit.
"We are looking to work with the fishing industry in a fair, reasonable and flexible manner to bring all commercial vessels into compliance with these new requirements," said Ken Lawrenson, the Coast Guard District 17 commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator. “It is in the best interests of all commercial fishermen operating their vessels more than three miles beyond the territorial sea baseline of the United States to contact and start working with their local Coast Guard marine safety unit, if they do not presently have a valid dockside safety exam decal."