Murkowski and King Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Rural Fishing Communities

Washington, DC (KINY) – The Seafood Industry Credit Improvement Act would allow businesses that directly support the seafood industry to access the existing farm loan program

US Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Angus King (I-Maine) have introduced bipartisan legislation to expand financial support for America’s fishing communities. The Fishing Industry Credit Enhancement Act would allow businesses that provide direct assistance to fishing operations, such as producers of fishing gear or cold storage, to access the same Farm Credit System (FCS) loans that they already are offered to service providers for farmers, ranchers and loggers.

“Alaska is home to a unique agricultural industry. That’s why it’s as important as ever that our national policies around agriculture, ranching, and agriculture reflect not only the priorities of the lower 48, but also the unique needs of communities across the state. The Seafood Credit Improvement Act is a simple, common-sense amendment to the 1971 Farm Credit Act that ensures businesses that support Alaska’s seafood industry (our ranchers of the sea) have equal funding opportunities than the companies that support our terrestrial farmers and ranchers. said Senator Murkowski.

“Maine’s seafood industry is more than just the hard-working people who catch and harvest our delicious seafood, it’s also hundreds of small, family-owned businesses that fabricate equipment, build and maintain fish freezers, and distribute the state’s iconic products around the world.” said the Senator. King. “The Fishing Industry Credit Enhancement Act would allow fishing support businesses to access Farm Credit System loans as similar small businesses working with ranchers and farmers. These reliable loans are great economic engines for rural communities, helping businesses invest in new expansions, hire more workers, or modernize their operations. I am proud to join Senator Murkowski in this bipartisan common sense effort, and I hope we can pass it to support fishing communities.”

“Senators King and Senators Murkowski are passionate advocates for America’s fishermen, and we thank them for introducing the Seafood Credit Improvement Act. Supporting rural communities is a vital piece of Farm Credit’s mission, and this bill will provide more financing options for our rural fishing communities,” said Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose. “Businesses that provide services directly to commercial fishing operators are also affected by the same pressures as the US domestic fishing industry. These fishing-related businesses need access to competitive financing to maintain service to the fishing industry. of the USA.”

The Agricultural Credit System (FCS) is a network of credit institutions that provides credit to the agricultural industry. It was founded in Congress in 1916 to help farmers who historically struggled to access reliable credit and has since provided nearly one million loans totaling more than $373 billion to farmers, ranchers, fishermen, aquatics, and further. Borrowers must meet eligibility and creditworthiness requirements. It currently provides more than a third of the credit used by those who live and work in rural America.