Fish Radio

Aging of the fleet also applies to AK fishing boats

July 9, 2015

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – The aging of the fleet also applies to Alaska’s fishing boats. New rules are coming. More after this —

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit  to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.

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Alaska has a lot of old boats and upcoming safety rules are aimed directly at those older vessels. According to a state Dept. of Commerce report, roughly 9,400 boats over 28 feet make up Alaska’s maritime fleet.    69% of those are in the fishing and processing sector, 15 percent are recreational boats;  freight carriers, sightseeing and oil and gas vessels make up the rest.

Over 90 percent of the Alaska fleet is less than 100 feet long;  74 percent are under 50 feet.  the The bulk of the boats were built between 1970 and 1989; nearly 1,000  are over 50 years old.

New safety requirements are being crafted now for older vessels as part of the 2010 US Coast Guard Authorization Act.

“The Alternate Compliance Safety Program is aimed at vessels that are 25 years old by 2020 and greater than 50 feet in length, and operating beyond three nautical miles.  So this is a new program.”

Troy Rentz is Alternate Safety Compliance Coordinator for the USCG 13th District.

“The requirements won’t become mandatory until January 1 of 2020 for most vessels. However the Coast Guard needs to proscribe the program by January 1 of 2017.”

Coming up faster:  Dock side exams become mandatory on October 15 for boats fishing outside three miles.

In February 2016 survival craft must keep all parts of the body out of the water, meaning floats and other buoyant apparatus will no longer be legal.

Find links to fishing vessel safety updates and to the Alaska fleet report by the McDowell Group —

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.