U.S. Government Accountability Office Forum on Commercial Fishing Vessel Classification Standards

This e-mail is to inform you about a new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Engagement on Commercial Fishing Vessel Classification Standards-code 100955. This engagement is in response to a congressional mandate in Section 318 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 and includes the following key questions:
1) What national and regional trends, if any, emerge from the rates of marine casualties and human injuries and deaths involving commercial fishing vessels?
2) How do U.S. regulations for commercial fishing vessel classification, including vessel length, compare with other countries’ regulations?
3) What cost impacts, if any, do statutory requirements for commercial fishing vessel classification have on ship construction and maintenance?
4) How do the benefits and challenges of building and maintaining a commercial fishing vessel to class society standards compare with alternate approaches?
As part of our work, we will be holding a forum at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s February meeting to discuss the scope of our work and obtain insight into the key issues and concerns of council members; commercial fishing vessel owners and operators; and shipbuilding and ship architectural firms stemming from the amendments set forth in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015,especially with regard to the following:
  •          key costs and challenges associated with constructing and maintaining commercial fishing vessels to classification standards;
  •          benefits and savings realized from classing vessels;
  •          impact that classing requirements have had on the shipbuilding/ ship architectural industry; and
  •           potential benefits or challenges of the alternative-to-class approach.
This forum will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, in the Toulouse B meeting room at the Astor Crown Plaza – New Orleans French Quarter. Hotel information is as follows:
739 Canal Street @ Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA  70130
(503) 962- 0500
Attached to this email, you will find a pamphlet that provides more details about us, our engagement, and how we plan to operate the forum. Additionally, you will find attached the questionnaire we developed for this event. Since this will be an excellent opportunity for those working in the gulf coast commercial fishing industry, we would greatly appreciate the assistance of your organization in forwarding this invitation to your members and encouraging them to attend.
Moreover, we ask any interested parties who complete the questionnaire prior to attending our forum on February 1st, to email their responses to me at StockdaleE@gao.gov; otherwise, we will take any completed questionnaires at the meeting. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
All interested parties planning to attend are also asked to RSVP to this email. This will help us ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone in attendance. I am also available by email (stockdalee@gao.gov) or telephone (614-804-7562) to answer any questions or concerns. We would really like to see a good turnout for this event, so we can better inform the U.S. Congress on the impact of recent changes to commercial fishing vessel classification standards.
Thanks!
Erin
Erin L. Stockdale, Sr. Analyst
Acquisition and Sourcing Management
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Dayton Field Office
2196 D Street, Area B, Building 39
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio  45433
(614) 804- 7562

Please click the following link to view the Public Forum on Fishing Vessel Classification Standards Flyer:  https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ALL_STAFF-.pdf

Please click the following link to view the GAO Forum Handout:
https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ALL_STAFF-handout.pdf

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