House approves Jones Act waiver for Dakota Creek newbuild


(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. House of Representatives has granted Dakota Creek Industries a legislative Jones Act waiver that puts the shipbuilder one step closer to saving its $75 million trawler project, reported.

The House, in its Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017 bill, included a waiver for the ship America’s Finest authorizing the Coast Guard to issue a coastwise and fisheries endorsement for the 262-foot vessel. The newbuild is scheduled for completion in November.

The waiver acts as a pardon for Dakota Creek’s failure to comply with build requirements in the Jones Act, said Dennis Moran, president of Fishermen’s Finest, the company that commissioned the ship. Dakota Creek used too much foreign steel in the ship’s hull, which disqualifies it from fishing in U.S. waters. A Jones Act rule sets the limit of foreign modified steel at no more than 1.5 percent of the ship’s steel weight. America’s Finest is at about 8 percent.

“It’s a positive step for everyone for a solution, but only halfway,” Moran said.

In May, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen introduced an amendment in the House endorsing the ship. Dakota Creek and Fishermen’s Finest now look to Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to introduce a version of the waiver in a Senate bill.

Click here to read the story.

By Professional Mariner Staff