Cantwell Applauds Christening of Fishing Vessel Northern Leader

Cantwell-backed legislation spurred construction of vessel by Tacoma’s J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) congratulated the workers of J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding and Alaskan Leader Fisheries over the christening of the Northern Leader. Cantwell championed the legislation that spurred the construction of the new 184-foot freezer longliner, which is the largest fishing vessel built in the Northwest in more than 20 years.

“Today’s christening of the Northern Leader should make every worker at Martinac and Alaskan Leader Fisheries proud,” said Cantwell. “Building the Northern Leader was great economic news for this region. It created more than 50 jobs at Martinac and demonstrated yet again why Washington state remains a national leader in shipbuilding.”

Cantwell wrote legislation (S. 1609) signed into law in December 2010 that created a cooperative for the freezer longline fishery. The cooperative eliminates the race for fish and enables companies to harvest more value from each catch, helping to increase profit by 20 percent and spur investment in new fishing vessels with greater processing and storage capacity. The Northern Leader will have greater processing capacity and one of the largest freezer hold capacities of any longliner vessel.

In August 2012, Cantwell visited Martinac Shipyards and called for the extension of veterans-hiring tax credits set to expire at the end of 2012. Veterans historically make up 40 percent of Martinac’s workforce. On January 1, 2013, the fiscal cliff deal passed Congress and included an extension of veterans-hiring tax credits through 2013, along with the state and local sales tax deduction.