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Shutdown halts crab fishing, real estate deals

 

SEATTLE — As a realtor, you would think buying a house would be a piece of cake for Gustavo Castro, but he may lose out on a deal to buy a home in Des Moines, thanks to the government shutdown.

“Right now I’m submitting my paperwork and hoping for the best,” Castro said. “Because there’s nothing I can do.”

beringseaopis2082-2Because Castro is self-employed he needs the IRS to certify his tax returns, which they can’t do because the office is closed due to the government shutdown.

 “One part of the government is saying we’re not going to get your paperwork in time, and the other part is saying you have a deadline to buy this house,” Castro said.

 Mortgages are also being held up for anyone who goes through the Veterans Administration, HUD or other federal programs.

On Tuesday, the anger over the shutdown is also extending out to the sea.

It is opening day for King Crab fishermen, but most are sitting at anchor in Alaska, unable to catch a single crab.

“The weather is beautiful, we should be out there catching crab,” Tom Suryan, captain of the Bristol Mariner, said. “Instead, we’re tied to a dock and it’s frustrating as heck because it’s a clerical issue.”

Fishing crews need permits and quotas before they can fish and the federal workers who issue that paperwork are on furlough.

State Rep. Suzan Delbene talked about the growing frustrations.

“Every day we wait we’re hurting our economy more,” Delbene said. “Whether it’s realtors, fishermen or people on furlough, it’s having impacts across the country.”

Seattle’s own Deadliest Catch star, captain Keith Colburn, testified Friday at the U.S. Capitol and told Congress if the fleet doesn’t get out soon, they could miss the critical Asian holiday season, and lose hundreds of millions to the rival Russian fishing fleet.

“I feel like we’re putting the Russians to work and we’re putting American fishermen out of work,” Colburn said. “I’m a small business man in a big ocean with big bills and I need to go fishing.”

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