Friday, February 20, 2009
Alaska - Arctic pilotage proposal
I have the greatest respect for Paul Kirchner, but believe that he is reading too much into the decision in the case of Gillis v. Louisiana. As was stated by the District Court in that case, and favorably endorsed by the Appellate Court: “[T]he State has a significant interest in securing the safety of ships traveling through the CSC [Calcasieu Ship Channel] to and from the Port of Lake Charles.” On this basis, the court upheld the authority of Louisiana to require ships entering the port to have state pilots board the ships prior to reaching the three nautical mile limit. That is not the circumstance proposed in Alaskan Arctic waters, as I understand it. The Alaskan proposal would make state pilotage compulsory for any ship navigating within the proposed extended boundary (I don’t even see an exception for innocent passage). If the proposal were limited to those vessels calling at Alaskan Arctic ports, it would be less objectionable, but it is not so limited. Thus, Paul and I must agree to disagree. Dennis L. Bryant (2/20/09).