March 12, 2009
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USN – counter-piracy guidance
The US Navy Maritime Liaison Office Bahrain (MARLO) recommends, among other things, that ships transiting the Gulf of Aden leave their AIS transmitters on, but only transmitting the ship’s call sign and the Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. The AIS should be turned off when the ship is off the east coast of Somalia. (3/11/09).
SLSDC – tariff of tolls
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) promulgated a final rule establishing the revised tariff of tolls for vessels transiting the US portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The changes come into effect immediately. 74 Fed. Reg. 10677 (March 12, 2009).
SLSDC – operating regulations – proposed changes
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC ), in conjunction with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada, proposes to amend various operating regulations applicable to vessels transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway. Comments on these proposals should be submitted by April 13. 74 Fed. Reg. 10698 (March 12, 2009).
ORRAP – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), sponsored by the US Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on April 6-7. Topics on the agenda include coastal hazards, ocean science policy, ocean observations, and ocean mapping. 74 Fed. Reg. 10726 (March 12, 2009).
TSA – TWIC update
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an update to its status report on the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The TWIC Dashboard shows that (as of 11 March) 1,013,347 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 781,310 cards have been activated. (3/11/09).
Gulf of Mexico – efforts to recover sunken MODU
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it is working with the owner to recover the recently discovered sunken mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). The MODU is located in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 70 miles southeast of Galveston. It is approximately 24 feet below the surface of the water. A tug is on scene, in preparation for salvage operations. (3/11/09).
EXXON VALDEZ – it’s not over until it’s over
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the ruling of the court of the District of Alaska, holding that Exxon Mobil should have been allowed to present extrinsic evidence of the parties’ intent regarding prejudgment interest on certain claims related to the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. The appellate court, though, upheld the district court’s order denying Exxon Mobil leave to amend its answer to add a counterclaim for reformation. The matter now goes back to Alaska where Exxon Mobil will be allowed to present extrinsic evidence regarding whether the parties agreed that prejudgment interest should be calculated by means of simple interest or compound interest. Polar Equipment, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 07-35715 (9th Cir., March 10, 2009).
EP – Erika III package adopted
The European Parliament issued a press release stating that it adopted new maritime safety rules (referred to as the Erika III package) that will, among other things, require commercial vessels calling in EU ports to have insurance at the maximum amount provided for in the International Convention on the Liability for Maritime Claims (1996); provide for independent decision-making with regard to rescue operations and use of places of refuge; and provide for more frequent port state control inspections and blacklisting of substandard ships. (3/11/09).
Australia – oil spill clean-up underway
The Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations for Queensland, Australia, issued a media statement saying that clean-up operations have begun on the Queensland coast at Moreton Island following an oil spill from a container ship. The ship also lost 30 containers of ammonium nitrate in heavy seas. Indications are that the falling containers damaged the ship’s hull, causing the oil spill. (3/12/09).
Singapore – reporting procedures for vessels maneuvering in port
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular advising that, effective 1 April, reporting procedures for vessels maneuvering in the Port of Singapore are being amended. Various reporting provisions are being standardized and all reports must be made in English. Port Marine Circular No. 4 of 2009 (3/11/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – March 2009