Headlines: USCG – maritime security & counter-piracy efforts; audit of approved merchant mariner training courses; closure of MRGO channel; list of National System Marine Protected Areas; Alaska – mass rescue exercise; bill to bar import of Iranian refined petroleum; resolution to honor rescue of Captain Phillips; research on ship-generated air emissions; New Zealand names
April 23, 2009
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USCG – maritime security and counter-piracy efforts
The US Coast Guard issued a press release containing a discussion by Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security, and Stewardship, concerning maritime security and its relationship to counter-piracy efforts. Various options are under consideration to reduce the risk of piratical attacks against US-flag vessels, including non-lethal tactics and the possible use of armed security teams. The Coast Guard is meeting with maritime interests and other stakeholders. (4/22/09).
USCG – audit of approved merchant mariner training courses
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that it has commenced its Course Oversight and Auditing Program (COAP) examining USCG-approved merchant mariner training courses throughout the United States. The goal of the COAP is to ensure that persons and agencies offering USCG-approved training are performing their duties in a manner that meets all applicable regulatory and policy standards. (4/21/09).
New Orleans – closure of MRGO channel
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a news release stating that the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) channel will be closed to navigation at Bayou La Loutre near Hopedale in St. Bernard Parish on April 22. Vessels will no longer be able to safety transit the closure area. Recreational vessels should exercise extreme caution due to submerged rocks in the vicinity. When construction work is fully completed in July, the structure will have a top height of +8 feet NAVD 88, with a 450-foot bottom width and a 12-foot top crown. (4/16/09).
NOAA – list of National System Marine Protected Areas
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued the names of the 225 sites that have been placed on the List of National System Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 74 Fed. Reg. 18551 (April 23, 2009).
Alaska – taking of marine mammals incidental to terminal redevelopment
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received an application from the Port of Anchorage for authority to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to the Port’s Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project. Comments on this application should be submitted by May 26. 74 Fed. Reg. 18492 (April 23, 2009).
Alaska – mass rescue exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it, Holland America Line, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and other stakeholders will conduct the Alaska Mass Rescue Exercise 2009 in Ketchikan on April 28-29. The exercise will simulate mass rescue operations involving large numbers of persons in distress following an incident aboard a cruise ship in Southeast Alaska. (4/22/09).
Bill introduced to bar import of Iranian refined petroleum
Representative Kirk (R-IL) introduced a bill (H.R. 1985) to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran to include refined petroleum, and for other purposes. (4/21/09).
Resolution introduced honoring rescue of Captain Phillips
Representative Welch (D-VT) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 339) expressing the sense of the United States House of Representatives regarding the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips by Somali pirates, the rescue of Captain Phillips by United States Navy SEALs and the crews of the USS Bainbridge, USS Boxer, USS Halyburton and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, and for other purposes. (4/21/09).
EC – research on ship-generated air emissions
The European Commission (EC) issued a news release discussing recent research on ship-generated air emissions. Such emissions increase acid rain, as well as ground-level ozone, in certain areas. (4/22/09).
New Zealand – islands not North or South
The New Zealand Geographic Board issued a news release stating that it has been unable to locate any records showing that the two main islands of the nation were ever officially registered as “North Island” and “South Island”. This determination was made during the process to resolve official Maori names for the two islands. Note: The Board does not address the question of what to do with all of the charts, both paper and electronic, showing the two names. Are the islands now illegal and subject to banishment? Are the charts now illegal and subject to copyright claims? This brings to mind the incident in Boston some years ago when all of the Tarzan books were removed from the shelves of the local library because someone complained about Tarzan and Jane living in sin. After a while, someone discovered an early Tarzan book in which Tarzan and Jane went through a marriage ceremony. The books were quietly restored to the shelves. (4/21/09).
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 – April 2009