Headlines: DOJ – chief mate pleads guilty to violating invasive species law; New Zealand – company fined for failure to supervise; DOT – stimulus funds awarded to improve ferry facilities; Bill introduced to limit foreign investments; IMO – STCW White List; IMO – STCW training report; IMO – STCW competent persons; NOAA – members sought for Science Advisory Board; NOAA – members sought for Hydrographic Services Review Panel; and NOAA – tsunami shadow visible from space.
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DOJ – chief mate pleads guilty to violating invasive species law
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that the chief mate on a bulk cargo vessel pleaded guilty in federal court to violation of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act by intentionally failing to keep accurate records of the condition of the ship’s ballast tanks. A crack had developed between a fuel tank and the forepeak ballast tank, allowing fuel to enter the ballast tank. The contaminated ballast water was then pumped directly overboard, but the leak and discharge were not noted in the ballast water records. The chief mate provided the known-to-be-false ballast water records to the Coast Guard boarding officers in an attempt to mislead them. This is the first guilty plea for violation of the ballast water laws and regulations. The master also pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including failure to report a known hazardous condition. (7/15/09).
New Zealand – company fined for failure to supervise
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that a fish farming company pleaded guilty to operating a vessel without a current Safe Ship Management (SSM) certificate, operating a vessel without a current Local Launch Operator certificate, operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk, and failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees. The company was fined $66,000 and ordered to pay $200,000 in reparations to the victims, as well as $2,760 in court costs and solicitors’ fees. One of the company’s vessels, traveling at excessive speed, allided with a moored ship in a restricted zone. The operator of the vessel and a passenger were killed. Evidence indicated that the operator was using his cellphone moments before the fatal crash. (7/15/09).
DOT – stimulus funds awarded to improve ferry facilities
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a press release stating that $60 million in grants are being awarded for improvement of ferries, docks and facilities in 19 states and one territory. (7/14/09).
Bill introduced to limit foreign investments
Representative Turner (R-OH) introduced a bill (H.R. 3196) to impose limitations on investment and certain operations by foreign entities in the United States. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (7/14/09).
IMO – STCW White List
The IMO issued a circular containing the updated list of parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) that have communicated information which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the Convention. MSC.1/Circ.1163/Rev.4 (6/8/09).
IMO – STCW training report
The IMO issued a circular containing an updated list of information related to reports of independent evaluation which demonstrates that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the Convention. MSC.1/Circ.1164/Rev.6 (6/8/09).
IMO – STCW competent persons
The IMO issued a circular containing an updated list of competent persons pursuant to section A-I/7 of the STCW Code. MSC.1/Circ.797/Rev.18 (6/8/09).
NOAA – members sought for Science Advisory Board
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking nominations for membership on the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The Board advises the agency on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. Applications should be submitted by September 14. 74 Fed. Reg. 34559 (July 16, 2009).
NOAA – members sought for Hydrographic Services Review Panel
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended, through July 24, the period in which to submit applications for membership on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel. 74 Fed. Reg. 34555 (July 16, 2009).
NOAA – tsunami shadow visible from space
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that tsunamis in the open ocean change sea surface texture in a manner that can be detected by satellite-borne radar. This finding may improve tsunami warnings in the future. (7/15/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – July 2009