Headlines: NATO & Lloyd’s of London – Managing Risk in the 21st Century; UK – economic sanctions against Iran; New York – World Maritime Day parallel event; USCG – pollution prevention equipment; USCG – updated Merchant Mariner Medical Evaluation Report forms; USCG – merchant mariner third party authorization; USN – maritime domain awareness and global cooperation; Gulf of Aden – unsuccessful piratical attack; Strait of Singapore – boarding thwarted; Seychelles – detention of suspected pirates; Spain – transfer of suspected pirates; UN Security Council – meeting re Somalia; California – marine terminal fined for air emissions reporting violation; EPA – shipyard fined for Clean Air Act violations; New Zealand – UN export and import sanctions; EU – rights of ship passengers; Lake Pontchartrain – multi-agency law enforcement training; FHWA – implications of Panama Canal widening on USEC ports; Panama Canal – locks lane outage; Panama Canal – September operations summary; University of Sunderland – review of ships’ logs; CNN – report on investigation re the Arctic Sea; and Columbus Day – discovery (?) of the New World (?).
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NATO & Lloyd’s of London – Managing Risk in the 21st Century
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Lloyd’s of London are jointly sponsoring a conference in New York on October 29 entitled Managing Risk in the 21st Century: Climate Change, Cyber Risk, and Piracy. Persons wishing to attend this free event should register by sending an email to email@example.com identifying the event and providing their contact details. I will be one of presenters on Piracy. I will also be a member of the Climate Change panel, which will focus on the Arctic waters of North America. (10/9/09).
UK – economic sanctions against Iran
Her Majesty’s Treasury released the Written Ministerial Statement of the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, reporting that the UK financial services sector has been directed to cease all business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), as well as the Iranian Bank Mellat. The Treasury noted evidence that IRISL vessels have transported goods for both Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. (10/12/09).
New York – World Maritime Day parallel event
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on Friday, October 16, it is hosting the 2009 IMO World Maritime Day parallel event in New York. The parallel event, chaired by Admiral Thad Allen, will focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment. (10/12/09).
USCG – pollution prevention equipment
The US Coast Guard is finalizing, effective November 12, its earlier interim rule establishing oil pollution prevention equipment requirements. It is, though, making one minor amendment to the rule’s effective date for vessels with equipment installed on or after January 1, 2005. Also, several provisions come into effect immediately. The rule harmonizes Coast Guard regulations in this regard with recent IMO guidelines and specifications issued under MARPOL Annex I and is intended to reduce the amount of oil discharged from vessels while eliminating the use of ozone-depleting solvents in equipment tests. All vessels replacing or installing oily-water separators and bilge alarms must install equipment that meets these revised standards. Newly constructed vessels carrying oil in bulk must install monitoring systems that meet these revised standards. 74 Fed. Reg. 52413 (October 13, 2009).
USCG – updated Merchant Mariner Medical Evaluation Report forms
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that it is planning to release new versions of the Merchant Mariner Credential Medical Evaluation Report form (CG-719 K) and the Merchant Mariner Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings form (CG-719 K/E). A voluntary use phase will extend from November 2 through December 31, 2009. As of January 1, 2010, use of the new forms will be mandatory and submittals of the previous versions of these forms will not be accepted. (10/9/09).
USCG – merchant mariner third party authorization
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that US merchant mariners can submit an authorization to the NMC allowing third parties (such as a spouse or employer) to handle the details of a credential application if the mariner is at sea or away from home for extended periods of time. (10/8/09).
USN – maritime domain awareness and global cooperation
The US Department of Defense issued a news release reporting on Seapower Symposium at the Naval War College, attended by more than 100 nations. Increased maritime domain awareness and global cooperation between navies, coast guards, nations, and industry have reduced (but not eliminated) the threat of piracy. (10/9/09).
Gulf of Aden – unsuccessful piratical attack
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update stating that a skiff made an unsuccessful 25-minute attack on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. The ship was fired on, but sustained on damage or injuries. (10/12/09).
Strait of Singapore – boarding thwarted
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that several men boarded an anchored product tanker in the Strait of Singapore. They rapidly departed when the watch officer on duty sounded the general alarm, mustering the crew. (10/13/09).
Seychelles – detention of suspected pirates
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that its forces thwarted piratical attacks on two French fishing vessels approximately 160 miles north of the Seychelles. Forces of the Seychelles Coastguard were diverted to the area, where they detained a suspected mother ship and a skiff, along with eleven suspected pirates.
Spain – transfer of suspected pirates
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that two suspected pirates taken into custody by a EU NAVFOR warship on October 3 have now been handed over to Spanish authorities for prosecution. The individuals were detained when they left a hijacked Spanish fishing vessel off the Somalian coast in a small boat. (10/12/09).
UN Security Council – meeting re Somalia
The United Nations Security Council released the report of its recent meeting on the situation in Somalia. Unanimous support was expressed for the counter-piracy patrols in waters off the coast of Somalia, with the Libyan representative mentioning that the naval forces should also protect Somalian waters from illegal fishing. It was further noted that a critical gap remains between the confirmed pledges of financial aid to Somalia and the actual donor disbursements. (10/8/09).
California – marine terminal fined for air emissions reporting violation
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a news release stating that a marine cargo company has been fined $35,625 for air emission violations during 2007 and 2008. A CARB investigation showed that the company failed to properly report its diesel-powered cargo handling equipment fleet at the Port of Oakland and the Port of Los Angeles terminals. The regulation calls for 2006 and older engine serial numbers to be reported. The company reported the equipment numbers as serial numbers. (9/7/09). Note: In my opinion, this is a prime example of over-zealous prosecution. At least according to the news release, there is no evidence of bad faith, just a bookkeeping error. There is no evidence that air emissions were any worse because of this innocent misinterpretation of the regulation. There should have been a better method of handling this technical violation.
EPA – shipyard fined for Clean Air Act violations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that a Rhode Island ship building and ship repair facility has been fined $224,000 for violations of federal and state clean air regulations. The company constructed its facility without first applying for and obtaining a “new source review” permit to regulate emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It also failed to apply for a Title V operating permit despite having potential xylene emissions greater than 10 tons per year. The company also failed to keep required records of paint usage and failed to submit notifications and reports to state and federal officials. (10/9/09).
New Zealand – UN export and import sanctions
The New Zealand Customs Service has re-issued its Fact Sheet listing the current United Nations export and import sanctions. (November 2008). Note: This is a convenient compilation of the various sanctions in force and may assist owners, operators, masters, and others from inadvertent violations.
EU – rights of ship passengers
The European Union (EU) issued a news release stating that EU Ministers for Transport reached an agreement on the proposal for a regulation on the rights of ship passengers while journeying by sea and on inland waterways. The proposal contains provisions on information, assistance, and compensation to passengers in the event that trips are cancelled or delayed, as well as the rights of passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility. The next step involves discussions with the European Parliament on a final regulation. (10/9/09).
Lake Pontchartrain – multi-agency law enforcement training
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on October 14, it and various Louisiana and local agencies will conduct joint law enforcement training on Lake Pontchartrain. (10/12/09).
FHWA – implications of Panama Canal widening on USEC ports
On October 21, the National Highways Institute of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is sponsoring a web conference entitled: Talking Freight – The Panama Canal Widening and Implications for Gulf and Atlantic Coast Ports. Widening of the Canal is expected to increase the volume of all-water shipments between East Asia and US East Coast (USEC) ports. (10/9/09). Note: I respectfully recommend that, under its America’s Marine Highway Program, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) sponsor similar efforts to prepare short sea shipping for the changes that will come with the Canal expansion.
Panama Canal – locks lane outage
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that the east lane of the Gatun Locks will be taken out of service from 1800 hours, Wednesday, October 14 through 0600 hours, Friday, October 16 in order to perform work on Miter Gate 14. Rules governing the Transit Reservation System’s Condition 2 will be in effect for October 15. Advisory 19-2009 (October 9, 2009).
Panama Canal – September operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing its operations for the month of September. It also includes the locks maintenance schedule for the remainder of the year. Advisory 18-2009 (10/6/09).
University of Sunderland – review of ships’ logs
The University of Sunderland issued a news release stating that, in cooperation with the UK Meteorology Office and the British Atmospheric Data Centre, it has commenced the UK Colonial Registers and Royal Navy Logbooks (CORRAL) project. The logbooks of nearly 300 ships, dating back to the 1760s, have been digitized. Their weather observations will be analyzed to determine what changes, if any, can be observed between those old records and current ones. (10/6/09). A unique and potentially insightful effort.
CNN – report on the investigation re the Arctic Sea
The Cable News Network released the CNN report on the Russian investigation of the alleged hijacking of the timber carrier Arctic Sea. I don’t know if you will be able to access it on your computer, but it is interesting. (10/10/09).
Columbus Day – discovery (?) of the New World (?)
Yesterday, October 12, 2009, was a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus on that date in 1492. Americans blithely ignore several inconvenient truths. People resided in the “New World” for thousands of years before Columbus stumbled into it. Vikings sailing from Greenland landed in the Americas more than 400 years before Columbus did. Columbus thought he had reached the Indies, and therefore called the natives “Indians”. The first European to arrive in what is now the United States of America was Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed near what is now St. Augustine, Florida on April 3, 1513 (allegedly in pursuit of the Fountain of Youth). Regardless, Americans celebrate the day by consuming large quantities of pasta and Italian wine. Mangia!
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 – October 2009