Headlines: NATO – Gulf of Aden convoy schedule; USCG – MARPOL Annex V special areas; IMO – ballast water management meetings; Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – emergency funding to control Asian carp; American Samoa – assessment of post-tsunami marine debris; Bill introduced to support renewable energy; Bill introduced to reauthorize Coral Reef Conservation Act; Court upholds maritime lien for yacht repairs; Canada – integrated cross-border maritime law enforcement; New Zealand – marine contractor fined for fatal safety violations; and Loss of Argo Merchant – December 15, 1976.
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NATO – Gulf of Aden convoy schedule
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update providing the Japanese and Chinese convey schedules for the reminder of December for merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden. (12/11/09).
USCG – MARPOL Annex V Special Areas
The US Coast Guard has amended its regulations to update the list of special areas in effect under MARPOL Annex V to include the Gulfs and Mediterranean Sea special areas. 74 Fed. Reg. 66238 (December 15, 2009). Note: The “Gulfs” special area includes the Arabian/Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman. Discharge of garbage (except for certain items, such as processed food wastes) is prohibited within a special area.
IMO – ballast water management meetings
The IMO issued a news release stating that a ballast water management meeting will be held at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden on January 24-29, 2010. The Global Expert Forum on Ballast Water Treatment Test Facility Harmonization and the Global Research and Development Forum on Emerging Ballast Water Management Systems are jointly organized by the GeoBallast Partnerships Program, the IMO’s Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosecurity, and the WMU. (12/14/09).
Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – emergency funding to control Asian carp
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that, on an emergency basis, it is making $13 million available immediately for measures to control Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and adjacent waters. The funding is vital to keep the invasive species from getting into the Great Lakes. (12/14/09).
American Samoa – assessment of post-tsunami marine debris
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that, in coordination with territorial officials and other stakeholders, it is conducting an assessment of marine debris resulting from the tsunami that struck American Samoa on September 29. (12/14/09).
Bill introduced to support renewable energy
Senator Begich (D-AK) introduced the Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act of 2009 (S. 2852) to establish, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy. (12/9/09).
Bill introduced to reauthorize Coral Reef Conservation Act
Senator Inouye (D-HI) introduced the Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act of 2009 (S. 2859) to reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, and for other purposes. Text of the bill is not yet available. (12/9/09).
Court upholds maritime lien for yacht repairs
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a maritime lien against a yacht by a vessel repair company for work done on the yacht at the request of its owner. The service contract was largely oral, but the dispute related largely to additional work performed and the reasonableness of the charges. The appellate court ruled that there was sufficient evidence in the record to affirm the district court’s judgment. H&R Yacht Service v. M/V Serque, No. 09-13415 (11th Cir., December 9, 2009).
Canada – integrated cross-border maritime law enforcement
The Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act (C-60) has been introduced in the Canadian House of Commons. If enacted into law, an individual appointed by the United States as a “cross-border maritime law enforcement officer” [such as a US Coast Guard officer or petty officer] would in the course of an integrated cross-border operation be a Canadian peace officer with the same law enforcement authority as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (12/14/09). Note: This legislation was brought to my attention by my friend John Bennett at Maritime Protective Services.
New Zealand – marine contractor fined for fatal safety violations
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that a marine contractor was ordered to pay fines and reparations totaling NZ$213,000 after admitting safety lapses that resulted in the deaths of two workers. The employees were lost when their work boat sank in bad weather. Investigation revealed that the vessel did not have a valid Safe Ship Management certificate and that the company failed to monitor and plan for inclement weather. (12/14/09).
Loss of the Argo Merchant – December 15, 1976
On December 15, 1976, the oil tanker Argo Merchant grounded on Middle Rip Shoal in international waters approximately 25 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The tanker was en route from Venezuela to Boston carrying 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil. The US Government refused to grant permission for the jettisoning of cargo in an attempt to lighten the ship. On December 21, the Argo Merchant broke into two pieces, spilling all of its cargo and bunkers. The Coast Guard sank the bow of the ship with gunfire. The prevailing wind and current carried the oil offshore and away from rich fishing grounds nearby. The spill was the largest in US history to that date. Publicity surrounding the casualty resulted in Congress adopting the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978, giving the Coast Guard increased authority to inspect and regulate tank vessels, foreign and domestic, operating in US waters.
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 – December 2009