Headlines: UN – Security Council extends Somali authorization; Australia – new counter-piracy guidelines; Australia – increased maritime pollution compensation sought; IMO – summary of 26th Assembly session; FEMA – grant funding for maintenance costs; Charleston – catamaran and CG small boat collide; California – FAQ re shore power requirement; Washington State – response tug prepared to assist if needed; Reminder re EU fuel directive; CBP captures chicken-concealed cocaine at Dulles; and Attack on Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941.
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UN – Security Council extends Somali authorization
The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution extending for twelve months authorization for States and regional organizations cooperating with the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to enter Somalia’s territorial waters and use all necessary means to fight piracy and armed robbery at sea off Somalia’s coast. The resolution also invites States and regional organizations to conclude special agreements with countries willing to take custody of and to prosecute suspected pirates. Resolution 1897 (2009) (11/30/09). Note: The resolution was announced previously, but the official text has only now been posted.
Australia – new counter-piracy guidelines
The Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, the Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, issued a media statement announcing release of new counter-piracy guidelines to detect, deter, and prevent piracy and robbery at sea. The guidelines emphasize anti-piracy training and procedures and preparation of an emergency communication plan. (12/4/09).
Australia – increased maritime pollution compensation sought
The Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, the Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, issued a media statement announcing a campaign for greater compensation in the event of a merchant vessel spilling bunker oil and causing environmental damage. The minister expressed support for the “polluter pays” principle, but noted that the current international liability regime – the Bunkers Convention – provides inadequate compensation to coastal states for environmental damage suffered. (12/4/09).
IMO – summary of 26th Assembly session
The IMO issued a news release summarizing the results of the 26th session of the Assembly, held in London on 23 November through 2 December. Participation in the Member State Audit Scheme has been made mandatory. Resolutions were adopted relating to piracy, ship operation in polar waters, and resolution of stowaway cases, among other topics. (12/4/09).
FEMA – grant funding for maintenance costs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a bulletin stating that, effective immediately, the use of FEMA preparedness grant funds (including funds awarded under the Port Security Grant Program) for maintenance contracts, warranties, repair or replacement costs, upgrades, and user fees are allowable under all active and future grant awards, unless otherwise noted. Information Bulletin No. 336 (11/20/09).
Charleston – catamaran and CG small boat collide
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a 43-passenger catamaran and a 25-foot Coast Guard small boat collided in Charleston Harbor at approximately 8:21 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. There were three reported injuries among the passengers on the commercial catamaran, which suffered moderate damage above the waterline. The Coast Guard vessel suffered no reported damage. The incident is under investigation. (12/5/09).
California – FAQ re shore power requirement
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) posted updated frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the at-berth ocean-going vessels regulation (better known as the shore power requirement or cold-ironing). The requirement for operators of fleets of certain ocean-going vessels calling in California ports to begin utilizing shore power – and for operators of certain California terminals to make such shore power available – commences its phase-in on January 1, 2010. (12/2/09).
Washington State – response tug prepared to assist if needed
The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a news release stating that the state-funded response tug stationed at Neah Bay was available to respond if needed when a chemical product tanker lost power off the coast of Washington while en route from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco. The tanker was able to regain power on its own and continue its voyage. (12/3/09).
Reminder re EU fuel directive
Way back on 6 July 2005, the European Union (EU) adopted a directive requiring that most ships berthed in EU ports utilize fuel with a maximum limit of 0.1% sulphur by weight. Enforcement of this directive will commence on 1 January 2010. A ship is at berth when it is securely moored or anchored in an EU port while loading, unloading, or hotelling, including the time spent when not engaged in cargo operations. Time is allowed for the crew to complete any necessary fuel-changeover operation as soon as possible after arrival at berth and as late as possible before departure. The time of any fuel-changeover operation is to be recorded in the ship’s logbook. The fuel-changeover requirement does not apply: (1) whenever, according to published timetables, the ship is due to be at berth for less than two hours; (2) for certain listed ships operating exclusively in Greek waters; (3) to ships that utilize shore power while in berth; and (4) to ships utilizing qualified pollution abatement equipment. Directive 2005/33/EC. Note: Some ships experienced loss of power during fuel-changeover when a similar requirement was adopted recently in California. The chickens are coming home to roost!
CBP captures chicken-concealed cocaine at Dulles
While there is not a maritime-related feather in this story, the headline alone of this Customs and Border Protection (CBP) news release makes it worthy of inclusion in this newsletter. (12/4/09). Note: The evidence was seized because it presented a risk of flight.
Attack on Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941
Today marks the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which directly caused the death of thousands of Americans and the sinking of a number of US Navy warships. It resulted in a major combat role for the US in World War II, which had commenced more than two years previously. Up until the attack, the US had limited its participation largely to supply and logistics. After the attack, it was all in. The war continued for almost another four years, with the loss of millions of lives and large scale property destruction. A new world order eventually emerged. With hard work, increased cooperation, and good luck, we can avoid such conflicts in the future. President Obama issued a Proclamation in remembrance.
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