Headlines: NOAA – restrictions on IUU vessels; NOAA – critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whales; Court – vacating a maritime attachment; Philippines – anti-piracy summit for seafarers; and UK – consultation on SAR services for South West peninsula.
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NOAA – proposed restrictions on vessels engaged in illegal, unregulated, or unreported fishing activities
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes regulations to implement international fishery conservation and management measures adopted by various multilateral fishery agreements. These measures pertain to vessels identified as having engaged in illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fisheries activities. As a party to these agreements, the United States is obligated to take certain actions against listed IUU vessels in a manner consistent with US laws and policies. The proposal would, among other things, restrict entry into any port or place of the United States and access to various port services by IUU vessels. It would also prohibit the provision of listed port services to IUU vessels by persons and business entities subject to US jurisdiction. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by February 25. 75 Fed. Reg. 1324 (January 11, 2010). Note: The proposal discusses the on-going coordination between NOAA, the Coast Guard, and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As this proposal moves forward, coordination between the various federal agencies will be vital, both to enforce appropriate restrictions against IUU vessels and to ensure that non-IUU vessels are not adversely impacted. In addition, protocols must be established to prevent innocent third parties (such as bunker suppliers that might sell bunkers to a vessel not knowing it is on the IUU list) from being unfairly penalized.
NOAA – critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended through March 3 the period within which to submit comments on its proposed designation of critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale. 75 Fed. Reg. 1582 (January 12, 2010).
Court – vacating a maritime attachment
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s vacating a maritime attachment where the plaintiff failed to establish a valid prima facie claim for breach of contract. In the instant case, plaintiff bunker company sold bunkers to a bunker trader, knowing that the bunkers were ultimately destined for ships owned by defendant. The bunker trader received payment from defendant shipowner, but became insolvent without paying plaintiff. Plaintiff brought suit against defendant shipowner and filed a maritime attachment against one of its ships moored in a US port. Defendant challenged the attachment, showing that it had never directly contracted with plaintiff and that it had paid the contract price for the bunkers received. The appellate court found that the lack of a direct contractual relationship between plaintiff and defendant was fatal to plaintiff’s ability to substantiate a maritime attachment. Equatorial Marine Fuel v. MISC Berhad, No. 08-57046 (9th Cir., January 11, 2010).
Philippines – anti-piracy summit for seafarers
The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued a press release stating that it hosted an anti-piracy summit for Filipino seafarers. The summit in Manila was attended by representatives from seafarers groups, manning agencies, and other stakeholders in the seafaring industry. (1/8/10).
UK – consultation on SAR services in South West peninsula
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that it has begun a 12-week consultation on search and rescue (SAR) provision in the southern part of the South West peninsula. The consultation considers the nature of the maritime-related public safety risks around the southern part of the South West and the adequacy of the range of rescue services available to deal with them if additional MCA boats at Hope Cove and Tamar are no longer available and, if the risk remains, how best that risk can be managed. (1/11/10).
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 – January 2010