Headlines: ReCAAP – update on hijacking of tug Asta; FMC – NVOCCs to be granted tariff filing relief; NTSB – marine SMS added to “most wanted” list; Illinois – searching for Asian carp; MMS – proposed mineral exploration on Alaska OCS; USACE – Port of Los Angeles Crude Oil Terminal Project; NOAA – critical habitat for leatherback sea turtle; USN – maritime defense exercise; and EMSA – Work Programme 2010.
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ReCAAP – update on hijacking of tug Asta
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued a special report on the hijacking of the tug Asta and the barge Callista. An earlier report indicated that the tug and barge were probably hijacked on February 6 off the coast of Malaysia while on a voyage from Singapore to Cambodia. Alerts were issued seeking information on these vessels. On February 17, authorities located the barge. Also on February 17, a liferaft was located in the South China Sea with eleven persons on board, believed to be the crew of the missing tug. The tug’s Chief Engineer was not on the liferaft and remains missing. (2/18/10).
FMC – NVOCCs to be granted tariff filing relief
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the Commission voted to initiate a rulemaking that would relieve Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) from the requirement to file tariffs of the rates they charge for cargo shipments. (2/18/10).
NTSB – marine SMS added to “most wanted” list
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that it has added the marine safety management system (SMS) to its list of “most wanted” transportation safety improvements. The SMS is required for most vessels engaged in international voyages. The US Coast Guard has announced that it will require the SMS for domestic vessels carrying more than 399 passengers. The NTSB believes that the SMS requirement should be applied to all domestic vessels so that the same level of safety will be present on both the domestic and international fleets. (2/18/10).
Illinois – searching for Asian carp
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued a media advisory stating that it and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have begun intensive sampling operations in multiple locations within the Chicago Area Waterway System in an attempt to determine if Asian carp are above the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Electric Fish Barrier System on the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. (2/16/10).
MMS – proposed mineral exploration on Alaska OCS
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) issued a notice announcing the availability of two Environmental Assessments (EAs) and associated Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs) for oil and gas exploration activities proposed on the Alaska outer continental shelf (OCS). 75 Fed. Reg. 7515 (February 19, 2010).
USACE – Port of Los Angeles Crude Oil Terminal Project
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for development of a marine oil terminal at Berth 408 on Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles. Comments on the SEIS should be submitted within 30 days. 75 Fed. Reg. 7452 (February 19, 2010).
NOAA – critical habitat for leatherback sea turtle
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended through April 23 the period within which to submit comments on the proposed revision of the critical habitat designation for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. 75 Fed. Reg. 7434 (February 19, 2010).
USN – maritime defense exercise
The US Navy issued a news release stating that US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard assets, along with Royal Navy assets, conducted a maritime defense exercise near the Al Basra Oil Terminal in the North Arabian Gulf. (2/18/10).
EMSA – Work Programme 2010
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) published its Work Programme 2010. The focus is on maritime surveillance and on measures to enhance safe, secure, and environmentally friendly shipping. (2/18/10).
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 – February 2010