Headlines: EU – significant expansion of anti-piracy mission; Somalia – pirates release hijacked bulk carrier after ransom paid; Somalia – pirates release hijacked chemical tanker after ransom paid; USN – Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium 2010; UK – campaign against shipboard fatigue; FWS –revised list of migratory birds; NOAA – social network analysis; Alameda – newest USCG National Security Cutter; Juneau – assessment of 1952 wreck as possible source of oil spill; MARAD – ISA a new Superintendent for Kings Point; MARAD – National Port Summit 2010 – presentations; GAO – report on Coast Guard personnel issues; Singapore – AFS Convention; and Singapore – online applications for SSLs and MMSI numbers.
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EU – significant expansion of anti-piracy mission
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that, from the end of March, the objectives of Operation Atalanta will be expanded to include control of Somali ports where pirates are based, as well as neutralizing mother ships that allow pirates to operate over 1,000 km from the coast. This expansion could mean an increase in the amount of resources for the operation and an increase in cooperation and collaboration with NATO and others in carrying out operations in this area. (2/26/10). Note: While long overdue, this development is highly welcome. After several years of swatting flies on the wing, the pirate nests will finally be approached.
Somalia – pirates release hijacked bulk carrier after ransom paid
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that Somali pirates released the bulk carrier Navios Apollon after receipt of a ransom payment. The vessel, with its crew of 19, was hijacked on 28 December. (2/28/10).
Somali – pirates release hijacked chemical tanker after ransom paid
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the chemical tanker Pramoni has been released by Somali pirates following payment of a ransom. The tanker, with its crew of 24, was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on 1 January and had been held off the pirate stronghold of Eyl, Somalia. (2/26/10).
USN – Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium 2010
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium (MIPS) 2010 conference will held in Manama, Bahrain on 12-14 April. The purpose of the conference is to improve the defense and crisis response of partner, coalition, and industry maritime infrastructure-related organizations. The conference will include discussions of maritime protection best practices for ports, harbors, resorts, energy infrastructure, desalination plants, and all other vulnerable infrastructure in the maritime domain. (2/26/10).
UK – campaign against shipboard fatigue
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that action will be taken against shipping companies found to be flouting the hours of rest requirements. Both UK and non-UK ships will be subject to inspection, with ships operating busy schedules with small crew being targeted. On board schedules and work records will be checked and compared to the operating pattern. Surveyors will also be checking for compliance with the requirement for a dedicated lookout at night. The MCA will also be looking for evidence of the company’s audit of these records ashore, as required by the ISM Code. (2/26/10). Note: This is a long-overdue development. Responsible owners have been staffing their ships at appropriate levels for years. They have been placed at a competitive disadvantage by the few owners and operators who have reduced crew size to levels that raise safety concerns.
FWS – revised list of migratory birds
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a revised list of migratory birds. The agency added 186 species and removed eleven, bringing the total number of species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) to 1007. The FWS also corrected various misspellings. The revised list comes into effect on March 31. 75 Fed. Reg. 9281 (March 1, 2010). Note: The maritime community should be aware of this list because if a single (or married) migratory bird is “taken” as the result of an oil spill or some other marine casualty, the owner, operator, and master of the ship involved are potentially liable for criminal prosecution. The MBTA is a strict liability crime, so the government is not even required to prove negligence, let alone intent. Be careful out there!
NOAA – social network analysis
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice inviting comment on what, to my mind, is an unusual and interesting proposal for information collection. The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), which is a state and federal partnership engaged in regional protection of ocean and coastal resources, proposes to conduct a social network analysis to identify the network of people working on NROC’s key issues, both within and outside the organization. The resulting information can be used to evaluate the efficiency of the network, where gaps may exist, and additional partnerships that may benefit the NROC’s work. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 30. 75 Fed. Reg. 9158 (March 1, 2010).
Alameda – newest USCG National Security Cutter
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that its newest National Security Cutter, the USCGC Waesche, arrives (or arrived) at its homeport of Alameda on February 28. The cutter is named for Admiral Russell R. Waesche, the World War II Commandant. (2/26/10).
Juneau – assessment of 1952 wreck as possible source of oil spill
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) established a Unified Command to assess the 1952 wreck of the passenger ship Princess Kathleen as the possible source of an oil spill in the vicinity of Juneau. The ship had an estimated 155,000 gallons of bunker C on board when it went down. (2/26/10).
MARAD – ISO a new Superintendent for Kings Point
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that the search is underway for a new Superintendent for the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. (2/25/10).
MARAD – National Port Summit 2010 – presentations
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice announcing availability of presentations and papers by MARAD Staff at the National Port Summit 2010, held in San Diego on February 4-5. (2/26/10).
GAO – report on Coast Guard personnel issues
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on Coast Guard personnel issues. It points out that the service has been challenged with expanding mission responsibilities. The Coast Guard workforce today is approximately the same size as it was at the end of fiscal year 1975. For example, the number of foreign vessel arrivals in the United States has increased by 61% over the past 10 years while the number of Coast Guard marine inspectors has decreased by 1%. Recent Coast Guard efforts to address these issues, such as development of service-wide mission-support and mission-specific plans are in early stages of implementation and cannot be fully assessed at this time. GAO-10-268R (1/29/10).
Singapore – AFS Convention
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding the maritime community that the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention) will enter into effect for Singapore on 31 March. As of that date, all ships (excluding fixed or floating platforms, floating storage units (FSUs), and floating production storage and off-shore loading units (FPSOs)) in the Port of Singapore are prohibited from applying or using harmful anti-fouling systems. A ship to which the AFS Convention applies may be inspected by port state control (PSC) officers for the purpose of determining compliance. Port Marine Circular 4/2010 (2/26/10).
Singapore – online applications for SSLs and MMSI numbers
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular advising owners and operators of Singapore ships that they may now submit online applications for the Ship Station License and the Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. Shipping Circular 3/2010 (2/25/10).
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 – March 2010