Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 31 March 2010

Headlines: Seychelles – pirates captured, hostages released; Indian Ocean – Pirate Action Group disrupted; MARAD – advisories re Horn of Africa piracy threat; NOAA – marine protected areas mapping tool; FMC – schedule of upcoming meetings; USCG – HDOP advisory; USCG – recertification of PWSRCAC; Court – spraying insecticide over water may violate FWPCA; and Canada – meeting of Arctic Ocean coastal states.

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Seychelles – pirates captured, hostages released

clip_image004 The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a Seychelles Coast Guard vessel intercepted a hijacked vessel in the Indian Ocean. When the pirates appeared to threaten the hostages, the Seychelles forces used disabling fire to hit the hijacked vessel below the waterline, causing it to begin to sink. All persons on the sinking vessel jumped into the water and swam to the Coast Guard vessel. The suspected pirates were detained and the hostages were freed. (3/30/10).

Indian Ocean – Pirate Action Group disrupted

clip_image006 The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a Pirate Action Group in the Indian Ocean. Two of the three skiffs were destroyed. The ten suspected pirates were placed on the third skiff with enough fuel and water to reach shore. (3/30/10).

MARAD – advisories re Horn of Africa piracy threat

clip_image008 The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued two advisories concerning the Horn of Africa piracy threat. Advisory 2010-05 addresses the risk to vessels transiting high-risk waters. It notes, among other things, that an increase in pirate attacks is expected through May as calmer weather prevails. The lengthier Advisory 2010-06 provides guidance to vessels transiting high-risk waters. It discusses the various naval groups operating in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa and how merchant vessels should coordinate their actions therewith. (3/29/10).

NOAA – marine protected areas mapping tool

clip_image010 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it has launched an interactive mapping tool for the numerous US marine protected areas. The tool allows users to locate the applicable boundaries and, among other things, identify what activities are allowed.

FMC – schedule of upcoming meetings

clip_image012 The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice providing an updated schedule of public meetings through June. The April meeting will be on April 21 as previously scheduled. The May meeting has been cancelled. The June meeting has been rescheduled from June 16 to June 23. (3/30/10).

USCG – HDOP advisory

clip_image014 The US Coast Guard Navigation Center issued a HDOP Advisory (High Horizontal Dilution of Precision). Due to satellite maintenance, GPS accuracy may be degraded for a few minutes on March 31 in the vicinity of Australia, in an area northeast of San Francisco, and in the eastern part of Canada. (3/30/10).

USCG – recertification of PWSRCAC

clip_image014[1] The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has recertified the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) as an alternative voluntary advisory group for Prince William Sound, Alaska in accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). This recertification is effective through February 28, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 16159 (March 31, 2010).

Court – spraying insecticide over water may violate FWPCA

clip_image016 The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that applying insecticide from trucks and helicopters in an effort to control mosquitoes may violate the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) when the insecticide is allowed to enter the waters of the United States. Suffolk County sprayed certain insecticides from trucks and helicopters to combat the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses. A portion of the spraying was over wetlands, including open water. The EPA-approved labels on the insecticides prohibited application directly over water. Plaintiff environmental group challenged the spraying program. The court held that because the spraying program was not conducted in conformity with the EPA-approved label, it constituted the discharge of a pollutant from a point source and was prohibited by the FWPCA. Peconic Baykeeper v. Suffolk County, No. 09-0097-cv (2nd Cir., March 30, 2010). Note: This is not a traditional maritime case, but illustrates the extensive reach of the various federal laws.

Canada – meeting of Arctic Ocean coastal states

clip_image018 The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a news release stating that Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon hosted a meeting of foreign ministers from the five Arctic Ocean coastal states – Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States – in Chelsea, Quebec. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss new opportunities and challenges in the region. (3/29/10).

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

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