Headlines: Somalia – pirates release tanker; Eritrea – travel warning; IMO – open letter to seafarers; IMO – letter re proposed amendments to MARPOL Annex VI; IMO – northwest Africa MRCC established; MARAD – cargo preference agreement with DOE; USCG – meeting to prepare for IMO DE 55; Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel – meeting; Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup – meeting; House – bill introduced re use of pesticides on navigable waters; Court – NMFS biological opinion subject to review under APA; Australia – ship owner fined for dumping waste oil at sea; and Herald of Free Enterprise – March 6, 1987.
March 4, 2011
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Planck’s Constant isn’t.
Somalia – pirates release tanker
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Somali pirates have released the tanker Ems River. The crewmembers are well and unharmed. The tanker was hijacked on December 27, 2010. (3/3/11).
Eritrea – travel warning
The US Department of State (DOS) issued a Travel Warning regarding Eritrea. In addition to cautioning persons about traveling in that nation, it strongly advises US citizens to avoid the Southern Red Sea region (including the port of Assab). US citizens on ship and sailing vessels are strongly advised not to attempt to dock in Eritrean ports or travel through Eritrean waters. In December 2010, a British ship attempting to refuel in Massawa was detained by Eritrean authorities and its crew of four has not been released. (2/27/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
IMO – open letter to seafarers
The IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos issued an Open Letter to Seafarers, reviewing the achievements of last year’s World Maritime Day theme “2010: Year of the Seafarer” and reassuring seafarers that this year’s theme “Piracy: orchestrating the response” and its associated action plan aim to encourage a decisive and effective global response to piracy. It urges seafarers to play their role in implementing best management practices when sailing through piracy-infested areas. (3/3/11).
IMO – letter re proposed amendments to MARPOL Annex VI
The IMO issued a Circular Letter forwarding a communication from Angola, Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Venezuela providing comments on a prior Circular Letter that contained proposed draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI related to energy efficiency measures for ships. (3/1/11).
IMO – northwest Africa MRCC established
The IMO issued a news release stating that a multi-lateral agreement was signed in Morocco establishing the North and West African sub-regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). Parties to the agreement consist of Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, and Senegal. The MRCC and its associated sub-centres will coordinate search and rescue in waters of the Atlantic Ocean off northwest Africa. (3/3/11).
MARAD – cargo preference agreement with DOE
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that it reached agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) on the application of cargo preference requirements to the DOE loan guarantee program. The cargo preference requirements allow for US flag ocean carriers, hiring US crews, to bid on at least 50% of cargoes shipped as part of a federally-financed project. (3/1/11).
USCG – meeting to prepare for IMO DE 55
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will conduct a public meeting in Washington, DC on March 17 to prepare for the 55th session of the IMO Subcommittee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE 55). Topics on the agenda include safety provisions applicable to tenders operating from passenger ships; guidelines for the standardization of lifeboat control arrangements; and development of a mandatory Code for ships operating in polar waters. 76 Fed. Reg. 12126 (March 4, 2011).
Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on March 15. 76 Fed. Reg. 12088 (March 4, 2011).
Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup – meeting
The Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Alternatives Workgroup, sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Service, will meet in Grand Isle, Vermont on March 23. 76 Fed. Reg. 12129 (March 4, 2011).
House – bill introduced re use of pesticides on navigable waters
Representative Gibbs (R-OH) introduced a bill (H.R. 872) to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (3/2/11).
Court – NMFS biological opinion subject to review under APA
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The biological opinion was prepared as part of the EPA’s process of reregistering for sale and use various insecticides and conclude that the insecticides will destroy or harm Pacific salmonids and their habitat. Pesticide manufacturers brought suit to challenge the biological opinion. The district court ruled that there would not be a final agency action until the EPA made a decision on the reregistration of the insecticides. The appellate court reversed the lower court ruling, holding that while the biological opinion is not a final agency action vis-à-vis the EPA, it is a final agency action with regard to the NMFS. Dow AgroSciences v. NMFS, No. 09-1968 (4th Cir., March 2, 2011).
Australia – ship owner fined for dumping waste oil at sea
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a press release stating that the owner of a foreign bulk carrier pleaded guilty to violation of the Protection of the Sea Act by dumping waste oil at sea near Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The owner was fined $27,000 plus court costs. (3/3/11).
Herald of Free Enterprise – March 6, 1987
The HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE was a double-ended ro-ro car and passenger ferry operating between Bruges-Zeebrougge, Belgium and Dover, England. On March 6, 1987, it departed Bruges-Zeebrougge with a crew of 80, carrying 459 passengers, 81 cars, 3 buses, and 47 trucks. Due to a series of mistakes, the bow doors were not closed prior to leaving port. Upon leaving the harbor and while proceeding at over 18 knots, water entered the vehicle deck in large quantities. The free-surface effect of the water impaired stability and led to the capsizing, which occurred in less than one minute. The sinking resulted in 193 deaths. Following the accident and investigation, various changes were made to IMO regulations regarding design and operation of ro-ro passenger vessels. The incident was also the impetus for establishment of the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).
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 2011