Headlines: MARAD – inventory of US-flag launch barges; NOAA – critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whale; BOEMRE – new positions established to enhance offshore oversight; USCG-BOEMRE – joint investigation takes more testimony; Gulf of Mexico – oil spill cleanup completed; Great Lakes – Operation Coal Shovel wraps up; Court – forum non conveniens; Arabian Sea – cargo ship hijacked; and New Zealand – revised Advance Notice of Arrival form.
April 11, 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. “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” (Steve Landesburg).
MARAD – inventory of US-flag launch barges
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is updating its inventory of US-flag launch barges. Comments on the current inventory (included in the notice) should be submitted by May 11. 76 Fed. Reg. 20080 (April 11, 2011).
NOAA – critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a final rule designating critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale. The designation, which excludes the Port of Anchorage and portions of military lands, comes into effect on May 11. 76 Fed. Reg. 20179 (April 11, 2011).
BOEMRE – new positions established to enhance offshore oversight
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a news release stating that two new positions, Director of the Offshore Training Center and Division Chief for the Oil Spill Response Division, have been established to enhance oversight of offshore oil and gas drilling. Both positions are being advertised nationally to recruit the most highly qualified professionals. (4/8/11).
USCG & BOEMRE – joint investigation takes more testimony
The USCG-BOEMRE Joint Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon with loss of life completed the fourth day of its seventh session. Testimony was received from Ralph Linenberger, forensics of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer stack for BP, and David McWhorter, forensics of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer stack and vice president of engineering and quality for Cameron. (4/8/11).
Gulf of Mexico – oil spill cleanup completed
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that cleanup of the oil spill from the shorelines of Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle has been completed. The oil was determined to have come from an offshore oil well. Enforcement actions are being pursued against the owner of the well. (4/8/11).
Great Lakes – Operation Coal Shovel wraps up
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that Operation Coal Shovel, icebreaking on the Lower Great Lakes, has been completed for the season. The Operation lasted 112 days, the longest period in more than ten years. Operation Taconite, icebreaking on the Upper Great Lakes (Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, the Straits of Mackinac, and northern Lake Huron) continues. (4/7/11).
Court – forum non conveniens
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that, after dismissal of a complaint by a district court upon finding that trial of a dispute in a foreign court would be more appropriate, intervening circumstances may compel reconsideration of the forum non conveniens ruling. In the instant case, plaintiff Mexican nationals suffered severe injuries after undergoing procedures in which defendant’s product was used. Evidence indicated that the product manufactured by defendant US company may have been defective and a causal agent in the injuries suffered. Plaintiffs brought suit against defendant company in the district where its home office was located. Defendant argued that the dispute should be tried in Mexico, where plaintiffs lived and where the medical procedures were performed. Defendant agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Mexican courts. When suit was filed in Mexico, the courts there declined to hear the matter. Plaintiffs then appealed the earlier district court dismissal of the action. The appellate court remanded the case back to the district court for reconsideration, holding that where intervening developments in a foreign jurisdiction could leave plaintiffs without an available forum, it is appropriate for the district court to reconsider its decision based on updated information. Gutierrez v. Advanced Medical Optics, No. 09-55860 (9th Cir., April 7, 2011). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Paul Edelman of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP. While this is not a maritime case, the doctrine of forum non conveniens arises not infrequently in maritime disputes.
Arabian Sea – cargo ship hijacked
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the general cargo ship Susan K was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea 35 nautical miles off the coast of Oman and approximately 200 miles northeast of Salalah. There is no information regarding the condition of the 10 crew members. (4/8/11).
New Zealand – revised Advance Notice of Arrival form
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a media release stating that Form NZCS 344 – Advance Notice of Arrival – has been amended to incorporate various quarantine provisions. Each vessel must also submit a Ballast Water Declaration: Part 1 for all vessels entering New Zealand and Part 2 for each vessel intending to discharge ballast water while in New Zealand. (4/8/11).
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 – April 2011