Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) have introduced a bill that would place a 5-year moratorium of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico as the U.S. commonwealth recovers from Hurricane Maria. The bill, known as the Puerto Rico Humanitarian Relief Act (H.R. 3966), was introduced before the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Armed Services committees last Thursday, one day after the Department of Homeland Security said an extension of the 10-day waiver of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico was not needed.
Joel Thornton of the University of Washington, in Seattle, and his colleagues in a paper just published in Geophysical Research Letters finds that lightning strikes the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea almost twice as often along shipping lanes as it does other areas of these waters. The most likely explanation given was attributed to particulate pollution emitted by the ships and convection of soluble oxides in cloud-forming droplets. If the theory is correct, the 2020 global sulphur cap and other ship efficiencies will likely see the number of lightning bolts reduce over time.
Ed Smele passed away peacefully on September 22nd. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Eileen, brother Loren, sons Rodney (Diana), Jeffrey (Shelley), grandchildren Byrant, Coral, Valerie and many nieces and nephews spread out from British Columbia, to Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ed enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve During World War Two, training on HMCS Cayuga. After the War Ed entered the steamship business in Vancouver, working for Matson Line, Bakke Steamships Knutsen Line and Columbus Line. He served a Chamber of Shipping director for a number of years and was the Chairman of the Board from 1974-1975. Always a rock, his calm with a wink and a grin, he will be dearly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted by the North Shore Hospice.
The United Nations Security Council has banned four ships from all ports due to recent dealings with North Korea. One ship was caught smuggling 30,000 North Korean-made rocket-propelled grenades in 2016. The four cargo ships are identified as the Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun. It is the first time the United Nations Security Council 1718 Committee, which oversees sanctions imposed by the Security Council on North Korea, has issued a port wide ban on designated ships.
The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) released a report titled “Incident Report: North Atlantic Right Whale Mortality Event in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 2017,” which includes findings from necropsies performed this summer on six of the dead North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW). The CWHC report was prepared and released in partnership with the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) following an unprecedented number of North Atlantic Right Whale mortalities this past summer. 12 NARWs have died since early June and of the six necropsies performed four findings were compatible with acute death likely due to blunt trauma and confirms that the biggest threats to the right whale continue to be vessel strikes and entanglements. The mandatory 10 knot speed restriction for vessels 20 metres or more remains in effect and so far four vessels have been fined for exceeding the speed restrictions.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard led a Canadian delegation to the international conference, which is taking place October 5 and 6 in Malta. The conference focused on: how best to establish meaningful marine protection, both through marine protected areas (MPAs) and other measures; the benefits of promoting sustainable fisheries; identifying and mitigating climate-related impacts on oceans; and growing the Blue Economy.
Minister LeBlanc also highlighted the leadership role Canada is taking internationally on marine conservation and protection, particularly on the development of scientific criteria for other effective area-based conservation measures. Canada welcomes the use of these rigorous criteria by other coastal nations in their efforts to achieve marine conservation goals. He also mentioned that Canada will be hosting a scientific workshop on international criteria for other measures this winter.
Minister LeBlanc also announced that Canada will establish a national advisory panel that will provide the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard with advice on minimum standards within future MPAs in Canada's waters. He reiterated that, working with Indigenous and Northern partners, Canada will support and protect the future the "last ice area" in the Arctic Ocean, where summer ice remains year round.
TransCanada Corp. has withdrawn from its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline proposal citing market conditions and changed circumstances for its decision on the pipeline that was designed to carry 1.1-million barrels a day of Western crude to Eastern refineries and export terminals. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has issued a news release expressing concerns with Canada's convoluted regulatory process and indications to investors that Canada is closed for business.
Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has awarded a construction contract to ASL Shipyards, Singapore, for three of Robert Allan Ltd.’s BRAvo 2500 Pollution Response Vessels designed to protect Canada’s West Coast. This project builds upon a strong relationship between WCMRC and Robert Allan Ltd., which included providing guidance to assess recently built spill response skimming vessels and providing technical assistance to bring these into Canadian registry. Recently, this also included providing market studies evaluating available existing vessels, which could be converted for spill response duties, and the design of two large spill response barges, for which the construction contracts are expected to be awarded later this year.
More than 3,300 people joined Seaspan at its Vancouver Shipyards for the unveiling of the first vessel to be designed and built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The Canadian Coast Guard's first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) is the first of three 63-metre offshore-fisheries science vessels to be deployed off Canada’s west and east coasts to help researchers better understand the health of fish stocks and their ocean environment.
The vessel is now structurally complete. In December, Seaspan expects the ship to be launched to Vancouver Island for final interior construction at the company’s Victoria Shipyards prior to testing and sea trials. Other vessels to be built by Seaspan under the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s $8-billion non-combat package are a 150-metre polar icebreaker, an 86-metre offshore oceanographic science vessel and two 174-metre joint-support ships.
The Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) has recognized the late Captain Norman Stark and Seaspan with the prestigious ACPA Medal of Merit Award at the association’s 59th annual ACPA conference. The Medal of Merit recognizes outstanding works or service on a national platform by an individual, institution, or organization in the port, shipping or maritime fields. ACPA has awarded the Medal of Merit annually since 1975. ACPA has also annouced that Donna Taylor, President and CEO of the Port of Oshawa, will serve as the Chair of the Board with Robin Silvester as Vice Chair.
APM Terminals Tacoma ended its operations on September 30, 2017 as part of its portfolio optimization plans and transferred the 135-acre lease to Seattle-based SSA Marine who has formed a new joint venture with Matson Lines, called SSAT, from October 2, 2017. APM Terminals Tacoma lease was set to expire December 31, 2017 and the contractual language allowed the lease transfer.
The US Coast Guard has received an application from Purimar Ballast Water Management System for Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) type approval. So far, the USCG has approved the following five systems - Optimarin (Norway), Alfa Laval (Sweden), OceanSaver AS (Norway), Sunrui (China) and Ecochlor, Inc. (USA).
The US Coast Guard has released the Marine Board of Investigation's report, on the loss of the US flagged cargo vessel El Faro, along with its 33 member crew during Hurricane Joaquin in 2015. The report, which is a culmination of a two-year investigation that included 30 days of public hearings at which 76 witnesses testified, pointed a large proportion of the blame at Capt. Michael Davidson but also at TOTE, El Faro’s owner responsible for managing the movement of cargo between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard found that Capt. Davidson’s decision to steer the ship “almost directly” into the path of the category 4 storm was one of the biggest errors made in key events that led to it sinking. El Faro’s design and the crew’s “complacency” and “lack of training” were amongst many other contributing factors in the vessel sinking on October 1, 2015, off the coast of the Bahamas.
The European Federation for Transport and Environment has released a study that finds that almost three-quarters (71%) of all new containerships, which emit around a quarter of global ship CO2 emissions, already comply with the post-2025 requirements of the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). Additionally, the best 10% of new containerships are already almost twice as efficient as the requirement for 10 years time. These findings are part of a study based on analysis of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) own data and conducted by Transport & Environment (T&E), a founding member of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC).
Clipper will close five offices to focus its operational and administrative set-up on its dry bulk business with its remaining three locations in Copenhagen, Houston and Hong Kong. Consequently, their offices in Stamford, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Beijing will close. Clipper's operated fleet has grown from 100 to 150 vessels within the past year, despite the fact that the carrier early this year lost its longtime partner in two of its pools, Clipper Saphire Pool and Logger Pool, when US-based carrier Genco Shipping withdrew its vessels to instead manage them on its own.
A coalition of leading cargo industry organisations representing a broad spectrum of the global supply chain is continuing its campaign for safer practices in packing freight containers and other cargo transport units (CTUs). During a meeting held at the IMO during London International Shipping Week, the group asked delegates of IMO member states to communicate the content, to encourage and oversee the use of the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) within their jurisdictions.
The coalition comprised of Global Shippers Forum (GSF), ICHCA International, TT Club and World Shipping Council (WSC) recognize the challenges in enshrined the best practices in CTU Code to the majority of those involved in packing containers around the world. A lack of training, language problems, the sheer density of the information contained in the Code, dramatic variations in the types of cargo now being carried in containers and the complexities of international supply chains are among the myriad of challenges facing the industry in achieving widespread adoption. However, this coalition of industry bodies is determined to advance towards their goal and emphasize once more the crucial role that IMO member states should play in supporting their efforts.
WISTA International and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) established a Scholarship Programme for WISTA Members. 27 members applied and were vetted by the WISTA International HR Committee. While five scholarships were available initially, kudos to CSL Group, MF Shipping Group and Total Marine Services, TMS for agreeing to sponsor five additional WISTA members.