The final cruise ship of the 2018 season set sail last Saturday, marking the end of the 32nd consecutive cruise season at Canada Place terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The Star Princess was the first ship to kick off the 2018 season and her sister ship, the Emerald Princess, was the last to depart. Vancouver welcomed more than 900,000 cruise passengers on 243 ship visits, reflecting a seven per cent increase in passenger volumes over 2017. Cruise continues to be a key economic driver for the region as each cruise ship adds about $3 million to the local economy.
Stu McNish of the Conversations that Matters video series, interviews Dr. Andrew Trites, a professor at UBC’s Marine Mammal Research Unit, on the challenges facing the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) and a research project focussed on addressing the lack of available prey. The Salish Sea Marine Survival project is examining a wide range of factors that have contributed to the decline of chinook, coho and steelhead – factors that include eelgrass depletion, a reduction in the volume of phytoplankton and zooplankton, algae blooms, spawning ground distribution as well as great blue herons, harbour seals and sea lions who also love to dine on chinook.
Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock (Seaspan) has completed the work on the Silver Explorer for Silversea Expeditions. 125 contractors worked on the vessel to complete a variety of upgrades, including the manufacturing and installation of a stabilizer – or ducktail – on the stern of the Silver Explorer. In addition to assembling a stabilizer, work taking place on the vessel included tank top repairs and changes to functionality of tanks, propeller repair and polishing, blast and painting work of the underwater hull. Work on the vessel was completed October 11th, on time and on budget. The Silver Explorer returned to the ocean that same day.
The Government of Canada has announced the creation of a stand-alone Arctic Region inclusive of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard. The creation of the Arctic Region will be implemented in phases and has already begun with the hiring of new DFO Regional Director General, Gabriel Nirlungayuk, who will be based in Rankin Inlet, and a new Assistant Commissioner of the Coast Guard, Neil O’Rourke, who will be based in Yellowknife. They will both work with Inuit and all Indigenous peoples, as well as residents of the North to define the borders of the new Region and its activities.
The Marine Safety Center issued the 11th US Coast Guard Ballast Water Management System Type Approval Certificate to Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., after a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type approval application determined the system met the requirements. The treatment principle of the HiBallast BWMS consists of filtration with electrolysis during uptake and neutralization during discharge. This approval covers models with maximum treatment rated capacities between 75 m3/h and 10,000 m3/h.
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has posted a good summary of the discussions and decisions coming out of this week's IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee's (MEPC) 73rd session online. Much of the discussion focussed on the implementation on the new 0.50% sulphur global cap for marine fuels from January 1, 2020. Further amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to prohibit not just the use, but also carriage of bunkers above 0.50% sulphur on ships (unless they have approved abatement technology onboard) were adopted and set to take effect from 1 March, 2020.
A $20-billion bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai opened this week, marking the completion of the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began. The bridge is 55 km long and with 6.7 km of it consisting of an undersea tunnel, equivalent to the height of 60 Eiffel Towers. The mega-structure is supported by three cable-stayed bridges and designed to withstand typhoon-force winds of up to 340 km an hour. The bridge will shorten the driving time from Hong Kong International Airport to Zhuhai from four hours to just 45 minutes, as well as halving the commuting time between the ports.
On October 22, the world’s first LNG-Powered Aframax vessel, Gargarin Prospect, completed her maiden voyage across the Baltic and North Seas, from Primorsk to Rotterdam where she safely delivered 104,815 tonnes of crude oil.
Type: Tanker Built: 2018 Speed: 14.6 knots Length: 250 m Breadth: 44 m Draught: 8.6 m
The Gargarin Prospect received is first LNG fuel from Shell’s specialized bunker vessel, Cardissa, at the beginning of October, and less than two weeks later the vessel loaded its first export cargo of Russian crude oil at the Port of Primorsk. The operation marked a number of firsts, as it was also the first ship-to-ship bunkering in the Port of Rotterdam. Tankers fueled with LNG emit zero sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulates. They emit 76 per cent less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 27 per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2), than similar vessels operating on heavy fuel oil. This will reduce the vessels environment footprint and will also comply with tightening sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations, including the IMO’s global 0.5% sulphur cap, which takes effect in 2020.