Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has issued a report indicating that Canada needs to increase ocean protections. It notes that at least 30 percent of Canadian oceans should be protected to ensure all the habitats are protected and that we’re securing the future for healthy oceans. Protection could come in many forms, including banning oil, gas or mineral projects, not dumping waste and ruling out bottom-trawling fisheries. In the last two years, the percent of Canada’s oceans that are under some form of conservation agreement has risen from one percent to eight percent, a number that is likely to rise above 10 percent by next year. The full report can be found here: https://cpaws.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CPAWS_oceans_report2019_ENG_web.pdf
The Senate has voted to proceed with the oil tanker ban, against committee recommendation. Canada’s oil and gas sector has been adamantly against the legislation, believing that it will harm getting energy exports to market. Bill C-48 will now move to third reading, where Senators will be able to propose amendments. If ultimately successful, the bill will ban oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil from stopping at ports or marine installations located along BC’s northern coast. Senators will still be able to propose amendments to Bill C-48 at the third reading.
The Government of Canada has released four Regulatory Roadmaps for targeted high-growth sectors, including agri-food and aquaculture, health and bio-sciences, transportation, and infrastructure. These sectors were identified for Regulatory Reviews in Budget 2018. For marine transportation the themes include the need for more flexibility in the regulatory framework, a need for more coordination among jurisdictions and collaboration with industry, and a need for clarity and certainty within the regulatory framework, and a need for greater digitization of services.
Carnival has been slapped with a $20M fine for violating probation after an ocean pollution conviction. In 2016, the company paid a $40M after pleading guilty to the charges and were placed on a five-year probation. Carnival reached the $20M settlement with federal prosecutors after its ships were found to be continuing to pollute the oceans. The company plead guilty to the charges and admitted to dumping grey water in prohibited places, knowingly allowing plastic to be discharged with food waste, and falsifying compliance documents. Future violations could result in prison time and criminal fines for individuals and executives could be held personally liable. Carnival has promised to implement additional audits to check for violations, a restructuring of the company's compliance and training programs, a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies, and improved waste management practices.
Managers of the Port of Cleveland and other ports around the Great Lakes say they’re being overlooked in the national conversation about America’s crumbling infrastructure. Ports are the place where ships and barges meet trucks and trains, where water meets rail and road and deserve to be made a priority in infrastructure investments. Historically, there hasn’t been any regular infrastructure appropriations from Congress or state legislatures. Currently, to fix or improve their facilities, port officials must either finance the projects themselves vie for discretionary federal grants. However, there may be a shift underway, as for the first time, Congress has set aside $293 million dollars for ports.
The Trump administration has banned cruises to Cuba under new restrictions on US travel, imposed to pressure the island to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The ban applies to passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, as well as private and corporate aircraft. The ban came into effect with no advance notice, giving cruise lines no grace period to change destinations and creating confusion among cruise passengers.
The cruise ship MSC Opera crashed into a dock and tourist boat River Countess in Venice, causing injuries to five people. The 2,679-passenger MSC Opera was assisted by two tugs through the canal when it lost control and collided with the dock. While the exact cause of the collision is not known, local media has reported that it is likely that the ship either suffered a blackout or the towing cable broke, and was unable to stop due to strong currents pulling it towards the dock. The hull of MSC Opera as well as the tourist boat have been damaged in the incident.
Oldendorff Carriers has completed 23 deals with three Chinese leasing companies over the last year. The deals comprise four 209,000 dwt, two 180,000 dwt, four 81,000 dwt, eight 63,500 dwt and five 61,000 dwt bulkers. Eight of the 10 vessels will be equipped with open loop scrubbers, while the other two will be equipped with hybrid scrubbers. In addition, by 2021, Oldendorff will have taken delivery of 106 newbuilds from 23 Chinese shipyards. Oldendorff currently has a fleet of 750 vessels with a total tonnage of 63.4 million dwt and an average age of eight years.
The Viking Sigyn collided with a smaller sightseeing boat The Mermaid, capsizing the boat and killing at least seventeen South Korean passengers. The incident took place as the vessels were approaching the Margaret bridge in Budapest on the Danube River. The Mermaid was carrying 33 Korean passengers with two Hungarian crew. The captain of the cruise ship has been arrested on suspicion of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident.
J. Lauritzen has shrunk its fleet by 15 bulk carriers. due to a weak market for bulk. The decision comes as a reaction to the slowing bulk market and ongoing global trade which caused larger freight rate declines across all dry bulk vessel sizes.
K Line has signed an agreement Airseas, a developer of automated power kites for ships. Initially, Airseas will install and service one ship with the automated kite. Once in place, K Line will consider ordering up to 50 automated 1000 sqm kites. The kites use parafoil technology to tow commercial ships, helping save more that 20% on fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.
After a month of negotiations with a conciliator appointed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) and week with targeted strike action by the ILWU and a three-hour lockout by the employers, a tentative agreement has been reached. While details of agreement won't be released until after the ratification vote. Both parties were asked to return to the bargaining table less than 24 hours before the lockout would take effect. We are pleased that a tentative agreement was reached a look forward to a period of labour stability in our ports.
The Québec Port Authority has announced the signing of a long-term commercial agreement with Hutchison Ports and CN to build and operate the new container terminal called Laurentia. The $775 million project will be financed primarily through the joint investment of the three partners. Laurentia terminal is strategically placed, and it will be able to play a unique role in the continent’s supply chain. As the major inland deep-water terminal in North America, it is the only facility in the St. Lawrence which could accommodate the new generations of very large ships. It also benefits from a direct railway and highway connection and has all the necessary space to handle efficiently thousands of containers per year. The project is currently under an environmental assessment process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
BC Ferries has been seeking experts in reducing underwater noise as it builds new vessels and assesses reducing underwater noise from existing vessels. This is following a call by the National Energy Board in February for BC Ferries to take steps to reduce underwater noise to help the orcas. Although BC Ferries does not have an in-house expert team for underwater noise, it has accumulated more data than any other commercial fleet in the world. Help is being sought in how to ensure new vessels, equipment and on-board systems come together to ensure that noise mitigation targets can be reached.
In the aftermath of China banning plastic waste, Malaysia has claimed that there is an influx of waste containers being smuggled into the country to illegal processing plants. Malaysia will be sending around 3,000 metric tons of nonrecyclable plastic waste back to several countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. The government has clamped down on dozens of illegal plastic recycling facilities that have popped up around the country, shuttering more than 150 plants since last July.
Five grey whales have now washed ashore dead in B.C. in the last 2 months. Three of them have been found on the shores of Haida Gwaii. Proving to be a significant issue along the west coast, more than 60 grey whales have been found beached and dead along the West Coast between California and Alaska this year. Marine mammal experts are on Haida Gwaii working to determine the whales' causes of death.
BC Ferry Services has announced the resignation of Chair Donald P. Hayes, P. Geoffrey Plant, and Brian G. Kenning, effective May 22, 2019, following the introduction of a newly enacted amendment to the Coastal Ferry Act that sets term limits of board members to a maximum of eight consecutive years. As a result, these three board members have tendered their resignations.