It is so fitting for us to be recognizing Yvette Myers today as she retires after 35 years of public service, coincidentally on International Day of the Women. Yvette has been an integral part of our marine community over her years of service with the federal government and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Last week the Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, awarded Yvette the Minister’s Medal for exceptional service – only the second time it’s been awarded in 20 years. Yvette, ever so humble, is admired by many and continues to be a role model for those in public service and the industry across Canada and in Washington State. Starting her career as a teenager in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and working her way up the ranks of the Canadian Coast Guard, she retires as the Executive Director of the Oceans Protection Plan with Transport Canada, where she is highly regarded for her expertise and passion for all things marine. We expect that she will continue to be instrumental in bringing industry, government, and Indigenous groups together to face challenging issues head-on. Her contributions have left a lasting mark, and while we are sad to see her leave Transport Canada, we’re excited to see what the future holds for Yvette.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has joined SEA\LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition aiming to accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. VFPA is fourth port member to join the coalition, alongside Port of Rotterdam, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Together, the ports remain committed to supporting the coalition’s vision of a competitive global LNG value chain for cleaner maritime shipping. The coalition advocates for collaboration, demonstration, and communication on key areas such as regulation, emissions, infrastructure, and the economic case, to provide the confidence and demand required for an effective and efficient global LNG value chain by 2020 and beyond.
Three coastal spill response boats for Nanaimo, Sooke and Ucluelet have been unloaded on Vancouver Island, but due to funding delays they are not yet active. Delays in starting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are one of the key contributors keeping the boats from entering service. The three vessels, christened Strait Sentinel, Coastal Sentinel and Gulf Sentinel are nearly identical, weighing 300-tonnes and purpose-built for the west coast. The vessels fall into a new class of spill response vessel, known as coastal response vessels, designed to work in heavier seas.
Green Marine and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) signed a partnership agreement to further their common goals in fostering greater environmental sustainability in the maritime sector. The agreement, signed earlier this year, will serve as a framework to enhance technical cooperation between the two parties and encourage the exchange of information to raise awareness for both organizations and in program development towards environmental advancement.
Terry Duggan, another industry stalwart is retiring from his role of President & CEO of the BC Maritime Employers Association this month. For 32 years, Terry has dedicated his career to the BCMEA and WEBC teams, playing an integral part in supporting the growth of BC ports and developing the workforce for the waterfront over this period. Terry is big on family and we wish him, and his wife Lynnda, all the best as they embrace their new role as grandparents to fullest. Thanks for everything Terry!
Earlier this week, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced the establishment of eight marine refuges in Howe Sound to protect nine newly discovered glass sponge reefs. The Howe Sound glass sponge reefs are some of the most biologically productive reefs, providing habitat for more than 84 species of invertebrates and fish, such as prawns and rockfish. Together, the 9 reefs clean over 17 billion litres of water, filtering bacteria and processing carbon and nitrogen. Fishery closures to preserve the glass sponge reefs will take effect in advance of the spring fishing season and apply to all commercial, recreational and Indigenous bottom contact fishing activities. Prawn and crab traps, shrimp and groundfish trawls, groundfish hook and line, and the use of downrigger gear in recreational salmon trolling are now prohibited within the protected areas.
Commissioner Rebecca Dye commences the final phase of her investigation of the detention, demurrage, and free time practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators with the launch of Innovation Teams. Hearings will be held no later than mid-April. The stated goal is to make focused, significant changes that will emphasize demurrage and detention incentives and boost freight fluidity. The Commissioner is inviting input on the following four areas:
A final report on the Innovation Teams, Commissioner Dye’s findings, and any possible recommendations she may make, is due no later than September 3, 2019.
Transport Canada’s marine cargo services meets internationally recognized standards for ensuring the safe loading and stowage of regulated cargoes, inspecting vessels on which dangerous goods in solid bulk and/or packaged form are loaded, carried or unloaded, and approving the procedures established by a shipper regarding sampling, testing and controlling of the moisture content of a cargo which may liquefy. Currently, vessel operators are subject to a complex fee structure for marine cargo services, with 40 different fees spread out over three separate regulations. The fee modernization will seek to consolidate and simplify the marine cargo fees and regulatory structure, as well as update and/or add new fees to better reflect the true cost of delivering these services.
Transport Canada wants input from stakeholders, and you are invited to participate in the conversation be visiting: Let’s Talk modernizing fees for Marine Cargo Services website. This public consultation will be open until April 12, 2019.
This week the Government of Canada announced the establishment of the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area located off the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. While relatively small in size at 1000 km2 and well away from recognized large-vessel traffic routes, the corresponding regulations include a prohibition on the discharge of vessel sewage and grey water. With this regulatory approach, we see the potential start of a trend in Canada towards regulating shipping operations through the Oceans Act rather than the Canada Shipping Act, including a different system and level of enforcement and penalties.
The Tokyo MOU announced the preliminary results of the recent concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on MARPOL Annex VI. Of a total of 6,604 vessels, four (0.06%) were detained as a direct result of the campaign. The most notable deficiencies found during the campaign were related to;
China has suspended Richardson International's export licence over purported weed seeds and pests found in canola shipments. The Canadian food inspectors haven’t identified any pests or bacteria of concern, so Richardson feels it has little to do with the decision, and is rather a consequence of the latest flare-up in a diplomatic and trade dispute between Canada and China.
IIMS has launched its new Marine Surveyor Search App. The tool is free, and aims to make it easier to source commercial, or yacht and small craft marine surveyors by area or specialty. The content is drawn from the current IIMS practicing surveyor membership, which include 700+ surveyors in over 100 countries worldwide. The App is available on Google Play Store or the App Store; search for ’Marine Surveyor Search’ to find it.
DNV GL has issued a type approval design certificate for Norsepower’s auxiliary wind propulsion system, Rotor Sail Solution. It is the first auxiliary wind propulsion system onboard a commercial ship to receive the certificate attesting that it is capable of safely navigating all operational and environmental situations. The Rotor Sail Solution has been installed on three vessels and has achieved over 35,000 hours in operation, saving more than 4,500 tonnes of CO2 in the process. The solution has delivered independently verified fuel savings with potential of up to 20%, according to the company.
Esben Poulsson, President of Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), has written a book titled “A Life in Shipping”. The book is a is a recollection of his impressive career as he navigated the ins and out of an international industry where contacts and knowledge are everything. All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Mission to Seafarers. Learn more or purchase a copy here: https://www.missiontoseafarers.org/shop
Hapag-Lloyd’s 15,000 TEU container ship Sajir, will be the first mega-container vessel to be converted to dual-fuel operation. The project is scheduled to take place in 2020 when the five-year old vessel will spend 90 days in drydock. The conversion will be undertaken by MAN Energy Solutions and will entail converting an existing, HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI (-Gas Injection) prime mover capable of running on HFO and LNG. The DNV GL approved 6,700 cubic meter gas storage system will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers, including the pipework between storage and engine. This tank size will mean the vessel bunkers twice per round trip between Asia and Northern Europe.
The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) has launched a pledge for the inclusion of women in the shipping industry. The goal of the pledge is to address the under representation of women in the maritime industry through a series of statements aimed at embracing diversity through individual action and personal responsibility. Signatories of the pledge commit to “Embrace diversity of thought (including gender, race, ethnicity, and age) and contribute to a merit-based business environment within my organisation. WISTA is encouraging individuals to sign the pledge, which can be found online on the WISTA page on Change.org.
For the second consecutive year, the Port of Vancouver has reached record cargo volumes, with increases in many commodities through 2018. Overall cargo volume through Canada’s largest port reached a record high of 147 million tonnes, up 3.5 per cent from 2017. Dry bulk and containerized grain hit record levels of 27.4 million metric tonnes, potash exports increased 27.6 per cent, and breakbulk was up 11.7 per cent over 2017 due to strong imports of steel products and increased movement of domestic logs along the Fraser River. The cruise industry in Vancouver also grew 5.5 per cent in passenger numbers. With the growth of international trade, it is anticipated that Canadian west coast container ports will reach capacity by mid-2020s unless new capacity is created.