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The US Coast Guard posted a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) to remind masters, owners/operators, agents and persons-in-charge of vessels that the United States is not signatory to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediment (BWM Convention) and that vessels discharging ballast water (BW) into the waters of the US must comply with the requirements of 33 CFR 151 Subparts C and D.

Under the US BW regulations, meeting the BWM Convention requirements for sequential exchange is not an acceptable BWM method for vessels beyond the compliance date specified in 33 CFR 151.1512 & 151.2035 without a valid Coast Guard extension. Accordingly, vessels beyond their compliance date are reminded to employ one of the following BWM methods when operating in the waters of the United States:

  • Use a Coast Guard-approved ballast water management system (BWMS);
  • Use only water from a US public water system (PWS);
  • Use an alternate management system (AMS) [NOTE: Only valid for 5-years from compliance date];
  • Do not discharge BW into waters of the United States (includes the territorial sea as extended to 12 nautical miles from the baseline); or
  • Discharge to a facility onshore or to another vessel for purposes of treatment.

Friday, 07 July 2017 12:12

Underwater noise on MEPC 71 agenda

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This week the Canadian delegation to the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) had two opportunities to put concerns on vessel radiated underwater noise on the international stage.  Carrie Brown, Director Environmental Programs of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, provided an information session to IMO delegates of the work underway on the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program to better understand the impact of underwater shipping noise on the Southern Resident Killer Whales.  Canada then took the stage the following day when Michelle Sanders, Director of Clean Water Policy Division of Transport Canada (pictured centre), presented paper MEPC 71/16/5 entitled,"Collaboration to reduce underwater noise from marine shipping," under other business.  Canada is inviting countries to collaborate to develop a better understand of ship noise and its impact on marine mammals and to identify measures to mitigate any adverse impacts, thus building on the previous work of the Committee and Members States as outlined in the guidelines issued in MEPC.1/Circ. 833.   Both presentations were well received and sparked renewed interest on the subject with several Member States and organizations expressing an intent to collaborate.  Coincidentally, an article on the ECHO Program and the voluntary speed reduction trial in Haro Strait starting this summer was featured in the Vancouver Sun on July 6th.

Canada also co-sponsored MEPC 71/14/4 paper, entitled "Measures to reduce risk of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters," along with Finland, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway and the United States for a new output in the Committee's work programme to develop measures to reduce risk of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. This was generally supported and the PPR 5 Sub-Committe was tasked with identifying the scope work to be assigned to PPR 6 at the next MEPC 72.  

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The world’s sixth largest liner shipping company has officially been formed in Tokyo as K Line,  MOL and NYK Line enter into joint venture that will begin operating in April 2018.  The One Network Express (ONE), will bring together the container divisions of Japan’s three major carriers with a combined fleet of 250 ships and a capacity of 1.38 million TEU.

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The Regulations Amending the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations –  2015 submission (http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2017/2017-06-28/html/sor-dors124-eng.php )  were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette, on June 28, 2017, and are now in force.  The amendments to the Regulations made changes proposed by the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations and were administrative in nature and no new restrictions or major changes were sought.

Friday, 30 June 2017 14:58

Peak Challenge a coastal success

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The International Sailors' Society Canada's Day of the Seafarer Peak Challenge held yesterday was a great success with 51 participants competing to be the fastest up the Grouse Grind®.  The fastest team was the SST Salish from Saam Smit (pictured in left) comprised of Keith Eriks, Brook Walker and Greg Moore with a total team time of 2:26.  Leading the team was Keith Eriks who won the fastest individual award by clocking in at the top after only 35 minutes. A list of participants and times can be found on the ISSC website

Joining in the Day of the Seafarer spirit was the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Operations Department (pictured above right) who organized a “Prince Rupert Challenge” on Mt. Hays and contributed registration fees to the ISSC Challenge. There were 3 teams of 3 who participated in the challenge and following the hike was a barbeque hosted by the PRPA at the Prince Rupert Seafarer’s Mission open to all seamen and those assisting the seamen.  The PRPA hikers were: Dave Charlton, Brent Baxter, Mark Hotz, Duncan Calder, Angela Gruber, Caleigh LePage, Adam Simons, Paul Cavin, Daelan Calder.  Congratulations to all teams and great job!  #SeafarersMatter.

Friday, 30 June 2017 14:56

VFPA Board Appointments

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His Excellency the Governor General in Council, in conjunction with the Minister of Transport and the Nominating Committee, has announced four appointments to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s board of directors following the recommendation of port users:

  • Catherine McLay, a new director, appointed for a three-year term
  • Lisa Ethans, a new director, appointed for a three-year term
  • Richard Turner, an existing director, reappointed for a term ending June 18, 2018
  • Eugene Kwan, an existing director, reappointed for a term ending May 13, 2019

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s board of directors is composed of 11 members: one federal appointee; one British Columbia provincial appointee; one appointee for the Prairie Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; one municipal appointee; and, seven federal appointees recommended by port users.

Friday, 30 June 2017 14:47

Abandoned Boats Program

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The Government of Canada is now accepting applications under its Abandoned Boats Program, a $6.85 million initiative that provides grants and contribution funding to assist in the removal of abandoned and/or wrecked small boats posing a hazard in Canadian waters. The ABP has two key components:

  • The Assessment and Removals (A&R) Component funds boat removal assessments, and the permanent removal and disposal of abandoned and/or wrecked small boats (deadline October 30, 2017)
  • The Education, Awareness and Research (EA&R) Component funds public education projects aimed at raising awareness about boat owner responsibility, including proper end-of-life management practices. It also funds research on environmentally responsible boat design and recycling of end-of-life boats (deadline September 30).
Friday, 30 June 2017 14:43

Dumas announces retirement

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After nearly 40 years in the marine industry across Canada Bernie Dumas is retiring as president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, effective September 30, 2017.  Port Authority Board Chair Moira Jenkins lauded Dumas for his great vision and innovation as leader of the Port Authority. “His many accomplishments reflect his exceptional commitment. He has led the Port’s transformation from a forest products distribution centre, to a multimodal port operation, establishing Nanaimo as the main marine gateway for trade to and from the island,” Jenkins said.  

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The largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles remains closed as Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk continued to grapple with effects of a cyberattack that rippled across numerous countries on Tuesday.  The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping. Seven of Maersk shipping container terminals worldwide were hacked and in response, the company deliberately shut down a number of its IT systems.  Most terminals are operational again, but may have limited functionality.  All Maersk Line vessels are under control, employees are safe and onboard communication is functioning. 


The computer worm affecting Maersk the worm erupted Tuesday in Ukraine, affecting power, governmental and other concerns there and spread to many other countries including the US, France, Britain and Germany.  It is estimated that it infected 2 million computers in the first two hours after its release.

Friday, 30 June 2017 14:28

COSCO set to buy 14 container ships

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COSCO Shipping Corp is extending its container fleet as the company expands its sea routes.  The group, through its subsidiary China COSCO Shipping Holding Co Ltd, plans to buy six mega container ships from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd.  Another eight container vessels will be purchased from Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd. The two deals will be worth about $1.78 billion.  Deliver dates for the 14 container ships have been penciled in for the next two years, and they will raise the group's operational TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent units, capacity to more than 2 million by the end of 2018.

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Shortly after South Africa's decision to reject the merger, the European Commission has approved the joint venture between Japan’s shipping giants Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line).  The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited impact of the transaction on the routes to and from Europe and the fact that there would be sufficient competitive pressure from other competitors post transaction.  The votes so far are 2-yes, 1-no, 1-abstention.

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Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, and oil companies have signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low carbon future. The GIA partners will collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures. Focusing on a number of priority areas including energy efficiency technologies and operational best practices, alternative fuels, and digitalization.  

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