The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Dominic LeBlanc, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced the finding under the Species at Risk Act that Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) face an imminent threat to both survival and recovery. The Ministers came to this opinion after reviewing an assessment that considered the biological condition of Southern Resident Killer Whale population, ongoing threats, and mitigation measures. Lack of prey is one of the critical factors affecting the recovery of SRKW. To address this, Minister LeBlanc has announced measures to increase prey availability and conserve Chinook salmon. These include $9.5 million in funding from the Coastal Restoration Fund to support eight projects across British Columbia and a reduction in the total fishery removals for Chinook salmon of 25-35%
The final report on the Pilotage Act Review that was focussed on modernizing the Pilotage Act while keeping the elements that support Canada’s excellent pilotage safety record was released earlier this week. The Review conducted by Marc Gregoire concluded on April 30, 2018 after extensive engagement across the country. The final report recommends strengthening five key components of the legislation: its purpose and principles, governance model, labour structure, safety framework, and tariff setting process.
Transport Canada has issued the following Ship Safety Bulletins:
The Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) has voted to issue a Request for Additional Information (RFAI) in response to an amendment filed in April by the parties to the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA). The amendment would change the PierPass fee structure and use appointment systems for dray truckers serving facilities at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Once WCMTOA responds to the questions posed in the RFAI, the Commission will have another 45 days to analyze the amendment.
US Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, has introduced the “Energizing American Shipbuilding Act.” The legislation would support American shipbuilding by requiring a portion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil exports to be transported on US-built, US-crewed vessels. The legislation was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Garamendi, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
When Congressman Garamendi had introduced similar bills in previous years, the former US Trade Representative had intervened against those proposals. However under the Trump Administration the current US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, may be less inclined to intervene against this proposal. Reports also suggest that this bill has received support from several national stakeholders, including the US shipbuilding industry, iron and steel industry, and labour leaders.
The Marine Safety Center recently updated two tools posted to its ballast water management system website to assist industry when completing the ballast water management system type approval process, or when accessing letters of intent. First, the Ballast Water Management System Type Approval Review Checklist was updated May 9th to streamline Marine Safety Center’s review of type approval applications, and second, the Letters of Intent Register now includes both the system name and the manufacturer’s name for each Letter of Intent that has been submitted to improve the ease of searching and/or identifying LOIs when multiple systems listed are manufactured by a single company.
The proposed $400 million purchase by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (WMS) of Drew Marine’s technical solutions, fire, safety and rescue business has been rejected by Singapore's competition watchdog over concerns that the acquisition would lessen competition in the supply of products in Singapore, and may lead to price increases, deterioration in quality of products and/or service levels. In September, the UK Competition and Markets Authority gave the go-ahead to the deal after its review Phase 1 of the proposed deal, however the US Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint in February and is seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the parties from consummating the merger, and to maintain the status quo pending an administrative hearing in July.
The International Maritime Organization approved the Bering Strait and Bering Sea ship routing measures proposed by the United States and Russian Federation. Taking effect Dec. 1, 2018, the six two-way routes and six precautionary areas are the first internationally recognized ship routing measures the IMO has approved for polar waters. Use of the proposed routes is intended to be voluntary for all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. In November 2017, the US and Russia proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea in response to increased shipping traffic there.
The 99th session of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) concluded meeting this week with steps towards the safe, secure and environmentally sound Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) operations. MSC 99 endorsed a framework for a regulatory scoping exercise, as work in progress, including preliminary definitions of MASS and degrees of autonomy, as well as a methodology for conducting the exercise and a plan of work. A correspondence group on MASS was established to test the framework of the regulatory scoping exercise agreed at the session and, in particular, the methodology, and will report back to its next session, MSC 100 (3-7 December 2018).
IMO in 2017 adopted Strategic Directions for the Organization, including one on the integration of new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework - balancing the benefits derived from new and advancing technologies against safety and security concerns, the impact on the environment and on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry, and their impact on personnel, both onboard and ashore.
Closer to home, the Master Mariners of Canada has shared presentations from its Maritimes Division's symposium on Autonomous and Remote Control Ships held on April 25th.
In response to a 2016 study by the Seafarers International Research Centre that showed an increase in psychiatric disorders among those serving at sea and a deterioration in other aspects of seafarers’ mental health, shipping organisations have stepped up their approach to the problem. Marine insurer the American Club last year urged employers to take the mental health of their crew more seriously and now the UK Chamber has released its mental welfare policy guidelines to assist shipping companies in drawing up policies on mental wellbeing. The aim is to create awareness among management of the importance of good mental health among the seafaring workforce, and to support companies in fostering a culture that is conducive to improving the mental wellbeing of seafarers. The Chamber and the unions recommend that shipping companies draw up, agree and adopt policies on mental health awareness that are in line with the guidelines.
On Sunday May 27th 2018,at 1:00 pm a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque will be unveiled at Granville Island to recognize the national historic significance of Tugboats on Canada’s West Coast, with special reference to the historic Steam Tug Master. A parade of tugs both modern and historic will follow the ceremony. Everyone connected with the industry or who just “loves tugs” is invited to join this historic and long overdue event recognizing the critical role that tugboats continue to play in the commerce of this province.
Seaspan Marine has entered into a 5-year, multi-million dollar agreement with SeaWays Global, a UK-based provider of marine training and tugboat simulations. As part of this partnership, SeaWays will offer sophisticated, competency-based marine training and tugboat simulation in support of the Seaspan’s ship escort, ship assist and towing services.Seaspan’s investment commitment totals over $6M and includes the installation of a multi-console tugboat simulator at the company’s North Vancouver Pemberton Campus. In addition, the program will see the implementation of on-going simulator and live vessel training programs for its tug masters, who operate vessels in Vancouver Harbour, on the Fraser River and along the BC coast.
Following the acquisition of Squamish Terminals Ltd. last week, the President of Western Stevedoring, Brad Eshleman has announced the following corporate and operations management changes effective immediately:
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is hosting a celebration at Canada Place on May 23rd to welcome the 25 millionth cruise passenger through the Port of Vancouver. The event will feature the presentation of a special gift to the lucky cruise passenger to commemorate the milestone occasion, and will include remarks by the port authority, Tourism Vancouver, and Holland America Line.
Ashcroft Terminals received a major investment of $9.2M under the National Transportation Corridor Fund towards rail and road infrastructure improvements. The investment will support a new rail link to Canadian National Railway’s main rail line, an extra rail track for the assembly of longer trains, and an internal road network under the rail line. Other works will include increasing electrical capacity, installing water treatment infrastructure, and installing lighting and security enhancements to provide safe and secure operations. The project is expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating over 250 jobs during construction.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced this week a major investment of $55.8 million for four projects led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority that will help local businesses compete by moving local goods to market, and by making improvements to port infrastructure.
These projects are expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating an estimated 550 jobs during construction and include the following:
The Government of Canada has announced that over $80,000 will be granted to remove two boats and assess 29 boats that litter the shores of British Columbia. Recipients receiving funding to remove abandoned boats:
Recipients receiving funding to assess abandoned boats:
Assessments help identify safety issues, environmental impact, recycling value and costs associated with removing an abandoned boat. Once an assessment is completed, applicants may apply for funding under the Abandoned Boats Program to have a boat removed and disposed. The Abandoned Boats Program will be allocated a total of $6.85 million in funding under the Oceans Protection Plan.