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Alaska Maritime Newsletter )
Making Maritime Connections Across Alaska September 2006
In this issue
  • Marine Exchange Starts E-mail Newsletter
  • Marine Exchange of Alaska Receives Legacy Award
  • Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) Update
  • Background Checks for Merchant Mariner Documents
  • MTSA Compliance Reminder
  • Automated Secure Vessel Tracking (ASVTS) Update
  • Upcoming Events
  • New Coast Guard Leadership in Alaska
  • NOAA Launches On-Line Chart Viewer
  • The Marine Exchange of Alaska is a non-profit, maritime organization established to serve the Alaska Maritime Community by providing information, communications and services to ensure safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.

    Marine Exchange Starts E-mail Newsletter

    This is the first, of hopefully many newsletters we will periodically send out to broker information on maritime issues related to Alaska operations. Marine Exchanges were established in the 1800's to "exchange" information on vessel arrivals. This 21st Century e-mail replaces the 19th Century semaphore as a means of distributing information to aid safe and efficient maritime operations. We welcome input, feedback and ideas for making this newsletter something of value. This along with our web site and newsletters should keep you in the know.
    Regards- Ed Page, Executive Director

    Marine Exchange of Alaska Receives Legacy Award

    The Pacific States / British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force has selected the Marine Exchange of Alaska as the recipient of one of its prestigious 2006 Legacy Awards.

    The Marine Exchange was honored for its development of its Automated Secure Vessel Tracking System (ASVTS) which tracks the location of vessels to ensure safe, secure, efficient,and environmentally responsible marine operations.

    Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) Update

    The U.S. Coast Guard issued a notice in the Federal Register concerning the proposed Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) which had been originally proposed on May 22, 2006. The Coast Guard and TSA have decided to press ahead with the TWIC requirement for personnel working in certain facilities, however the proposed requirement for purchasing "card readers" will be postponed for a later rulemaking. The Marine Exchange has submitted comments to the regulatory docket suggesting TWIC is unneeded for most Alaska facilities and ports where the numbers of persons accessing facilities is limited. We will continue to monitor this initiative and keep you informed of developments.

    Background Checks for Merchant Mariner Documents

    The Coast Guard has increased the requirements for applicants of merchant mariners' documents to provide proof of identity, now including fingerprints, a criminal record review, and a National Driver Register Review. These requirements are significant to many Alaska mariners in that the applicants for original issue, renewal, raise of grade, or issue of a duplicate licenses are now required to personally appear at a USCG Regional Exam Center.

    In an effort to lessen the burden on mariners residing in remote areas, the Coast Guard may establish "Traveling Examination Teams" to serve groups of applicants in remote locations. These individuals, or groups would be responsible for reimbursing the Coast Guard for the costs of this travel. Click "More info" below for additional details, as well as REC Juneau's newsletter which discusses this topic.

    MTSA Compliance Reminder

    As the annual security plan audit season draws to a close, bear in mind that maintaining your facility and/or vessel security program is year-round requirement. Remember that drills must be conducted once a quarter, and one exercise must be conducted every year. The Marine Exchange plans to provide reminders to those we have conducted audits for in the past year, which will include scenarios & worksheets to help the FSO/VSOs meet these requirements.

    As we move into the "off season", also remember to conduct regular inspections of your security systems (signage, lighting, fencing, communications, etc), and keep your personnel refreshed on the requirements of your facility/vessel security plans and relevant portions of the MTSA regulations.

    If you need advice, or have any questions regarding these requirements, or any other regulatory compliance issue, the Marine Exchange is always available to assist.

    Automated Secure Vessel Tracking (ASVTS) Update
    ASVTS Logo

    The Marine Exchange of Alaska's Automated Secure Vessel Tracking System (ASVTS) continues to grow and we are working hard with Secure Asset Reporting Service (SARS) to upgrade the system to improve its reliability and usefulness. In the past few months we have expanded the number of Alaska AIS receiving sites by 50% and now are providing total coverage of approximately 50,000 square miles. We are planning to bring on line 10 more sites this year. Between AIS and long-range satellite systems, we currently track several hundred vessels sailing Alaska waters each day. While ASVTS aids the efficiency of maritime operations daily, it also at times aids maritime safety, security and environmental protection.

    Upcoming Events

    The following maritime-related events are scheduled in the upcoming months. Please contact the person listed for additional information regarding these events. If you know of a relevant event that should be highlighted in future newsletters, please contact the Marine Exchange of Alaska and we will be happy to post it.

    September 7, 2006
    The semi-annual meeting of the Association of Petroleum Industry Co-Op Managers (APICOM) will be held in Ketchikan.
    POC: David Owings (SEAPRO) 907-225- 7002

    October 23-27, 2006
    The 27th annual conference of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators (AAHPA) is scheduled to take place in Ketchikan.
    POC: Christopher Brewton, 907-228-5632.

    New Coast Guard Leadership in Alaska
    CG Stripe

    During this summer there have been a few changes in the Coast Guard's leadership in Alaska, some of which have been related to the reorganization of the service, through the standing up of "Sectors" that combine Coast Guard marine safety, law enforcment and Search and Rescue missions. The changes in personnel, starting with the District Commander are as follows:

    USCG 17th District
    RADM Eugene Brooks relieved RADM James Olson as the new District Commander.

    Sector Juneau
    Capt. Mark Guillory relieved CDR John Sifling as the Captain of the Port, Southeast Alaska, as well as the new title of Commander, Sector Juneau.

    Sector Anchorage
    Capt. Mark Devries remains the Captain of the Port, Western Alaska, but has now assumed the title of Commander, Sector Anchorage as well.

    NOAA Launches On-Line Chart Viewer

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has unveiled a new online nautical chart viewer. Each chart is up to date with the most recent Notices to Mariners, and while not intended for navigation, this service provides a convenient reference or planning tool.

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    Marine Exchange of Alaska | 2 Marine Way | Suite 222 | Juneau | AK | 99801