News Archives from 3-26-09 to 4-22-2009

NMFS Proposes Limited Entry Permits for Guided Halibut Sport Fishing 4-22-2009
On 21 April 2009 the National Marine Fisheries Service published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the federal register which would require charter vessels who take clients out sportfishing for halibut to obtain a limited entry permit. If approved this limited access system would limit the number of charter vessels that could participate in the guided sport fishery for halibut in Southeast Alaska. Written comments on the proposal must be received by June 5, 2009. Complete details on the proposal are available at the link below.

Federal Register Notice National Marine Fisheries Service Limited Entry for Halibut Charter Fishing

Cook Inlet Beluga Whales Critical Habitat Designation 4-20-2009

On May 14, 2009, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a notice in the Federal Register that they were seeking comment and information from the general public on the possible designation of areas of Cook Inlet as Critical habitat for Cook Inlet Beluga Whales. This designation could have major implications for many different kinds of commercial activities in Cook Inlet. Comments on the information request should be submitted by May 14, 2009. Complete details on the information request are available in the Federal Register linked below.

Federal Register Cook Inlet Beluga Whales Critical Habitat Designation

Cook Inlet Ice Advisory Cancelled 4-13-2009

On April 10, 2009, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage cancelled the Ice Advisory that had been in effect for heavy ice conditions in Cook Inlet. The complete details are in the notice linked below.

Ice Advisory Cancellation

TWIC Card Reader Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: 3-27-09

On 27 March 2009, the Coast Guard published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the requirements for the use of card readers for the verification of the identities of persons presenting TWIC cards for unescorted access to MTSA regulated facilities. The proposal describes a risk based scheme where facilities are ranked according to risk and consequences of a Transportation Security Incident. Depending on where a facility ranks in terms of risk will determine whether or not and how a TWIC card reader would be employed to verify the identities of persons entering the facility with TWIC cards. Complete details are in the proposed rulemaking federal register notice below. Comments on this proposal are due no later than 26 May 2009.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) - Reader Requirements Proposed Rule

Marine Exchange Web Site Changes: 3-26-09

As you will note, there is a new look and feel to the Marine Exchange's web site, however, the content is basically the same. We redesigned some aspects of the site to make it more user friendly, i.e. Quick Links, as well as changed our operating system to make the site operate faster and easier for our staff to make changes. RDI of Juneau helped us develop the new appearance and Skunk Cabbage Designs, a Juneau web design firm, did a great job of implementing the changes. Captain Don Bodron, our Special Projects Manager and webmaster, is our point man for identifying news items that may be of interest and hoisting the same onto our site and ensuring new regulations and data are posted and up to date.

As you can see on the right hand column of our home page, we have incorporated continually refreshed photos of the the Alaska maritime community in action . . . past and present. We feel the photos capture the essence of the Alaska maritime community . . . a diverse community of maritime professionals providing safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound maritime operations. We welcome your photos, pictures, news postings and input. Just click the link to submit your own pictures and stories.

Please note we also have provided a link on our home page to sign up on our "push" e-mail newsletter that is sent out periodically that serves as another tool to help disseminate information.

The legacy of Marine Exchanges around the U.S. is the brokering of information to the maritime community. This web site, our vessel tracking system and our e-mail newsletter replace the spy glasses and semaphore used by our predecessors in the 1800's to gather shipping information and pass it on to the maritime community.

Ed Page, Executive Director