News Archives from 04-25-2013 to 06-27-2013

Comments on MXAK Weather Stations Requested . . . June 27, 2013

Last year the Marine Exchange began the installation of experimental weather stations in different locations in Southeast Alaska. The weather information is presented on the Marine Exchange web site here. The National Weather Service, now, in partnership with the Marine Exchange of Alaska is seeking public comment to continue operation of experimental weather stations located at; Mary Island (Ketchikan area) , Marmion Island and Portland Island (Juneau area).  Comments concerning the usefulness of these weather sites as well suggestions of additional site locations can be sent to:

Weather Project (Attn Bill Benning)
c/o Marine Exchange of Alaska
1000 Harbor Way
Suite 204
Juneau, AK 99801

Satellite AIS Now Available from MXAK Tracking System . . . June 25

The Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) and exactEarth (eE) recently entered into a partnership to combine AIS messages received from MXAK’s terrestrial based AIS receivers with AIS data received from eE’s satellite AIS receivers.  This partnership provides vessel tracking coverage across the entire North Pacific extending beyond the reach of MXAK’s shore based receivers.  Each of eE’s four satellites passes over Alaska at least 8 times per day collecting data from most ocean going ships several times per day”.    While not providing “real time” data, satellite AIS provides valuable information that aids the implementation of marine safety measures and response to incidents when vessels are operating well offshore.

MXAK’s current PacTracs 2.0 has been modified to allow including satellite AIS data in addition to the data received from MXAK’s 100+ land based receivers for an additional fee.  More information on this enhanced capability can be obtained by selecting the “display options” link in the vessel tracking tab

USCG Terminating 2182kHz Distress Watch . . . June 20

Effective 01 August, 2013, the U. S. Coast Guard will terminate its radio guard of the international voice
distress, safety and calling frequency 2182 kHz and the international digital selective calling (DSC)
distress and safety frequency 2187.5 kHz. Additionally, marine information and weather broadcasts
transmitted on 2670 kHz will terminate concurrently.

See Additional Details Here

Federal Register Notice

MXAK Testimony at Senate Hearing . . . June 13

In his capacity as Chairman of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, Captain Ed Page, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Alaska, testified before the U.Se. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on June 11, 2013, regarding the partnership between the Marine Exchange of Alaska and the Alaska Ocean Observing System to provide real time weather information to ships at sea using the Marine Exchange's AIS system. A transcript of the testimony is provided below.

Testimony of Captain Page

IEE Guidance Published . . . May 14, 2013

The US Coast Guard has published a Policy Letter providing guidance for voluntary compliance by US-flag vessels with MARPOL Annex VI International Energy Efficiency (IEE) requirements. Vessels to which MARPOL applies are required to obtain an IEE Certificate. The Coast Guard has not yet promulgated regulations implementing the IEE requirements. In the interim, owners and operators of US-flag vessels may voluntarily obtain IEE Certificates from their Recognized Classification Society in accordance with the policy letter guidelines.  Complete details are in the policy letter linked below.

IEE Policy Letter


Passenger-Carrying Fishing Vessel Instruction Issued . . . April 25, 2013

On April 10, 2013, the Seventeenth Coast Guard District issued an instruction to all Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection within the Seventeenth District concerning commercial fishing industry vessels carrying passengers or passengers for hire. The instruction pointed out that if a fishing vessel carries passengers for hire that the operator must have a Coast Guard license or merchant mariner’s credential. If the fishing vessel is admeasured at less than 100 gross tons she may carry six or less passengers for hire and remain uninspected, but she must have a licensed operator in charge. If the fishing vessel is admeasured at greater than 100 gross tons she may carry up to 12 passengers and remain uninspected, but again she must have a licensed master onboard.  Complete details are in the instruction linked below.

Passenger Carrying Fishing Vessel Instruction