|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.
As most of you know, the national compliance date for TWIC was April 15, 2009. This means all licensed mariners, anyone who requires unescorted access to the secure area(s) of USCG-regulated waterfront facilities, Facility Security Officers, etc. are now required to have TWIC.
The only current relief (that I know of) for mariners who still don't have TWIC is in the form of TWIC Policy Advisory Council memo dated April 7, 2009. This policy allows mariners who have applied for TWIC, and who can prove their TWIC is printed and ready to pick up
, to operate without the TWIC until May 29, 2009. Read the policy here.
The following mobile visits are currently pending:
Dutch Harbor: ENROLLMENTS & ACTIVATIONS, April 27 - May 1, Unalaska Public Library. Hours: 9:00a-1:00p and 2:00p-6:00p. If you enrolled in Dutch Harbor or Anchorage and would like to activate during this visit, please call 907-463-3142 to make an appointment.
Ketchikan: ACTIVATIONS ONLY, April 30, Ketchikan Harbor Office. Hours: 8:00a-5:00p. Anyone who previously enrolled in Ketchikan can activate their cards during this visit. Please call 907-463-3142 as soon as possible to make an appointment.
Nome: ACTIVATIONS ONLY, May 5-6, Nome Harbor Office. Hours: TBD. If you enrolled during the March visit, Joy Baker (Harbormaster) will be contacting you or your company representative to set-up appointments. If you will be traveling during this week, I'd encourage you to contact me (asap) so your card can be available in Anchorage (otherwise it will be sent to Nome for the activation visit). This will allow you to activate the card as you pass through Anchorage. (Email me or call 907-463-4640).
Kodiak: Although exact dates have not been set, it still looks promising for another ACTIVATION visit to Kodiak in late-May. Those of you who have received notification that your card is ready (which means it's in Anchorage) are highly encouraged to activate your card at the Anchorage fixed center if your travels take you through there. Otherwise, I'll keep everyone updated via this newsletter as dates are firmed up.
Sitka: As with Kodiak, exact dates have not been set but it looks promising for an ACTIVATION visit in late-May as well. We will continue to work with Lockheed Martin to help make this trip happen.
|Recent Government Rulemaking |
It's Springtime inside the Beltway. The cherry blossoms are in bloom, and the federal agencies have come out of hibernation to issue several notices of proposed rulemaking. We don't get to enjoy the cherry blossoms up here, but maybe you'll enjoy the new rules. If you do (or if you don't), I'd highly recommend providing your comments by the individual due dates.
TWIC Card Readers
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 (and certain vessels). 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. Comments on this proposal are due no later than 26 May 2009. The Marine Exchange intends to submit comments, but we encourage all Company & Facility Security Officers to look over the proposal and offer comments as well.Read the notice here...
Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Critical Habitat Designation
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.
Limited Entry Permits for Guided Halibut Sport Charters
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.
|Facility and Vessel Security Plans |
As a reminder to Alaska's Vessel and Facility Security Officers - the majority of the security plans in Alaska are coming up on the 5-year anniversary of their original approval dates. The Marine Exchange has already contacted many of you and your plans are already in the process of being prepared for re-submission to the USCG. If this comes as news to you, please ensure you understand the requirements during this 5-year renewal process (i.e. new assessments, plans must be TWIC-compliant, etc) and ensure your plans are submitted to the proper USCG office in the near future. If you have questions regarding this (or if we haven't already been in touch), please give Ed Page or myself a call (907-463-2607).
|NOAA Charts |
Spring has finally arrived in Alaska and many of you are getting your vessels ready for the season. In the interest of "ensuring safe maritime operations throughout Alaska" the Marine Exchange is offering our "Print on Demand" NOAA charts to everyone at the member discount rate (10% off) through May. These charts are NOAA-approved (in fact, they ARE NOAA charts), with the primary difference being that they include all the required corrections up to the date we print them for you. This means you spend more time fishing, and less time correcting charts.
If you're in Juneau, you can either call ahead and let us know which charts you need, or simply walk-in. We are located at 1000 Harbor Way in Downtown Juneau (above Juneau Electronics at the base of the Douglas Bridge). We'd be happy to mail the charts to those of you outside Juneau. Call 907-463-3142 to order charts or for additional information.
Marine Exchange of Alaska