|Alaska Maritime Newsletter|
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.
Greetings to all our members, associates, partners,
On the vessel tracking front, we spent the summer enhancing our network of Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers throughout Alaska. We now have almost 50 receivers, providing over 150,000 square miles of AIS coverage. In an effort to meet the requirements of the recent Cruise Ship legislation, we provided the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation with combined satellite and AIS position reports for all the cruise ships visiting Alaska this season. And of course we continue to provide tracking services for many of our "regular" customers within Alaska. As the network and our capabilities grow, I'm convinced more than ever that this service will improve the efficiency of your operations, and will save lives in the future.
Now that the busy season is winding down, we felt it
important to get back in touch and bring everyone
up to speed on the latest news within Alaska's
maritime community. The big news continues to be
the rollout of TWIC and its impact to the community.
We have been working closely with the USCG and our
members to ensure these regulations are
implemented in a "common sense" fashion which
make sense for Alaska, and to limit the
logistical burden and/or cost to industry. The intent of
regulations is to improve the security of the Nation's
waterfront, which is one of the Marine Exchange's
primary missions as well. We look forward staying
with this process as it moves into Alaska and promise
to do our part to help implement these regulations
as painlessly and efficiently as
Most of you are well aware that the TSA and USCG have recently published a final rule mandating TWIC for all licensed mariners and anyone requiring unescorted access to secure areas of facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). This program will be phased in nationwide by September 2008.
The first "port" to begin the enrollment process for TWIC was the Port of Wimington, Delaware. As of this date, this is the only area of the country actively enrolling applicants. A Federal Register published 10/26/07 announced that Corpus Christi, Texas will begin enrolling applicants on 11/1/07. It is unknown when Alaska will see its first enrollment center, but the TSA has announced that we will have centers in Anchorage, Juneau, Valdez, and Nikiski. The regulations stipulate that a Federal Register will be published announcing the opening of each enrollment center at least 90 days prior to the TWIC "compliance" date within a specified area. The Marine Exchange has been actively pushing for the establishment of "mobile" enrollment centers to ease the process for many of Alaska's remote facilities and mariners. We will continue to press for this as it represents a "common sense" solution for Alaska.
What should you be doing to prepare for this
You can keep tabs on the implementation timeline by using the link below to periodically visit TSA's TWIC Website. This website has good, general info on TWIC, including the opportunity to "pre-enroll." The Marine Exchange is also committed to keeping Alaska's Maritime Community up to date through the use of our own website (www.mxak.org), and future newsletters.
In an effort to improve its service to mariners, the
USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) has recently
developed an automated "listserv."
This service allows mariners and other interested
parties to sign up for periodic email
In a Federal Register dated 10/3/07, the USCG announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which will require certain vessels to participate in an automated, long range identification and tracking (LRIT) system.
These regulations will mirror the recently amended
SOLAS Convention, agreed to at the 81st session of
IMO's Maritime Safety Committee. This amendment
states that the following ships (on international
voyages) must have have equipment onboard which
automatically transmits the identity of the ship, its
position, and the date/time the report was
The USCG estimates that 450 U.S.-flagged vessels will be affected by this rulemaking. They also estimate that all but approximately 23 of these vessels are currently outfitted with the equipment necessary to provide LRIT. In addition to these 450 US vessels, the SOLAS amendment will apply to the thousands of foreign-flagged vessels which transit within 1000 miles of the US coastline.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the
Marine Exchange feels that this rulemaking falls short
in several areas:
The University of Alaska (Southeast) is offering the
following courses for mariners in the next few
Juneau was the host of the 28th annual conference of
the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port
Administrators (AAHPA) on October 22-26,
The Marine Exchange would also like to congratulate Hoonah's Harbormaster, Paul Dybdahl on being selected as Alaska's Harbormaster of the Year!