AITA - Pacific Marine Expo 2014
Our first year as exhibitors at the Pacific Marine Expo was very successful. AITA welcomes all of its new members and affiliates.
Many thanks to all of you who came by Booth 509 at Pacific Marine Expo 2014. We will see you again next year!
The Simple Truths of Safety at Sea for the Alaska Tender Fleet
The January 1, 2017, deadline for development and implementation of an Alternate Safety Compliance Program for vessels at least 50 feet in length, built before July 1, 2012, and over 25 years of age, is rapidly approaching.
To address safety concerns of the tender fleet, AITA is currently developing an Alternative Safety Compliance Checklist, as well as a Best Practices Manual for Alaska commercial Fishing Tender vessels.
As part of this overall process AITA has prepared a casualty report document, "The Simple Truths of Safety at Sea for the Alaska Tender Fleet: A Study of Tenders in the 17th Coast Guard District", and is specific to commercial Fishing Tenders operating in the State of Alaska. This report was submitted to the Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee in September 2014.
The Alaska Commercial Fishing Tender fleet hazards are dramatically different from other fleets in the industry, and many of the concerns can be addressed easily. AITA is participating in the development of an Alternative Safety Compliance Plan and in the development of a risk based Alternative Safety Compliance Program for Commercial Fishing Tender Vessels in Alaska. We believe the plan can be achieved with reasonable changes and can result in minimal economic impact to our members.
The casualty report document may be viewed here: The Simple Truths of Safety at Sea for the Alaska Tender Fleet: A Study of Tenders in the 17th Coast Guard District
An Example to Follow
In the Thursday, 23 October 2014, edition of National Fisherman Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley wrote about AITA and our involvement in the development of an Alternate Safety Compliance Program.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Permit moratorium on implementation expires on Dec. 18, 2014. There are several individuals and organizations working to arrange some sort of relief prior to the expiration date (reference In the Works article "HR 3464 Commercial Vessel Discharges Reform Act of 2013"). While virtually all senators and congressmen are in favor of exempting under 79’ vessels from the permit requirements, the stumbling block has to do with ballast discharge and the associated invasive species problems. The announcement and publication follow.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced issuance of the final Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) in the September 10, 2014, Federal Register. The sVGP, available nationwide, provides a way for owners and operators of non-military, non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet in length and operating as a means of transportation to meet the Clean Water Act requirement to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for incidental discharges.
Small vessel discharges are eligible for sVGP coverage beginning Dec. 19, 2014, i.e., the date on which the statutory moratorium on NPDES permitting expires. The sVGP is designed to be an easily implementable permit with common-sense best management practices that reduce pollution.
Larger vessels are not eligible for coverage under the sVGP; those vessels have generally been eligible for coverage under the Vessel General Permit (VGP) since 2008.
EPA will be hosting a free webinar about the sVGP on September 23, 2014. For more information about the webinar and to register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/772164202.
Support for extension of exemption comes from Governor Sean Parnell in a letter dated October 28, 2014, to Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Mark Begich, and Representative Don Young urging them to act on any opportunity to procure an extension or other exemption for small vessels before the end of the current congressional session.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today succeeded in brokering a bipartisan agreement to block a costly and redundant EPA regulation on Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet and commercial vessels under 79 feet that would have hurt fishermen and coastal communities. Today’s unanimous U.S. Senate vote comes just weeks after Murkowski introduced a bill with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to extend the current moratorium and co-sponsored efforts establish a permanent exemption. Since then, she has been engaged in continuous negotiations with Senators to reach a workable solution.
With the present commercial vessel exemption expiring at Midnight on December 18th, the compromise she reached with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) will shield fishermen from these regulations for three years. The Senators also agreed to work to pass permanent legislation in the new Congress.
Keep Your Nautical Charts Updated
NOAA maintains the nation’s nautical charts and publications for U.S. coasts and the Great Lakes. Over a thousand charts cover 95,000 miles of shoreline and 3.4 million square nautical miles of waters.
2014 Tendering Purse Seine Herring in Sitka, AK
Watch this video of tendering purse seine caught herring in the 2014 Sitka SacRoe Herring Fishery
Many thanks to Ry MacDonald and the F/V Deco Bay.