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Ship Traffic

NOAA Makes Recommendations to Reduce Collisions with Whales

NOAA this week urged ship captains to use new recommended routes when entering or leaving the Florida ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina, and Brunswick, Ga., as well as in Cape Cod Bay off Massachusetts. These new routes are expected to reduce the chances of ship strikes with endangered right whales. The recommended routes take into account safety and economic impact to the mariner. Although the routes are voluntary, they will appear on both electronic and paper NOAA nautical charts no later than November 30. The new designations will help mariners decrease whale strikes by reducing vessel activity in areas frequented by ships and whales. North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered marine mammal populations in the world, and are highly vulnerable to ship collisions. Pregnant females and females with calves are known to have been struck by ships along the east coast in recent years. The right whale population is small--around 300--and many scientists believe recovery has stalled, making the few reproductively active females even more important to population recovery. Right whales typically travel south from waters off Canada and New England to calving and nursery areas off Florida and Georgia in winter, traversing areas frequented by large ships. Females and their calves then return to more northerly feeding grounds, aggregating in Cape Cod Bay during the spring, also an area with substantial ship traffic.


Bisso Marine Salvages Crewboat

Bisso Marine salvaged a 110-ft. crewboat in Sabine Pass, TX. The crewboat which was involved in collision with a ship rolled over and sank in approximately 50 ft. of water with the stern of the capsized vessel ultimately resting on the bottom and the bow keel floating above the surface. The sunken crewboat was positioned in the middle of the channel such that the Sabine Pass was closed by the USCG creating a problem for inbound and out bound ship traffic whose cargos are loaded and


North Atlantic Right Whale Management Measures

In August 2001, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposed ship traffic management measures as a means of reducing the incidence of ship strikes and resulting fatalities of the North Atlantic Right Whale. There are approximately 350 surviving Right Whales, and they are considered to be the most endangered of the large mammals. Through federal regulation, the NMFS implemented a "mandatory ship reporting system" to increase the industry's awareness of the problem and encourage the


Muddy Footprints: Satellite's View of Ship Pollution

Global NOx Map: Image credit NASA

Long tracks of elevated nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels show up along certain shipping routes when viewed from NASA's Aura satellite. For more than a decade, scientists have observed “ship tracks” in natural-color satellite imagery of the ocean. These bright, linear trails amidst the cloud layers are created by particles and gases from ships. They are a visible manifestation of pollution from ship exhaust, and scientists can now see that ships have a more subtle, almost invisible


Bar Pilots, New Orleans, Choose Raven TMS

Raven Aerostar say that the Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans (Bar Pilots) has selected its Traffic Management System. The system provides increased situational intelligence for Port of New Orleans ship pilots. Raven Aerostar's marine navigation aid systems are used by ship pilots in over a dozen ports in the U.S. The Bar Pilots recently ordered 35 Raven Traffic Management Systems, including the company's latest rate of turn sensor, Revolve.


VTMS Indonesia Contract for Transas

Traffic Control Station: Photo credit Transas

Transas Marine Pacific & local representative win contracts to supply & install Vessel Traffic Management Systems (VTMS) for Samarinda and Banjarmasin ports. In addition to this, Transas will upgrade the current VTS system in the Semarang port with a fully redundant AIS Base Station T214. The new VTS systems will be based on Transas flexible and accurate Navi-Monitor solution developed for monitoring and surveillance purposes


Lockheed Martin System To Monitor Gulf of Suez Safety

Lockheed Martin has completed the final Site Acceptance Test (SAT) for the Gulf of Suez Vessel Traffic Information Management System (VTIMS), which will monitor and control ship traffic in all major port and harbor waters. The $50 million maritime safety system is the foundation of the Arab Republic of Egypt's total port management program. Work boats and fishing vessels traverse the 175-nautical-mile-long Gulf along with huge oil tankers and boats full of tourists visiting the famous Red


Northwest Passage Wrecks Hunt Launched

Franklins Lost Expedition Map:Image credit Wiki CCL

The Canadian government launches its largest search yet for the lost ships of Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage. This year's search, led by Parks Canada, is the fourth government-led expedition over the past five years, and is by far the biggest, involving a much larger alliance of federal departments and other public and private interests. A previous large-scale search for the Franklin ships was launched by National Defence in 1967 as part of Canada's


Arctic Nautical Charts: NOAA Plans Updates

Two NOAA Corps Officers aboard Fairweather: Photo credit NOAA

Less sea ice and more ship traffic means new charts needed for safety. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has issued an updated Arctic Nautical Charting Plan , as a major effort to improve inadequate chart coverage for Arctic areas experiencing increasing vessel traffic due to ice diminishment. NOAA plans to create 14 new charts to complement the existing chart coverage. For example, seven of the charts will complete chart coverage from the Alaska Peninsula to Cape Lisburne at the edge of


Texas City "Y" incident: Latest Update

Entrance to Texas City Dike: Photo in public domain

The Coast Guard informs that it continues clean up operations in the Port of Houston/Galveston after having authorized limited marine traffic in the safety zone for commercial ship traffic, Tuesday. The Port Coordination Team is prioritizing ships for transit through the channel. Barges are being allowed to transit through the Houston Ship Channel and on the Intracoastal Waterway, after assessment teams deemed the channel clear.


Panama Canal Sets Sight on Another Expansion

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world's biggest ships.   Workers are now installing giant


USCG Conducting Ice Flushing Operations

 The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay conducts ice-flushing operations in the St. Clair River, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Ice flushing operations help keep brash ice from forming and encourages the flow of ice down river preventing possible flood situations. U.S. Coast Guard video by USCGC Bristol Bay.

  The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates.   Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures


Mediterranean Rescue Operations Strain Shipping

A young boy surrounded by adults after being rescued in June 2014 from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

  The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday describing how the increasing number of seaborne migrants making the journey from Africa to Europe has not only proved to be too much for European coast guards and navies, it now poses a major problem for Mediterranean shipping.  


USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

courtesy USCG

  The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures


PlateSmart Ups Security at Port Tampa Bay

Photo: PlateSmart

Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest maritime port and the 16th largest in the United States, has elected to implement PlateSmart's ARES enterprise license plate recognition-based video analytics system.   Overseen by the Tampa Port Authority


Satellites Reveal Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300%

Global shipping routes crisscross the world’s oceans. Credit: Grolltech

Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic. The research used satellite data to estimate the number of vessels on the ocean every year between 1992 and 2012


Saginaw River Shipping Volume at 10-Year Low

On account of cold weather shortening the season and a decline in cargo Saginaw River shipping traffic fell to its lowest level in 10 years in 2014   Saginaw River shipping traffic fell to a 10-year low in 2014. According to the local press reports


Congestion hits Lagos Ports

(Image courtesy: Lagos Ports Complex )

With 11 vessels have been waiting to get a space to berth in  Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) in order to discharge cargo since December 2014 heavy congestion hits Lagos Ports General Cargo Terminal.  More than 251,860 metric tons (MT) of cargo are currently stranded at Terminal C and D of


Cost Overrun Hits Panama Canal Expansion

Image: Panama Canal Authority

Widening the Panama Canal will cost more than budgeted due to billions of dollars in overruns by the consortium carrying out the work says a report from AFP.  The canal's administrator Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), which is overseeing upgrades to the canal's locks


Arctic Shipping Emissions to Increase by 600% in Ten Years

Arctic shipping by The International Chamber of Shipping

 The emissions from Arctic shipping traffic could rise 150-600 percent by 2025, the environmental group Friends of the Earth reports.  As global warming intensifies and Arctic sea ice melts, marine vessel traffic is expected to increase and amplify the levels of harmful pollution


Paris Talks to Target Shipping Emissions

Image:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 194 nations last week agreed at the Geneva Climate Change Talks to a negotiating text which could see international emissions caps placed on the shipping industry by 2020.  Shipping is a large and growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change


Danish-Swedish Port Boosts Rail Freight

Photo: CMP

Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) has engaged in a new collaboration to increase freight traffic by train to and from Northern Harbour. The new train service starts from the Netherlands and serves Malmö three times a week.   Freight traffic by rail will now increase in Malmö and


NOAA to Boost Arctic Nautical Charting

NOAA officers aboard one of the smaller survey vessels contemplate the vastness of the Chukchi Sea during the NOAA Ship Fairweathers reconnaissance survey in 2013. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA plans increased 2015 Arctic nautical charting operations, coordinating with U.S. Coast Guard for safe shipping route from Unimark Pass through Bering Strait    As commercial shipping traffic increases in the Arctic, NOAA informs it is taking steps to update nautical charts in the


Pakistan's Port Qasim to Receive First Cargo of LNG from Qatargas

LNG Floating Terminal: Port Qasim Authority

 The first load of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) traded by Qatari supplier, Qatargas, is planned to reach the Port Qasim LNG terminal on March 26, says a report in Reuters.   Qatargas is providing the LNG to Pakistan at $8 to $9 per Million British Thermal Units (MMBTU)


Using AIS Data to Assess Collision Risks

AIS WEB.jpg

Automatic Identification System (AIS) data is now being used to determine the collision risk for offshore installations. MARIN helps oil companies with risk assessments for offshore installations by calculating the probability of a ship collision with the offshore installation






 
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