WGMA Urges Participation in Menhaden Survey
The West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA) is urging its members with ships arriving at any port in the western US Gulf to participate in the Menhaden survey.
The annual Menhaden spawn (typically April through October) has created challenges for ships transiting local waterways, namely a potentially dangerous loss of propulsion caused by engine overheating resulting from sea chest strainers being clogged by hundreds of these small fish.
Numerous warnings have previously been broadcast by the Coast Guard's Captain of the Port and the Presiding Officer of the Houston Pilots about this natural phenomenon and these incidents, however they continue to occur, almost on a daily basis, and this is creating unsafe conditions for these ships and consequentially all other ship and barge traffic on the waterway.
The Causality Analysis Workgroup of the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee, in conjunction with the local Coast Guard Captain of the Port and the Houston Pilots, have now provided a process to survey the numerous ships visiting the port, in hopes of developing a procedure of best safe-practice methods that can be implemented by all ships calling here during the Menhaden season.
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