"Daily News" on the Maritime Executive Website

The "Daily News" is a new source for information each day.

Go to: http://www.maritime-executive.com

Last Week's News:

May 9, 2005

U.S. Coast Guard Blacklists Five Countries

The USCG has blacklisted ships from the following countries for non-compliance of the International Ship and Port Security code (ISPS).

Ships plying trade from Madagascar, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Albania, and Nauruinto will be denied entry into U.S. ports.

While the countries listed are relatively small on the commercial shipping map, the impact for vessels that have recently traded in a blacklisted country could be expensive. If a vessel has called a blacklisted country in its last five ports-of-call, it will be boarded by USCG personnel at sea and possibly turned away.

The U.S. Coast Guard has previously forewarned all countries and shipping companies of its strict enforcement the ISPS regulations, which went into effect on July 1, 2004.

May 10, 2005

Mexicans to Open Baja International Shipping Port to Challenge LA/LB

Mexico Wants to Build Super-Ports

The Mexican government has ambitious plans to build an international seaport on Baja Cove, which will rival the largest U.S. port complex of Los Angles/Long Beach. The site is 120 miles south of Tijuana. Officials plan to open the port in 2012, which will include 20 berths for container cargo ships.

Next year, the Mexican government will begin to take bids on construction of the harbor, terminals, and berths. Maritime authorities say that they will also construct 180 miles of railroad from the new port of "Punta Colonet," Baja, Mexico, to the U.S.

However, U.S. port authorities are skeptical that the port of Punta Colonet could handle the seven million container volume that arrives each year in LA/LB. The driving force behind the proposal is the phenomenal growth in Asian cargo, which has flooded the U.S. West Coast in recent years and doesn't appear to be slowing down.

Mexican authorities said that moving the plan forward will depend on private capital from shipping lines and terminal operators. The port project and railroad link is estimated to cost approximately $2 billion. Mexican maritime authorities said that a number of shipping lines have voiced their interest, not only in Punta Colonet, but possible also ports in Ensenada, El Sauai, Guaymas, and Lazaro Cardenas. Union Pacific Railroad has also voiced its interest in the Mexican port project, and is willing to consider an investment in a Baja railway.

May 11, 2005

Barge Spills Diesel Fuel into the James River

A barge spilled at least 1,200 gallons of red diesel fuel into the James River after it ran aground, but officials said it was largely contained by booms.

There were no immediate reports of any dead fish or injured birds, the U.S. Coast Guard in Norfolk said. The 300-foot barge, owned By Vane Line Bunkering of Baltimore, had just picked up its cargo south of Richmond when it ran aground on Sunday morning.

Another barge moved alongside the disabled barge early Monday and began offloading the remaining fuel, which is estimated to be more than 44,000 barrels.

An initial spill was estimated to be approximately 200 gallons, but the USCG said that an additional leaked had been discovered, and revised its estimate to 2,000 gallons. An aerial reconnaissance found that booms had contained the spill, but found a sheen of oil moving downriver.

The leak was reported by local residents, who said there was a stench in the air and some said that the fumes was stinging their eyes. Divers confirmed that the barge had grounded itself and was resting on rocks.

May 12 2005

Greenpeace Found Negligent

An Alaskan jury found Greenpeace negligent of misdemeanor criminal charges when the group's ship entered Alaskan waters for an anti-logging protest without filing the required paperwork.

Under Alaskan law, non-tank vessels must file an oil spill response plan with the state environmental department five days prior to entering its waters. The vessel was carrying 70,000 gallons of petroleum products when it arrived in Alaska.

State regulators charged Greenpeace, ship's Captain Arne Sorensen and the ship agent Willem Beekman with multiple counts of misdemeanor criminal negligence for not filing an oil spill response plan and for not providing proof of financial responsibly.

Greenpeace was found guilty of two counts, Captain Sorensen was convicted on three counts, and the agent Beekman was acquitted. Criminal negligence carries a maximum fine of $200,000 for an organization and a year in prison. There is a $10,000 fine for individuals.