NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Cancellation of CVC Policy Letter 15-05: Requirements for Out-of-Water Survival Craft

On February 8, 2016, the President signed H.R. Bill 4188, the “Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015” into law. In it, section 301 amended the out-of-water survival craft requirements in Title 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) §3104, limiting its applicability. This Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) notifies the public of these changes and hereby cancels the now obsolete CVC Policy Letter 15-05, which concerned previous out-of-water survival craft requirements.

Section 301 of the 2015 Coast Guard Authorization Act (CGAA) had two significant effects on the applicability of out-of-water survival craft. First, it amended 46 U.S.C. §3104, paragraph (a), requiring that only “passenger vessels” that operate in cold waters and are built or undergo a major conversion after January 1, 2016 shall be equipped with out-of-water survival craft. "Passenger vessel" is defined in 46 U.S.C. §2101(22) as a vessel of at least 100 gross tons (among other criteria). Currently, Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subchapter H - Passenger Vessels and 46 CFR, Subchapter W - Lifesaving Appliances and Arrangements dictates the survival craft requirements for passenger vessels of at least 100 gross tons. The lowest category of survival craft authorized in Subchapter W is the Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus (IBAs), with which, no part of an individual is immersed in water. Therefore, passenger vessels properly in compliance with Subchapters H and W already meet the out-of-water survival craft requirements directed in the amended 46 U.S.C. §3104.

Second, the 2015 CGAA removed the language in the previous amendment of 46 U.S.C. §3104 that restricted the Coast Guard from approving any in-water survival craft (e.g., life floats and buoyant apparatus) for the purposes of all of Part B of Title 46 U.S.C. Therefore, because the other inspected vessels (small passenger vessels, offshore supply vessels, sailing school vessels, and cargo vessels as mentioned in the CVC Policy Letter 15-05) were not specifically named in the 2015 CGAA, they may continue to use their existing in-water survival craft beyond February 26, 2016. Furthermore, all fixed manned offshore platforms may continue to use in-water survival craft beyond February 26, 2016, as well. The Coast Guard will be issuing separate correspondence to survival craft manufactures re-authorizing or extending their type approval certificates for in-water survival craft. Lastly, a separate information bulletin will be issued explaining the survival craft requirements specifically for uninspected commercial fishing vessels.

Again, as a result of the 2015 CGAA, CVC Policy Letter 15-05 is rendered obsolete and the Coast Guard is cancelling it effective immediately. The Coast Guard stands ready to answer the questions of vessel and offshore platform owners and operators regarding their specific survival craft requirements.

Questions concerning this matter may be directed to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Commandant (CG-CVC) at 202-372-1220, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Questions specifically concerning survival craft type approvals should be directed to the Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Commandant (CG-ENG) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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USCG Notices 02-2016...Maps/Strainers

  Electronic Charts and Publication NVIC 01-16

 

News Release

February 08, 2016

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Contact: Headquarters Public Affairs

Office: (202) 372-4630

US Coast Guard approves official electronic charts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard published guidance Feb. 5 that allows mariners to use electronic charts and publications instead of paper charts, maps and publications.

The Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, NVIC 01-16 establishes uniform guidance on what is now considered equivalent to chart and publication carriage requirements.

Combining the suite of electronic charts from the U.S. hydrographic authorities and the Electronic Charting System (ECS) standards published this past summer by the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, the Coast Guard believes official electronic charts provide mariners with a substitute for the traditional official paper charts. 

“After consultation with our Navigation Safety Advisory Committee, the Coast Guard will allow mariners to use official electronic charts instead of paper charts, if they choose to do so. With real-time voyage planning and monitoring information at their fingertips, mariners will no longer have the burden of maintaining a full portfolio of paper charts,” said Capt. Scott J. Smith, the chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Navigation Systems.

The new guidance applies to vessels subject to U.S. chart, or map, and publication carriage requirements codified in Titles 33 and 46 CFR and provides a voluntary alternative means to comply with those requirements.

“Mariners have been requesting the recognition of this capability for some time,” said Smith.  “When you combine the new expanded Automatic Identification System carriage requirement and the capability that an ECS provides, it should provide a platform to move American waterways into the 21st century.”

This technology will also allow mariners to take advantage of information and data to enhance situational awareness during voyage planning and while underway.

“Together, with our industry and international partners, we are leveraging modern technology to contribute to the safety, security and prosperity of our nation,” said Smith.

 View NVIC 01-16 at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/2016/NVIC_01-16_electronic_charts_and_publications.pdf

 

 

Nonmetallic Sea Strainer Use on Small Passenger Vessels

The US Coast Guard issued a policy letter concerning sea strainers constructed of nonmetallic materials for use on small passenger vessels.

Sea strainers containing nonmetallic components have been installed on small passenger vessels for several decades without incident. However, the regulations were amended to require vital piping systems to be made of a ferrous material on board ”new” small passenger vessels. 

Marine inspectors continue to discover nonmetallic sea strainers on ”new” small passenger vessels. These strainers are typically found in raw water cooling systems but may also be installed within other systems. The notion that they represent a potential ”weak link” in a piping system due to the possibility of failure from mechanical or fire damage, which would result in the loss of the affected vital system and potentially result in uncontrollable flooding, simply hasn’t materialized for small passenger vessels. In fact, vessel operators have emphasized that these types of strainers have been successfully used for many years without the occurrence of significant mechanical failures, even when vessels had major fires.

To that end, a search of the MISLE database confirms a lack of historical casualty incidents related to these types of installed strainers. Furthermore, there are benefits to the use of nonmetallic or acrylic sea strainers; they provide improved safety by serving as a sight glass to check for adequate cooling water flow which in turn help prevent main engine overheating and propulsion casualties while underway.

Click HERE to read the USCG’s policy letter.

 

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Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils

National Interest

Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Notice and request for applications.

SUMMARY: ONMS is seeking applications for vacant seats for five of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils (advisory councils). Vacant seats, including positions (i.e., primary member and alternate), for each of the advisory councils are listed in this notice under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lake resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two or three year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council.

DATES: Applications are due by February 29, 2016.
For more info view the entire notice at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-02-02/html/2016-01976.htm

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U.S. Recreational Commissioner to ICCAT: NACO Support for Capt. Ray Bogan

On behalf of our members NACO wishes to provide our full support to Raymond D. Bogan to be appointed as the next U.S. Recreational Commissioner to ICCAT.  Ray's experience and expertise on national and international fishery issues is unsurpassed.  Along with his extensive background in fishery management he is the best candidate qualified and able to represent the recreational fishing community in the ICCAT arena.

To view the entire letter of support click here

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NMFS has published individual fishing quota (IFQ)

NMFS has published individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. In fisheries such as halibut in AK 

and red snapper in the Gulf where efforts are underway to move to recreational IFQ's, it is necessary to understand the potential costs that recreational charter captains and others will experience if these programs go to IFQ. 

Please click here to view the entire federal register notice including pricing break downs. 

If you have any questions regarding this notice and how it may affect you or your fishery, please feel free to send in your questions to the NACo office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will submit them to the NACO fisheries committee for responses. 

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2013 Plan for Periodic Review of Regulations

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) periodically review existing regulations that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, such as small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. This plan describes how NMFS will perform this review and describes the regulations that are being proposed for review during the current review-cycle.

Written comments must be received by NMFS by July 22, 2013.

 

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Exploring the Alternative Biofuel Isobutanol

Last week, the National Marine Manufacturers Assn. (NMMA) kicked off a third summer season of alternative biofuel testing in an effort to further advance marine engine technology and find an alternative to fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol as a result of its damaging effects on marine engines. 

The tests are funded by the Department of Energy which released a 2011 report on engines using E15 revealing performance issues like stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets. These results reinforced the recreational boating industry's concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for boat engines.

 

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2013 Vessel General Permit – Major Changes and Challenges

Currently this only affects vessels greater than 79' and/or carry more than 150 passengers or 50 or more passengers on overnight trips

On March 28, 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the 2013 Vessel General Permit (2013 VGP) to regulate discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels. As the 2013 VGP becomes effective on 19th December 2013, about 12,500 foreign flagged vessels are expected to be subject to VGP requirements and be required to obtain authorization under this new permit. New ships (ships built after December 19, 2013) will be obliged to comply with various new requirements e.g. the monitoring of treated bilge water and grey water and ballast water treatment.

The EPA has added training as a new requirement of the 2013 VGP, requiring vessel operators to outline their training plans to ensure that all key vessel personnel sufficiently understand the nature of the eligible discharges and the terms of the permit, and are properly trained to respond to fuel spills and operate and maintain the pollution prevention equipment of their vessels.

 

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Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee: Intercessional Meeting

Two working groups of the Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) will meet to discuss Task Statement 1, ``Revision of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04-08'' and Task Statement 4, ``Revision of CG-719K, Merchant Mariner Credential Medical Evaluation Report and CG-719K/E, Merchant Mariner Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings.'' The meeting will be open to the public.

The working groups will meet Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please note that the working groups may end early if they have completed their business. Written comments to be distributed to working group members are due by June 10, 2013.

 

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Emerging Data Collection Technologies, Angler Confidence

The following update on MRIP was published by NOAA 

Subject of Recent Congressional Hearing

he May 21  oversight hearing on data collection issues related to the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act featured a lot of discussion about the implementation of the Marine Recreational Information Program and building angler confidence in the recreational fisheries statistics we produce. There were also a number of comments about emerging electronic technologies and self-reported angler data. Below is a summary of these discussions and the ways MRIP is looking at these issues.

 

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