Friday, May 14, 2021

USCG, Navy Team Up for Pacific Security Enforcement Mission

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy are on a mission in the Western and Central Pacific as part of an effort to enforce security in the regions and lower and curb opportunities for illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing and transnational crimes.

The USS Charleston and a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team are teaming under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, which uses Department of Defense assets traveling the area to bolster “maritime security and maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting regional stability and partnerships in Oceania.”

“The Charleston team is excited to work alongside the U.S. Coast Guard in conducting the OMSI mission,” said Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, Charleston’s commanding officer. “The embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment is a force multiplier and one of the greatest assets we have in countering illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Indo-Pacific and strengthening regional partnerships.”

LEDET 104 is proud to play a part in the fight against IUU fishing in the Western and Central Pacific region, said Lt. Carlos Martinez, LEDET Officer in Charge.

“Our team of highly trained law enforcement professionals are ready to respond to this growing threat against our global resources with our maritime partners,” he said.

Port of Long Beach Boasts Record April Cargo

The Port of Long Beach posted its busiest April in history, handling 746,188 TEUs last month, according to new numbers released this week.

It’s also the first time the port ever exceeded 700,000 TEUs in the month of April.

The rise of online purchasing has contributed to “an ongoing cargo boom” at the port and its busiest ever April.

“International trade will help jumpstart the economy, and the Port of Long Beach will lead the way by protecting the health of our dockworkers and providing top-notch customer service to keep cargo moving,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We remain optimistic as online spending continues to soar, retailers prepare for a busy summer season and businesses continue to reopen following months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The port moved 367,151 TEUs in imports, 44.8% jump from the same time a year ago, and handled 124,069 TEUs in exports, a 21% year-over-year increase.

Demand for empty containers continues to trend upward as the port moved 55.8% more empties last month with 254,970 TEUs.

So far, the port has handled more than 3.1 million TEUs in 2021, a 41.8% spike from the same time last year.

“We are in the midst of our best trade periods in port history, but we cannot forget that the national economy remains in recovery mode,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We are closely collaborating with our industry stakeholders to handle the resurgence of cargo we’re experiencing after the dramatic declines we saw last year due to COVID-19.”

NOAA to Fund West Coast Fisheries Projects

Point No Point Estuary restoration in Washington, and documentation of coastal cutthroat trout distribution in Alaska are among the projects that will receive funding from NOAA, the agency announced earlier this month.

NOAA will fund the projects through National Fish Habitat Partnerships and will involve those in the recreational fishing community looking to restore habitats to help coastal communities and economies.

Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership will be the sponsoring partnership on the Point No Point Estuary Restoration project, which involves returning tidal influence to Point No Point Park by taking out a nonworking tide gate and bringing back a salt marsh habitat. This is a vital move for young Chinook salmon and to reestablish it as “a key site along migratory salmon routes in and out of Puget Sound,” according to NOAA.

North Kitsap Puget Sound Anglers and others will help gather information pre- and post-restoration for the project.

The Western Native Trout Initiative will act as the sponsoring partnership for the Documenting Coastal Cutthroat Trout Distribution in Alaska project, which involves the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Western Native surveying possible habitats for Coastal Cutthroat Trout.

Area anglers will take genetic and tissue samples and record demographic data to help find streams where this type of trout will be.

These identified streams will be logged in the Alaska Anadromous Waters Catalog, which offers state law-protected habitat status and “conserve these important habitats at the northern and westernmost edge of the species' range,” according to NOAA. “This area is expected to become more important as the species’ range shifts due to climate change.”

Los Angeles Port Chief Lauds Longshore Workers

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka recently acknowledged the contributions of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Locals 13, 63 and 94 workers, a workforce that has been instrumental in keeping cargo flowing amid a pandemic.

For months, the port has been shattering cargo volume records largely because of dedicated waterfront workers, Seroka said.

“I want to thank the men and women of the ILWU, and all the other waterfront workers, who have come to work every day since the pandemic began,” Seroka said last week at three different ILWU local meetings. “We owe you a deep debt of gratitude for what you’ve done, and what you continue to do for our port and for our nation.”

In turn, ILWU leadership lauded Seroka and the port for helping dock workers during the pandemic, ensuring that workers received personal protective equipment, COVID tests and access to vaccines.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Local 63 Marine Clerks Association President Mike Podue. “I want to say a special thanks to the Port of Los Angeles for what it has done for the ILWU locals, for our families and for our community.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Port of Oakland Welcomes New Weekly
Vessel Service

Taiwan-based Wan Hai Lines has kicked off its new weekly service at the Port of Oakland, the port announced Monday.

The AA5 Service route, which connects the ports of Kao-hsiung, Shanghai, Ningbo and Yantian to Oakland and Seattle, is the second new service to include the Northern California port in its stop in recent months. In February, CMA CGM launched a weekly service that makes Oakland its first U.S. stop.

“We’re gratified with these new services because they reflect growing recognition that Oakland is an essential trade gateway,” said Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “This means more business for the port and more jobs here connected to the shipping industry.”

The news comes as Oakland is seeing more containers come through its port and more e-commerce distribution facilities are emerging across the region – factors that the port says are among the reasons Wan Hai selected Oakland.

SOCP VP to Lead Port Cybersecurity Webinar

Maritime industry stakeholders on May 20 are invited to a webinar on Cybersecurity for Ports, Terminals and Facilities.

John Jorgensen - Ship Operations Cooperative Program Vice President and ABS' Chief Scientist for Cybersecurity - will lead the hourlong talk, which will identify issues “for ports and for transportation industry interfaces across the shore, emphasizing action items that can be readily incorporated into security plans for small-to-large organizations,” according to the program.

The talk will also delve into what workforce training and skills are needed to develop and sustain security programs.

To register for the event, visit https://www.socp.us/event-registration-form.

Name Sought for New Long Beach Port Bridge

California 70th Assembly District Assembly member Patrick O'Donnell is asking the public to weigh in on the newly-built bridge that replaced the former Gerald Desmond span, but the deadline for suggestions is right around the corner.

The cable-stayed $1.47 billion bridge is a major artery for the nation’s trade system and features six traffic lanes, a taller clearance for large cargo ships to pass through and a bike and pedestrian path.

The community feedback will serve as the basis for O’Donnell, who said he plans to introduce legislation for naming the bridge. The deadline to participate in the survey is midnight on May 12.

The survey can be found at https://a70.asmdc.org/select-name-new-bridge.