Friday, March 19, 2021

Barge Collides with Docks, Houses
on Puget Sound

An unmanned gravel barge collided with private docks and houses near Gig Harbor, Washington on Monday, March 15, according to the USCG.

Members of the Coast Guard’s Sector Puget Sound answered a call from Pierce County dispatch who reported that the barge under tow by the towing vessel Island Chief, had come in contact with several docks and homes. The towing vessel’s master apparently fell asleep while steering the vessel, according to initial findings.

No cargo was on the barge, which had been pulled free, and the barge and vessel did not sustain serious damage, according to USCG, adding that the barge was taken to Seattle for more investigation and inspection.

No one was injured and no pollution has been reported, said the agency, which confirmed that a drug and alcohol test was initiated by the vessel operator for all personnel directly involved in the collision.

“Incidents such as this are very concerning,” said Cmdr. Nathan Menefee, Chief of Prevention at Sector Puget Sound. “Fortunately, nobody was injured, and the towing vessel did not release fuel or oil into the water. Sector Puget Sound will investigate the incident to determine the cause and whether additional actions are necessary to prevent a similar incident in the future.”

Meanwhile, the Investigating Officer has deemed the barge collision to be a Serious Marine Incident, and could cost more than $250,000 in damages, according to initial estimates.

Port of LA Cargo Surge Extends to
7th Straight Month

For the seventh straight month, the Port of Los Angeles has seen year-over-year growth in cargo numbers.

Last month, the nation’s busiest seaport handled 47 percent more cargo than it did the same month a year ago, moving 799,315 TEUs in February, its busiest February on record, according to new numbers released Tuesday.

The port moved 412,884 TEUs in loaded imported goods, a 52.9 percent year-over-year increase, while handling 101,208 TEUs in exports, 24.7 percent less than February 2020. Empty containers, which continue to be in high demand in Asia, soared 104 percent to 285,223 TEUs.

“One year ago, global trade slowed to a crawl as the COVID-19 pandemic first hit China and then spread worldwide,” Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “Today, we are in the seventh month of an unparalleled import surge, driven by unprecedented demands by American consumers.”

The port’s challenges are now concentrated on vaccinating port workers and helping stakeholders manage this heavy flow of cargo, Seroka said.

“We will do everything we can to help get shipping lines back on schedule,” he said. “It’s critical that we clear the backlog of cargo and return more certainty to the Pacific trade.”

More information is available at

NOAA Reasserts IUU Fishing Enforcement

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue to prioritize efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Acting NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Paul Doremus has affirmed.

In a recent public message released earlier this month, Doremus said combating IUU fishing is a top priority for the U.S. and battling it must be a multi-pronged effort.

“NOAA Fisheries is proud to be a leader in the nation’s comprehensive approach to this battle,” he said. “It includes many government agencies working in concert to identify bad actors, suspect vessels, and ports that have no interest in protecting the integrity of the seafood supply.”

Economies and marine resources throughout the world and U.S. fishing fleets and consumers are negatively affected by IUU fishing, an impact that could number in the billions annually, he said.

“Neutralizing IUU fishing and its impact on the seafood supply chain in the United States and globally is an immense, complex and varied challenge,” he said. “NOAA and our collaborating agencies and international partners are—and have been—seriously and substantially engaged in working to find solutions to this global problem.”

NOAA Fisheries will team with national and state entities to gain compliance on import requirements to help curb IUU fish products from hitting U.S. markets and partner with foreign agencies and regional fisheries management groups for marine stewardship and sustainable fisheries management, Doremus added.

USCG Cutter Munro Returns to Alaska

After 49 days in the Bering Sea, crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro recently arrived home to Kodiak, Alaska, the USCG announced March 17.

While deployed, the high endurance cutter provided enforcement coverage in a region encompassing 890,000 square miles, protecting the $13.9 billion Alaskan fishing industry by undertaking fisheries boarding and enforcing rules to ensure commercial fishing vessel compliance.

Crew members also got their first COVID-19 vaccine doses when they made a logistics stop in Dutch Harbor.

"This has been an extremely exciting and rewarding patrol as it is the end of an era for not only this cutter, but also for all the 378s that have served the Coast Guard since 1967,” said Capt. Riley Gatewood, the Douglas Munro’s commanding officer. “The legacy of Signalman First Class Douglas Munro lives on due to the hard work put forth by the many crew members who spent time away from loved ones to accomplish Coast Guard missions aboard Douglas Munro. It is a great honor and privilege to serve as Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard’s last 378-foot-high endurance cutter.”

The Douglas Munro, which was commissioned in 1971, is named in honor of Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, the U.S. Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, who was killed during the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II on that same date in 1942. The ship is scheduled to be decommissioned later this year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Port of L.A. to Host Clean Truck Concession Agreement Meeting

As its concession agreements with about 1,100 licensed motor carriers near their Sept. 30 expiration date, the Port of Los Angeles plans to discuss the Clean Truck Program 2021 Concession Agreement Update on March 17.

The public will have a chance to make comments at the meeting, which will include a presentation from the port’s environmental management staff about how the POLA Concession Agreement is being developed.

The port has agreements with about 1,100 licensed motor carriers that have to be replaced before they expire. LMCs regularly visiting Los Angeles port terminals have to have a pending or approved concession agreement with the Port of Los Angeles. (The Port of Long Beach has its own motor carrier registration program.)

The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. local time via Zoom. Attendees can register at or they can dial in at 888-475-4499, using the Meeting ID 979 6114 9333 and passcode 556860.

More information is available at

Maritime Publishing Acquires Professional Mariner, Ocean Navigator Magazines

San Diego-based Maritime Publishing, the owner of Pacific Maritime and Fishermen’s News magazines, has acquired Professional Mariner and Ocean Navigator magazines from Portland, Maine based-Navigator Publishing, Maritime Publishing announced March 15.

“We are in the business of providing mariners with knowledge through education. Professional Mariner and Ocean Navigator have been providing knowledge through current industry news and original editorial content for decades, so they are a natural extension of our existing business,” Dave Abrams, CEO of Maritime Publishing’s parent company, Training Resources Limited, explained. “The titles give us the ability to provide mariners with advocacy, news and information about the industries and adventures we train them for.”

“I am very excited to be passing the torch to Dave and his team at Maritime Publishing,” Alex Agnew, President of Navigator Publishing added. “I believe they will elevate the already outstanding content that we have been known for and provide resources to expand our efforts in both print and digital media. We could not think of a better successor to carry on our legacy.”

“This is the kind of strategic deal that we see as the future of special interest and (business-to-business) publishing,” Ed Fitzelle, Managing Director of Luntz, Suleiman & Assoc. Inc., a publishing industry M&A veteran, added.

All Navigator Publishing employees, including Agnew, will continue with the magazines and will work with Pacific Maritime Magazine and Fisherman’s News, according to Maritime Publishing.

USCG Seeks Input on Proposed Work Bridge

The public is being invited to weigh in on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s request to build a temporary work bridge across the Umpqua River near Scottsburg, Oregon.

The transportation agency, which recently filed the request with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thirteenth Coast Guard District, wants to construct the temporary span west of the new Scottsburg Bridge.

“ODOT’s construction contractor has determined that the new bridge’s construction can be completed with increased safety and under a shorter schedule by using a temporary work bridge,” according to the USCG.

The temporary 900-foot-long, 40-foot-wide span, to be made up of a middle fixed section linking two working piers, will be removed when the old highway bridge is gone.

Those wanting to comment should do so by April 10. They may reach out to Commander Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Attn: District Bridge Manager Steven Fischer at 206-220-7282, by email at, or by letter at 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3510, Seattle, WA. 98174-1067.

More on the project is available at

SSA Marine Testing Electric Gantry Cranes at Long Beach Port

The first of nine electric rubber-tired gantry cranes is being tested at the SSA Marine terminal at the Port of Long Beach's Pier J.

The demonstration is part of the Zero-Emissions Terminal Equipment Transition Project, an effort by the port, Southern California Edison and the California Energy Commission (which gave a $9.7 million grant toward the project) to bring 25 zero- or near-zero emission vehicles to three marine terminals and logistics truck company Total Transportation Services Inc., according to the port.

“Imagine a port where a ship slows down on approach to reduce emissions, plugs into the electrical grid at berth instead of burning fuel to run vital systems, and is worked by zero-emissions cranes, yard vehicles and trucks,” Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “That’s our reality in Long Beach, and the goals of our tests and demonstrations are to eventually make it possible to do everywhere.”

The port is pursuing its goals to have terminal equipment produce zero emissions by 2030.

Fishing Boat Sinks, Leading to Massive Fuel Removal Effort

Hundreds of gallons of fuel have been removed near Sitka, Alaska, following the sinking of fishing vessel Haida Lady, which had to be retrieved with lift bags and dewatering pumps before being tied off to shore, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard monitored Hanson Marine as the contractor handled the removal of about 1,550 gallons of diesel fuel and oil water from the boat’s fuel tanks and 275 gallons of oil from the water using 72 sections of absorbent boom, 1,000 feet of harbor boom and other removal tools.

“After Hanson Maritime removed the fuel from the vessel's fuel tanks, and removed the oiled fishing net, all significant threats from the Haida Lady have been removed or mitigated,” Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Wereda, a marine science technician from MSD Sitka, explained. “We will continue to work with the owner and our port partners to monitor the vessel.”