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International honor for HELMEPA

The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA is delighted to announce that the Association has been nominated to receive the prestigious Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environment Award 2014. The prize recognizes candidates from within the shipping industry that have made an outstanding contribution towards the environment. The Award has been named for the late Norwegian adventurer and explorer, Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002), who made first-hand observations of marine pollution during various expeditions. His reports to the United Nations about the state of the marine environment raised the awareness of the issue of pollution throughout the International maritime community and clearly focused a spotlight onto it. Indeed among his work, is included an Academy-Award-nominated documentary, Kon-Tiki, that he compiled telling of his journey across the Pacific aboard a papyrus raft. In collaboration with the Norwegian Shipowners΄ Association, the Awards were first launched in 2001, with just six recipients of the prize since then. A specifically-appointed Expert Committee, comprised of eight members, representing international and Norwegian maritime bodies, will assess each nominee and pass down their final judgement for who will be the recipient of this year΄s award. HELMEPA is very proud to be distinguished among such reputable company. The award will be given ...

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AMSA to host workshop on BWM requirements

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) will host a training workshop on ballast water management in Papua New Guinea. Ballast water management is a significant issue for the shipping industry. Many ships, including cruise ships and bulk carriers, can use a large amount of ballast water and this is often taken on in the coastal waters of one region and discharged at its next port. Ballast water can contain aquatic organisms or pathogens which may be harmful to a country's marine environment if not managed appropriately. A number of government and non-government organisations involved in shipping services have been invited to the National Training Workshop on Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), which will be held over two days from 24-25 February in Port Moresby. The workshop will be presented by representatives from AMSA and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP). It is held under the framework of the Regional Strategy on Shipping Related Invasive Marine Pests in the Pacific Islands and the activities of the IMO/SPREP Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme (PACPOL) and the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project. AMSA's Chief Executive ...

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Maritime Spatial Planning focus for MONALISA at GreenFjord

MONALISA 2.0 had its debut in Western Norway during the ‘Green Fjord' conference in Geiranger, January 22/23, 2014. Green Fjord 2020 is the forum which is about to outline a green future for the unique UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site of ‘Western Norwegian Fjords', famous for its fantastic panoramic scenery with steep mountains and deep fjords. With a vision of ‘leaving no footprints behind', the conference gathered local, regional and international expertise on how to achieve sustainable regional development within a framework of environmental initiatives, green technologies and conservation of existing cultural values. Increasing the profile of the area and sharing the popular travel destination with many visitors from across the globe, provides both challenges and opportunities. Transport - by sea and by land - is one of them; most of the hundreds of thousands of guests visit Geiranger by cruise-ship during the summer season. Air pollution and traffic control issues were some of problems addressed by the conference. Annelise Chapman (Møreforsking AS, Norway) gave a talk where she presented MONALISA's work on Maritime Spatial Planning in the context of ‘environmental transport at sea'. The Southern Norwegian Sea, including the UNESCO world heritage area around Geiranger, is one of three ...

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A bid to cut sulphur at sea may sink

Chair of SEStran (South East of Scotland Transport Partnership), Russell Imrie says that a bid to cut sulphur at sea may sink, The Scotsman reports SEStran supports moves to improve the environmental friendliness of water transport, as a mode that already has the potential to play a major role in sustainably transporting passengers and freight within the region and further afield. Mr Russell Imrie says that despite their potential to move large quantities of traffic off-road, ferry services present environmental problems as they use "bunker" fuels which produce high quantities of sulphur and other pollutants. The EU Sulphur Directive which comes into force from next year,  will reduce the acceptable sulphur output from engines from the current 1.5 per cent to 0.1 per cent in ships plying the North Sea routes. Although this measure will make a significant contribution towards reducing carbon emission from merchant vessels, it presents operators with problems. There are many solutions available to shipping lines affected by the Directive. They can refit vessels with new engines that use cleaner fuels. These alternative fuels would improve upon the sulphur output of bunker fuels, but they are more expensive, have potentially major implications for the fuel production industry ...

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BSEE study on Burning Oil in Ice Cavities leads to new discovery

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) program has completed its review of an important new research project on burning oil in ice cavities and published the final results. The research project, funded by the bureau and completed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in a lab, led to the discovery that the average burning rate is greater in an ice cavity than in a similarly-sized vessel or a pan. The objective of this study was to assess the In-situ burn efficiency of oil spills in icy conditions and explore oil spill burning on ice. The fundamental problem of burning oil in an ice cavity is new to the fire science community, as such there were no prior experiments on the subject. This study included a series of experiments that were conducted to develop an understanding of the burning of crude oil in ice cavities. Alaska North Slope crude oil (~1.5 cm thick) was placed within ice cavities (5 - 100 cm wide and 6 - 25 cm high). It was found that because of the cavity expansion the average mass transfer of crude oil in the ice cavity is greater than in a similar-sized vessel ...

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EMSA Annual Report on Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels

EMSA has issued its Annual Report on Network of stand-by oil spill response vessels. The vessels are ready to respond to oil spills at sea caused by ships as well as by offshore installations following the request of a coastal State or the European Commission. By the end of 2013, the Network comprised 18 fully equipped vessels ready for immediate mobilisation. As of 1 March 2013, with the entry into force of Regulation (EU) No 100/2013, EMSA has a new mandate to respond to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations. As one of the actions to implement this new task, in October 2013 EMSA vessels participated for the first time in an operational exercise scenario to test response to oil pollution occurring during offshore operations in the western Black Sea. To achieve the level of performance for pollution response required by the Agency, vessels and their crews participate regularly in training, drills and operational exercises.   The number of drills and exercises carried out annually has increased significantly over the years in line with the development of the Network. The figures for 2013 are summarised in the table below. Summary of Drills and Exercises carried out in 2013 ...

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Sea Shepherd lanches The Vortex Project

At a press conference under the suspended blue whale replica at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA joined with partners Bionic Yarn and Cookies for All for the U.S. unveiling of The Vortex Project, an unprecedented partner campaign to clean the oceans of plastic debris and transform it into fashion, and its first collaboration, G-Star's ‘RAW for the Oceans,' a long-term partnership between denim brand G-Star RAW and Bionic Yarn to turn ocean plastic into denim. The New York Fashion Week event is part of Parley for the Oceans, an initiative comprised of artists, activists, tastemakers, entrepreneurs and innovators to address and solve the plastic pollution problem impacting ocean ecosystems. Sea Shepherd is an official partner of Parley for the Oceans and together with Bionic Yarn is cofounder of The Vortex Project. The Vortex Project takes waste from the oceans and shorelines, and recycles, enhances, and reuses it for yarn, fabric, and other elements in consumer products. Parley collaboration partners will use the reclaimed plastic waste from the oceans to create exclusive products with a unique product story. They will also seek to close the loop by again recycling these products at ...

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NOAA study finds high levels of pollutants in Guánica Bay

Andrew Mason with NOAA's Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment collecting a sediment sample. (Image Credit: NOAA) The pollutants measured in the sediments of Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, in a new NOAA study were among the highest concentrations of PCBs, chlordane, chromium and nickel ever measured in the history of NOAA's National Status & Trends, a nationwide contaminant monitoring program that began in 1986. Researchers from the National Ocean Service's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) studied the reef's ecology to help establish baseline conditions that coastal managers can use to measure changes resulting from new efforts to manage pollution. Among the items studied were habitat types, coral cover, fish and pollution stressors such as nutrients, sedimentation, toxic contaminants in Guánica Bay. "These concentrations of pollutants represent serious toxic threats to corals, fish and benthic fauna -- bottom dwelling animal life and plants," said David Whitall, Ph.D., the report's principal investigator and NOAA ecologist. "We also observed lower indicators of biological health, such as how much of the coral covers the sea floor offshore from Guánica Bay when compared to an adjacent study area, La Parguera. Further research is needed to determine if this is the result of the ...

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AMSA contracts aim to protect reef and ensure swift response

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has awarded two substantial new contracts to provide emergency towage services in Far North Queensland and maintain its aids to navigation network. AMSA Chief Executive Officer Graham Peachey said the Level 1 emergency capability operates out of Cairns and provides a dedicated 24/7 vessel and crew to provide emergency towage and first strike emergency response on behalf of AMSA. "This allows AMSA the ability to respond to maritime environmental emergencies in sensitive sea areas of the Torres Strait, the northern Great Barrier Reef, as well as within the Coral Sea both quickly and effectively," Mr Peachey said. AMSA manages a network of 492 navigational aids at 381 sites around Australia, assisting the commercial shipping industry to make safe and efficient passages. "About 40 per cent of AMSA's aids to navigation are located within the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and the Coral Sea regions, which are challenging to navigate," Mr Peachey said. "The emergency towage vessel also provides a platform to support the maintenance of aids to navigation in these areas."  A MSA entered into the contracts with Brisbane-based company Australian Maritime Systems Limited on February 5 following a rigorous open tender process which began in 2013, when the tender was released on the ...

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EMSA: Report on Pollution Preparedness and Response Activities

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has been given a Multi-annual Funding envelope for its 'anti-pollution' activities. One of the conditions for receiving this is that the Agency submits a report to the Commission and the Administrative Board, by 31 January each year, concerning the financial execution of the detailed plan (comprising separate Action Plans) for the Agency's pollution preparedness and response activities and gives an update of the status of all actions funded under that plan. The activities of the Agency in the field of marine pollution preparedness and response are focused on providing operational assistance and information to Member States. The main service pillars are: The Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels distributed along the European coastline CleanSeaNet: the satellite based oil spill and vessel detection and monitoring service The MAR-ICE (Marine-Intervention in Chemical Emergencies) Information Service in case of chemical spills at sea Cooperation and coordination with the EU Commission, EU Member States, EFTA/EEA Coastal Countries, Candidate Countries, Acceding Countries, Regional Agreements and other relevant international organisations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO); The provision of information through publications and workshops. Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels At the end of 2013 EMSA maintained ...

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