Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Hearing

On February 27th  Chairman Duncan Hunter and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Chairman held the panel’s first hearing of the 113th Congress on the U.S. Coast Guard’s allocation of its personnel and resources among its multiple missions, as well as on how the Service measures mission performance.

The hearing focused on the Coast Guard’s ability to perform all of its 11 statutory missions, which are divided into “Non-Homeland Security” and “Homeland Security” missions, ranging from search and rescue, ice breaking, and marine environmental protection, to port security and drug interdiction.

Coast Guard Releases Safety Alerts

The Coast Guard’s latest release, “Safety Alerts, Safety Advisories, Lessons Learned 2008-2012” won’t be on the New York Times’ best-seller list, but it’s something fishermen and boat owners should read.

It contains 43 safety alerts that have come out of the Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis over a period of five years. 

To view the report please click below (please be patient it could take 2-3 minutes to download


MPA Federal Advisory Committee and Sanctuary Council Chairs Meet for Joint Session on Tourism and Recreation

Recognizing that marine protected areas are destinations and play an important role in local and regional economies, the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee met with National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council representatives and associated staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior and other ocean agencies, on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, to discuss how best to foster links between marine protected areas and the recreation, travel and tourism industries. This unprecedented joint meeting of over 70 participants represents a major step toward engaging two influential stakeholder groups with common goals but varied scales and perspectives. Meeting in small discussion groups, Federal Advisory Committee members and National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council representatives worked together to develop results-oriented plans that can be used to build engagement with the travel, tourism and recreation industries.

Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee to Meet in March

The Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) will meet on March 14-15, 2013 to discuss matters relating to medical certification determinations for issuance of merchant mariner credentials, medical standards and guidelines for physical qualifications of operators of commercial vessels, medical examiner education, and medical research. The meeting will be open to the public.

 MEDMAC will meet on Thursday, March 14, and Friday, March 15, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please note that the meeting may close early if the committee has completed its business.

Probe Cites Wrongs by NOAA Prosecutors By Richard Gaines

The special investigator commissioned by the Department of Commerce has concluded that the same two attorneys in NOAA’s Gloucester office who extracted an excessive settlement from a New Bedford scallop fishing business owner in 2005 did the same thing years earlier to a pair of New Bedford fish processors using coercive methods “with an intention to intimidate.”


USCG Forms Update Cancellation

The Coast Guard is cancelling the current forms update and will issue the update in conjunction with the pending STCW regulatory change. The following information bulletins are hereby cancelled:

NOAA Releases Marine Fisheries Allocation Report

NOAA Fisheries has recently released the first-ever compilation and discussion of fisheries allocation issues which summarizes input received from a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The report is a direct response to stakeholder concerns regarding allocation during the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit. 

The full report is available below.

Proposed Survey to Determine How Many People Participate in Salt Water Fishing

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.  This data collection will test the effectiveness of a longitudinal panel study for contacting anglers and determining how many individuals participate in recreational saltwater fishing.

Written comments must be submitted on or before April 1, 2013.

Two Petitions to List White Marlin as Endangered Denied

NMFS announced a 90-day finding on two petitions to list white marlin (Kajikia albidus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petitions do not present substantial scientific information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.

Implementation of Updated Mariner Credentialing

On January 4, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget approved the new version of the Coast Guard forms used to apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential:

  •  719B Application
  • 719K Medical Evaluation
  • 719KE Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings
  • 719S Small Vessel Sea Service
  • 719P Periodic Drug Testing