COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 June 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 June 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 June, 2023

Day of the Seafarer: Celebrating Seafarers’ contributions to Protecting the Ocean

This year on Day of the Seafarer, we want to celebrate our member companies and the seafarers that work with them, for the many things they do day- to-day, and season-to-season, to protect our oceans.

One way they support ocean protection and marine safety is through participating in underwater noise reduction initiatives, like the ECHO program in British Columbia’s south coast. By reducing vessels speeds, they contribute to underwater noise reduction and the protection of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Despite ECHO being a voluntary initiative, member participation rates exceed 90% annually. And to date, the program has reduced underwater sound intensity by up to 55%. Seafarers’ contributions play a vital role in that participation— and that’s worth celebrating and sharing.

On June 25, seafarers are asked to share their contributions. Using the hashtag #OceansWorthProtecting, seafarers are encouraged to take pictures of equipment and gear used on board or show how they use specialized training to keep our oceans safe and post on their social accounts. We look forward to seeing the sea through the seafarer lens and sharing online.

Local News

Titan implosion prompts TSB and USCG investigation

Authorities have confirmed that the Titan submersible carrying five individuals to tour the Titanic shipwreck site imploded, resulting in the tragic deaths of all 5 people on board. The search efforts by Canadian and US authorities, which involved deploying ships, planes, and other equipment over a vast search area, came to a devastating end when debris was discovered about 500 metres from the Titanic. The US Navy, upon analyzing acoustic data, identified an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion in the vicinity where the submersible lost communication.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has initiated a formal investigation into the fatal incident as the submersible was deployed from Canadian-flagged Polar Prince, owned by Horizon Maritime Services and situated in St. John's. A team of investigators will gather information, conduct interviews, and assess the incident in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

US Coast Guard will lead the investigation on the Titan as it has declared the loss as a "major marine casualty."

British Columbia Coast Pilots announces new Board

The British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd. (BCCP) have announced the appointment of directors for the 2023-2024 term as Capt. Cal Smith (outgoing President) and Capt. Kevin Roberts step down and return to the roster.

Capt. NathanBoutilier, President
Capt. Jake Spink, Vice President
Capt. Roger Williams, Director
Capt. Trevor Whyte, Director
Capt. Stephen Gillett, Director

Day Sail event on warship for women and girls

The Royal Canadian Navy cordially invites women and girls to participate in a unique opportunity to test drive an active-duty warship at sea. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply now for a remarkable and complimentary hands-on experience that offers a glimpse into the daily lives of Royal Canadian Navy personnel on board. This immersive adventure allows participants to witness and engage with various ship duty stations, crew quarters, and mess areas, as well as operational equipment. Additionally, there will be captivating search and rescue demonstrations, the ship's firefighting simulations, and scenario showcases highlighting the ship's impressive manoeuvring capabilities. A delicious lunch will be provided to all attendees. It is important to note that the minimum age requirement for participation is 12 years, with no maximum age restrictions in place.

LOCATION: Vancouver, BC
Monday, November 13, 2023 - 0900-1600 hrs

Port of Montreal channels $335 Million towards decarbonization initiatives

The Port of Montreal is implementing a $335 million investment plan to enhance its infrastructure while prioritizing environmental sustainability. The five-year plan includes expanding container handling capacity while reducing the carbon footprint of activities and the supply chain. The port aims to build sustainable infrastructure, electrify its service vehicle fleet, and introduce large-scale electric power systems. They have already taken steps to minimize visual and noise impacts and are committed to decarbonization efforts.

The Strategic Plan outlines objectives for carbon neutrality by 2035, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. The port plans to collaborate with partner companies, use sustainable fuels, protect biodiversity, and invest in resilient infrastructure. They also intend to expand their operations in Contrecoeur. Overall, the port aims to support supply-chain decarbonization and meet the growing demand for efficient and eco-friendly trade solutions.

Port of Vancouver seeking input on land use plan

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is seeking feedback before July 1st on its land use plan for three sites: a newly acquired site in Surrey and portions of existing port authority sites in Coquitlam and Electoral Area A - Indian Arm. The detailed proposed designations and re-designations can be viewed on the Port of Vancouver's website along with the display boards and a recording of the digital information sessions held earlier.  Input can be submitted through VFPA's online questionnaire, accessible on its website, or by sending an email to As mandated by the Canada Marine Act, these lands must be added or re-designated in VFPA's Land Use Plan through an amendment.

Algoma orders two methanol-ready ice-class product tankers

Algoma Central Corporation, a Canadian shipping company placed an order worth CAD 127 million (USD 96 million) with Hyundai Mipo Shipyard in South Korea to construct two methanol-ready product tankers. These ice-class vessels will be under long-term time charters to Irving Oil, a Canadian energy company, and will transport products to Irving's refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, serving ports in Atlantic Canada and the U.S. East Coast.

The new vessels are part of Algoma Central's strategy to expand its fleet and enter new markets while considering carbon requirements. The tankers are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2025 and will be immediately deployed under Irving Oil's time charter. The vessels are designed with eco-friendly features, methanol fuel readiness, high voltage and shore power capabilities, and enhanced ballasting capabilities for optimal operations in the Bay of Fundy. The investment reflects Irving Oil's commitment to sustainable operations and ensuring energy supply in the regions they operate.


Canada approves 8 collective agreements representing 138,000 public service employees

The Government of Canada has approved renewed collective agreements with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 104, and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). These agreements have been ratified by employees with the unions all reporting strong membership support for the negotiated settlements.

Transport Canada enforces new discharge requirements for cruise vessels

The Canadian government has implemented new mandatory measures for cruise ships regarding the discharge of greywater and sewage in Canadian waters. The aim is to promote environmentally responsible practices while balancing the economic benefits of the cruise industry. The measures prohibit the discharge of greywater and treated sewage within three nautical miles from shore, and enhanced treatment standards must be met for discharge between three and twelve nautical miles from shore in non-Arctic waters. Cruise ships will be required to report compliance with the regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to CAD $250,000. These measures align with conservation goals for Canada's oceans and extend to Marine Protected Areas and marine refuges. The regulations exceed international standards and reflect comparable measures in the United States. Greywater and sewage contain pollutants that can harm marine ecosystems. The new measures have immediate effect through an Interim Order while permanent regulations are being developed.

TSB annual report underlines transportation safety issues

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released its annual report for the fiscal year 2022-23, highlighting significant safety issues in the country's transportation system. For marine, TSB received 1209 reports of marine transportation occurrences in 2022 (241 accidents and 968 incidents), including 7 fatalities. As in previous years, the highest proportion of the fatalities (three of the seven) was related to commercial fishing (Canadian-flag vessels in Canadian waters). According to Transport Canada, 2022 marine activity (commercial vessel-kilometres) for Canadian commercial non-fishing vessels with a gross tonnage of over 15 (excluding passenger vessels and cruise ships) was 10% above the 2013-to-2021 average while the 2022 accident rate was 3.0 accidents per million commercial vessel-kilometres, lower than the 2013-to-2021 average of 4.0.

Budget Implementation Bill Passes

On Thursday, June 22nd Bill C-47, the Budget Implementation Act received Royal Assent.  Key elements in this omnibus bill include amendments to the Marine Liability Act, Canada Shipping Act 2001 (CSA 2001) and Canada Transportation Act (CTA).  The Bill amends CSA 2001 to enable new requirements for managing hazardous noxious substances and provides the Minister with clear authority to take or direct actions when unsafe conditions pose a risk to public and marine safety.

Under the CTA amendments, the Minister will have the authority to require users of the national transportation system to provide information for the purpose of ensuring the proper functioning of the national transportation system or increasing its efficiency.

Transport Canada - Protecting Killer Whales in the Waters of Southern British Columbia

Transport Canada's latest bulletin provides information on vessel requirements under the Interim Order for the Protection of the Killer Whale in the Waters of Southern British Columbia, which aims to safeguard the endangered Southern Resident killer whales from vessel-related disturbances. All vessels must stay at least 400 metres away from all killer whales, and vessels must not be positioned in the path of a killer whale. There are 2 speed restricted zones, and 2 interim sanctuary zones at Saturna Island and Pender Island.

Mariners are advised to stay informed about applicable NOTMARs and NAVWARNs to ensure adherence to regulations protecting Southern Resident killer whales.


AEB system proposed for commercial trucks

US federal regulators announced a proposal that would require all trucks over 10,000 pounds to be equipped with an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system and an electronic stability control (ESC) system that works in conjunction with AEBs.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have been sponsoring research and field testing on AEBs for over 10 years, said the rule would prevent an estimated 19,118 crashes, save 155 lives, and prevent 8,814 nonfatal injuries annually. It would eliminate an estimated 24,828 property-damage-only crashes annually as well.

US West coast delays prompt export diversification

US food and farm goods shippers are considering alternatives to West Coast ports due to ongoing problems, even after congestion has eased and a labour deal has been reached. JBS USA, a major meat packer, is looking to move products through East Coast ports to avoid West Coast delays. While the West Coast still dominates beef exports, other ports are gaining market share. In 2022, beef exports from the West Coast declined by 14%, while the East Coast saw a 6% increase and Gulf Coast ports experienced a substantial 62% jump. JBS plans to consolidate refrigerated exports at five centres and open a new centre in Colorado to improve flexibility and utilize intermodal services connecting Denver to the Port of Houston. These changes reflect a shift in the industry's distribution strategies and transportation directions.


Maersk announces plans to retrofit existing vessels with G-Methanol dual-fuel

Maersk has announced plans to retrofit one of its existing ships to operate on green methanol, making it the first such retrofit in the industry. The retrofit is scheduled for 2024, and Maersk aims to replicate it on other vessels starting in 2027. The company has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions to retrofit the engine. Maersk currently operates over 700 vessels, and it has 19 methanol-powered dual-fuel containerships under construction. By using green methanol produced from renewable energy sources, Maersk estimates it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% compared to traditional fossil fuels. This retrofitting initiative is part of Maersk's strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 and accelerate the transition to green fuels.

Ship of the Week

Photo credit: Offshore Energy

June 23 - Electramar

India's Chowgule Shipyard has launched the first of twelve energy-efficient plug-in hybrid vessels ordered by AtoB@C Shipping, a subsidiary of Finnish dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping. The vessel, named Electramar, is part of a series of ships aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enabling emission-free and noise-free port calls. The vessels will feature battery packs, shoreside electricity solutions, and electric hybrid technology. The order, which was placed in 2021 and expanded in 2022, will see the delivery of one vessel every three months, with the final delivery expected in the second quarter of 2026. These 1A ice class vessels will have a loading capacity of 5,350 dwt, and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing ships. ESL Shipping plans to establish a long-term pool for these eco-friendly vessels in collaboration with a group of investors.


Jun 25 - International Day of the Seafarer

Jun 27 - ISSC Day of the Seafarer Peak Challenge @ 16:00 
Jun 28 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00

Jun 28 - Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Annual General Meeting @ 14:30

Jun 29 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Jul 26 - Vancouver Maritime Museum - Night at the Speakeasy @ 19:00
Sept 27/28 - COS 100th Anniversary Conference and Gala Dinner