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February - March 2002

 

Salutes

News Briefs

CSX, Matson Predict Mid-Year Improvements

World's First Open-Ocean"Farm" Reaps Harvest

Star Gazing

Cruise Arrivals Rising

Marine Debris Info Available

Regulatory News

Soundings

 

 

Salutes

Steve Renstrom and Denise Iseri-Matsubara have been promoted at Young Brothers, Ltd. Renstrom was promoted from barge terminal superintendent in Honolulu to East Hawaii manager on the Island of Hawaii. He is responsible for the Port of Hilo and its surrounding areas. Iseri-Matsubara was promoted from customer service supervisor to manager, customer service. She is responsible for the Customer Service Department and will oversee the Documentation Department. She has been with Young Brothers Customer Service Department for over 15 years.

Mary Lee Sharp joined Matson Navigation Company in San Francisco as director, human resources. She succeeds Marge Dineen who retired after 37 years with the company. Sharp is responsible for human resources activities at all Matson locations, including Hawaii and Guam, and the company's subsidiary operations. Most recently she was vice president, people resources, at Larkspur Hospitality Company.

Atlantis Adventures named Ronald Williams president and CEO. He had served as the company's chief operating officer since 1996, while also administering day-to-day leadership responsibilities since April 2001. The company also changed the name of its Navatek Cruises tour operations to Atlantis Cruises. Heading up the cruise operation is Paul Dyson, who was recently promoted to general manager. Dyson has been with the company since 1995 as safety and training officer for Atlantis Adventures. He also is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, serving as an engineer with CINCPAC at Camp Smith. He was an active duty member of the Coast Guard for 24 years.

 

 

 

 

 

News Briefs

Waikiki Yacht Club dock improvements

The Waikiki Yacht Club has completed dock renovations at its 156-slip facility in Ala Wai Harbor. All of the club's docks were replaced except for one that was replaced several years ago. It has been re-anchored with improved ground tackle.

The new docks, built by Bluewater Marine at a cost of about $1.4 million, feature aluminum truss construction, decked with vinyl/wood composite planking that is weather, rot and insect resistant. New end-tie slips, designated “aloha slips,” accommodate visiting yachts up to 140 feet in length.

New vessel for Marimed Foundation

Kaneohe-based Marimed Foundation, which provides experiential learning programs for local youth, welcomed its new training vessel on January 6. The 96-foot, three-masted ship Hilda was sailed from Jacksonville, Fla., to replace the organization's former ship, the 156-foot tall ship Tole Mour. Tole Mour was sold to a California non-profit last year.

The new vessel, re-christened as Makani olu (“gracious winds”), will be moored in Kaneohe Bay.

Marimed will offer onboard learning programs for Hawaii youth and community groups. The Makani olu also will support Marimed's Kailana Program, a residential program serving at-risk youth. The program uses activities on and around the ocean, including canoe paddling and small ocean craft, to help youth make the often-stormy passage through adolescence.

Matson promotes Hawaii tourism

Matson Navigation Co. launched a major campaign in January to help stimulate Hawaii's tourism and economy, which have been seriously impacted by the events of
September 11.

The company partnered with several other travel companies, including Aloha Airlines and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, to create a multi-faceted, multi-media program that includes 60 Hawaii vacation giveaways through Mainland radio and television promotions; another 25 vacation packages to be auctioned online via e-Bay, with proceeds going to Aloha United Way; 22 inter-island vacation packages awarded to Hawaii residents through local media promotions; and 5 vacation packages provided to AOL Travel as part of its Rediscover America/Hawaii Week Program, reaching 30 million AOL households. Matson also made a contribution of $120,000 towards a Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau promotional campaign on the West Coast.

Matson's roots in Hawaii tourism date back to the early part of the 20th century when the company operated four passenger liners between Hawaii and the West Coast and owned four Waikiki Hotels, including the Islands' first “luxury” hotel, the Royal Hawaiian.

Aloha Cargo has new owner

Northland Holdings, Inc. of Seattle, Wash., has purchased the Alaska, Hawaii and Seattle operations of The Jore Group, Inc., a Seattle-based transportation and logistics service holding company that includes Aloha Cargo Transport and Aloha Cargo Agency Services. A new holding company, Jore International, Inc., has been formed for Jore's international operations.

Larry Stauffer, who was president and manager of Alaska and Aloha Cargo Transport, will hold the position of president of The Jore Group, Inc. and its previous domestic affiliates. Stauffer will also remain on the Jore International board of directors and act as its risk manager/advisor.

Maritime Industry Day on hold

Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day, previously scheduled for the spring of 2002, has been postponed indefinitely. The annual event, sponsored by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Honolulu for the past 12 years, has helped promote partnerships between federal, state and local regulators and the maritime industry.


Enhanced port security measures implemented by the Coast Guard

following the September 11 attacks have meant a shift in priorities and personnel, according to a letter issued by MSO Honolulu Commanding Officer Gil Kanazawa to the maritime industry. “At this time, I am unable to expend the personnel resources to properly plan and put on the quality Maritime Industry Day event that we have all come to expect and frankly what the maritime community should have,” Kanazawa stated.

The agency hopes to reschedule the event for later in the year.

 

 

 

 

 

CSX, Matson Predict Mid-Year Improvements

by Mele Pochereva

Both CSX Lines and Matson Navigation Company anticipate improvement in their Hawaii freight volumes by the third quarter of this year, following a significant drop in volume since the September 11 terrorist attacks drastically changed the economic landscape from a year ago.

Brian Taylor, CSX Lines vice president, Hawaii and Guam, said the company's volume was down seven to nine percent from this time last year, and that relatively soft volumes were projected for the first two quarters of 2002. By the third quarter, he said, the volume could be back to pre-9/11 levels.

“We're optimistic and feel Hawaii's economy will bounce back,” Taylor said. “There is construction activity out there that also should help freight volumes.”

The company has no plans to change any Hawaii deployments or services it now offers.
At Matson, the fourth quarter of 2001 was “down significantly,” and January was “okay.” according to Paul Stevens, senior vice president, ocean services.

Like CSX, Matson also projects Hawaii's economy will begin to recover in the second half of the year. Though Japan's economy is still in trouble, the U.S. Mainland is recovering, which should help Hawaii's visitor industry and boost cargo volume.

In the meantime, Matson has reduced its Hawaii Service fleet from eight to seven vessels, “a good fleet size for Matson's market right now,” says Stevens. The company had added two vessels to its Hawaii Service in 2000.


GPS technology for Matson terminal

“The hard equipment is in; the technology is in; now we're getting workers used to the new system,” says Paul Stevens, Matson senior vice president, ocean services, describing progress on the company's $36 million terminal upgrades at Sand Island. “We are still in transition, but [the conversion from a straddle carrier operation to a partial-wheeled operation] will benefit our cost structure in the long-term.”

The multi-million-dollar project was launched last year to expand capacity and efficiency at the company's 110-acre facility. Along with a $22 million investment in new containers and chassis, new GPS security tracking equipment has been installed. The GPS interfaces with the existing automatic equipment identification (AEI) system, which gives terminal shipment details as the container passes through the terminal gate. Working together, the two systems enhance the terminal's security by quickly identifying cargo entering and exiting the facility and freight located within the terminal.

Receivers attached to container handling equipment receive GPS satellite signals to automatically update information about container yard movements. Touch-screen monitors on all handling equipment provide the equipment operators with work instructions and a graphical map of their position and the containers to be moved.

“Since we are now able to determine the exact location of our equipment at any time, we are better able to direct truckers as to where they can pick up or drop off equipment, resulting in a more efficient, and therefore less expensive operation all around,” says Bill Schmidt, manager, area systems, Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

Legislature 2002: All Quiet on the Maritime Front

by Mele Pochereva

Following a banner legislative year for the maritime industry, the 2002 legislative session is expected to be relatively quiet in terms of maritime initiatives.

The 2001 session was the most successful ever for Hawaii's maritime community, following four years of government and industry leaders working together in support of consensus recommendations. Several important bills passed: SB 752 SD1 HD1 which expanded non-maritime use of back-up lands at Hawaii's small boat harbors to generate additional revenue streams and support badly needed shoreside improvements at these facilities; and SB 755 SD2 HD1 CD1, a capital advancement bill that allows for private entities to “advance capital” for public maritime improvements and receive a waiver in future fees and rents from the State to repay for this financing.

This year, however, maritime bills carried over from last year Ð including establishment of a port authority, maritime lands for maritime use and consolidation of small boat harbors and commercial harbors under the Department of Transportation Ð will take a back seat to industry concerns about port security, predicts Kraig Kennedy, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Maritime Committee.

“The 9/11 issue has changed the complexion of our concerns as far as the maritime industry is concerned,” Kennedy said, citing harbor security and safety as key issues for maritime and government agencies.

As the 2002 Legislature neared opening day, Senator Cal Kawamoto, who introduced the package of maritime bills last year, said he had not heard much from maritime interests about reviving last year's rally.

One measure that didn't pass last year and is likely to be re-activated is a bill requiring emergency communication equipment — either an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or VHF-FM radio — aboard all small vessels required to be registered with the State or documented by the Coast Guard and operating in state waters beyond one mile from shore.

“We want to eliminate the “search” part of “search and rescue,” explains Kawamoto.

Adds Kennedy, “When we don't know where to look for someone, it takes longer and costs more to find them, tying up Coast Guard resources when homeland security is the larger issue.”

Boating bills

A package of other boating-related bills introduced by Senator Robert Bunda is being followed by recreational and commercial boaters.

SB2797 Relating to Boating Enforcement. The bill authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to delegate enforcement authority to DOBOR harbor agents and recreation harbor managers for the enforcement of boating and ocean recreation programs, in addition to conservation and resources (DOCARE) officers who
currently have such authority.

SB2798 Relating to State Boating Facilities. The bill removes the prohibition of commercial vessel activities within Ala Wai and Keehi small boat harbors, and exempts boating facilities that are under private operation and management under a lease or management agreement approved by the BLNR from the laws and rules governing boating facilities.
SB2799 Relating to Negotiated Leases. The bill authorizes the BLNR to solicit proposals from private marina development and management firms to manage, operate and improve boating facilities as may be designated by the Board, under a negotiated long-term lease.

SB2800 Relating to Boating. This bill clarifies the rule-making authority of the BLNR to designate areas of ocean waters and navigable streams for limited commercial use, to establish permits and fees for the commercial use of these areas, to broaden the basis for assessment of fees for commercial vessels, and to also include the cost of resolving user conflicts and promoting public safety, health and welfare in or on the ocean waters and navigable streams of the state as a legitimate expenditure from the Boating Special Fund, and to ensure that all fees and penalties implemented by rules are deposited in the fund.

SB2801 Relating to Special Facility Projects. The bill allows the BLNR to make available lower cost financing through the issuance of special facility revenue bonds for construction, acquisition, remodeling, furnishings and equipping of special facilities for persons engaged in recreational and commercial boating and maritime operations as leasehold tenants of special facilities.
Also on the legislative agenda is SB3016 Relating to Small Boat Harbors. The bill would require the DLNR to contract with a private consultant to study the condition of the state's small boat harbors, recommend improvements, evaluate the cost of improvements and funding sources, and develop a master plan.

Law makers examine cruise vessel act

Even before the bankruptcy announcement of American Classic Voyages last October, Congress was making moves to allow foreign-built cruise vessels into coastwise trade between U.S. ports.
The United States Cruise Vessel Act (S.127), a bill introduced by Senator John McCain in January 2001 and co-sponsored by Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye, among others, is likely to receive more attention from Congress now that the only U.S. cruise ship operator has closed its hatches.

The bill “directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a certificate of documentation with a temporary coastwise endorsement for an eligible foreign-built cruise vessel to operate in domestic itineraries in the transportation of passengers in the coastwise trade between U.S. ports” if the vessel meets certain requirements. These include the promise to have any needed repairs performed in a U.S. shipyard, and the execution of a contract with one or more U.S. shipyards for the construction of two or more cruise vessels to replace the foreign-built vessel(s) 24 months after they are built.

The bill also prohibits eligible cruise vessels from operating as a ferry (either in the transportation of passengers or cargo) or between or among the Hawaiian Islands - a measure that protected American Hawaii Cruises, but that is now irrelevant.

With pressure from the Hawaii State Legislature, where cabotage reform has surfaced once again this year, the Cruise Vessel Act may gain momentum this year.

Two resolutions introduced in the State Senate by Senators Fred Hemmings, Bob Hogue and Sam Slom call for reform of both the Passenger Vessel Service Act of 1886 and the Jones Act.


SR6 requests Congress to repeal the Passenger Services Act, saying the law is unnecessary since U.S. shipyards have not built a U.S. flagged passenger ship since 1951 and “advances in technology have made the defense justification no longer applicable as a method of achieving many national defense goals.” Repeal of the Passenger Vessel Service Act, says the resolution, could boost Hawaii's economy.

SR8 requests Congress to exempt Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico from the Jones Act for “the health, safety, and security of their residents.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

World's First Open-Ocean “Farm” Reaps Harvest

by Mele Pochereva

Three years after an experimental sea cage was launched two miles off Oahu's Leeward coast, the outlook for commercial open-ocean “farming” in Hawaii is promising.

Cates International, the Kailua-based company that operates the 50-by-80-foot cage, reached a milestone in its groundbreaking venture when it harvested its first commercial “crop” of moi, or Pacific threadfin, in mid-January. The fish were grown from approximately 20,000 fingerlings released into the cage last July.

While other companies around the world have successfully established near-shore mariculture operations, Cates is the first company in the world to launch a commercial open-ocean cage operation.

For proprietary reasons the company did not disclose harvest figures, but it did say it was pleased with the harvest and would be able to supply 1,500 pounds per week of the prized fish, through April. After that, it expects the supply to increase.

Another 120,000 fingerlings, released into the cage last October and November, will be ready for harvest starting in May, when they reach a market size of three-quarters to one pound. Cates plans to launch a second cage in February. Each cage has a capacity for 150,000-plus fingerlings, which take six or seven months to mature.

“We confidently estimate a harvest of 300,000 pounds for 2002,” says Virginia Enos, Cates International vice president.

Enos said they are especially happy with the quality of the recent harvest; the fish are higher in oil content than the company's two earlier “test” harvests, probably because of better quality feed.
Cates is now bringing in 20,000 tons of food at a time through Mokuleia Aquafarmers, the local distributor for Nelson & Sons Feeds of Utah.

Uncharted waters

Navigating uncharted regulatory waters, it took the Hawaii-based company two years to become operational. Environmental assessments and more than a dozen state and federal permits were required, among other legal hurdles.

The company negotiated a 15-year lease with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, covering an area of sand and water equivalent to 28 acres. The cage is submerged about 40 to 50 feet below the surface, minimizing the impact of large ocean swells and surface waves Ð and allowing boaters to easily pass over it.

Starting an offshore farm is a huge investment, with a lot of cash up front, Enos says. The steel-frame, rigid mesh sea cage, built by Ocean Spar Technologies of Bainbridge Island, Wash., costs about $100,000. Add the cost of support vessels and fuel, feed and storage costs, labor and attorney fees and the initial investment is probably more than $1 million, the company estimates.
Finding a reliable source of moi fingerlings to stock the cage also has been a challenge for the company.

Pacific Harvest, a Big Island aquaculture farm, provided the first fingerling stock last July. Cates negotiated a contract with Oceanic Institute for the two subsequent stocks. Despite a 24-hour round-trip from Oahu to the Big Island to pick up Pacific Harvest fingerlings, Enos is hopeful the Big Island company will be able to keep the cages stocked as market demand Ð and production Ð increases. Cates' offshore permit allows for up to four cages. At full capacity, the company could produce 1.2 million to 2 million pounds of moi per year.

To market, to market

Moi has made a culinary comeback in the Islands in recent years, and since the mid 1990s, small, land-based aquaculture farmers have been raising moi for local upscale restaurants. In 1998, they produced 41,500 pounds of moi, valued at $214,000. That figure more than doubled in 1999, with a harvest of 120,000 pounds valued at $459,000. Harvest figures are not available for 2000, but currently there are about five land-based moi farmers in the state, according to Hawaii's Aquaculture Development Program office, which says demand for the fish continues to be strong.
Cates sold all of its harvest as soon as it was brought in, at a “very good” price, “and the phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Enos. In fact, eager local and mainland seafood wholesalers were calling the company well before the first harvest. Currently, the company is selling all of its catch through Tropic Fish and Vegetable Center.

While the company is feeling more confident about the fingerling supply, with contracts for the next stocking lined up with Pacific Harvest and Oceanic Institute, market demand is still an unknown factor and will drive production, says Enos. “It's all a delicate balance.”

 

 

 

 

 

Star Gazing
NCL'S Norwegian Star makes timely entry
into Hawaii cruise market

by Mele Pochereva

She was introduced as the first ship “purpose-built for freestyle cruising,” but to many Hawaii businesses hard hit when American Hawaii Cruises abruptly ceased operations last October, Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Star is a ray of hope for better times ahead.

Based full time in Hawaii since its inaugural gala cruise on December 15, the Star is expected to add $90 million to Hawaii's economy each year.

Colin Veitch, NCL president and CEO, says the company is introducing Hawaii to its cruise market Ñ people who wouldn't usually visit the Islands, and may decide to return to see more. “We're not taking customers from [Hawaii] hotels; we're bringing cruisers to Hawaii,” he explains. “Sixty percent of our passengers will book pre- or post-cruise hotel rooms.”

Veitch estimates the Star will generate 90,000 hotel nights annually and will help bring business to tour operators, attractions, retailers and other visitor industry businesses around the state. Airline demand also should increase, he says.

Even before leaving port on its first 7-day Hawaii itinerary, the Norwegian Star was 95% booked through the end of March, higher than any of the company's other cruise ships. And that's without any pricing discounts, according to Veitch, who said travel agents were confident they could sell the Hawaii cruises without special rates.

Hawaii expansion planned

NCL plans to add a second ship to its Hawaii cruise service in 2003. The smaller, 1,748-passenger Norwegian Wind, which entered service in 1993 as NCL's first vessel in the Alaska market, will be re-positioned from Vancouver to Honolulu this September to offer 10- and 11-day Hawaii itineraries during the winter season. The vessel is expected to be based full time in Hawaii in the fall of 2003, offering 10-day itineraries. And, according to Veitch, it will add another $60 million to the economy.

Currently, the Star's 7-day itinerary includes visits to the four main Hawaiian islands — Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai — and a stop at Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati. The Wind's 10-day itinerary provides stops at both Hilo and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, giving passengers more time in Hawaii since the round-trip run to Fanning Island takes three days.

After testing the operational feasibility for two weeks, the Star recently announced that it will call at Hilo instead of Kona, through March 31. Inclement weather in recent weeks has made tendering operations in Kona more difficult, and the stop in Hilo gives passengers more time to spend on the Big Island.

What's “freestyle” cruising?

According to Veitch, “freestyle cruising,” a service name of NCL, means “less structure, more casual, more choices.” Dining is a key cruise experience, he says, and traditionally, passengers are told when to eat, where to eat and with whom they will dine.

Freestyle cruising, adopted on all NCL ships, gives passengers the freedom to choose from any of the restaurants, at any time, and eat with whom they please. The dress code also is relaxed, though passengers have the option of dressing up.

Accommodations aboard the 2,240-passenger Star run the gamut from $899/week standard staterooms to mini-suites and suites to the two 5,350-square-foot Garden Villas Ñ each going for $25,750/week and accommodating up to three couples. Each villa features a large living room (with grand piano), dining room, three bedrooms, a private roof-top terrace and private garden for open-air dining, sunning and whirlpool relaxation. Oh, butler and concierge service also is included.

Star Facts
Cost $400 million
Gross tonnage 91,740
Overall length 965 feet
Beam 105 feet
Draft 26 feet
Cruise speed 25 knots
Guest decks 15
Passengers 2,240 (double occupancy)
Crew 1,100
Restaurants 10
Bars, lounges 13
Room rates $899-$25,750/week

Other features: spa and fitness center, beauty salon, sports court, 3 swimming pools, cinema, Internet cafe`, opera house style theater, teen club, children's center, meeting rooms.

 

 

 

 

Cruise Arrivals Rising

The arrival of the Norwegian Star on the Hawaii cruise scene comes at a time when foreign cruise ship arrivals in Hawaii are on the rise. Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Colin Veitch says the company expects and welcomes the competition. “It creates a bigger pie and is good for everyone,” he insists.

A cruise visitor study released last December by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism showed a 58% jump in foreign cruise passengers from September through November 2001, over the same period in 2000. According to the North West CruiseShip Association (NWCA), the number of cruise visitors to Hawaii will increase from 160,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2002.

During the past decade, the cruise industry has grown an average of 10 to 12 percent each year, with port calls in Hawaii growing from 36 in 1990 to 237 in 2001. Also in that time, nine cruise lines have added Hawaii to their itineraries. Port calls are expected to reach 638 by 2004.

In the wake of recent events, the association says, most cruise lines have repositioned ships out of the Middle East and Mediterranean and are developing new itineraries for these ships in North America. Eighty-five percent of the world cruise market comes from the United States, and Americans want to vacation closer to home.

Other findings of DBEDT's Sept-Nov. 2001 survey of foreign cruise calls:

  • 10 foreign cruise ships made 26 trips around the Islands, all making stops on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.

  • Of the 41,310 passengers on these ships, nearly all (98.5%) were from out of state. Only 602 were Hawaii residents.

  • 20,394 passengers arrived aboard the ships; 20,314 came by air.

  • The average length of stay was 7.67 days; 4.99 days were spent aboard ship cruising the islands; an average of 1.77 days were spent ashore after the cruise, and those who came by air spent an average 0.90 days in Hawaii before the cruise.

  • Of those spending pre- or post- cruise days on shore, 58.7% stayed in hotels.

  • The average cruise visitor spent $86.4 per day while on shore.

  • An average of 4 islands are visited by cruise visitors, compared to 1.3 islands visited by those arriving by air.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Debris Info Available

Think! Don't Throw” That's the message of a newly released brochure detailing the problem of garbage and other waste that is dumped or discharged overboard.

The brochure illustrates the negative environmental effects of plastics, oil and oily waste and other garbage found in the ocean; laws concerning ocean discharges; and where to report pollution.

According to the brochure, one figure indicates that “more than 450,000 plastic containers were dumped in the ocean every day by the world's fleet of merchant vessels during the late 1980s,” evidence of which is seen along Pacific Island beaches today.

Plastics and other types of debris often take a long time to break down, polluting beaches and reefs for hundreds of years. The following brochure examples list decomposition times for common marine debris:

Monofilament line/netting 600 years
Polystyrene cup and pellets 500 years
Plastic 6-pack packaging rings 450 years
Aluminum cans 80-100 years
Tin cans 50-100 years
Orange peel 6 months

The brochure was produced by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, with assistance from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and South Pacific Regional Environment Program.

Copies of the brochure and companion posters are available by calling the Council at (808)522-8220 or sending an email to Lucinda.Knapman@noaa.gov

 

 

 


Regulatory News

OSHA, CG share jurisdiction over uninspected vessels

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will share jurisdiction with the Coast Guard over working conditions on uninspected vessels, following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case, ““Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of Labor v. Mallard Bay Drilling, Inc.”

The case involved an explosion aboard a drilling barge owned by Mallard Bay Drilling. The Coast Guard was the lead investigator in the explosion, but OSHA cited the company with three violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Because the Coast Guard exercises minimal oversight over uninspected vessels, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of Labor appeal to give OSHA shared jurisdiction.
The decision reverses a June 2000 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which determined an uninspected oil drilling barge on a navigable waterway within state waters fell under the exclusive regulatory authority of the Coast Guard and was not a workplace over which OSHA had jurisdiction.

CG names intelligence director

Frances Fragos-Townsend was appointed director of intelligence for the U.S. Coast Guard, charged with enhancing inter-agency and maritime awareness in the war on terrorism. In her new position, Fragos-Townsend leads the service's Intelligence Directorate, the Intelligence Coordination Center, and serves as program manager for the Coast Guard's national intelligence effort.

Prior to joining the Coast Guard, Fragos-Townsend served as the counsel for intelligence policy, reporting directly to the Attorney General on national security matters and facilitating the U.S. government's activities pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. She also spent 13 years with the Department of Justice.

New license certificates for mariners

The U.S. Coast Guard has begun issuing new merchant mariner license certificates with anti-counterfeiting features. The new licenses will be issued to all licensed merchant mariners, including masters, chief engineers and radio officers and will retain the traditional border design, title and vessel graphic design. However, the text, title, endorsements and issue/signature information will now be printed from the Coast Guard's computerized Merchant Marine Licensing and Documentation System, using new counterfeiting deterrence technology.
Mariners may retain their old-style licenses until their regular renewal date or until an endorsement or other change is required.


Soundings

It's time to share Pearl Harbor

by Creighton W. Goldsmith

Now that the hoopla over the movie has passed, it's time to get serious about Pearl Harbor. We already knew her past was intertwined with the Navy. But should her future be? What is the best way to share this precious natural resource, once of supreme military value, with all the people of Hawaii?

How times have changed since that day of infamy! “Tora, tora, tora!” has turned to tourist, tourist, tourist! In 1941, our parents were scared to death that thousands of Japanese would be arriving in Hawaii every day. Today we live in fear that the Japanese might stop coming.

This upside down world means we have to look at the changes to understand how we must look at the future of Pearl Harbor.

Naval warfare has changed in the past 60 years. Asia is a 14-hour non-stop flight from America rather than a 14-day voyage at sea. Pearl Harbor is strategically important only as long as Dan Inouye is in the Senate. But even Senator Dan could not get the Navy to station an aircraft carrier at Pearl Harbor, and there are signs that our submarines may be deployed in Guam. Port Security has always been an issue and is an even greater concern since September 11. The Naval Station's security still depends on protection from the skies, not the harbor waters. The submarine nets and 12-inch guns that once protected the harbor entrance have been gone for 50 years. Commercial vessels entering the harbor can be pre-authorized and vetted prior to arrival.

Commerce, too, is radically different. Shipping has been revolutionized by ocean containers, which were pioneered by Matson and Sea-Land. Today container ships (they bring in 98 percent of what we consume in Hawaii!) seek ports with large container yards away from the bustle and traffic of the city. Cruise ships now compete for berthing with cargo ships in Honolulu Harbor.

Unfortunately, Honolulu faces a critical shortage of space, both for container yards and cruise ship terminals. To the objective observer, good and reasonable alternatives exist. We see acres of under and unutilized land at Pearl Harbor that is no longer critical to the Navy or our national defense. Why not open this land to commercial container ships?

Honolulu Harbor could then be a home to cruise ships and become a premier destination instead of a discouraging inconvenience for tourists. The Pearl City peninsula could serve as a centrally located replacement container yard for Sand Island and Fort Armstrong where Matson, CSX and the foreign vessels now call. Young Brothers could relocate to Sand Island and the land not needed for maritime purposes could be sold for its highest and best use to pay for these improvements.

As the son of a naval officer and Pearl Harbor survivor, I'm proud of the role the Navy has always played in the life of Hawaii. Now is the time for the Navy to demonstrate its wisdom and continue its service to the Islands by agreeing to look at ways it could better share its pearl.

Creighton Goldsmith is Chief Inspector for U.S. Customs at the Port of Honolulu. These views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Customs Service.

Hawaii Ocean Industry & Shipping News makes this space available as a forum to express viewpoints about Hawaii's ocean industry.

 
     
     
 

© 2002 Hawaii Ocean Industry