vessel owners have a lot to be prepared for in 2013. Along with sweeping
changes to NOAA's observer program, in 2010 Congress passed extensive new
safety regulations as part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act. Some of
those regulations still need to be finalized and fishermen will be invited to
participate in the drafting process. Several of the regulations will become
effective with the new year.
"When Congress passed the law they directed the Coast
Guard to change the regulations for certain parts of the existing commercial
fishing vessel safety regulations and so as a regulatory agency the Coast Guard
can not enforce most parts of the law. They have to be enacted through a rule
making process so that they can become a regulation and then now they can be
enforced. What we have now is a kind of limbo situation between the
requirements being in law and the requirements being in regulation."
Ken Lawrenson, the fishing vessel safety coordinator for the Coast Guard in Juneau. He explains
further how the new regulations will go into effect over time.
are some of these changes that were so specific in the law that the Coast Guard
will just release those as a regulation. Then what is going to happen is the
other parts of this where those changes were not specific, those are going to
require a tremendous amount of input from the public and the industry."
says many of the new regulations will actually make things easier for vessel
owners, especially one that went into effect earlier this year.
the boundary line to using that three nautical mile line from the territorial
sea baseline which is going to make everyone's lives a lot easier because it's
going to be using an existing gray line that's on everyone's nautical chart. So
it becomes very easy to tell whether I'm shoreward of that and so I only have
to comply with these requirements or am I operating beyond that line so I have
additional requirements that I have to comply with."
can find more information on the regulations here.
Full interview with Ken Lawrenson: