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Saturday, October 20, 2018


In addition to our report last week from the IMO’s Safety of Navigation Committee meeting, further progress was made during the last afternoon of the meeting which saw a major turn-around in pilotage events.

The revised paper on pilotage was not discussed further in the meeting owing to interventions by Liberia and Cyprus. In a move that sent rumbles through the plenary, Liberia proposed a motion, seconded by Cyprus, suggesting that the sub-Committee vote on whether the paper was indeed finalised or not. In the case of the latter then there would need to be a full debate on the list of pro’s and con’s that had been drawn up by the working group. Echoing the feelings expressed by INTERTANKO, ICS, the UK and the Bahamas in the working group, the sub-Committee decided that the revised resolution was not finalised. The paper will now be reviewed once again at the next Safety of Navigation sub-Committee meeting in 2001. This will now extend the possibility of ensuring that pilotage pre-planning is incorporated into the Resolution.

No Anchor Zones

The final day of reports saw the approval by the sub-Committee of a resolution allowing the amendment of the General Provisions on Ships’ Routeing. A working group on the resolution focused attention on a proposal by the USA to develop ‘no anchoring’ zones in environmentally sensitive areas. Using the Garden Flower Banks in the Gulf of Mexico as their case, the USA stated that damage is being caused by heavy anchors and dragging anchor cables and chains – this was especially damaging in this area due to the extensive and fragile coral reefs.

Adoption of the Resolution will be discussed at the next Maritime Safety Committee meeting in December. Should this go through then member states will be invited to apply to the IMO for ‘no anchoring’ status in areas that are deemed to be hazardous or where anchoring would endanger the environment.