MSC 82 - Preliminary report on navigational matters

At this week's MSC 82 the Committee adopted several proposals for new Traffic Separation Schemes (TSSs) and amendments to existing ones. INTERTANKO was particularly pleased to welcome and support a new Traffic Separation Scheme off the North Norwegian coast (see below). MSC 82 also adopted a proposal for a new "emergency wreck marking buoy" developed by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).


Traffic Separation Schemes (TSSs)


Norway: A new Traffic Separation Scheme was adopted including recommended routes off the coast of Norway from Vardø to Røst. The new TSS consists of eight TSSs and seven recommended routes connecting them, off the coast of Norway. The new TSSs will be mandatory for all tankers, vessels carrying hazardous cargo and all cargo ships of 5000 GRT and upwards engaged in international voyages.

A map of the area and the new TSSs can be accessed here.


United Kingdom: Various new TSSs and amendments to existing TSSs in the waters around the United Kingdom were adopted, such as a new TSS in the SUNK area and associated routeing measures in the northern approaches to the Thames Estuary and in the Minches off Neist Point.

The Committee also adopted amendments to the existing deep-water route west of the Hebrides, and recommended routes in the Minch.


United States: The existing TSS in the approaches to Boston will be slightly moved in order to minimise ship strikes in what is a dense right-whale area. The existing TSS runs through an area where the right-whales have one of their most important food-grounds. With the amendments, ship strikes will be less likely and shipping will therefore pose a lesser threat to this diminishing species. INTERTANKO supported this proposal.

For further information on right whales, click here.


Tunisia: The existing TSSs "Off Cani Island" and "Off Cape Bon" will be slightly moved outwards (north), to increase the protection of the environment in an event of a ship disaster.


The English Channel: Various minor changes and amendments will be made to the existing TSSs and the area to be avoided around the EC 2 Light buoy will be abolished.


Adriatic Sea: Various amendments will be made to the TSSs in the Adriatic Sea and an area to be avoided in the approaches to Venice will be established.


New Zealand: A precautionary area will be established off the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.


Strait of Gibraltar: In order to establish safe routeing measures for traffic bound to or from the port of Tanger-Med, various amendments to the existing TSS and the inshore traffic zone have been adopted. A precautionary area will also be amended.


Ship Reporting Systems


The establishment of new, and amendments to existing, Ship Reporting Systems (SRSs) were adopted by MSC 82.


Galapagos Islands: A new mandatory SRS for the Galapagos Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), GALREP, will enable the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre located in the Galapagos to obtain accurate information on ships and give alert promptly to ensure an immediate response, if necessary.


Great Belt Traffic Area: An expansion of the existing mandatory SRS was adopted.


Gulf of Finland: Amendments will be made to the existing mandatory SRS in order to facilitate accurate information to and from ships, especially under ice conditions.


Contact: Fredrik Larsson