Please mark your calendars. Monday, January 11 PVOA is holding an Alternate Safety Compliance meeting. Scott Wilwert will be traveling to Petersburg to help us out. We need all the members we can get with 50’ or larger vessels to attend, this includes full and associate members.
From the Fish Site:
US – Volunteers are needed to help craft new safety rules that are being written for older boats – which includes the bulk of Alaska’s fishing vessels.
Called the Alternate Compliance Safety Program (ACSP), it is part of the 2010 US Coast Guard Authorization Act and is aimed at vessels that will be 25 years old by 2020, are greater than 50 feet in length, and operate beyond three nautical miles.
The program will include most of Alaska’s fishing fleet — a 2014 maritime study by the Juneau-based McDowell Group shows that the majority of Alaska’s boats were built between 1970 and 1989.
“The requirements won’t become mandatory until January 1 of 2010 for most vessels. However the Coast Guard needs to prescribe the program by January 1 of 2017,” explained Troy Rentz, Alternate Safety Compliance Coordinator for the USCG13th District.
Right now safety teams are compiling data on losses from fishing fatalities, injuries and vessel sinkings, Rentz said, and from that they will evaluate the risks based on the various regions and fisheries.
“That is going to have a big influence on these programs because we know that each fishery has different gear and risks in different operating environments specific to what they are doing,” Rentz said.
And that’s where vessel volunteers come in.
“We’re looking for volunteer vessels where we could get on board and talk about what their best practices are for preventing casualties from collisions or falls overboard, for instance,” Rentz said. “We have some pretty good ideas, and we want to talk with vessel owners about things that have been recommended and see if it’s something that would be effective for their particular fishery and operating area.”
In fact, a Congressional requirement of the new safety compliance program, Rentz said, is that it be developed in cooperation with the industry.
“We want people to feel like this is their program, not the Coast guard’s program. It is a cooperative program that is specific to what they are doing and their operations.”
Between now and early 2016, safety planners will be meeting with regional work groups and fishing stakeholders to decide what the actual compliance requirements will be. Then they are set to be written up and in place by 2017, giving fishing operators three years to comply.
Other safety compliance deadlines are happening faster: By October 15 of this year, mandatory dockside vessel exams take effect. The requirement for survival craft that remove all parts of the body from the water has been extended to Feb. 16, 2016.