Australian Maritime Digest

The Australian Maritime Digest is compiled by the Australian Association for Maritime Affairs and published monthly for the benefit of the Australian maritime community. 1 September 2010 No. 194

FISHERIES Australia’s Seafood Production Stable at $2.2 billion – value of Imports Soars by 22 per cent
The combined growth in salmon and prawn production contributed to the gross value of Australia’s fisheries production remaining stable at $2.2 billion in 200809, following a decline in the value of tuna and rock lobster production. For the first time Australia now spends more on imported seafood than it exports. The total value of Australian fisheries exports increased by 14 per cent to $1.5 billion in 2008–09 with Rock lobster the most valuable export species ($462 million), followed by pearls ($366 million), abalone ($208 million) and tuna ($177 million). The value of Australian imports of fisheries products continued to grow in 2008-09, increasing by 22 per cent to $1.7 billion. Hong Kong remained Australia’s main export market for fisheries products in 2008-09 at $726 million, ahead of Japan ($367 million) and the United States ($87 million). The value of farmed salmonid production rose by seven per cent to $323 million in 2008-09, according to the latest ABAREBRS Australian fisheries statistics 2009 report.
INSIDE PAGES TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS National Leadership Required for Reform MARITIME AFFAIRS Australian Elected to Head International Transport Worker Body SHIPPING Labor Promised Action to Strengthen Australian Shipping MARINE SCIENCE Super-rare “elkhorn” coral found in Pacific Research Sheds Light on Decline in Global Reefs Climate-Related Changes to Australian Fish Distribution AIMS Scientists Assessing the Perfect Aquarium Rock Lobsters MARINE SAFETY Commercial vessel standard ready for all-weather consultation NAVY RAN Shines as RIMPAC Ends in Hawaii Milestone as Melbourne sails for Slipper OCEANOGRAPHY Research into Wave Power Generation in Southern Australia ENVIRONMENT Bigger Penalties for Marine Pollution Ridding Plastic Bottles and Bags from Australian Seas BORDER SECURITY Case for Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Says Researcher METEOROLOGY Improved Marine Forecasts for NSW Coast MARITIME HERITAGE New Chair for Australian National Maritime Museum REPORTS Latest Australian Shipping Report ORDER FORM CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 12

“Most of this growth occurred in Tasmania which produces more than 95 per cent of Australia’s farmed salmon production,” said ABARE-BRS Deputy Executive Director, Mr Paul Morris. “Australian prawn production also increased, by 6 per cent to $289 million as a result of a five per cent increase in production volume,” he said. In 2008-09, farmed salmon continued to be the largest aquaculture species produced in Australia and now accounts for 37 per cent of the total value of Australian aquaculture production and 15 per cent of the total value of fishery production.” The combined growth in salmon and prawn production contributed to the gross value of Australia’s fisheries production remaining stable at $2.2 billion in 2008-09, following a decline in the value of tuna and rock lobster production.

Australia now spends more on imported seafood than we export. The total value of Australian fisheries exports increased by 14 per cent to $1.5 billion in 2008-09 while imports were worth $1.7b.

Canned fish from Thailand, together with frozen fish fillets, and fresh and chilled whole fish from New Zealand remained the major sources of Australian imports of fisheries products. In releasing the report, Mr Morris acknowledged the assistance and contribution of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to the report.
Australian fisheries statistics 2009 are available online at or phone (02) 6272 2010. For further information contact ABARE, phone (02) 6272 3232, email

Maritime Sector Changes following 2010 Federal Election
Over coming weeks the Australian Maritime Digest will bring you comprehensive coverage of the impact upon the maritime sector of the final outcome of the 2010 Federal Election. This will include any leadership and ministerial changes, policy developments and any measures involving the responsibilities of Federal Government departments and agencies. This edition was finalised before a result was known. Many stories reflect this fact. [Editor]

Australian Maritime Digest TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS National Leadership Required for Reform
Regardless of which party ultimately forms a Government, continued national leadership was essential to continue the Transport & Logistics (T&L) reform agenda, according to the CEO of the Australian Logistics Council, Mr Michael Kilgariff. “This is important because Australia’s freight task is estimated to triple by 2050 – from 503 billion tonne kilometres to 1,540 billion tonne kilometres, with local demand for total freight movements increasing by as much as 60 per cent by 2020,” he said. “Major steps have been taken in recent years to develop a national T&L market with the decision by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and ministers of the Australian Transport Council (ATC) to support national rail safety and marine safety regulators, as well as a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. “The regulatory frameworks for these regulators are in the process of being developed by negotiation between all governments and industry, in preparation for ‘national’ or ‘applied’ legislation to be passed by all governments. “Prior to the election, there were already developing signs that the T&L reform agenda was in real danger of stalling if it didn’t continue to receive strong national leadership”, Mr Kilgariff warned. ALC has also called for ongoing support for Infrastructure Australia in the development of the National Ports Strategy and the National Freight Network Plan, which should set the agenda for all governments to ensure the appropriate regulatory environment, infrastructure and investment are in place to meet Australia’s freight needs. “The National Freight Network Plan should set the agenda in much the same way the Button Car Plan mapped out the future for the Australian motor vehicle industry and the Wallis Report drove reform of the Australian financial system,” said Mr Kilgariff. “ALC has endorsed the call by Infrastructure Australia Chairman Rod Eddington for a national approach to the planning and management of ports and freight movement, preferably through the development of a national agency to undertake the task. “ALC supports a national partnership agreement to be developed between all governments on nationally significant infrastructure, including intermodal terminals or inland ports. This will require national leadership. “All State/Territory governments should continue to be encouraged to develop freight plans that complement the National Freight Network Plan. “COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) also needs to continue with capital city strategic planning systems to take into account issues such as transport corridor, international gateways, intermodal connections; and reservation of appropriate lands to support future expansion. “The freight T&L industry has had strong national leadership and ALC is very hopeful that will continue”, Mr Kilgariff said.
For further information contact Michael Kilgariff (ALC CEO), phone (02) 6260 3274, mobile 0418 627 995, email Web site

1 September 2010 MARITIME AFFAIRS Australian Elected to Head International Transport Worker Body
The National Secretary of the MUA (Maritime Union of Australia), Mr Paddy Crumlin, was recently elected President of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) at the global union federation’s world congress in Mexico City. The ITF represents over 4.6 million members of 760 trade unions worldwide and its President is tasked with helping hold the organisation to account between these congresses, which set its policy for the next four years. Paddy Crumlin, is the 22nd person to take on the post.

One of Australia’s most experienced union leaders, Mr Paddy Crumlin, the new ITF President. Photo courtesy MUA

Speaking from Mexico, Mr Crumlin said: “I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organising program focused on trade union regeneration and revitalisation.” Mr Crumlin went to sea in the Australian Merchant Navy in 1978 and has been a full-time union official since 1987 including Branch Secretary and Assistant National Secretary of the Seamen’s Union of Australia and, after amalgamation with the Waterside Workers’ Federation of Australia in 1993, became the Deputy National Secretary and subsequently the National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia. He has wide involvement in the port authority, towage, shipping, hydrocarbon, diving, cruise ship and stevedoring industries in Australia and internationally. Mr Crumlin was elected Vice Chair of the ITF in August 2006.
For the full statement on Mr Crumlin’s appointment see

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1 September 2010

Australian Maritime Digest

SHIPPING Labor Promised Action to Strengthen Australian Shipping
The Federal Labor Party has laid out what amounts to a new blueprint for the Australian shipping industry, promising to introduce measures to strengthen Australia’s shipping industry for our economy and our environment and set up an International Shipping Register. The (then) Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Anthony Albanese, said this in an ALP campaign news release a week before the recent Federal election. He said Labor would implement global best practice measures to reduce costs for Australian ships and place our shipping industry on a sustainable footing with its international competitors as well as other modes of transport domestically. “As a trading island nation, we are reliant on shipping for 99 per cent of our trade by volume while Australia makes up 10 per cent of the world’s entire seaborne trade,” he said. “In 2008, more than 834 million tonnes of international cargo moved across Australian wharves on 4,000 ships in more than 11,000 voyages. “Yet, there are only 30 Australian registered major trading ships today – down from 55 ships in 1995. “Without action, Australia faces the continued decline of its shipping fleet and the loss of the maritime skills base. “Australian companies using Australian registered ships will be able to pay a new tonnage tax (a low flat tax based on the weight of the vessel) or remain with the current tax regime which will be bolstered through accelerated depreciation arrangements.” Mr Albanese said tonnage taxes were used in the US, the UK, France, Germany and other nations. The new blueprint was welcomed by the Australian Association for Maritime Affairs (AAMA) and other key elements of the maritime sector. AAMA Chairman, Mr Richard Griffiths, cautiously welcomed the thrust of the ALP’s Shipping Policy, saying that the statistics quoted in the policy announcement demonstrated the importance to Australia of getting its shipping policies right. “Most of the individual ALP policies echo positions put forward previously by the AAMA and others, such as the proposed tonnage tax regime, seem to be generally supported within the industry,” he said on 17 August. “The long term benefit, or otherwise, of the ALP’s shipping policies probably hinges on the statement, ‘The implementation of these measures will be conditional on a compact between industry and unions to deliver labour productivity and efficiency reforms.’ “If, however, the long-term effect of the ALP’s policies in practice is to increase Australia’s sea transport costs, that will harm the national economy, the environment and the Australian shipping industry.” The AAMA would welcome an opportunity to review any Coalition policy on Australia’s shipping industry. 3 Mr Griffiths said the ALP statement seemed to echo similar sentiments to those made by Labor over a year ago when it promised to revitalise Australian shipping. “We are still waiting to see anything concrete come out of the earlier promises but we are eternally optimistic that shipping and the maritime sector will get the policy focus and attention they deserve,” he said.

Mr Richard Griffiths, Chair of the Australian Association for Maritime Affairs

“Now is the time for action not simply more words.” Mr Albanese also promised Labor would change income tax arrangements for Australian-resident international seafarers to remove disincentives for companies employing Australians. “In order to facilitate Australian participation in international shipping, Federal Labor will establish an Australian International Shipping Register,” he said. “Federal Labor will also establish a Maritime Workforce Development Forum of industry, unions and education providers to improve and increase access to maritime training. This forum will be supported from within the existing departmental resources. “We will also effectively apply existing coastal shipping principles consistent with the Navigation Act so that trade is undertaken by Australian operated companies and crewed by Australian residents, with the capacity to utilise foreign flagged and crewed vessels to supplement the Australian fleet. “We will also introduce mandatory training requirements in order for shipping companies to be eligible for the new tonnage tax.” Towards the end of his statement, Mr Albanese added an important rider. He said the measures could only be introduced if industry and the unions agreed to bring in worker productivity and efficiency reforms. He said the Government would provide appropriate lead times and consult with industry ahead of implementation. “These measures have been assessed as having a cost to revenue of $41.5 million over the forward estimates and a departmental cost for implementation of $8 million over the forward estimates,” he added. This funding will be fully offset over the forward estimates, consistent with Labor’s commitment to return the budget to surplus in three years.
For further information contact Mr Albanese’s Canberra office, phone (02) 6277 7680, email; or, Richard Griffiths (AAMA Chairman), mobile 0412 164 404, email

DISCLAIMER Views expressed in the Australian Maritime Digest do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Association for Maritime Affairs.

Australian Maritime Digest MARINE SCIENCE Super-rare “elkhorn” coral found in Pacific
An Australian scientist has discovered what could be the world’s rarest coral in the remote North Pacific Ocean. The unique Pacific elkhorn coral was found while conducting underwater surveys of Arno atoll in the Marshall Islands, by coral researcher, Dr Zoe Richards, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS). The coral bears a close physical resemblance to the critically endangered and fast-vanishing elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) of the Atlantic Ocean, but genetic analysis has shown it to be a different species. “When I first saw it, I was absolutely stunned. The huge colonies – five metres across and nearly two metres high with branches like an elk’s antlers – were like nothing I’d seen before in the Pacific Ocean,” Dr Richards said.

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species – but says there aren’t enough data to confirm this, at this point. The uncertainty surrounding the taxonomic status of the Pacific elkhorn poses a conservation dilemma. To be given threatened species status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more needs to be known about the coral, its population size and it relationships to other coral species. “Currently the Pacific elkhorn would be rated as ‘data deficient’, meaning there isn’t enough information to determine whether it is threatened, vulnerable or critically endangered,” she explained. “This means that the Pacific elkhorn would join 141 other coral species on the IUCN list whose status is uncertain. However the status of its Atlantic relative, A. palmata is much more certain: regarded by most marine researchers as the outstanding symbol of the plight of Caribbean corals, it is rated as critically endangered after vanishing from most of its Caribbean reef habitat in recent decades.” Dr Richards says the current IUCN definitions are unhelpful in terms of the conservation of many rare and newly described corals such as the Pacific elkhorn, adding it is likely that many of the corals classified as “data deficient” are actually at risk of extinction. “When Zoe showed me pictures of the Pacific elkhorn, I was shocked,” says leading coral geneticist, Professor David Miller of CoECRS and James Cook University. “The colonies look just like the critically endangered Caribbean species A. palmata, one of the most distinctive of all corals. The fact that these colonies might represent a species that has not been seen for over a hundred years (A. rotumana) says something about how much we know about the remote reefs of North Pacific. “And the fact that it and many other corals don’t qualify as at risk under IUCN criteria is very disappointing. The IUCN seems to be too demanding in terms of the criteria for listing, and we urge they should err on the side of caution in cases like this.” The discovery is reported in the article “Archetypal ‘elkhorn’ coral discovered in the Pacific Ocean” by Zoe Richards, Carden Wallace and David Miller which appears in a recent edition of the journal Systematics and Biodiversity (2010), 8(2): 281-288.
For further information contact Dr Zoe Richards (CoECRS), mobile 0450 545 081, email, or Professor David Miller (CoECRS and JCU), phone (07) 4781 4473, email Web site

An Australian scientist has discovered a rare new Pacific elkhorn coral on an atoll in the Marshall Islands. Photo courtesy Dean Jacobson, ARC CoECRS

“So far I have only found this new population of coral to occur along a small stretch of reef at a single atoll in the Marshalls group. “It grows in relatively shallow water along the exposed reef front and, so far, fewer than 200 colonies are known from that small area. “The Pacific elkhorn coral has regular divergent blade-like branches that radiate out from single or multiple large central stalks. Its colonies are by far the largest of all the Acropora colonies observed at Arno Atoll, indicating that these are relatively old.” Whether the Pacific elkhorn is an entirely new species or not is subject to scientific debate, because Zoe has discovered that over a century ago, in 1898, a scientist called Gardiner described a coral from the island of Rotuma, near Fiji in the South Pacific whose description fits that of the Pacific elkhorn. “Unfortunately at this stage, we do not have any genetic material of A. rotumana to confirm whether or not it is the same species as the Pacific Elkhorn,” said Dr Richards. This finding is of a population of elkhorn coral in the Pacific is of particular scientific interest because it represents one morphological extreme in Acropora, the dominant genus of reef-building corals, the researchers say. Genetic analysis of the new coral found that its closest relative is Acropora abrotanoides. Dr Richards considers it possible that A. abrotanoides, the 19th century Fijian coral and the new Pacific elkhorn could turn out to be variants of the same 4


Research Sheds Light on Decline in Global Reefs
Researchers are a step closer to understanding the rapid decline of the world’s coral reefs, thanks to a breakthrough study linking coral immunity with its susceptibility to bleaching and disease. The discovery was made by Caroline Palmer, Bette Willis and John Bythell, scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (Queensland) and Newcastle University (UK). “Understanding the immune system of reef-building corals will help to reduce the impact of coral diseases and environmental stresses,” says Caroline Palmer, lead author of the publication.

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“Potentially, this will enable us to more accurately predict the vulnerability of coral reefs to disease and bleaching, before there are obvious signs of stress.” “This unique study broadens the limited knowledge we have about the defence systems of corals, which is one of the main challenges facing scientists aiming to protect corals,” says Professor Bette Willis, a chief investigator in the ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies. “Identifying and measuring the immune functions of several different corals allows us to predict which ones are particularly susceptible to stress. “Variation in levels of immune function among different species is likely dependent on the energy they assign to it. As energy is vital for an effective immune response, corals that utilise energy to grow and reproduce rapidly have less to spare for their immune response,” says Caroline Palmer. “These corals, like the staghorns, Acropora, are the colonies most vulnerable when challenged by temperature stress or disease.” A key element of the coral immune system is melanin production. Melanin, a classic part of immune responses found in invertebrates, also provides a defence against diseasecausing organisms in corals. It may also be used to stop harmful UV light from reaching the symbiotic algae and causing bleaching. The study of coral immunity will enable scientists to better preempt the effects of different stresses on corals. This is important, as by the time physical symptoms become apparent, strategies to mitigate stress effects will be far less valuable. “Our increased understanding of coral immune systems may therefore be used to address the causes rather than the symptoms of coral declines,” says Caroline Palmer. Bette Willis adds: “This approach is necessary particularly given that coral bleaching is similar to having a fever – it’s a common sign for many different stresses so it’s often difficult to point to any one cause in particular.” Two of the main factors that cause corals to bleach are attacks by disease-causing microbes and temperature stress. It is currently estimated that between three and six per cent of corals in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are affected by coral diseases, and up to a third of corals at a given location can be affected by temperature stress in a warm year. Temperature stress is a growing concern due to global warming. Researchers and reef managers are currently working on strategies to protect vulnerable coral sites. The preventive measures envisioned involve minimising human impacts which might further injure the coral, such as dredging, building construction, pollution, land runoff or damaging corals by boat activity or fishing.
The paper “Levels of immunity parameters underpin bleaching and disease susceptibility of reef corals” was published in the June issue of The FASEB Journal. See For further information contact Professor Bette Willis (CoECRS & JCU), phone (07) 4781 5349, email, or Caroline Palmer (JCU & Newcastle University), mobile 0457 587 049, email Web site

Australian Maritime Digest Climate-Related Changes to Australian Fish Distribution
Scientists are reporting significant changes in the distribution of coastal fish species in south-east Australia which they say are partly due to climate change. CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation and Wealth from Oceans Flagships have identified 43 species, representing about 30 per cent of the inshore fish families occurring in the region, which have exhibited shifts thought to be climate-related.

The Maugean Skate – currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Animals. CSIRO Photo

These include warm temperate surf-zone species such as Silver Drummer and Rock Blackfish that are breeding and have become more abundant, and range increases in Snapper and Rock Flathead. There is also a greater abundance of warm water tunas and billfishes and occasional visits from Queensland Groper and Tiger Sharks. “Furthermore, up to 19 species, or five per cent, of Tasmanian coastal fish fauna have undergone serious declines or are possibly extinct locally,” says the Curator of the Australian National Fish Collection, Dr Peter Last. “At the same time many warm temperate species have moved in and colonised the cool temperate Tasmanian region. “Shifts in the distribution of marine animals in response to climate change can be detrimental to some species. The problem is that in southern Tasmania, shallow cold water species have nowhere to escape warmer conditions in the sea,” Dr Last says. Particularly at risk are species such as the Maugean Skate, which is now confined to Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania’s southwest. Dr Last and his colleagues from CSIRO and the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute outline the changes in a research paper published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. Their data come from a range of sources – published accounts, scientific surveys, spearfishing and angling competitions, commercial catches and underwater photographic records – from the late 1800s to the present. The findings support information provided in Australia’s first Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card, released in 2009, which describes recorded and projected changes to marine species from shifts in climate. 5


Australian Maritime Digest
Dr Last says south-eastern Australia is a climate change hotspot with well-documented changes already occurring over the past 70 years, including; southward penetration of the East Australian Current by about 350 kilometres and a temperature rise of almost 2ºC. “Increased water temperatures in the Tasman Sea are likely to have a cascading effect through local marine ecosystems and, for example, the Bass Strait islands act as stepping stones or distributional pathways south. Already we are seeing biological responses to these changes in the increased presence of sea urchins and fishes from further north.” Co-authors of the paper were: CSIRO’s Will White, Dan Gledhill and Alistair Hobday, and Rebecca Brown, Graham Edgar and Gretta Pecl from the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute at the University of Tasmania.
For further information contact Dr Peter Last (Fish Taxonomist, Marine and Atmospheric Research, CSIRO), phone (03) 6232 5356, email, or Mr Craig Macaulay (Science Journalist, Marine & Atmospheric Research, CSIRO), phone (03) 6232 5219, mobile 0419 966 465, email

1 September 2010


Australian marine scientists have taken what is thought to be a major step towards the development of a commercially viable hatchery technology for mass production of lobsters. AIMS photo

AIMS Scientists Assessing the Perfect Aquarium Rock Lobsters
Australian marine scientists have been researching ways to rear, in captivity, highly prized ornamental marine animals to supply the multi-million dollar aquarium sector.   Several species of Australian crustaceans, such as the ornate and painted spiny lobster and cleaner shrimps, like the worldfamous Jacques from Finding Nemo – are candidates for enthusiasts’ fish tanks.   At present, demand for these animals is satisfied by collection from wild stocks, potentially impacting natural population levels. However, scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) headquarters at Cape Ferguson, near Townsville, are developing the hatchery and nursery technologies required for mass production of such crustaceans.  “The goal is to develop the technology to produce animals not only for aquariums but also to supply the increasing demand for high value seafood – of which lobsters are the most highly prized and valued,” said Dr Mike Hall, leader of the Tropical Aquaculture Research Program at AIMS.   Lobsters are only suitable for use in normal-sized fish tanks when they are small juveniles. They are suitable for an aquarium tank for a few years but will eventually out-grow the tank as they reach full adulthood.   “After that,” said Dr Hall, “the owner would have the added benefit of inviting the lobster to dinner – where it could be the main course”.  These animals, in their juvenile form, are highly sought after by marine aquarium enthusiasts and can fetch up to $150 per individual – equivalent to $50,000 per kilogram. The same species as an adult in the seafood trade is worth between $60 and $100 per kilogram. Likewise, although not eaten as seafood, cleaner shrimps, at between $100 to $125 each, are worth $60,000 per kilogram.   The Institute’s researchers have successfully managed to get lobster larvae through the hatchery cycle on an artificial feed formulated and developed at AIMS Townsville headquarters. This is thought to be a world first and a major step towards the 6

development of a commercially viable hatchery technology for mass production of lobsters. In addition, the Institute’s scientists and AIMS@JCU collaborators have reared cleaner shrimps from the egg.   Dr Hall says the next stage is the possibility of true farming, allowing animals to be selected and bred on the basis of traits that make some species more suitable for aquarium display.  “It would be possible to breed a docile marine aquarium lobster that would be more like ‘look at me, look at me’ rather than one that likes to hide,” Dr Hall said. 
For further information contact Dr Mike Hall (AIMS Principal Research Scientist), phone (07) 4753 4308, mobile 0407 553 408, email, or Wendy Ellery (AIMS Media Liaison), phone (07) 4753 4409, mobile 0418 729 265, email Web site

MARINE SAFETY Commercial vessel standard ready for allweather consultation
The National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) has released a draft standard for Watertight and Weathertight Integrity. The draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) will also be available for comment soon. The new National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV ) C2 – Watertight and Weathertight Integrity will replace parts of the USL Code Subsections 5C and 5D and also Section 7 Load Lines. Provisions in the draft standard include open boats; inlets and discharges; coaming and sill heights for hatches, doors, ventilators and air pipes; requirements for side scuttles and windows; minimum bow height; freeboard marks; and drainage of wells and cockpits. The review also addresses a number of issues identified with the current standards including the use of polycarbonate windows, glued window frames and the tension between door sill heights and trip hazards.

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Principal Technical Adviser Mori Flapan said the draft acknowledges and rewards vessels having excess freeboard by introducing the concept of Zones “Standards for fishing vessels are aligned with those for Class 2 non-passenger vessels,” he said, and “the draft RIS that will accompany the draft standard explains the nature of changes and highlights the benefits and costs.” NMSC’s CEO Margie O’Tarpey welcomes comments from as many stakeholders as possible. “Your comments will be reviewed by a reference group comprising experienced industry and government representatives who will in turn make recommendations for alteration to the NMSC,” she said. “This is your chance to influence the future direction of this important standard”. Have your say To obtain a copy of (NSCV ) C2 – Watertight and Weathertight Integrity please contact the NMSC Secretariat on 02 9247 2124 or visit and click on ‘Have Your Say. The accompanying RIS will be posted on the web as soon as it’s available. Comments close on 30 September 2010.
For further information contact Rosemary Pryor (NMSC Communications Officer), phone (02) 9247 2124, email

Australian Maritime Digest

Aerial photograph of HMAS Kanimbla conducting a replenishment at sea (RAS) with USNS Guadalupe (centre) and USS Bonhomme Richard (outer) during Exercise RIMPAC sea phase 2010. RAN photo

“Whether it was the coordinated Harpoon firing from Warramunga in combination with the RAAF P3 Orions; the first splash of Amphibious Assault Vehicles from HMAS Kanimbla; 2 RAR operating alongside US Marines or our divers raising a sunken tug from the bottom, all our soldiers, sailors and airmen have performed at an impressive level,” CDRE Mayer said. “We have conducted complex war fighting in a challenging multi-national environment. We have definitely got our money’s worth out of RIMPAC.” Around 1200 ADF personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Army and Royal Australian Air Force attended the 14-nationstrong exercise in waters off Hawaii. The next RIMPAC will be held in 2012.
Further information is available at:, or contact Defence Media Liaison, phone (02) 6127 1999, mobile 0408 498 664.

NAVY RAN Shines as RIMPAC Ends in Hawaii
The largest Military exercise of its kind in the world has drawn to a close, with Australian participants receiving high praise from their Commander. Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2010 has seen more than 1200 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel involved in a massive maritime operation off the coast of Hawaii. The highlights for the ADF contingent included missile firings, complex submarine hunting and a major multi national amphibious assault, planned and coordinated by an Australian command team. The head of Australia’s contingent, Commodore Stuart Mayer RAN, says this has been the most successful RIMPAC for the ADF since the exercise began in the early 1970s. “It is a common cliché to say that every exercise is the best one ever. But in this instance it is very likely true,” he said. The successes included commanding the exercise’s Expeditionary Strike Group, which comprised three amphibious ships, up to 15 cruisers and destroyers and a US Marine Corps Taskforce – a total force of almost 1000 men and women. The exercise also saw the world’s first combined joint Harpoon Block II missile firing from HMAS Warramunga, involving an RAAF AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and ships from Canada and the US. The RAN also completed the successful firing of surface-to-air missiles demonstrating the capability of HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Newcastle against complex threats.


Milestone as Melbourne sails for Slipper
Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne sailed for the Middle East Area of Operations recently, where she will relieve HMAS Parramatta on Operation Slipper. Melbourne is the first of the recently upgraded Adelaide Class Frigates to undertake an operational deployment. Embarked with a ship’s company of 238 men and women, Melbourne was farewelled by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, and the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore, and family and friends. “The men and women embarked on Melbourne will make a vital contribution to the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring maritime security, supporting anti-terrorism and countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden,” Vice Admiral Crane said. “The thoughts and best wishes of the nation are with Melbourne as she sails to undertake this important task. “Melbourne is the first of the upgraded Adelaide Class Frigates to sail for the Middle East. The enhancements make her a formidable force, with new missile and torpedo systems among the improved capability,” Vice Admiral Crane said. This will be the 24th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy Fleet unit to the region since operations commenced in September 2001. Melbourne has not deployed on Operation Slipper since its first tour to the Middle East in 2002. 7

Australian Maritime Digest

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The results of their research were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy in an article entitled ‘“The wave energy resource along Australia’s Southern margin.” Their work is different from some past studies which used wave data from deep-ocean waters. The latest estimates are based on the amount of energy along the coast at a depth of 20 metres deep, since many emerging wave power systems are likely to be at that depth or less. Ideal sites for wave power included Portland in Victoria and Albany in southern Western Australia because of their close proximity to electricity grid connections. “Wave energy has a number of advantages over other renewable energy sources. Environmentally, impacts occur during the construction and installation processes. Once in operation, wave energy has the potential to provide a clean source of energy with no greenhouse gas emissions while posing minimal impacts on the environment,” they said. “A noteworthy advantage of wave energy conversion devices is that many have a low visibility profile. Seafloor designs are essentially invisible, while surface designs protrude only a few metres above the ocean surface and are barely seen when installed several kilometres offshore. “These features make wave energy more appealing to nearby residents who have objected to wind turbines (and solar farms) on the grounds that they spoil coastal areas of high recreational value.”
The full text of the article is available at:

Family and Friends wave farewell as HMAS Melbourne departs for a tour of the Middle East. Defence photo

“This is a significant deployment for our ship. It is a great honour to be undertaking this important job on behalf of the Australian people. To deploy the first upgraded FFG in support of operations makes the deployment all the more professionally rewarding for us,” said Commanding Officer Melbourne, Commander Michael Harris. “Our job has been made easier because we sail knowing that we have the strong support of our family and friends. Their support as we worked tirelessly to prepare has resulted in us being extremely well placed to succeed in our mission.” HMAS Melbourne participated in a pre-deployment assessment in July which followed months of concentrated work-up training aimed at preparing the ship for operational deployment.
For further information contact Defence Media Liaison, phone (02) 6265 3343, mobile 0408 498 664, or Dan Wheelahan (Regional Manager Public Affairs), mobile 0405 310 176.

ENVIRONMENT Bigger Penalties for Marine Pollution
The Gillard Labor Government announced it would impose some of the world’s toughest fines – up to $10 million – on shipping companies caught polluting Australia’s marine environment or placing it at risk. In a pre-election news release on 18 August, then Transport Minister, Mr Anthony Albanese, said Australia needed tougher penalties to protect its marine environment and deter ships and their crews from unsafe and irresponsible practices along the coastline. There was no room for complacency when it came to protecting Australia’s marine environment, he said. Mr Albanese said a Labor Government would: • increase fines for discharging oil into the sea from the existing $275,000 to $10 million for a corporation and from $55,000 to $2 million for an individual; create a new offence of “negligent navigation” with penalties for operating a vessel in a manner causing or likely to cause pollution or damage to the marine environment. The penalties will be up to $5.5 million for a corporation, $2.2 million for an individual or up to 10 years imprisonment; and increase penalties on ships which fail to report their vessel’s location when passing through the Mandatory Reporting area in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait

OCEANOGRAPHY Research into Wave Power Generation in Southern Australia
The Southern Australian coastline is one of the most energetic regions in the world suitable for the extraction of wave energy for electricity generation. This was one of the main findings of recent research by CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology scientists into the levels and reliability of wave propagation energy in the area. They estimated that if 10 per cent of the incident near-shore energy in the region were harnessed and converted to electricity – an ambitious target when conversion efficiency was considered – about half of Australia’s total present-day electricity consumption would be produced. The project was carried out by oceanographers M. A. Hemer and D. A. Griffin, from the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between the Bureau of Meterolology and the CSIRO Wealth for Oceans National Research Flagship, in Tasmania.


1 September 2010
– from $5,500 to $132,000 for a corporation and $26,400 for an individual. The Government would also pursue supporting amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, as part of the its response to Dr Allan Hawke’s review of the Act. “As an island continent, Australia makes up 10 per cent of the world’s entire seaborne trade and is dependent on shipping for our ongoing economic development,” he said. “Indeed 99 per cent of our imports and exports are transported by sea and more than 4000 cargo vessels navigate our waters each year. “In the last two years, we have seen two incidents off the coast of Queensland – the Pacific Adventurer oil spill off the coast of south east Queensland in 2009 and the grounding of the Shen Neng 1 on the Douglas Shoal earlier this year. “Over the coming years, seaborne trade is likely to increase, which is why it is vital that we take steps to protect our unique marine environment. “In addition to their environmental value, icons such as the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef are worth billions to our economy and support hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs in the tourism and fishing industries.”
For further information contact Mr Albanese’s Canberra office, phone (02) 6277 7680, email

Australian Maritime Digest

The vessel Plastiki, made with 12,500 plastic bottles, recently sailed across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney to draw attention to the problem of plastic in the seas. Artwork courtesy of Adventure Ecology

“The Northern Territory announced this week that it will ban the use of plastic bags from the middle of next year; the ban will be phased in over four months and will help reduce the 40 million plastic bags used in the Territory.” He said this should happen right across Australia not just in those proactive States and Territories which had already taken action. Pollution of the sea knew no boundaries. “The disposal of packaging material is a global problem, the Asian Development Bank has announced the work it is doing to reduce major litter pollution in the Citarum River in Indonesia. A video clip on U-Tube which can be seen on the AUSMEPA Oceans Whispers Blog site tells the horrifying story,” Mr Julian said. David de Rothschild recently drew international attention to the problem of pollution and the considerable harm to the marine environment caused by plastic bottles when he sailed his boat Plastiki, made with 12,500 plastic bottles, across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney.
For further information about AUSMEPA and the suite of marine environment education units of work, see or contact Michael Julian (Executive Director, AUSMEPA), phone (02) 6254 2559, mobile 0417 657 951, email:


Ridding Plastic Bottles and Bags from Australian Seas
Federal and State governments were beginning to seriously tackle the problems caused by plastic bottles and bags ending up in the sea and killing a range of marine life from turtles to whales. The Executive Director of the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA), Mr Michael Julian, said plastic bottles and plastic bags posed one of the greatest threats to our seas and oceans, because marine creatures often mistook them for food and swallowed them. “We have all heard this cry so many times before and tend to dismiss it as somebody else’s problem. Thankfully, at long last, something is being done which if adopted will reduce plastic bottles and plastic bags ending up in the sea and destroying our valuable marine life,” he said. AUSMEPA strongly supported the initiative of the Federal and State governments in announcing a move towards a national scheme for a deposit levy on cans and containers referred to as CDL, which will include plastic bottles. The Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed last month to undertake the development of a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to be based on the substantial work already completed on options to address environmental impacts and the reduction of litter from packaging wastes such as beverage containers. “However, the RIS will go beyond just a Container Deposit Levy and look at other options to reduce the environmental impact of discarded packaging,” Mr Julian said. “AUSMEPA also congratulates the Northern Territory Government which will be joining South Australia in the banning of plastic bags used by shops and supermarkets. 9

BORDER SECURITY Case for Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Says Researcher
Their value for high national interest civil uses like countering illegal foreign fishing, people smuggling and drug running, should prompt the Federal Government to reconsider a decision to defer the purchase of unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles (UAVs) for a decade. A senior researcher from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Dr Andrew Davies, says that while a wide range of Australian Government agencies, including Customs, Coastwatch, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, had requirements for surveillance data, the money and the decision-making for the capability was “stovepiped” solely in Defence.

Australian Maritime Digest

1 September 2010 METEOROLOGY Improved Marine Forecasts for NSW Coast
From 1 September 2010, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology will be introducing improved marine forecasts for NSW. “We are improving our marine services in response to the ongoing feedback we’ve received from members of the marine community,” said Senior Bureau Meteorologist, Ms Julie Evans.

The Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Photo from Northrop Grumman

“The coastal waters forecasts will be upgraded to include wind, sea and swell conditions for all days of the forecast period. This is aimed at assisting mariners to better plan their trips around the safest and most comfortable times of the day.” Ms Evans said these changes were a part of a new forecasting services being introduced by the Bureau of Meteorology, which will provide detailed maps of forecast wind and wave conditions seven days in advance. “We have also created easily recognisable geographic coastal water zones. The former South Coast zone will be split into two new zones called Batemans and Eden, the Mid North Coast zone will be divided into two new zones known as Coffs and Macquarie, and the current Far North Coast zone will be renamed as Byron,” she said. Ms Evans said that wave information within coastal waters warnings would now be provided in terms of the total wave height, to better describe the conditions expected. The upgrades are part a federally-funded weather services upgrade which is being rolled out around Australia over the next five years. Over the next couple of months, the Bureau of Meteorology will be holding free information sessions along the New South Wales Coast.
For further information contact Valentina Lazarevska (Bureau of Meteorology), mobile 0439 452 424. Web site

Dr Davies, who is the Program Director for the Operations and Capability Program, said Defence had the lion’s share of the procurement budget and would, rightly, continue to invest in platforms and systems which best suited its particular requirements. But it was time for the Government to take a broader look at its wider policy aims – and to allocate resources accordingly. He said the Government had decided to defer the purchase of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle from now until 2019 because it would put too much pressure on the Defence Force. “One of the potential advantages of a holistic approach to national security is that cost-benefit decisions can be made based on the overall national benefit of a program, as opposed to the relatively narrow view of an individual portfolio,” he said. Writing in a recent Policy Analysis Paper entitled Putting the “national” into national security: Australia’s maritime surveillance capability, he said introducing such an advanced new aircraft at this time would have caused incredible workforce pressures on the Australian Defence Force, particularly given the requirement to transition the Air Force’s AP-3C Orion fleet to a new manned surveillance aircraft in the same time period. “From the point of view of Air Force and Defence, this may have been a reasonable prioritisation of effort,” he said. “But in any case, it is worth considering whether this applies in terms of the overall national ability to collect intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information in our expansive maritime domain.” Australia was always going to have difficulty in keeping watch on a vast area of ocean and a long coastline. Steps taken through the last decade had greatly improved the co-ordination of effort and sharing of surveillance information across government. But the equipment side of capability continued to be managed (for the most part) in agency-based stovepipes. “We have to accept that we will never manage to seal our maritime approaches against unwanted incursions, or prevent or respond to all illegal activity. But we can increase the effectiveness of those efforts through better management of the national capability,” he said.
Copies of Dr Davies’ report can be downloaded from &pubtype=9. For further information contact ASPI, phone (02) 6270 5100, email Web site

The Australian Maritime Digest circulates to more than 14,000 thousand people across all maritime interests in Australia and overseas Do you have stories, news releases or other material you would like to see published at no cost in the general news pages or the “Conferences and Seminars” section? Why not write a letter to the Editor: Ernie Davitt, phone (02) 6295 0056, email, fax (02) 6295 3367, PO Box 55, Red Hill ACT 2603. Why not advertise in the Australian Maritime Digest! Your advertisement would reach right into the heart of the maritime community and be seen by those who would be most interested in your organisation, its events and its products. Contact the Business Manager, phone (02) 6295 0056, Advertising is accepted at the discretion of the Editor. Rates are based on $330 for a quarter page. Full details at est.pdf.


1 September 2010 MARITIME HERITAGE New Chair for Australian National Maritime Museum
The Caretaker Minister for the Arts, Mr Peter Garrett, recently announced the appointment of Mr Peter Dexter as Chair of the Australian National Maritime Museum Council for three years. Mr Dexter is currently chairman of Wilh. Wilhelmsen Investments Pty Ltd, and SeaSwift Pty Ltd, Non-Executive director of POAGs Pty Ltd and Wilhelmsen Ships Service Pty Ltd, as well as serving on the Australian National Maritime Museum Foundation. Previously, Mr Dexter was Regional Director, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and currently serves the company as its Oceania Chairman as well as performing the role of Honorary Consul-General of Norway in New South Wales.
For further information:

Australian Maritime Digest REPORTS Latest Australian Shipping Report
A 98-page report on the Logistics of Australian shipping, including ports, imports and exports, was released on 3 August.
To see a summary and order a copy see db67ebea1517415363627480fcf314e3

Australian Association for Maritime Affairs
The role of the AAMA is to generate greater public awareness of maritime affairs. It provides a focal point for people with an interest in maritime affairs, especially those in business, tertiary institutions, the marine professions and the public service who are concerned with any aspect of Australia’s maritime affairs.

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Australian Maritime Digest CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS
8 September 2010
SEA10 Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Melbourne The Australian Shipowners Association is holding its annual conference in September. The theme of this year’s event reflects the International Maritime Organization’s Year of the Seafarer. Further information: Karen Shaw, mobile 0400 546 561, email

1 September 2010

technologies, such as developments in automation technologies, asset visibility and security, and best practices for managing logistics, assets, inventory and cargo. In addition, ZES will unveil several new marine terminal operations technologies including, Navis General Cargo and ZES Maritime Telematics. Full details at

6-7 October 2010
7th Annual Dry Bulk Shipping Market Outlook The Devere Holborn Bars, London Dry bulk demand, particularly iron ore, coking and thermal coal demand from China and India remain strong and are set to surge in the second half of 2010. The rapid recovery of freight rates from a catastrophic collapse in 2008 has seen fixtures for capesize, panamax, handysize and handymax vessels rebound and remain firm. With China’s appetite for steel-making raw materials expected to peak by 2020 with imports of iron ore of 1.3bn tonnes a year, the outlook is for cautious optimism. Dry Bulk Shipping Market Outlook conference is the only global event to bring together a distinguished panel of experts to analyse market drivers and assess demand and supply fundamentals in the dry bulk shipping sector. Full details at:

13-15 September 2010
Tuna 2010 Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre, Bangkok, Thailand The world’s leading global tuna industry event. Further information: Kishore Navani, phone (03) 9645 0411 email Web site

14 & 15 September 2010
Port & Maritime Security Amora Jamison, Sydney The 7th annual Port & Maritime Security 2010 summit will bring together experts and leaders to share the most recent initiatives, to give you insights into the latest policy moves and examine some of the most advanced technological approaches on the market. This summit is aimed at helping to shape future developments within the maritime industry and equip you with the most up-to-date local and regional industry information. Port and Maritime Security 2010 will facilitate interaction and cooperation between government agencies, port operators, shipping companies and other key industries and the outstanding speaker panel will be able to give you the latest insights into how you can tackle the ever-expanding threats you and your operations face. A pre-conference Crisis Management workshop will be held on Monday 13th September. Workshop participants will look at techniques to build resilience in their organisation before, during and after an incident. The workshop will be led by crisis management expert & Managing Director of Turning Point Crisis Management Stephen Young. Contact the conference registration team on (02) 9080 4307 Or book your place online or at

10-12 October 2010
6th Asia Maritime & Logistics Conference & Exhibition Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Opportunity for Shipowners, Classification Societies, Maritime Law, Suppliers of Marine Equipment, and Suppliers of Marine Services to meet and exchange views on most current development affecting Asian Maritime and Shipping Industry. Topics include: An update on the economic situation; Its impact on the maritime and logistics industry in 2010, and beyond; Port security what are the issues? How are ports responding?; Creating environmentally efficient ports and whole of supply chain solutions; Examining the latest technological innovations; Shifts in the modal movement of cargoes in the redefined economy and environment. For speaking and program enquiries: Further information and registration details: Web site

25-29 October 2010
Euronaval 2010: International trade show for naval defence and maritime safety & security Paris-Le Bourget Exhibition Centre Euronaval traditionally covers missions ranging from naval sovereignty to state actions at sea and maritime safety and security, including the enforcement of public order at sea, marine, maritime and fisheries policing and maritime and coastal surveillance. Program includes debates on the safe and secure use of the seas for civil and military purposes. Further information:, phone +33 (0)1 7 36 80 80. Web site

14-15 September 2010
Transport Project Financing Summit Stamford Plaza, Brisbane Australia is experiencing an unprecedented boom in infrastructure investment. Across the nation the public and private sector are spending billions of dollars to build the roads, ports, airports and rail network to meet the increasing demands of its freight and passenger transport. The inaugural Transport Project Financing Summit will address all the issues associated with securing funding for long term transport projects. The agenda will examine the roles of both the public and private sector for future transportation projects in Australia. The sessions will analyse the feasibility of various alternative financing models and address the legislative reforms that are critical in order to encouraging private investment. Full details at:

26-28 October 2010
Ports Australia 42nd Biennial Conference Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart Ports Australia’s Biennial Conference is attended by port corporation CEOs and their senior management teams, as well as ports’ Board members and other key decision makers within the ports community. For further information about attending or sponsorship opportunities contact Website:

26-29 September 2010
Solutions World 2010 Palace Hotel in San Francisco The eighth biennial conference focused on the latest technology advancements in marine terminal operations and supply chain logistics. Formerly known as Navis World, the user-conference is renamed Zebra Enterprise Solutions (ZES) World. More than 300 customers, partners and industry experts from around the world are expected to attend the conference. Solutions World will offer more than 60 sessions on the latest advancements in marine terminal and supply chain

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