From ECDIS familiarisation to awareness of impending SEEMP regulations, we’ve been keeping track of the news that reflect the important issues affecting the maritime industry. Here are a few stories from the past week.

ECDIS Familiarisation - representatives from across the maritime industry gathered in London this week for the ECDIS Revolution conference, which was sponsored by Admiralty.  The importance of ECDIS familiarisation emerged as a critical theme from this two-day event.  A cross-industry group, organised and coordinated by The Nautical Institute has produced a range of guidance to clarify the requirements for competency in relation to ECDIS.  ECDIS Familiarisation is defined as the process required to become familiar with any onboard ECDIS (including back-up) in order to assure and demonstrate competency in relation to a specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigation watch.  The guidance includes a series of recommendations and an ECDIS Familiarisation Checklist, covering Initial Preparation; Basic Operations; Charts; Navigational Tools and Functions; Route Planning and Route Monitoring.

Slowing cargo ships cuts pollution near ports by more than half - A new study conducted by the University of California has found that slowing cargo vessels near coastlines by 10 to 15 miles per hour could dramatically reduce air pollution from ships, reported Environmental Health News. A speed limit of 14 mph, down from the current cruising speeds of 25 to 29 mph, would reduce nitrogen oxides by 55 percent, soot by almost 70 percent and carbon dioxide by 60 percent.

SEEMP survey highlights lack of awareness 
- Digital Ship recently posted the results of a survey conducted by ship design software company NAPA Group that looked into preparation levels for the upcoming Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).  SEEMP is an operational measure that establishes a mechanism to improve the energy efficiency of a ship and will be mandatory for all vessels from January 2013. The survey revealed that the industry appears to be taking seriously its responsibility for SEEMP compliance and is optimistic about its benefits, with electronic-based SEEMP systems proving more popular with larger ship owners.  However, according to the survey results, 60 per cent of the market is unaware that the data collected under SEEMP can also be used to identify opportunities to improve fuel efficiency.

Finally, congratulations to Chesapeake Marine Training Institute, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, during which time it has trained over 15,000 professional mariners.

If you have read anything interesting this week that you’d like to share, please let us know.

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