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April 2012 Issue

Wildlife Acoustics Launches the Song Meter SM2M-HiSPL
Wildlife Acoustics Inc. (Concord, Massachusetts) introduced in March the SM2M-HiSPL, a version of the Song Meter SM2M marine submersible recorder that is capable of recording and quantifying high sound pressure levels (SPL), such as those from pile drivers and air guns. The Song Meter SM2M is designed for recording biological acoustics.

The SM2M-HiSPL can record very high-amplitude sounds without distorting the recording. Custom hydrophone sensitivities are available to allow recording up to 240 decibels SPL.

All SM2M units can log the average and peak root mean square values to a text file, allowing the absolute receive SPL to be easily calculated and assisting in documentation compliance for marine noise levels. SM2M units store up to half a terabyte of data. For more information, please click here.


IMO Issues Approval for BWMS, Adopts New Guidelines
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee granted in March basic approval to three and final approval to five ballast water management systems (BWMS) that use active substances, but it was unable to decide on market-based measures for greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.

BWMS receiving basic approval include STX Metal Co. Ltd.’s Smart Ballast (Changwon City, Korea), Dalian Maritime University’s DMU •OH BWMS and Hanla IMS Co. Ltd.’s (Busan, Korea) EcoGuardian BWMS. The IMO issued final approval for System Siemens AG’s (Munich, Germany) SiCURE BWMS, ERMA First Engineering Solutions SA’s (Perama, Greece) ERMA First BWMS, Kuraray Co. Ltd.’s (Tokyo, Japan) Microfade BWMS, AQUA Eng. Co. Ltd.’s (Ulsan, Korea) Aqua­Star BWMS and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.’s (Seoul, Korea) Neo-Purimar BWMS. Twenty-one type-approved BWMS are now available. Some delegations expressed concerns about implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention, due to lack of approved technologies, limited shipyard capacity, time availability and the costs involved, other delegations encouraged shipowners to start installing BWMS on their ships to avoid bottlenecks in demand.

The committee also adopted guidelines to assist implementation of the revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for preventing ship-garbage pollution, which are expected to enter into force in January 2013. New guidelines for ship recycling and authorizing ship-recycling facilities were also adopted to assist these facilities and shipping companies in introducing voluntary improvements to meet the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, adopted in May 2009. For more information, please click here.


Using Electromagnetic Waves to Prevent Corrosion, Biofouling
Ecospec Global Technology Pte Ltd. (Singapore) introduced in March the first corrosion and biofouling control systems that utilize ultra­low-frequency (ULF) electromagnetic waves.

The ElMag corrosion system emits ULF electromagnetic waves to create a self-regenerating, protective magnetite layer around submerged metal structures. Thus, the required power from a supplementary DC current to elevate the steel surface to full cathodic protection is reduced, making the EIMag more cost-effective than conventional methods and resulting in less stray currents that could damage nearby structures.

With the ULF wave generated by the BioMag system, the excited surface prevents larvae from coming close to or adhering to the structure’s surface.

EIMag and BioMag have been successfully deployed and tested in coastal and offshore applications, Ecospec said, with ElMag having been tested on a 150-pile pier at Sembawang Shipyard (Singapore) since October 2011.

The systems are able to achieve the Corrosion Protect­ion Inter­national Acceptance Criteria of 800 millivolts against a silver electrode. For more information, please click here.


USCG Issues Ruling for Ballast Water, Amends Hazmat Rule
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will require seagoing vessels to cleanse their ballast water before discharging it in U.S. waters with ballast water management systems (BWMS) that mechanically, physically or chemically remove organisms or sediments.

The USCG also proposed to expand the list of allowed hazardous materials and add International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type 1 and 2 tanks to the list of portable tanks approved for hazardous material transport. This would eliminate the need to obtain special permits to use these tanks or transport materials not on the list.

The USCG issued its final rule in March for living organisms in ships’ ballast water discharged into U.S. waters. The rule, which is consistent with IMO standards, also amends regulations for engineering equipment by establishing a BWMS approval process. It does not include the USCG’s more stringent proposed phase-two discharge standard, which the USCG plans to reassess.

The final rule applies to two groups: vessels required to conduct ballast water exchange and seagoing vessels that do not conduct ballast water exchange nor operate beyond the U.S. exclusive economic zone but do take on and discharge ballast water in more than one captain of the port zone and weigh more than 3,000 gross tons.

The USCG removed a provision to allow foreign type-approved BWMS to receive U.S. type approval; however, it still allows manufacturers to use testing done to obtain type approval from a foreign administration, and the data from that testing, to satisfy U.S. type-approval testing and requirements.

Implementing the U.S. approval process will likely take at least three years. Anticipating a lack of approved BWMS for new vessels, the USCG pushed back the compliance date from January 1, 2012, to December 1, 2013, which could delay the compliance date for up to 600 new vessels.

The USCG also reduced the time period required for shipboard testing from 12 to six months, removed the requirement for testing to be in three geographic regions and cut the number of required valid test cycles. For more information, please click here.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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