For those of you who were at the ASTA Pacific Regional meeting on Friday, April 9th in San Francisco and for those of you who missed it, here is Captain Jonathan Boulware’s presentation on the proposed changes to marine licensing.
The proposed implementation includes changes in required seatime to achieve various licenses, clarification of definitions that have been ill defined or gray for many years, and also specifies training requirements that are expensive and in some cases irrelevant to our industry. A working group of the ASTA Ship Operations and Safety Committee (SOS) has been working to determine what aspects of the proposal may affect ASTA members and has prepared comments which were submitted in ASTA’s name to the USCG at a public comment session regarding this docket held at USCG Headquarters in DC on Jan. 20. Many of the proposed changes WILL affect mariners who hope to upgrade or obtain first issue merchant mariner credentials. It is safe to say that if this proposal goes through unchanged, the challenges of attaining new licenses will increase dramatically and vessels who include any foreign portion in their program will experience extreme difficulties meeting their manning requirements. STCW=Standards for Training and Certification of Watchkeepers. ASTA Ship Operations and Safety Committe (SOS) Captain Jonathan Boulware Captain Jonathan Kabak Captain Jen Haddock Captain Deborah Hayes