The meeting was held at Club 14, USCG Base Honolulu, and had 32 attendees.

Call To Order:   Chairman Robin Bond called the meeting to order.

Marine Alien Species

Robin introduced the first speaker, Scott Godwin –  Department of Natural Science, Invertebrate Zoology, Bishop Museum.   His presentation was on Marine Alien Species.

Bishop Museum is the focal point of the Marine Alien Species research currently going on.  When they started looking more seriously at this issue in 1996 there was no solid species list.   Since then they have conducted a number of surveys and continue with this process.   As of now, we have identified 343 Marine Alien Species.      These include 287 marine invertebrates, 24 types of microalgae, 12 flowering plants, and 20 different kinds of fish.

The survey conducted between 1998 and 2000 identified some of the issues Hawaii needs to address.   They include:

  • Hawaii geographically isolated, can we use this to our advantage?
  • The Hawaiian Islands are isolated not only from other areas, but also between islands.
  • We have a high incidence of barge traffic, particularly between islands.   Barges have more harbor residence time and move slower than ships at sea.    This means they are a more likely candidate for transporting alien species.
  • Hawaii needs to be concerned about ballast water discharge.   Tankers have the highest rates with bulkers second.   Container ships and Ro-Ro’s are comparatively small.   Although the overall numbers relatively small this can’t be discounted because surveys have found alien species in ballast water samples.

This is being dealt with by proactive industry efforts and future regulations.

The current survey program concentrates on the oddball stuff like drydocks and foreign barges.


A joint effort including the Bishop Museum, the Hawaiian Coral Reef Initiative, the State of Hawaii, and the Nature Conservancy are joining together to produce the Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan.    A draft of this plan is expected to be out by the end of this month.   This effort was started last year in October.    It has involved the Maritime Industry and the Scientific Community.    The Nature Conservancy will be writing it.   The State of Hawaii, including DOH, DLNR, DBOR, CZM and Dot will review it for submittal to the Federal Trustee Agencies, including USFWS, NOAA, EPA, and the USCG.

The intent of this plan is to develop a draft framework of criteria to support future legislative rules focusing on hull fouling introductions.   Essentially this State Plan would be a stop gap to new Federal Regulations expected in the future.

Robin introduced Captain Terry Rice, Ret.  to discuss current and proposed federal regulations on this issue.    Currently federal laws encourage voluntary reporting of ballast water handling.   The is a Notice of Proposed Rule Making  (NPRM)  currently in the docket that would require mandatory ballast water reporting for commercial vessels engaged in domestic and international travel.   This includes civil and criminal penalties.     Currently there are no plans to include yachts.


Robin asked Capt Rice to discuss the status of the review of the Diving Safe Operating Procedure (SOP).    Terry pointed out that there is general agreement with the SOP language and that it should be shortly completed.

Robin spoke to the Kawaihae harbor safety issue pointing out that a series of meetings are coming to discuss this and other Harbor safety issues.

USCG Merchant Mariner License and Documentation Program

Robin introduced Lt. Tom Griffitts the Honolulu Regional Exam Center Chief.    He spoke about changes in the Marine License and Documentation Program.   Over all there are 17 Regional Exam Centers.   Honolulu covers the entire 14th District.  Guam covers Guam and Saipan.   The program is administered under the authority of the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection  (OCMI).

Generally, the Merchant Mariner License indicates the capacity of an Officer and any restrictions to his capabilities.   Vessels requiring licensed officers include all vessels with  passengers for hire, towing vessels greater than 26 feet, all sea going vessels greater than 200 gross tons, and all  inspected coast guard vessels.

Merchant Mariner Documents are required for all crew on vessels greater than 100 gross tons.  This includes entry-level personnel such as ordinary seaman, food handlers, and wipers.  Qualified ratings include Able Seaman, Qualified Member of Engine Department and Lifeboatman.

The New Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) will include the following.

  • Enhanced background checks.   Now 100% off all applicants will receive a background check.   Delays can be expected.   The new applications form asks for absolute honesty.   Non-declared incidents that are discovered, such as a DUI, will mean automatic ineligibility.  The new MMD form (since February 2003) has no thumbprint or Serial Number.
  • Applicants must prove citizenship by providing at least two forms of ID plus a Social Security Card.
  • Applicants must be fingerprinted by USCG personnel

STCW Certificates

Another relatively new requirement is the result of an international convention designed to promote safety of life and property at sea by setting specific international standards for training certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.    It is called the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Vessels that must comply include the following.

  • All vessels on an international voyage
  • All vessels over 200 gross tons on domestic near coastal voyages  (<200 miles from shore)

Which positions require STCW Certificates?

  • Deck and Engineering Officers
  • Ratings forming part of a Navigational Watch
  • Ratings forming part of an Engineering Watch
  • Lifeboatmen  (Proficient in the use of survival craft)

Anyone seeking more information can contact the Regional Exam Center, by appointment only,

At telephone 522-8258 or 8259.


Terry Rice asked to speak for Lane Johnson of the coast guard.   Lane is looking for feedback on the HIMIS program.   This is a good place to get ballast water permits for example.  Good or bad comments can be forwarded to Lane via e-mail at ljohnson@uscg.mil     There is also a link to HIMIS from the HOST web site for anyone wishing to find out more about it.

Robin announced that for the near term the meetings will be held back at the Honolulu Community College Marine Training Facility just over the bridge on Sand Island.   This is primarily due to the security issues of getting on base.

Robin announced that John Thielst will be replacing Mike Latham on the Board.   John works for Tesoro as Maintenance Manager for the offshore Single Point Mooring.

Robin introduced his son Robin Jr. who just recently returned from towing the Matsonia to Honolulu after breaking her propeller shaft. He was one of the divers that secured the prop before the ship was towed to Honolulu.    He may speak to this at the next HOST Meeting.

Susan Harper reminded everyone that the 2003 Transpacific Yacht Race will be occurring between July 11th  –  18th.   

ADJOURN – The next HOST membership meeting will be held on August 21st at the Honolulu Community Marine Training Center, 2:00 pm.