Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124


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Audio Topic
11:06:49 AM Start
11:07:50 AM Presentation: from the Arctic to Southeast - Present and Future Alaska Maritime Operations by Captain Ed Page
12:12:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: From the Arctic to Southeast - TELECONFERENCED
Present & Future Alaska Maritime Operations by
Captain Ed Page, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired),
Exec. Dir., Marine Exchange of Alaska
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ARCTIC POLICY,                                                                          
               ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM                                                                              
                         March 26, 2019                                                                                         
                           11:06 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Sara Hannan, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                     
Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: FROM THE ARCTIC TO SOUTHEAST - PRESENT AND FUTURE                                                                 
ALASKA MARITIME OPERATIONS BY CAPTAIN ED PAGE                                                                                   
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
ED PAGE, Captain (Ret.)                                                                                                         
United States Coast Guard;                                                                                                      
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Marine Exchange of Alaska                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave a presentation on the present and                                                                   
future of Alaska maritime operations.                                                                                           
PAUL FUHS, Board President Emeritus                                                                                             
Marine Exchange of Alaska                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions about the                                                               
Marine Exchange of Alaska.                                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:06:49 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SARA  HANNAN called the  House Special Committee  On Arctic                                                             
Policy,  Economic Development,  and Tourism  meeting to  order at                                                               
11:06  a.m.   Representatives  Rasmussen, Tuck,  and Hannan  were                                                               
present  at the  call to  order.   Representatives Kreiss-Tomkins                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
^Presentation: From the Arctic to  Southeast - Present and Future                                                               
Alaska Maritime Operations by Captain Ed Page                                                                                   
          Presentation: From the Arctic to Southeast -                                                                      
Present and Future Alaska Maritime Operations by Captain Ed Page                                                            
11:07:50 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HANNAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation  from Captain  Ed Page of  the Marine  Exchange of                                                               
Alaska   (MXAK).      Chair  Hannan   prefaced   Captain   Page's                                                               
presentation  by encouraging  those in  attendance to  learn more                                                               
about MXAK.                                                                                                                     
11:08:42 AM                                                                                                                   
ED PAGE, Captain (Retired), United  States Coast Guard; Executive                                                               
Director, Marine Exchange of Alaska,  introduced the idea of "the                                                               
blue  economy."   He discussed  Alaska's  economic dependence  on                                                               
maritime activity  relating to tourism  and resource-development.                                                               
He provided some  background information about his  career in the                                                               
United States  Coast Guard  (USCG) and  his time  in Alaska.   He                                                               
mentioned that  he previously  served as Captain  of the  Port of                                                               
Los Angeles and  had helped clean up after the  1989 Exxon Valdez                                                               
oil spill.   He described how he and  Executive Director Emeritus                                                               
Paul Fuhs established  MXAK in 2001 to help  ensure safe, secure,                                                               
efficient, and environmentally responsible maritime operations.                                                                 
11:10:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  began his PowerPoint presentation  [included in the                                                               
committee packet]  and addressed  slides 2 and  3.   He explained                                                               
that marine exchanges  are not a new concept and  have existed in                                                               
various forms  since the 1800s.   He  said that, during  his time                                                               
with  USCG,  he  would  contact marine  exchanges  to  learn  the                                                               
locations  of  ships.    He   discussed  the  value  of  maritime                                                               
information,  which  he  said facilitates  trade,  protects  from                                                               
environmental harm,  and saves  lives.   He explained  how marine                                                               
exchanges  collect  and  communicate maritime  information.    He                                                               
called MXAK  "the most progressive, expansive  marine exchange in                                                               
the country."   He described  the progression of  marine exchange                                                               
technology from semaphore, megaphones, and spyglasses.                                                                          
11:11:05 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slides 4  and 5, titled  "Marine Exchange                                                               
of  Alaska:  A 21st  Century  Operation."   He  described  MXAK's                                                               
operations.   He noted that  MXAK is the biggest  marine exchange                                                               
in the country  and the biggest vessel  compliance and monitoring                                                               
system in the world.  He  said MXAK is fortunate receive State of                                                               
Alaska (SOA) support via cruise  ship head tax funds amounting to                                                               
about  $400,000 each  year.   He  noted that  some  of the  Exxon                                                               
Valdez oil spill settlement money  was allocated to help get MXAK                                                               
started.  He  said SOA is only one of  many stakeholders in MXAK;                                                               
SOA contributes  only about  11 percent  of MXAK's  total revenue                                                               
needs.  He  said USCG is one of MXAK's  biggest contributors, but                                                               
the marine industry pays the lion's share.                                                                                      
CAPTAIN PAGE  said MXAK's  operations center  is active  24 hours                                                               
per day.   He called  MXAK  brokers of maritime  information" and                                                               
an advocate  on behalf  of the  maritime industry  for regulatory                                                               
programs  that  make sense,  are  cost-effective,  and impose  no                                                               
undue  burdens.   He  described the  process  through which  MXAK                                                               
helps the  maritime industry comply  with regulations.   He added                                                               
that  MXAK  information is  invaluable  for  port planning.    He                                                               
explained that  MXAK installs environmental sensors  that measure                                                               
weather,  wind, and  current  across the  state  to aid  maritime                                                               
safety.    He said  mariners  with  better information  are  less                                                               
likely to  have an  accident.   He noted that  MXAK is  much more                                                               
agile than  the National  Oceanic and  Atmospheric Administration                                                               
(NOAA)  which  does  not  have the  ability  to  quickly  install                                                               
11:13:30 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slides  6, which  featured  a pie  chart                                                               
detailing sources  of funding.   The maritime industry  was shown                                                               
to  have  contributed  48  percent.    USCG  was  shown  to  have                                                               
contributed 41  percent.   SOA was shown  to have  contributed 11                                                               
percent.   He  said the  diagram demonstrates  how the  nonprofit                                                               
MXAK  operates   as  a  public-private  partnership.     He  said                                                               
approximately  450   shipping  companies  and   several  thousand                                                               
vessels pay into the system.                                                                                                    
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed slide 7,  which displayed a list of people                                                               
on  MXAK's  Board of  Directors.    He  said the  board  features                                                               
representatives  from  different  segments of  Alaska's  maritime                                                               
community.  He  said diverse representation on  the board ensures                                                               
MXAK fulfills  its mission statement  in the  most cost-effective                                                               
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed slide 8,  titled "The Community We Serve."                                                               
He  said,  "If   you're  on  the  water,  we   basically  have  a                                                               
relationship  with you  to  some  degree."   He  noted that  MXAK                                                               
information is even  used by recreational vessels.   He explained                                                               
that the  automatic identification system  (AIS) used by  MXAK to                                                               
track vessels  updates every  six seconds.   He remarked  that if                                                               
every car on  the highway were checked every six  seconds, no one                                                               
would speed.   He explained that both  the International Maritime                                                               
Organization (IMO)  and USCG require  any commercial  vessel over                                                               
65 feet to  have an AIS transponder.  He  compared this system to                                                               
the one  that tracks aircraft.   He  said MXAK built  the network                                                               
throughout the state  that receives AIS signals  and displays the                                                               
information  so that  safety information  can be  communicated to                                                               
and from vessels.   He read through a list  of different types of                                                               
vessels that depend  on the system.  He spoke  to its importance,                                                               
explaining that if  "we turn the system off right  now, we'll get                                                               
a call  from the  Coast Guard  right away."   He noted  that USCG                                                               
built a similar system with  Northrup Grumman Corporation for the                                                               
lower 48 states  but overran the budget before  it could continue                                                               
on to Alaska.   He explained that the United  States Congress did                                                               
not provide additional funds for  an Alaska system, so MXAK built                                                               
it instead.   He  discussed how MXAK  uses its  relationship with                                                               
the  maritime community  to obtain  access to  lighthouses, pilot                                                               
stations, and other sites.                                                                                                      
11:15:50 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slide  9,  titled "Maritime  Information                                                               
Services of  North America (MISNA)."   The slide featured  a list                                                               
of other  marine exchanges  across the  country that  MXAK helped                                                               
build.    He said  all  the  data  from these  nationwide  marine                                                               
exchanges comes to  MXAK's headquarters in Juneau.   He said MXAK                                                               
is "the nerve  center" for the national AIS.   He relayed that he                                                               
receives   e-mails  every   day  from   around  the   globe  from                                                               
organizations  that  pay  to  access   MZAK's  data  for  reasons                                                               
relating to international shipping.   He said brokering this data                                                               
helps pay  the costs of  maintaining the  system.  He  noted that                                                               
this makes Juneau  a location of global importance.   He said the                                                               
Secretary General  of IMO has  visited Juneau to learn  how MXAK,                                                               
an organization with  only 20 employees, manages  to operate such                                                               
a  vast system  and take  in so  much data.   He  added that  the                                                               
Commandant  of  the  United  States   Coast  Guard  and  Alaska's                                                               
congressional delegation  have all  visited MXAK.   He  said MXAK                                                               
manages to "squeeze the most out  of technology" and that it only                                                               
came online once the right technology was available.                                                                            
CAPTAIN  PAGE   addressed  slide   10,  titled   "MXAK  Automatic                                                               
Identification  System (AIS)  Network."   It  featured  a map  of                                                               
Alaska  with red  dots  signifying the  locations  of MXAK's  AIS                                                               
receivers.   He  noted  that MXAK  has also  built  sites on  the                                                               
Galapagos Islands and Northern Canada.                                                                                          
11:17:39 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked how the AIS sites work.                                                                               
CAPTAIN  PAGE  said  each  site   is  uniquely  tailored  to  its                                                               
environment.    He said  the  receiver  located in  Dutch  Harbor                                                               
operates on  a 110-volt  circuit and  an internet  line.   On the                                                               
other hand, he  explained, a receiver located atop  a mountain or                                                               
in some other remote area  requires solar power, wind generators,                                                               
wireless bridges,  a cell network,  and/or satellite dishes.   He                                                               
added that each site is unique in how it transfers data.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  posited, since  any vessel  over 65  feet is                                                               
required to  have a transponder, that  information is transmitted                                                               
to and  from the vessels  through the locations displayed  on the                                                               
CAPTAIN PAGE  said vessels  are able  to transmit  information to                                                               
and receive information  from other vessels.  He  noted that they                                                               
also  communicate   with  MXAK  on  matters   related  to  safety                                                               
information such as adverse weather.   He said the MXAK receivers                                                               
pick up signals from the  vessels and transmit the information to                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked how big the  units are and how far they                                                               
can transmit.                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE said  the on-vessel  equipment  is not  so big  and                                                               
costs about $500.   He compared the units to  VHF radios and said                                                               
they operate  on the same frequency  band.  He said  the range is                                                               
quite significant and depends on the  height of the antenna.  For                                                               
example, he said, a cruise ship  with a tall antenna and the best                                                               
class  of AIS  technology can  transmit 200  miles offshore.   He                                                               
said a fishing  vessel with a lower-powered  system can typically                                                               
transmit from 25  to 50 miles offshore.  He  noted that there are                                                               
sometimes  terrain-masking   issues.    He  spoke   to  satellite                                                               
technology that  can also pick  up data from the  vessels, though                                                               
not on  such a granular  level.  He  said MXAK operates  a hybrid                                                               
system of satellite and  terrestrial communications, though noted                                                               
that   the  only   way  to   transmit   information  is   through                                                               
terrestrial-based stations.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  for  clarification  that  "25  miles                                                               
offshore" means 25 miles from one of the onshore receivers.                                                                     
CAPTAIN PAGE said yes.                                                                                                          
11:21:19 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 11, titled  "Pacific Vessel Traffic                                                               
Today."  The  slide featured a map of the  northern Pacific Ocean                                                               
overlaid with  icons signifying vessels  and vessel traffic.   He                                                               
said the map  is a snapshot of  what things look like  today.  He                                                               
drew  attention  to  a  line of  vessels  traveling  through  the                                                               
Aleutian Island.   He  said vessels  travel between  the American                                                               
Pacific and  the Far  East via this  "great circle  route through                                                               
our backyard."  He added that  99 percent of those vessels do not                                                               
stop  in Alaska  ports, but  on occasion  will break  down, which                                                               
could  impact Alaska's  blue economy.    He spoke  to the  myriad                                                               
negative  consequences  of  marine casualties  and  stressed  the                                                               
importance of preventing them.                                                                                                  
11:22:36 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  asked  for  his insight  on  a  recent                                                               
incident in Norway involving the cruise ship Viking Sky.                                                                        
CAPTAIN PAGE  explained that  ships are  not much  different from                                                               
cars; they  do break down on  occasion.  He said  the incident in                                                               
Norway drew  international attention because the  ship broke down                                                               
with over 1,000  passengers in rough seas and with  no way to tow                                                               
it to  shore.  He  spoke to the  importance of keeping  vessels a                                                               
safe distance offshore so that,  in the event that something goes                                                               
wrong,  there  is enough  time  to  things before  the  situation                                                               
becomes dire.   He noted that  MXAK has implemented a  variety of                                                               
measures accepted by the international  community to keep vessels                                                               
further  offshore.   He  listed  the  various consequences  of  a                                                               
vessel  breaking down  a mile  offshore: loss  of cargo,  loss of                                                               
oil, and loss of life.                                                                                                          
CAPTAIN PAGE  said the  incident in Norway  shows that  ships are                                                               
not perfect and  do break down.  He noted  that another ship near                                                               
Viking Sky had sunk so  rescue helicopters were diverted from the                                                               
Viking Sky  to assist the  other ship's  crew.  He  discussed the                                                               
process   by   which   MXAK   investigates   irregularities   and                                                               
facilitates  a swift  response.   He  said Norwegian  authorities                                                               
quickly recognized that they could  not get vessels on the scene,                                                               
which is  why rescue  helicopters were deployed.   He  added that                                                               
there are  no helicopters that  big available in Alaska  to carry                                                               
so many  people from  a vessel.   He said  it was  fortunate that                                                               
Viking Sky's  anchor held, and  that the engineer got  the engine                                                               
working  again.   He noted  that the  people involved  had enough                                                               
time  to work  things out,  and that  time is  critical with  any                                                               
situation  like  that.    He  said cruise  ships  in  Alaska  are                                                               
different in  that they operate  mostly in inside waters  and are                                                               
not exposed  to rougher seas.   He  added that cruise  ships only                                                               
operate in Alaska in summer.                                                                                                    
11:25:35 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HANNAN asked  about  a maritime  incident  in Alaska  that                                                               
occurred at the same time as  the Viking Sky incident but did not                                                               
make news.                                                                                                                      
CAPTAIN PAGE  said that an  1,100-foot container ship  broke down                                                               
in Alaska  waters.  He shared  how MXAK detected it  and notified                                                               
all relevant parties.  He said  the ship drifted for 24 hours and                                                               
the closest tugboat was 5 days  away, but the engineer, with help                                                               
from  modern  communication  technology,  was  able  to  fix  the                                                               
problem.    He noted  that  the  ship  had been  drifting  toward                                                               
11:26:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked if  Alaska is less at-risk because                                                               
its  waters are  more  protected, so  the  storm conditions  that                                                               
caused the Viking Sky incident would not be an issue.                                                                           
CAPTAIN PAGE  said that is true  to some extent, though  he noted                                                               
that ships traveling  in and out of Dutch Harbor  and the Gulf of                                                               
Alaska  face considerable  risks.   He said,  generally speaking,                                                               
[cruise ships] spend  more time in protected waters.   He said if                                                               
he were concerned  about safety, he would choose  an Alaska route                                                               
over one that spends more time farther offshore.                                                                                
11:27:35 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HANNAN  noted  that  Alaska's  maritime  tourism  industry                                                               
operates during the summer in inside  waters.  She said the year-                                                               
round maritime commercial industry presents  a greater risk.  She                                                               
considered  the  continuous  risk  of  major  cargo  ships  going                                                               
adrift.   She  said it  is fortunate  that there  has not  been a                                                               
recent major  tragedy, though noted  that there has been  loss of                                                               
life.   She noted  that Alaska  has not had  a major  cruise ship                                                               
disaster.  She  mused on the cruise ship  industry's promotion of                                                               
"the shoulder  season" in September.   She called  the conditions                                                               
in September "unpleasant.                                                                                                       
CAPTAIN PAGE  said he  thinks the Viking  Sky incident  will spur                                                               
the  cruise ship  industry to  conduct further  risk assessments.                                                               
He said  USCG, the Norwegian Coastal  Administration Coast Guard,                                                               
and the industry will all treat it as a lesson learned.                                                                         
11:29:19 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  noted that  the airline  industries are                                                               
heavily  regulated in  terms of  weather  and flying  conditions.                                                               
She asked if there is a similar standard for the maritime arena.                                                                
CAPTAIN PAGE  said the  only time  USCG would weigh  in is  if it                                                               
considered  something  a  "manifestly unsafe  voyage,"  which  he                                                               
noted is a high  bar to reach.  He said  there are many variables                                                               
that  determine  whether  a  voyage  will  occur,  including  the                                                               
competence  of  the  crew  and  the type  of  vessel.    He  said                                                               
insurance  underwriters, owners/operators,  on-ship masters,  and                                                               
weather advisers all have a  say in determining whether a transit                                                               
is unsafe.  He referenced the  vessel SS El Faro, which sank with                                                               
all hands after sailing into Hurricane  Joaquin in 2015.  He said                                                               
sometimes  people do  not make  the most  prudent decisions,  and                                                               
often that  is because they do  not have the most  up-to-date and                                                               
accurate information  at hand.   He said  the solution  is better                                                               
information  and more  people involved  in  risk-assessment.   He                                                               
advocated for reflection  on maritime disasters.   He said, "When                                                               
bad things happen, sometimes good things happen as a result."                                                                   
11:31:34 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slides  12 and  13  which featured  maps                                                               
illustrating  high-traffic areas  in Alaska  waters and  areas of                                                               
MXAK AIS  signal coverage, respectively.   He noted that  the map                                                               
on  slide 13  does not  show MXAK's  range, but  rather locations                                                               
where MXAK detected vessels.   He discussed tools that allow MXAK                                                               
to analyze this data.                                                                                                           
CAPTAIN  PAGE   addressed  slide  14,  titled   "Alaska  Maritime                                                               
Community Support  of AIS  Network."   He ran  through a  list of                                                               
places where AIS  sites are located.   These include lighthouses,                                                               
pilot  stations, harbor  offices, fish  hatcheries, tug  offices,                                                               
shipping companies,  fish processing plants, tribal  offices, oil                                                               
facilities,   science    centers,   and   oil    spill   response                                                               
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide  15, titled  "Remote Self-Supported                                                               
AIS  Sites."     The  slide  featured  photos  of   an  AIS  site                                                               
installation on an  island near Ketchikan.  He  drew attention to                                                               
a photo of  the installation of solar panels and  a vertical axis                                                               
wind turbine.                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 16,  titled "Cape St.  Elias Marine                                                               
Safety Site."  He said the  site pictured on the slide is located                                                               
on Kayak Island  in the Gulf of Alaska.   He discussed installing                                                               
an AIS site  there.  He noted  that the site now  utilizes a cell                                                               
network for data communication.                                                                                                 
11:33:33 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slides 17-19,  titled "Unimak Pass."   He                                                               
drew  attention to  a photo  of a  container ship  traveling near                                                               
Unimak  Island in  the  Aleutian Islands  to the  Far  East.   He                                                               
described the  logistics and equipment necessary  to construct an                                                               
AIS site on Unimak Island.                                                                                                      
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 20,  titled "Maritime Safety."   He                                                               
opined that a  99.99 percent success rate is not  good enough and                                                               
remarked that  the Exxon  Valdez oil  spill was  the result  of a                                                               
0.01  percent  failure  rate.    He  noted  that  the  public  is                                                               
rightfully still  upset about that  incident 30 years later.   He                                                               
said it is important to utilize  technology to reduce the risk of                                                               
marine causalities and avoid the resultant consequences.                                                                        
11:34:38 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed  slide 21.  He described  an incident that                                                               
occurred in 2004 during which  a wayward ship, Selendang Ayu, ran                                                               
aground off Unalaska  Island.  He said USCG called  MXAK "late in                                                               
the  game"  and  requested  it  track the  vessel's  drift.    He                                                               
described how  MXAK tracked  the vessel.   He said,  despite best                                                               
efforts, Selendang Ayu  ran aground and broke  in half, resulting                                                               
in  loss of  cargo, loss  of life,  and a  major oil  spill.   He                                                               
described how USCG deployed a  helicopter to rescue the crew, but                                                               
the helicopter  crashed after being hit  by a wave.   He said the                                                               
Selendang  Ayu disaster  reinforced  the need  for better  marine                                                               
safety.   He  said,  at that  time, MXAK  did  not have  maritime                                                               
domain awareness or  management.  He noted that it  does now.  He                                                               
spoke to USCG  limitations, noting that it  only has "governance"                                                               
up to 12 miles offshore.   He said there is not much navigational                                                               
restriction  beyond that  12-mile threshold  except for  industry                                                               
agreements  based on  measures  implemented by  MXAK  out to  200                                                               
miles  offshore.   He said  vessels that  do not  abide by  those                                                               
measures are in breach of contract.                                                                                             
CAPTAIN  PAGE   addressed  slide  22,  titled   "Maritime  Domain                                                               
Awareness,"  which featured  a photo  of a  cargo ship  operating                                                               
dangerously close  to shore  in a remote  area near  Attu Island.                                                               
He said, if  that vessel were to break down,  the closest tugboat                                                               
would be  five days away  and the resulting consequence  could be                                                               
40  miles of  containers  and  oil floating  in  the ocean,  plus                                                               
crewmember deaths.                                                                                                              
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 23, titled  "Improving Prevention &                                                               
Response." He listed various technologies  and measures that have                                                               
been  adopted   to  improve  prevention  and   response  efforts,                                                               
including the Internet of Things,  machine to machine technology,                                                               
and artificial intelligence.                                                                                                    
11:36:59 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slide  24, titled  "Los  Angeles /  Long                                                               
Beach."   It displayed a photo  of a cargo ship  exiting the Port                                                               
of Los  Angeles.  He  said that if  you took the  containers that                                                               
arrive annually in  Los Angeles and Long Beach and  put them end-                                                               
to-end, they  would wrap the  equator twice.   He noted  that the                                                               
ship in the photo is a  similar size to the one discussed earlier                                                               
that  recently  broke  down  in  Alaska  waters.    He  said  the                                                               
containers  on  that  ship, arranged  end-to-end,  would  stretch                                                               
around  40  miles.    He  explained  that  these  ships  carry  a                                                               
phenomenal amount of  cargo and value added,  though also present                                                               
a major risk should  the contents end up in the  ocean.  He noted                                                               
that  the ships  leaving Los  Angeles do  not stop  in Alaska  as                                                               
there  is  no port  in  Alaska  that  can accommodate  them,  but                                                               
"they're driving through our backyard."                                                                                         
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide  25.   He  described  the  Alaska                                                               
Maritime  Prevention  &  Response  Network, which  he  called  "a                                                               
spinoff network."   He described how the  network uses technology                                                               
to enhance maritime safety in the Arctic and across the state.                                                                  
11:38:14 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 26,  titled "Alaska  Waters   which                                                               
featured a world map with  icons signifying each ship enrolled in                                                               
MXAK's system.  He noted that a  ship may be in Africa today, but                                                               
its operators know it will be  in Alaska at some point during the                                                               
year, which is  why they enroll in  and pay into the  system.  He                                                               
introduced  the  idea  of  "Sea  Traffic  Management,"  which  he                                                               
explained is a  heightened focus on maritime  activity beyond the                                                               
ports.   He  noted  that  he has  traveled  around  the world  to                                                               
discuss the  Sea Traffic  Management concept,  which he  said has                                                               
only recently been enabled by new technology.                                                                                   
11:38:54 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 27-28,  titled "LAURA MAERSK."   He                                                               
provided  an example  of what  MXAK  does when  a container  ship                                                               
breaks down.   Slide 27  featured a report  sent by MXAK  to USCG                                                               
which displayed  a ship's  location, attributes,  current status,                                                               
and  drift trajectory.   He  said the  owners/operators of  LAURA                                                               
MAERSK were  not moving  fast enough  to mitigate  the risk  of a                                                               
major  incident, so  USCG opened  the Oil  Spill Liability  Trust                                                               
Fund (OSLTF) to contract tugboats to  rescue the vessel.  He said                                                               
this  is  the process  that  results  "in  a  save."   The  slide                                                               
indicated that  the vessel had   approached to 5  miles offshore                                                                
before the tugboats arrived.                                                                                                    
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slide 29,  titled "Vessels  of Concern,"                                                               
which featured  a list of  concerning vessel behaviors  that draw                                                               
MXAK's  attention,  such  as reduced  speed,  erratic  maneuvers,                                                               
moving  too close  to shore,  traveling  through an  unauthorized                                                               
pass, loss  of propulsion, loss  of steering, loss  of stability,                                                               
and cargo broken free.  The  slide featured a map of the Aleutian                                                               
Islands with  dots signifying incidents  that occurred  from 2015                                                               
to  2017.     He  described   the  process  through   which  MXAK                                                               
communicates with  vessels that behave irregularly.   He remarked                                                               
that the map demonstrates how often ships break down.                                                                           
11:40:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  a   question  about  the  Oil  Spill                                                               
Liability  Trust  Fund.    He asked  if  the  financial  expenses                                                               
incurred by USCG are the responsibility of the ship.                                                                            
CAPTAIN PAGE  explained that the  Oil Spill Liability  Trust Fund                                                               
was established to  allow USCG to spend federal  money to respond                                                               
to an  emergency when a vessel  is not responding, and  then send                                                               
the bill  to the  operator.   He said  most companies  wince when                                                               
that happens because the costs  are substantial and because it is                                                               
like "a black  mark" indicating that a company  has not fulfilled                                                               
its responsibilities.   He said  the fund  is only opened  in "in                                                               
extremis" situations.                                                                                                           
11:41:37 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE,  addressed slides  30 to  31, titled  "Example: CMA                                                               
CGM AQUILA."  He identified  CMA CGM AQUILA as the aforementioned                                                               
vessel that  drifted in  Western Alaska with  a broken  engine at                                                               
the same  time of the  Viking Sky incident  in Norway.   He noted                                                               
that CMA  CGM AQUILA is over  three football fields in  length at                                                               
1190  feet, carries  43  miles of  containers,  and also  carries                                                               
several millions  of gallons of  oil.   He pointed to  a nautical                                                               
chart  displayed  on  slide  31   and  walked  through  how  MXAK                                                               
identified  the issue  and tracked  the vessel.   He  said it  is                                                               
fortunate  that MXAK's  routing  measures  disallow vessels  from                                                               
navigating close to  land because they can break down  and not be                                                               
in extremis immediately, which allows  time for rescue or repair.                                                               
He noted  that it was also  fortunate that the ship  was drifting                                                               
toward Russia  rather than  toward one of  Alaska's islands.   He                                                               
said this incident is one example  of what MXAK monitors and acts                                                               
upon, and how MXAK prevents disruptions to the blue economy.                                                                    
11:43:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slides  32,  titled "Monitoring  Compels                                                               
Compliance with Risk Mitigating Measures."   The slide featured a                                                               
photo  of a  roadside "Your  Speed" sign  displaying the  driving                                                               
speed of a  pickup truck.  He  noted that no one  has ever pushed                                                               
back when  contacted by  MXAK.   He compared MXAK  to one  of the                                                               
speed signs displayed in the photo, a reminder of requirements.                                                                 
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slide 33  and  noted that  AIS has  been                                                               
identified as  a key component  in maritime safety by  the Arctic                                                               
Marine Shipping Assessment  Report put out by  the Arctic Council                                                               
and by  the Aleutian Islands  risk assessment report done  by the                                                               
Transportation Research Board.                                                                                                  
11:44:33 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide  34, titled "IMO  Polar Code."   He                                                               
said IMO  has created higher-level restrictions  and criteria for                                                               
the new  maritime frontier  in the Arctic.   He  described taking                                                               
part  in   international  meetings  to  ensure   a  holistic  and                                                               
integrated approach to managing maritime activity in the Arctic.                                                                
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed  slide 35, which featured  an excerpt from                                                               
IMO literature  detailing the premium  placed on  ship monitoring                                                               
and tracking in  remote polar waters.  He said  MXAK is currently                                                               
tracking vessels and enforcing routing measures in the Arctic.                                                                  
CAPTAIN  PAGE   addressed  slide  36,  which   featured  a  chart                                                               
illustrating Arctic  maritime activity through the  Bering Strait                                                               
in 2018.   He said MXAK collects Arctic maritime  data that is of                                                               
great  interest  to  various  governmental  and  non-governmental                                                               
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide 37, titled  "Arctic Maritime Safety                                                               
Net Project."   He explained  that the indigenous peoples  of the                                                               
Arctic are concerned about ships   coming through their backyard                                                                
and interfering  with subsistence  operations.   As a  result, he                                                               
said, MXAK has worked with them  to create a system through which                                                               
all vessels are aware of other vessels' locations.                                                                              
CAPTAIN  PAGE addressed  slide  38.   He  explained  that IMO  is                                                               
concerned   with  the   future  protection   of  Arctic   people,                                                               
especially  those   in  Arctic  coastal  communities   and  their                                                               
traditional  lifestyles.   He said  Alaska's AIS  system is  more                                                               
proactive, comprehensive, and  sophisticated than similar systems                                                               
in countries such as Norway and Iceland.                                                                                        
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide  39, titled  "Arctic  App."    He                                                               
explained that MXAK  developed an application so  that people who                                                               
reside  in Arctic  areas can  receive information  about maritime                                                               
activity.  He said MXAK  continues to work with these communities                                                               
to  utilize  technology  and  minimize  the  adverse  impacts  of                                                               
vessels operating in the Arctic.                                                                                                
11:47:50 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed slides 40,  titled "Bering Strait Transits                                                               
2009-2019."   He  said  traffic  trends in  the  Arctic have  not                                                               
increased as  much as is  believed and that traffic  is currently                                                               
steady.   He  noted that  Russia  has taken  advantage of  Arctic                                                               
routes and utilizes icebreakers to transport raw materials.                                                                     
CAPTAIN   PAGE  addressed   slide  41,   titled  "Bering   Strait                                                               
Transits,"  which featured  a diagram  measuring traffic  through                                                               
the Bering  Strait.  He  noted that some previous  increases were                                                               
due to oil exploration efforts.   He said there was more activity                                                               
in the Bering Strait during 2010  than during 2018.  He clarified                                                               
that much  of the  traffic through the  United States  Arctic was                                                               
transportation   of  food   and   supplies   to  Native   Alaskan                                                               
11:48:42 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  a   clarifying  question  about  the                                                               
diagram on slide 41.                                                                                                            
CAPTAIN PAGE said  the red bars on the  chart indicate northbound                                                               
transit and the blue bars  indicate southbound transit.  He noted                                                               
that  most  people come back from  the Arctic."  He  added that a                                                               
lot  of the  activity  featured  on the  2010  chart  was due  to                                                               
exploration  by Royal  Dutch Shell.   He  noted that  traffic has                                                               
increased on  the Russian side  of the Bering Strait  because the                                                               
Russians have mobilized  to take advantage of raw  materials.  He                                                               
said  there  is economic  opportunity  in  the Arctic,  including                                                               
liquified natural gas (LNG) and other raw materials.                                                                            
11:49:33 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide  42, titled  "The New  York Times."                                                               
It featured an  excerpt from an article in  that publication from                                                               
2017 titled  "With More  Ships in the  Arctic, Fears  of Disaster                                                               
Rise."   He noted  that he  was interviewed  for the  article and                                                               
shared  one of  his quotations:  "We should  stop worrying  about                                                               
what  we're going  to  do  when things  go  wrong  ... We  should                                                               
prevent things  from going  wrong."  He  cited his  experience of                                                               
spending three years  addressing the Exxon Valdez oil  spill as a                                                               
reason  why  he is  passionate  about  disaster prevention.    He                                                               
reiterated  the  important  role  of  information  in  preventing                                                               
disasters  and protecting  Alaska's  blue economy.   He  recalled                                                               
seeing images of  Alaska salmon packed in oil in  the wake of the                                                               
Glacier  Bay  oil spill  in  1987,  and  that these  images  made                                                               
national news.  He noted that this impacted Alaska's fisheries.                                                                 
11:51:00 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed slide  43,  titled  "USCG -  MXAK  CRADA                                                               
(Cooperative  Research &  Development Agreement)."   He  reported                                                               
that USCG  is also  looking at  the Arctic  as the  next maritime                                                               
frontier.  He  noted that USCG has not previously  had much of an                                                               
Arctic  presence.   He  spoke about  the  Arctic Next  Generation                                                               
Navigational  Safety  Information  System, a  cooperative  effort                                                               
between MXAK and  USCG to enhance maritime safety  in the Arctic.                                                               
He said the gist of the  system is that buoys and lighthouses are                                                               
outdated technologies  and the challenges of  securing the Arctic                                                               
are  best  met  by  new  technology.   He  listed  the  types  of                                                               
information  communicated  through   the  system,  including  the                                                               
location of  whales and whalers,  environmental data,  vessels in                                                               
distress, and areas to be avoided.                                                                                              
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed  slide 44, which featured a  map of Alaska                                                               
and displayed  the locations  of AIS  aids to  navigation (ATONs)                                                               
which broadcast safety information to vessels.                                                                                  
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide  45, which featured  a map  of Cook                                                               
Inlet and  featured the location  of a virtual buoy  installed by                                                               
MXAK made  possible through AIS.   He said MXAK can  and has done                                                               
the same thing in the Arctic.                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide 46,  titled  "Nome  Environmental                                                               
Data: Current and  Waves."  He discussed MXAK  efforts to measure                                                               
environmental data and weather information in Nome.                                                                             
11:52:40 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE addressed  slides 47 through 50.   He explained that                                                               
the City and  Borough of Juneau employed MXAK to  conduct a study                                                               
to help  with efforts to  expand its docks to  accommodate larger                                                               
vessels.  He said MXAK  also developed sensors that provide real-                                                               
time environmental information to  marine pilots and ship masters                                                               
for the purpose  of making safer approaches.  He  noted that MXAK                                                               
is developing  similar current and  weather sensors for  the City                                                               
of Ketchikan.                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide 51,  titled  "Juneau  Alaska  AIS                                                               
Weather Data Distribution  Project."  He said  MXAK has installed                                                               
50 weather  stations across the  state that collect data  that is                                                               
of great  use to fishermen.   He  noted that funding  for weather                                                               
stations  comes from  the cruise  ship head  tax as  well as  the                                                               
Alaska Ocean  Observing System.   He said these  stations enhance                                                               
maritime  safety  by  gathering information  from  locations  not                                                               
covered by the  National Weather Service.  He noted  that it also                                                               
provides MXAK additional information to broker.                                                                                 
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide  52.   He  explained  how,  using                                                               
vessel-tracking data  and information from the  ship   logs, MXAK                                                               
can  determine whether  or  not a  ship  discharged materials  in                                                               
unauthorized areas.   He said this  is another way MXAK  can help                                                               
ensure  that vessels  are being  compliant.   A map  on slide  52                                                               
relayed discharge information for the cruise ship Star Princess.                                                                
11:55:27 AM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  addressed slide  53, titled  "Changing Technology."                                                               
He characterized  MXAK as  a group  of "technology  whizzes" with                                                               
about 150 cumulative years of  USCG experience, though noted that                                                               
most employees  do not have a  USCG background.  He  spoke to his                                                               
employees'  experience and  their knowledge  of various  maritime                                                               
industries.   He  described how  MXAK  builds and  tests its  own                                                               
equipment.    He  said  MXAK   leverages  technology  to  enhance                                                               
maritime  safety  without  huge  resources.    He  called  MXAK's                                                               
operations "unprecedented in the world.                                                                                         
CAPTAIN  PAGE  addressed  slide 54,  titled  "The  Future:  Safe,                                                               
efficient, environmentally responsible  maritime operations."  He                                                               
restated that  Alaska is the most  maritime state and that  it is                                                               
reliant on a blue economy that requires protecting.                                                                             
11:57:06 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  from where  MXAK    primary  funding                                                               
CAPTAIN  PAGE answered  that it  is mostly  through the  maritime                                                               
industry.   He  said MXAK's  biggest customers  are foreign  flag                                                               
vessels that  travel through  Alaskan waters.   He  described how                                                               
MXAK serves  those vessels.   He said the second  biggest revenue                                                               
stream is USCG.  He added  that SOA provides 11 percent of MXAK's                                                               
funding.    He  characterized  MXAK  as  a  "true  public-private                                                               
partnership."   He noted that  he first developed the  MXAK model                                                               
when overseeing the Port of Los Angeles.                                                                                        
11:58:24 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked what is MXAK's total budget.                                                                     
CAPTAIN PAGE answered approximately $4 million.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN   asked  for  verification   that  MXAK                                                               
receives approximately $400 thousand in state funds                                                                             
CAPTAIN PAGE verified that.                                                                                                     
11:58:49 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked if MXAK  services are ever paid for out                                                               
of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF).                                                                                  
CAPTAIN PAGE  answered no.   He  said MXAK  tries to  avoid those                                                               
kinds  of fiduciary  discussions.   "When  it comes  to saving  a                                                               
life," he  explained, "we don't  charge anything."  He  said USCG                                                               
already pays into MXAK's system.   He noted that LAURA MAERSK was                                                               
not enrolled in MXAK's system, though  that did not mean MXAK was                                                               
not going  to help it.   He explained that any  casualty is going                                                               
to have  an impact  on the  maritime industry,  so MXAK  does not                                                               
limit its  services to those who  pay into its system.   He added                                                               
that LAURA  MAERSK was  not required to  enroll in  MXAK's system                                                               
and explained the concept of "innocent passage."                                                                                
CHAIR HANNAN noted that USCG was already MXAK's client.                                                                         
CAPTAIN PAGE said yes.   He noted that USCG has  access to all of                                                               
MXAK's data.  He reiterated  MXAK's role as an information broker                                                               
and said,  when it comes  to rescue efforts, MXAK  "gets assists"                                                               
while USCG gets the goals.                                                                                                      
12:02:05 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  if the  marine  exchange is  uniquely                                                               
American.  He asked, "How far back does it go?"                                                                                 
CAPTAIN  PAGE asked  if  he  meant MXAK  or  marine exchanges  in                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  clarified that he meant  marine exchanges in                                                               
CAPTAIN PAGE  said marine exchanges  date back to  the mid-1800s.                                                               
He offered some brief historical  tidbits.  He said European ship                                                               
spotter  organizations   operated  under  the  same   idea.    He                                                               
described  the  Maritime  Information Service  of  North  America                                                               
(MISNA), for  which he  previously served  as president,  and the                                                               
effort it took  to construct a national AIS system.   He said the                                                               
"tech support" for MISNA is located  in MXAK's Juneau office.  He                                                               
explained  how  MXAK  brokers  that  nationally-sourced  data  to                                                               
create revenue.                                                                                                                 
12:05:28 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HANNAN thanked Captain Page and his staff.                                                                                
12:06:00 PM                                                                                                                   
PAUL FUHS,  Board President Emeritus,  Marine Exchange  of Alaska                                                               
(MXAK), addressed  several issues  that were  raised.   First, he                                                               
said,  state-licensed marine  pilots  make determining  decisions                                                               
related  to voyaging  in  potentially-dangerous  conditions.   He                                                               
also  spoke  to   MXAK's  ability  to  use   technology  to  more                                                               
effectively and cost-efficiently perform the  duties of the Ocean                                                               
Rangers  program.     He  acknowledged   that  there   have  been                                                               
discussions related  to that topic.   He noted that,  while there                                                               
is relatively little  maritime traffic in the  Arctic compared to                                                               
that through the  Aleutian Islands, 85 percent of  the cargo that                                                               
moves  through the  Arctic is  petroleum products.   He  said the                                                               
Arctic  "is  a  loser  for   us,  money-wise"  but  stressed  the                                                               
importance of  covering the entire coast,  especially considering                                                               
the high-risk  cargo traveling through  the Arctic.  He  spoke to                                                               
the possibility of transporting LNG  from the North Slope through                                                               
the Bering Sea on special  icebreaker vessels.  He also discussed                                                               
MXAK's protection of fiberoptic communication systems.                                                                          
12:08:34 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HANNAN   discussed  her   experience  visiting   the  MXAK                                                               
headquarters and  viewing real-time data on  maritime activity in                                                               
Alaska  and  around the  globe.    She  spoke to  the  beneficial                                                               
aspects of  technology on understanding Alaska's  reliance on the                                                               
blue economy.                                                                                                                   
12:09:38 PM                                                                                                                   
CAPTAIN PAGE  invited all  committee members  and their  staff to                                                               
visit MXAK's headquarters.  He  remarked that Alaska is  a can-do                                                               
state.    He discussed  how USCG depends  on private  mariners to                                                               
assist in times  of distress.  He said USCG  uses MXAK technology                                                               
to identify vessels traveling near  an emergency and asks them to                                                               
intercede.   He said the [2001]  sinking of Arctic Rose  with all                                                               
hands sparked the genesis of  MXAK because Alaska needed a better                                                               
system.    He reiterated  the  role  technology plays  in  saving                                                               
lives.  "If  someone is in trouble," he said,  "it's nice to know                                                               
where they are."                                                                                                                
MR. FUHS  noted that when the  Arctic Rose sank, its  sister ship                                                               
was only six miles away and nobody knew it.                                                                                     
CHAIR  HANNAN  recognized  that   MXAK  manufactures  charts  and                                                               
thanked Captain  Page for providing an  Arctic regions navigation                                                               
chart to her office.                                                                                                            
CAPTAIN PAGE discussed how MXAK  got into the business of selling                                                               
charts.   He  noted that  it is  a loss  leader, but  said it  is                                                               
important that mariners have accurate, up-to-date information.                                                                  
12:12:55 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HANNAN thanked the presenters.                                                                                            
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee On Arctic Policy, Economic Development, and                                                                   
Tourism meeting was adjourned at 12:13 p.m.                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Present and Future Alaska Maritime Operations - Captain Ed Page (002).pdf HAET 3/26/2019 11:00:00 AM
Presentation: Marine Exchange of Alaska