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  (Ret.), 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