Ocean Business2017: JAN
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January 2017 Issue
Port of Gulfport Celebrates Groundbreaking
Of Marine Research Center
Mississippi state officials, in conjunction with the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) and The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) School of Ocean Science and Technology, celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Marine Research Center, set to be completed in early 2018.
Commissioners of the Port Authority authorized advertisement for the $10 million structure, which will serve as the marine operations and research facility for USM’s School of Ocean Science and Technology, as well as enhance the industrial “front door” of the Port of Gulfport.
Interest in STEM Majors/Careers High,
Readiness Among ACT-Tested Graduates Low
Many 2016 high school graduates are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors and careers, but few of those students are well prepared to succeed in first-year college STEM courses. These findings come from the latest edition of ACT’s annual STEM report, The Condition of STEM 2016.
While around half (48 percent) of the nearly 2.1 million 2016 U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT test had an interest in STEM majors or careers, only 26 percent of those graduates met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM. The benchmark is an indicator of whether a student is well prepared for first-year courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry and physics, which are typically required for a college STEM-related major.
Marine Technology Program Seeks
Northwestern Michigan College is seeking candidates for its Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program in marine technology, the only one in the nation with a focus on ROVs and AUVs.
The program’s goal is to develop graduates ready to perform applied technical work in this industry sector. This includes the calibration, deployment, operation, maintenance and management of marine technology assets. Find out more at nmc.edu/marinetech.
Phoenix Conducts ROV Operations
In Search of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Phoenix International Holdings Inc., under the direction of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, is conducting deepwater ROV operations in the continuing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370). Phoenix mobilized their 6,000-m-depth-rated Remora III ROV aboard the Chinese Rescue Salvage Bureau (RSB) vessel Dong Hai Jiu 101 in support of the ongoing deep-ocean search.
Metal Shark Announces Expansion
Metal Shark has announced an expansion project now underway at its waterfront shipbuilding complex in Franklin, Louisiana. To accommodate increased production needs, Metal Shark is erecting a fully enclosed 200-by-80-ft. large vessel assembly building to enable weather-independent construction of vessels up to 180 ft. in length. In addition, a new stand-alone office building will provide over 4,000 sq. ft. of space for the yard’s executive, engineering, project management and administrative personnel.
GE Reinvests in State-of-The-Art DP School
GE’s Marine Solutions has reinvested in the Marine Technical Center, its flagship dynamic positioning (DP) training school that opened in 2005, by moving the school to a larger facility in the Westway Plaza, Houston, Texas.
At the heart of GE’s marine operations, the training center is accredited and regulated by the Nautical Institute (NI) and meets Class A standards. The school provides a contemporary visualization system, a full interactive instrument panel and hands-on immersion DP training. In addition, the school has also expanded its existing training portfolio and introduced new marine training courses, which cover a larger scope of maritime operations.
Hydroid Opens New Corporate Headquarters
Hydroid Inc. announced the opening of a new corporate headquarters building in Pocasset, Massachusetts. The environmentally friendly building houses the company’s corporate and administrative offices, and is on the same campus as Hydroid’s existing manufacturing and research facility.
The headquarters is an open concept layout that contains an IT office, server room and collaborative work areas.
US Coast Guard Issues First U.S. Type Approval
Certificate for Ballast Water Management
The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued the first U.S. type approval certificate for a ballast water management system. The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued the certificate to Optimarin after its application for U.S. type approval was examined.
Chesapeake Technology Introduces Free SonarWiz Software License for Colleges, Universities
Looking to allow broader student and faculty access to the seafloor mapping software, Chesapeake Technology (CTI) has removed its license fee for all higher education institutions. Usually, colleges and universities have had to pay an upfront licensing fee to cover any use by students or faculty members. Now, they only require enrollment in their annual software maintenance plan, which covers online training, technical support, new features, upgrades and discounts for CTI events.
Coast Guard Among Armed Services
Honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors
The U.S. Coast Guard, alongside the other armed services, observed the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, December 7. Coast Guard men and women participated in a number of events around the island to honor the survivors and the sacrifices of the more than 2,000 Americans killed in the attack.
Walter H. Munk to be Honored at 2017
Catch the Next Wave Conference
Organizers have announced that ocean science pioneer Walter H. Munk will be featured in a special edition of the Catch the Next Wave (CTNW) Conference. During his 100th birthday year, the renowned oceanographer of Scripps Institution of Oceanography will be honored for his outstanding contribution to ocean science and technology at the future-focused CTNW event, taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 16 at San Diego Convention Center, delivered in association with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
HydroComp Announces Representative for India
HydroComp Inc. has appointed Red Offshore Industries Pte Ltd. to represent them in the India market. Red Offshore will be the principal reseller for HydroComp’s range of software, including NavCad in India. They will also provide sales and technical services to customers, including demonstrations and training on site.
Applied Acoustics’ Nexus 2
USBL Available for Rent in US
Applied Acoustics’ new Nexus 2 USBL positioning system is now available for rent in the U.S. Nexus 2 is the latest and most sophisticated system in the range of subsea USBL systems designed and manufactured by the Great Yarmouth, U.K.-based company. Incorporating advanced bidirectional spread spectrum acoustic protocols, Nexus 2 achieves greater, reliable accuracy over an extended operational range.
Kraken Establishes Kraken Robotik GmbH
Kraken Sonar Inc. announced that effective January 1, 2017 its new German subsidiary Kraken Robotik GmbH (KRG) will commence operations at the Bremen Innovation and Technology Centre.
In addition to customer support, KRG will focus on the development of 3D imaging sensors, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for underwater robotic platforms.
MTNW Rebrands as Rugged Controls
Rugged Controls LLC announced the launch of their new company—evolving from Measurement Technology NW Line Control Instruments (LCI) group. Since 2001, LCI has been a source for line control, tension monitoring and winch monitoring equipment.
Rugged Controls will continue to manufacture MTNW’s previous product portfolio, including running line tensiometers, smart deck machinery and LCI flagship displays, which are used in extreme, marine and outdoor environments where rugged, high-visibility electronics are required for operation.
OceanGate Begins Construction
On 4,000-m Manned Submersible
OceanGate Inc. has started the construction of the Cyclops 2 with an order for two titanium hemispheres and two matching titanium to carbon fiber interface rings from Titanium Fabrication Corp. (TiFab) and an order for a 56-in.-diameter, 100-ft.-long carbon fiber main cylinder from Spencer Composites Corp.
The two titanium hemispheres form the ends of the submersible’s cylindrical pressure hull that protects five crew members during the dive depths of 4,000 m. The first in-water dives for Cyclops 2 are planned for late 2017.
Polar Bears Population to Drop
By a Third Due to Ice Melts
According to the first systematic assessment, polar bear numbers could drop a third by mid-century due to the dwindling Arctic sea ice. There is a 70 percent chance that the global polar bear population—estimated 26,000—will decline by more than 30 percent the next 35 years, based on a study by Eric Regehr of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska.
Climate change and its effect on the Arctic Sea could hurt poloar bears and their effectiveness to hunt seals using floating sea ice platforms. The region's surface temperatures have risen by more than 2° C, twice the global average. With the current trends, the Arctic could see an ice-free summer sometime in the 2030s, according to cimate scientists.
First Above-Normal Atlantic
Hurricane Season since 2012
With the end of the 2016 Hurricane Seasons in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific, all three regions saw above-normal activity. For the Atlantic, it was he first above-normal season since 2012.
There were 15 named storms, including seven hurricanes, three of which were major hurricanes.
Five storms made landfall in 2016, the most since 2008. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew hit South Carolina.
Tropical Storm Colin, Julia as well as Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida, the first since 2005.
2016: JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC