Maritime Operational Services


D. Jarvis - CETLE

This study considers the ability for shore-based authorities to be able to monitor and provide the appropriate level of assistance wherever the ship may be located in the coastal waters, through an innovative use of resources and technologies.

Taking Search and Rescue (SAR), Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC), Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) and flag State responsibilities, this study considers shifting the emphasis from remedial services towards proactive services and thereby the provision of Pro-active Vessel Traffic Management (VTM).

A detailed review is conducted of proposals to put an end to present fragmentation of measures in place where resources, systems and services are organised and strengthened into one coherent set of measures through the introduction of Maritime Operational Services (MOS).
The MOS concept, as developed within the EC funded project MarNIS, provides for routine, enforcement, preventive, and remedial services in the search and rescue area in the form of monitoring and the co-ordination and provision of response services.  MOS promotes proactive services to avoid incidents not only developing but also occurring in the first place. Functions such as SAR, VTS, enforcement, oil pollution response, risk determination, use of places of refuge through the use of temporary Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) and sending Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV) are combined in a MOS centre; people responsible for one or more of these tasks can share the same information and equipment and co-operate in performing their tasks.
The MOS concept foresees a number of existing services aimed primarily towards maritime safety and the protection of the environment provided by flag and coastal States being placed under one (virtual) roof.
This study compares current practice, planned/drafted amendments and concepts having the potential to increase the effectiveness of existing services and provisions, as well as provide added value through new (or enhanced) services and provisions. This includes the individual services as identified above and argues for the additional benefit of placing these services under one (virtual) roof.
Central to this is the capability and availability of means to identify, communicate with, track and trace vessels sailing in EU waters and thereby facilitate a pro-active approach to vessel traffic monitoring in all EU waters.
An important aspect is the sharing of existing infrastructure and/or resources by authorities other than the “traditional” maritime authorities, such as Customs, Immigration and Health.