Effective as of July 12, an important and controversial statutory exemption expired, opening doors for U.S. mariners to take back multiple positions formerly held by foreign officers on U.S. Flagged Purse Seiners. The exemption, set forth in Section 421 of the USCG Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, allowed the use of foreign officers (except for the Master) to meet standard manning requirements on U.S. flagged purse seine vessels. Captain Doug Pine tells us more in the gCaptain forum:
Beginning July 12, 2010, the Coast Guard will enforce the manning requirements of 46 United States Code 8104, as implemented by 46 Code of Federal Regulations Part 15 – Manning Requirements. Vessels 200 gross tons and over, are required to have a U. S. licensed master, a U.S. licensed mate in charge of the maneuvering and navigation watch, and if an individual is employed to perform chief engineer duties, that individual must have an appropriate U.S. license authorizing service as a chief engineer.
Recently, there has been a lot of good discussion about whether or not you would work on a US Flagged seiner vessel employing mostly foreign officers in the gCaptain forum, and it seems the the expiration of this exemption is going to be a welcomed one for U.S. Mariners looking for work.
Down THIS PDF for more details from the USCG.