NMERPAC Meetings

@jdcavo made an announcement about a NMERPAC meeting in another thread. For those people who don’t read that thread I thought I would mention it again here. His post is below.

My two cents: These are powerful meetings.

I attended the last one a couple of months ago in Edmonds WA, after being alerted by him (thanks again). I gotta say I was impressed. Basically it’s a meeting attended by mariners, NMC / USCG officials , and training school administrators/teachers. Specific topics are brought up having to do with licensing, and the public gives their two cents as to how to improve the system.

Example: at the meeting I attended a mariner brought up the idea of equivocating a 1600 ton master license with a 3rd mates. There was debate among the public attendees. At the end it was decided to formally propose the change to the NMC, top members of which were in the same room.

Now, here’s the thing. There were roughly a dozen public attendees in the room. A small group. Yet this one mariner made a proposal which could be a huge change to license regs. And all because he showed up. And also because he wasn’t there to just bitch, but had his plan and facts ready to go.

The same guy also brought up the issue of license issuance delays. The NMC took some hot questions on the subject. But the mariners also gave some good concrete suggestions which may be adopted.

The proposals in the side-sessions are given to a civilian board, formed mostly of training school admin types as well as a few active mariners. They do the formal interchange with the USCG. But the USCG is right in the room. Want to talk face to face with the guys that run NMC? Go to a meeting.

My main takeaway was this: I have never seen a public meeting like that, where one mariner off the dock can set in motion potentially huge changes, all because they showed up.

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Maybe someone who is able to attend one could suggest they go back to printing both GRT and GT on the national license and printing all tonnage and trade restrictions on the STCW endorsements. It’s confusing enough as it is to intentionally NOT print certain key information.

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