American offshore trade group launches own patrol vessel to catch cabotage law violators.
The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has launched its own Jones Act patrol vessel, the 315-dwt Jones Act Enforcer. The sole purpose of the vessel is to document and publicise violations of America’s century-old cabotage law.
OMSA said the converted passenger ship will document violators and provide photo and video evidence to maritime authorities, the media and the public.
“The Jones Act is very simple, if a foreign vessel picks up cargo at one point in the United States, and takes it to another point, it has broken the law,” OMSA president and chief executive Aaron Smith said.
“Foreign vessels have succeeded in confusing this issue for a long time. Now, we’re going to shine a bright spotlight on their actions and show everyone just how many foreign mariners are taking money out of US mariners’ pockets.”