TAX CONFERENCE

The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.

MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004

Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!

February 18, 2005

American research ship faces Mexican prosecution

The National Science Foundation research vessel Maurice Ewing, which grounded on a coral reef off the Yucatan peninsula on Monday, now faces charges brought by PROFEPA, Mexico's Environmental Protection Agency.

Since last month, the ship has been conducting seismic research off Yucatan said to be aimed at researching the 120 mile diameter Chixculub Crater, centered off the port of Progreso, about 190 miles west of Cancun. The crater may have been caused by an asteroid impact, theorized to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The research has been controversial. Environmental groups have opposed it on the grounds that the sonic blasts could be injurious to marine mammals.

Be that as it may, PROFEPA says the vessel's hull has been injurious to coral and has damaged about 10 square meters of coral.

The extent of financial penalties sought will be established over the next several days--and the ship could be temporarily placed under arrest to ensure payment. Meantime, press reports say the Mexican authorities have suspended the permits under which the Maurice Ewing was permitted to conduct its research.

According to Mexican press reports, environmentalists and others are outraged as the reef is said to be plainly marked on charts and the ship is believed to have extremely advanced navigational equipment.

The Maurice Ewing, which is due to be replaced later this year, is operated by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, which has extensive information on the ship on its website.

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