Antarctica US coastal stations include McMurdo (77 51 S, 166 40 E) and Palmer (64 43 S, 64 03 W); government use only except by permit (see Permit Office under "Legal System"); all ships at port are subject to inspection in accordance with Article 7, Antarctic Treaty; relevant legal instruments and authorization procedures adopted by the states parties to the Antarctic Treaty regulating access to the Antarctic Treaty area to all areas between 60 and 90 degrees of latitude south have to be complied with (see "Legal System"); The Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica (HCA), a commission of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), is responsible for hydrographic surveying and nautical charting matters in Antarctic Treaty area; it coordinates and facilitates provision of accurate and appropriate charts and other aids to navigation in support of safety of navigation in region; membership of HCA is open to any IHO Member State whose government has acceded to the Antarctic Treaty and which contributes resources or data to IHO Chart coverage of the area
Arctic Ocean sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes; the Northwest Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are important seasonal waterways
Atlantic Ocean Kiel Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway are two important waterways; significant domestic commercial and recreational use of Intracoastal Waterway on central and south Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of US; the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore Atlantic waters as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa; in 2014, 41 commercial vessels were attacked in the Gulf of Guinea with 5 hijacked and 144 crew members taken hostage; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
China seven of the world’s ten largest container ports are in China
Howland Island Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was partially destroyed during World War II but rebuilt during the 1960s; today it is crumbling and in poor repair; named in memory of famed aviatrix Amelia EARHART
Jarvis Island there is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast
Midway Islands Henderson Field on Sand Island serves as an emergency landing site for aircraft crossing the Pacific Ocean
Saint Barthelemy nearest airport for international flights is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located on Sint Maarten
Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha the new airport on Saint Helena opened for limited operations in July 2016 with the goal of providing regular commercial traffic via South Africa in the near term; the military airport on Ascension Island is closed to civilian traffic; there is no air connection to Tristan da Cunha and very limited sea connections making it one of the most isolated communities on the planet
Saint Martin nearest airport for international flights is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located on Sint Maarten
Southern Ocean Drake Passage offers alternative to transit through the Panama Canal
Wake Island there are no commercial or civilian flights to and from Wake Island, except in direct support of island missions; emergency landing is available
World the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that 2016 saw a continued decrease in global pirate activities; in 2016, pirates attacked a total of 191 ships world-wide including boarding 150 ships, hijacking seven ships, and firing on 12; this activity is down from 246 incidents in 2015; in 2016, the number of hostages dropped to 151, however, the number of seafarers kidnapped for ransom increased dramatically to 62 with over half taken off West Africa;
the first half of 2017 saw 87 incidents compared with 97 during the same time period in 2016; during this six-month period, 63 ships were boarded, 12 fired upon, and four hijacked, resulting in 63 crew members taken hostage, 41 kidnapped for ransom, three injured, and two killed; the Horn of Africa continued to see pirate activities with nine incidents in the first half of 2017, a slight increase over 2016; the decrease in successful pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa was due, in part, to anti-piracy operations by international naval forces (which concluded in December 2016), the hardening of vessels, and the increased use of armed security teams aboard merchant ships; despite these preventative measures, the assessed risk remains high;
West African piracy is a growing threat with 36 attacks in 2016 compared to 14 in 2015; Nigerian pirates are very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore and linked with at least three hijackings that occurred in this area; attacks in South Asian waters remain at low levels with a decrease in Bangladesh from 11 incidents in 2015 to three in 2016; Peru reported 11 incidents, up from none in 2015; attacks in Viet Nam declined from 15 in 2015 to seven in 2016