Seacurus Bulletin 11/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
EU on MLC
László Andor, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion has spoken on how the European vision of employment is set to be delivered. In a speech at the 2014 International Labour Conference in Geneva, he spoke of how the pursuit of competitiveness must go hand in hand with promoting decent work. During the Conference, the EU actively contributed to the discussions on informal economy and support the adoption the amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention. MLC is seen as a key point in addressing the increase in inequality, which is detrimental to economic growth and social cohesion.
Sailors aboard a cargo ship banned from leaving a UK port for safety breaches are earning as little as 65p per hour, it has been claimed. The vessel "FB Glory", which is Turkish owned and sails under the Panamanian flag, was detained in Plymouth after surveyors inspected the vessel and its records. Two Turkish members of the eight crew – which also includes Syrian and Indian nationals – left the ship at Fowey to return home, complaining that they had not been paid. An ITF inspector said, he had never seen the like in his life, as one of the able seamen is on a basic salary of $48 (£28.60) a month.
A Singapore-registered shipping firm has been charged for allegedly financing activities related to weapons of mass destruction in North Korea, making it the first time that the law under the United Nations has been invoked in Singapore. Chinpo Shipping Company faces one charge of transferring some $72,000 on 8 July 2013 from its Bank of China account to C B Fenton and Co, a shipping agent in Panama Canal, local reports said. The prosecution alleges that the money “may have been used to contribute to the nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes or activities” of North Korea.
The UK’s reliance on the seafaring community, which is mirrored in many nations, is to be highlighted in one of the biggest campaigning initiatives in the maritime calendar. Television broadcaster Monty Halls, who lived and worked as a fisherman in Cadgwith, West Cornwall, for the BBC Two programme The Fisherman’s Apprentice, is working alongside Seafarers UK to launch Seafarers Awareness Week. The national campaign, which runs from June 21-29, is promoting the vital work of seafarers who supply essential food, fuel and goods, keep shipping lanes open and protect the UK’s interests at home and abroad.
The captain of the ill-fated Sewol ferry that sank in South Korean waters has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge as trial began on Tuesday in Gwangju, Korea. Captain Lee Joon-seok and three other crew members are facing the most serious charge of “homocide through wilful negligence”, while 11 other crew members also stood trial. According to Lee’s lawyer, the captain is already living with guilt from the fact that he left the ferry before everybody was rescued. The lawyer added that Lee was the last rescued of all the crew members and he was not in charge of loading cargo.
Air and Sea
Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s largest flag carrier, will become the No. 1 shareholder of the country’s top shipping line, giving its parent business group access to all-round logistics services, company officials said. Sources at Korean Air and Hanjin Shipping Co. said the tie-up will be achieved by way of a capital increase through a third-party allocation arrangement that was approved by the respective boards earlier in the day. Under the plan, Hanjin Shipping will undergo a capital increase of 400 billion won (US$393.6 million) with the airline taking part in the purchase.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) said it has deployed the Navy to search for a Liberian-flagged missing oil tanker suspected to have been hijacked off Ghana’s coast over the weekend, according to the Public Relations Officer of the GAF. Colonel Mbawine Atintande said, "We are aware of the missing oil tanker and we have deployed our Navy to search for the missing vessel and report accordingly," Colonel Atintande said. There were reports of suspected hijacking of the vessel by pirates. But Atintande claimed there’s not sufficient evidence to support the claim. "We cannot confirm or deny the suspected hijacking of the vessel by pirates". http://goo.gl/pe6kcn
The trial in India of the crew and anti-piracy guards of the Seaman Guard Ohio, including 14 Estonian maritime security contractors, is expected to continue on June 10, a spokesperson for the Estonian Foreign Ministry reported. In mid-April the Madurai court in the state of Tamil Nadu accepted a petition to drop charges against the seafarers and anti-piracy guards of the Seaman Guard Ohio filed by the men’s employer, the U.S.-based maritime security company AdvanFort. The crew and the maritime security contractors who were taken into custody in October were released on bail on April 5, and have remained in the city.
Faith in Tech
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Peter Azumah, says the ultra-modern monitoring systems that the authority is using on its sea corridors are efficient and effective enough to protect vessels within Ghana’s waters. Explaining circumstances under which the "MT Fair Artemis" allegedly carrying oil on went missing, Mr Azumah said the vessel was not hijacked in Ghana’s territorial waters. He told the press what the authority and its collaborators are doing to intercept the missing vessel.
The 11 Albedo hostages are now homeward bound after years of deprivation and misery. Their release highlighted the little-known efforts of a small band of committed aid workers who relentlessly mediated with pirate gangs. The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) staff visited families in their home countries and counselled them, especially after they received threatening phone calls from pirates. The charity contributed financially to help cover school and college fees, medical costs and paid overdue rent amounts, as in most cases the hostage was the family’s sole breadwinner.
According to critics, the current US naval policy threatens to make the current piracy situation worse. Just as the US fleet has shrunk by retiring ships, it has also slowed down the construction of new ones. Such a strategy threatens American security and international stability in three ways. They believe that a larger Navy is needed for peace and stability, indeed it is also claimed that if the US government wants to create long-term, well-paying jobs that promote security and economic vitality, they should build more ships.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has launched its satellite surveillance system, which, in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, successfully rescued Ghanaian Fishing Vessel Marine 711 from suspected hijackers last week. The Ghanaian registered vessel was reportedly hijacked off the coast of Ghana and sailed across Togo and Benin Republic to Nigerian waters when the Embassy of the Republic of Korea contacted the Agency to help rescue the vessel. NIMASAs newly built satellite surveillance system with Cloud Penetrating Radar capabilities located the vessel and a rescue was made.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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