Seacurus Bulletin 13/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has voiced support for the adoption of a new Protocol aimed at boosting efforts to tackle modern forms of forced labour. The legally binding Protocol was adopted by the ILO on June 11 and is seen as a firm commitment from governments, employers and unions to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery. AoS said seafarers and fishermen deserved decent and safe working conditions. “Seafarers and fishermen work in one of the most dangerous environments and yet all too often governments and authorities turn a blind eye to the appalling conditions many are forced to endure.”
The current shortage of officer corps seafarers is forecast to worsen and risks impacting carrier profitability, according to Drewry’s recently published Manning 2014 Annual Report. Owners and managers need seafarers – and they want experience, expertise and quality. However, they do not have the resources to fund substantial rises in remuneration. In recent years owners and managers have been heavily cost focused as weak freight rate earnings have yielded poor returns. Manning has become the natural target for cost cutting, being the single largest element in ship operating costs.
South Korea’s biggest and most bizarre manhunt, linked to a ferry disaster in which hundreds drowned, has come full circle at the compound of a sect known for its organic ice cream as police on Thursday used earth movers to search for tunnels. Police have raided the grounds of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Anseong, a two-hour drive south of Seoul, twice as they try to flush out church co-founder Yoo Byung-un, 73, South Korea’s most wanted man since the Sewol ferry sank in April killing more than 300 people, mostly children from the same school. But, so far, Yoo, has eluded capture in a case which has become an embarrassment.
TT Club, transport and logistics insurance provider, has urged port operators to focus more on safety as the club’s data has shown that 68% of the insurance claims came from preventable accidents. The club added that a further 14% of claims were from poor or insufficient maintenance. The remainder were weather related.
The extensive analysis by the club also generated data that showed a total of over 9,500 claims over a seven-year period totalled some $400m and covered bodily injury, property and equipment damage and liability. TT Club believes many of these incidents are avoidable.
Ship-management, as opposed to the conventional Cyprus-flag operations by locally owned vessels, generated revenues of 417 mln euros in the second half of last year, with the bulk originating from non-Cyprus flag fleets, but managed by the 4,500 strong community on the island, half of whom are highly-educated Cypriots.
“In the past five years, ship-management has been the pillar of our sector’s growth, despite the problems faced in the international markets in 2012 and 2013, especially in the chartering sector with falling rates driving many ship-owners into trouble" a Cypriot official commented.
Panamax shipowners are reportedly idling their ships as a lack of cargoes puts further pressure on rates, market sources said Thursday. Panamax vessels carrying thermal coal from Indonesia to east and west coast India are being fixed on APS [Arrival Pilot Station] basis at around $6,000/day plus $60,000 ballast bonus or less, market participants said. “Owners are starting to think it’s below cost and are anchoring,” one charterer said, adding that he had seen three or four idle ships so far, with possibly more in the market. APS delivery is when charterers only start paying hire at the load port.
Crewtoo®, the seafarer social network operated by KVH Industries, Inc., has been named the most popular maritime website in a survey of mariners conducted recently by Futurenautics, an independent information resource that identifies technology trends in the shipping industry. The Crew Communications Survey 2014 addresses many topics surrounding the issue of crew access to the Internet for staying in touch with family and friends. When respondents (nearly 3,000 mariners from 30 different nationalities) were asked to name their favorite maritime website, the single most popular choice was Crewtoo.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
Liberia-flagged oil tanker Fair Artemis, missing for a week off West Africa following a pirate attack has been found emptied of its cargo. The 12,000 dwt vessel, last reported off Togo at time of writing with crew unharmed, had lost contact with manager Fairdeal Group after sending a distress call off Ghana at 1800 GMT on June 4. “So far we can say that the ship was boarded by a number of pirates, who have stolen the cargo and other items on the vessel,” said Fairdeal fleet director John Gray. “We have spoken to the captain of the vessel and are delighted to say that everyone on board is safe".
Malaysia is hunting for a group of machete-wielding pirates who hijacked a tanker off its eastern coast, stealing a million litres of oil, in the latest in a spate of attacks in its waters, an official said on Thursday. Pirates hijacked the Malaysia-registered tanker "MT Budi Mesra Dua" last Saturday off Bintulu in the oil-rich Sarawak state as the ship sailed from neighbouring Singapore. “Ten machete-wielding pirates boarded the ship, which was carrying about a million litres of diesel. They took control of the tanker for about 10 hours,” Mohamad Sufi Mohamad Ramli, a local commander with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency told AFP.
Southeast Asia has become the world’s hotspot for pirate attacks, the UN said on Thursday. Piracy in Southeast Asia surged last year, particularly in the maritime trading hub of the Malacca Straits, between Malaysia and Indonesia. Attacks in the region topped 150 last year after starting an upward trend since 2010, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) said in a report. “Piracy in the Malacca Strait continues to be a major disruptor for safe routes in the eastern Indian Ocean,” said the agency. Last month the IMB said that there had been 23 actual or attempted attacks in SE Asian waters between January and March.
Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy R. Sherman of the United States Institute of Peace has been speaking on the U.S. Foreign Policy in Somalia. According to Sherman, the US approach in Somalia is distinctive for the simple reason that Africa today defies generalization. While parts of the continent remain mired in poverty and held back by conflict, seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. The US is working to encourage free markets, investment, trade and an end to piracy. All maritime nations will benefit if piracy can be conquered.
Nigeria will lose $4.24 million daily, as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, yesterday, declared force majeure on its EA field in the Niger Delta, shutting in about 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day. A statement by Precious Okolobo, Corporate Media Relations Manager, said Shell is suspending production at the EA field for repair of the soft yoke mooring platform, SYMP. According to him, the SYMP connects the Floating Production Storage and Offloading, FPSO, vessel, Sea Eagle, with the mooring platform. Bad weather offshore damaged the SYMP bearing, thereby necessitating the shutdown of the facility.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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