Seacurus Bulletin 03/07/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
Greece’s European Union presidency ended at midnight 30 June. Greece received wide acclaim for its Presidency, encompassed in the ‘Athens Declaration’ unanimously adopted by EU ministers responsible for maritime transport. European shipowners applauded the declaration as a “positive and forward-looking one”. European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) supports ministers’ efforts to maintain a stable and innovation-friendly framework, ensuring competitiveness of EU fleets, providing legal certainty for investments and stimulating the establishment of maritime activities in EU member states in a context of liberalised maritime services.
Come the start of next year, a tough new regulation of sulphur content in fuel will come into force in the Baltic Sea, pushing it down to 0.1%. Unfortunately, it is beginning to look like it will be a bit of a mess. The legislation in its current guise creates a number of problems: for competition in northern Europe, for competition between big and small shipping firms, and probably, too, for emissions levels. Nations such as Finland, Germany and the Netherlands are surrounded by waters covered by emissions control areas (ECAs) but ports on the west coasts of the UK and France they will not need to do this. They will accept HFO-burning ships.
Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) has responded to changes in the marine bunker market with a campaign to help shipowners get the best from their residual and distillate fuels. A consistent reduction in the quality of fuels available to shipowners, the need to comply with IMO and EU regulations on sulfur content and the adoption of slow steaming have created a ‘perfect storm’ of operational and compliance requirements. Taken together, these changes will have a profound impact over the next 10 to 15 years as refinery output shifts towards new fuels and the next wave of pollution regulations begins to bite.
Greek shipowners paid a total of more than 1.17 billion euros in the month of May for the acquisition of 54 ships, according to data from Golden Destiny shipbrokers. These investments concern 31 orders to shipyards for new vessels with a total capacity of 2.2 million deadweight tons (dwt) and a value of some 880 million euros, while the other 23 vessels are from the secondhand market, with a total capacity of 2 million dwt and a value of 292 million euros. The data confirm the trend that originally emerged at the start of the year regarding the intensification of investments in the renewal of the Greek-owned fleet.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is investigating an incident in which a crewman on an iron ore carrier had his foot severed in a towing operation at Port Hedland, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Mahesh Mohankumar, a 27-year-old Indian seafarer, lost his foot when it was caught in a line during the incident last weekend. He remains in a stable condition in hospital. It is understood the Liberian flagged vessel was chartered by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). FMG "At the time of incident, the ship was berthing under the direction of the Port Hedland pilot with tugs being used in accordance with standard operating procedures".
The German Seamen’s Mission has opened its new Seafarers’ Lounge in the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal at the Port of Kiel. Similar to facilities in Hamburg and Venice, the new Seamen’s Lounge offers crew a place to meet with other seafarers, contact family and friends and seek advice from the Seamen’s Mission.
The 140 sqm facility was built over an eight-month period and offers recreation rooms, computer workstations with internet access, a private room, a kitchen area and a small shop selling food and telephone cards. Around 800 crew members from TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 1 were the first to use the lounge.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
A crewless tanker has been found adrift in the South China Sea, experts believe it to have been victim of a piracy attack. The "Galuh Pusaka", a product tanker registered in Indonesia, was found drifting with navigational lights and engine off in South China Sea. The vessel had neither crew nor cargo, but its galley was well-stocked with fresh provisions. The last AIS signal received from the tanker dates back to Sept 24, 2010. The authorities in Indonesia suspect the vessel was used by pirates to siphon and transport stolen oil from hijacked ships.
President and Captain
President Obama had been in office less than a year when Navy SEAL snipers opened fire on a small lifeboat in the Gulf of Aden, killing three armed Somali pirates and freeing an American mariner, Richard Phillips. Phillips met with the president in the Oval Office the following month. But now the relationship is set to change, as the captain is coming out in a public relations offensive against the White House’s new counter-piracy plan. It is time for the United States to “zero in on the pirates’ nests and eradicate them,” Phillips said in news release published by a maritime officers union.
A 500-bed prison facility in the state capital of Garowe is on the verge of closure as electricity shortage reigns for day-to-day activities according to independent sources. The harsh economic conditions resulted in the suspension of electricity service that was provided with prison by local electric company. Garowe Prison, pirate complex and one of the largest facilities in the horn of Africa has been grappling with electricity price hike, with management board of the prison preferring generators over Nugal Electric Corporation (NEC)’s electricity consumption.
Analysts forecast the Global Maritime Security market will grow at a CAGR of 9.28 percent over the period 2014-2018. Maritime security relates to the protection of ports, vessels, and other infrastructure related to ports and the shipping business from piracy, terrorism, and sabotage. Maritime security is provided to both private and government ports. The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the Global Maritime Security market for the period 2014-2018. To calculate the market size, the report considers the annual revenue generated from sales of products and services, and the growing threats being faced.
Flying the Flag
"FGS Brandenburg" is the second German naval vessel to be assigned flagship duties of Operation Atalanta, the European Union naval force tasked with protecting World Food Programme (WFP) vessels delivering aid to Somalia. This is the operation’s primary mission and it has secondary tasks including detecting and preventing acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast and monitoring the internationally recommended transit corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden and along the Somali coast. When the ship comes into contact with a dhow or other small vessel a “friendly approach” is conducted.
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