Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 01/08/2014
1. Suez Canal Shapes Up for Future
A major dredging project that will deepen a 34km section of the Suez Canal’s western channels by 1.2m to 15.8m is scheduled to get under way this week. "This project will allow giant container ships heading south to pass through these channels and reduce total transit time," the canal authority stated. The long-awaited project has no scheduled end date and could take many months to complete. The canal has its own dredging fleet and a further project, to widen anchorage areas in Great Bitter Lake and at the tips of the western channels, is also planned. It comes as the Suez Canal posts record traffic movements this year.
2. Anger At Photocopied Charts
A bulk carrier at Abbot Point coal port in Australia has been detained for crossing the Great Barrier Reef without the required nautical charts. The second officer of Hong Kong-flagged "Bulk Ingenuity" was fined AUD85,000. The master was also fined AUD40,000,(USD116,000). The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS) picked up the vessel outside the designated shipping area (DSA) en route to the coal port from China on 21 July, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported. AMSA said the vessel had relied on photocopied charts for navigation, and ignored the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
3. Digging Deep For Sulphur Tech
Finland’s Transport Minister has said allocating money to develop sulphur emissions-reducing technology would be a "major topic" in national budget talks. The government says compliance with the stringent EU directives on Baltic Sea sulphur emissions will cost Finnish shipping industry and its customers up to US$750 million a year. Finnish exporters, who failed to derail the EU sulphur directive, are now asking tax breaks to meet compliance costs. After 2015 the fuel sulphur content for any ship plying the Baltic Sea must not exceed 0.10 per cent or its exhaust gas must be cleaned to that same level.
4. Putting Safety First
The Safety@Sea Singapore campaign has been launched led by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the campaign is an industry-wide effort to increase awareness of safe practices and inculcate a safety-first culture at sea. Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, MPA said, "Singapore is the world’s busiest port in terms of vessel arrival tonnage, and is located along a vital shipping lane and one of the world’s busiest waterways. The Safety@Sea Singapore campaign focuses on the human element in marine incidents, we want to safeguard against complacency, raise safety standards, and get everyone in the community to do their part."
5. Abandoned Vessel and Crew Concern
A Greek-owned cargo ship has been anchored in the Delaware River for nearly 16 weeks, with 20 crew on board, caught in a quagmire between U.S. Coast Guard demands for operational repairs, and an owner who has not paid bills incurred since April. The "Nikol H", which is registered in the Marshall Islands, needs additional repairs before sailing, and the owners allegedly owe as much as $1.2 million, which prompted vendors and others to sue to recover costs for providing fuel, food, and supplies while the ship has been here. The original crew members’ visas expired, and they are not permitted to go ashore for recreation and shopping.
6. Cruise Ship Engine Trouble
A cruise ship in Greenland has suffered engine trouble and passengers have had their trip cut short. The cruise ship Sea Adventurer is run by Arctic Adventures was heading to Greenland and then the Canadian Arctic when the problem occurred near Ilulissat. The ship has experienced problems in the past when it grounded in 2010 in the Northwest Passage. At that time it was called Clipper Adventurer. Repairs are expected to take about two weeks, and the company is now trying to find another vessel to take its place for the next voyage. The cruise passengers have been flown home.
7. Drunken Sailor Left Behind
The "MS Frifjord" set sail from Dundee Harbour this week after a new captain was flown in after former captain Andrejs Borodin was charged with sailing the vessel down the River Tay, between Dundee and Perth, while being nearly four times the legal limit for driving a ship, at 137 mics. The ship had come from Norway, and was believed to be heading for Canada — however, after the abrupt stop in Dundee, the ship is now heading back again. Norwegian company, Kopverik Ship Management, are taking the ship back to it’s homeland after Borodin appeared in court, and he is expected to remain behind bars for the next few days.
8. K Line Hit With Profits Loss
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K line) reported a fall in net profit for the first quarter of the financial year. K Line announced a net profit of JPY4.28bn ($42.23m) for the first quarter ended 30 June 2014 compared to a JPY6.98bn net profit in the same period a year earlier. Revenues also fell in the first quarter to JPY295.7bn compared to JPY319.8bn a year earlier. Explaining the drop in profitability K Line said: “In the business environment surrounding the shipping industry, we saw some negative factors toward our operating result such as continued shrinking trend in ex-Japan cargoes in the car carrier business, a decline freight rates in the dry bulk business.
9. Finding Piracy Link to Wildlife
What do child slavery in Ghana, Somali piracy and the illegal global ivory trade have in common? Their root causes can all be traced back to declining wildlife populations. At least that’s the theory of a group of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who looked at how wildlife loss affects conflict in places where people depend on wildlife to survive. Justin Brashares and his colleagues say that the way governments and international organizations respond to crimes like poaching often do not address the full "ecological, social and economic complexity of wildlife-related conflict." "We thought it was critical to connect the dots" they say.
10. Great Hopes for Nigerian Satellite Monitoring
The management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has described ongoing battle against the activities of pirates along Nigerian waterways and beyond through air surveillance as very successful. According to NIMASA, the unveiling of its Satellite Surveillance Centre has made it possible for the agency to respond at short notice to distress calls any time of the day. NIMASA states the facility is fortified with capacity to detect boats, ships and illegal movement along the waterways, once any illegal operation is detected, a specialised aircraft is deployed to help bring the situation under control.
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