Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 06/08/2014
1. Whole New Suez Beckons
Not seemingly content with its ongoing works to widen and improve the existing Suez Canal, Egypt said on Tuesday it plans to build a new Suez Canal alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway in a multi-billion dollar project to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The project, to be run by the army, is a major step by new President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stimulate Egypt’s struggling economy and recalled some of the grand national programs of one of Sisi’s predecessors, army strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Suez Canal earns Egypt about $5 billion a year, a vital source of hard currency.
2. New Advice on Avoiding Ebola
Following advice issued by P&I Clubs, Three global shipping organisations have issued guidance on the risks posed to ships’ crews calling in countries affected by the Ebola virus. The ICS (International Chamber of Shipping), IMEC (International Maritime Employers’ Council), and the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) urgently advise that on all such vessels: The Master should ensure that the crew are aware of the risks, how the virus can be spread and how to reduce the risk. ISPS Access control to be enforced to stop people boarding, carefully consider shore leave, possibly avoid crew changes in affected areas.
3. A Dearth of Reliable Data
The lack of reliable piracy data has been identified as one of the main obstacles to contemporary maritime piracy research. Research to date has focused on selected types of piracy or on particular geographical regions where piracy occurs, usually relying on single sources of data or being wholly anecdotal. Despite major shifts in the nature of piracy, little research has been produced that examines global trends in piracy. In response to this gap, academics have created the "Contemporary Maritime Piracy Database" (CMPD). The CMPD combines the IMB piracy reports and other sources to provide a more comprehensive assessment.
4. Good News and Bad News
With the rise of petro piracy and the recent release of another vessel Dryad Maritime’s Ian Millen has been analysing this "good news, bad news" situation. On hearing the good news of the release of Hai Soon 6, the vessel was reported off the Niger Delta and some 200 miles east of where she went missing. The bad news is that this is now looking like the third successful cargo theft this year in West Africa. From Angola in the south, where MT Kerala was hijacked, to Ghana in the west, where the latest victim fell prey to organized crime, 2014 has seen Nigerian gangs hijack vessels a considerable range from their homebase of the Niger Delta.
5. The Most Expensive Vessel
VesselsValue.com has initiated a summer series looking at the most expensive live vessels and what they could buy you outside of shipping. This week their focuses is on the most expensive live vessel – The "Zarga" worth a cool $221.8 Billion. She is a Q-Max ship, specifically a membrane type liquefied natural gas LNG carrier. In the name Q-Max, "Q" stands for Qatar and "Max" for the maximum size of ship able to dock at the LNG terminals in Qatar. Ships of this type are the largest LNG carriers in the world. Q-Max LNG carriers are operated by the STASCo (part of Shell International). They are owned by Qatar Gas Transport Company.
6. Struggle to Rescue Ferry Casualties
Bangladeshi rescuers struggled against a strong current and choppy river waters in the search for a ferry that capsized with more than 200 passengers on board with about 120 of them missing, many feared dead. The ferry that sank on Monday, the MV Pinak-6, had a capacity to carry 85 passengers, according to the inland transport authority. It went over and sank in the Padma river about 30 km (18 miles) southwest of the capital, Dhaka. Bangladesh has an appalling record of ferry accidents, with casualties sometimes running into the hundreds. Overcrowding is a common feature of many of the accidents.
7. Singapore Share Moves Spook Shipping
Moves by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to introduce a minimum trading price for SGX mainboard-listed companies could impact a number shipping and offshore marine related stocks. SGX and MAS issued their response to the joint consultation paper on the Review of the Securities Market Structure and Practices last weekend and as part of this said they would be proceeding with a minimum share price for SGX mainboard listed stocks of SGD0.20 ($0.16). “This is to address risks of low-priced securities being more susceptible to excessive speculation and potential market manipulation". http://goo.gl/Zb9ygL
8. Special Green and Speed Award
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that the company has earned recognition from the ports of both Long Beach and Los Angeles, California, for its efforts to ensure compliance with standards that call for vessels to slow down within 40 nautical miles (nm) of the shore. The Port of Long Beach introduced the Green Flag Program and Port of Los Angeles the Vessel Speed Reduction Program. The programs urge vessel operators to slow down to 12 knots or less within a certain range of the ports to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and sulfur oxide (SOx) in coastal areas to conserve coastal environment.
9. India Versus Marine Rolls On
The Indian Supreme Court has granted permission to the two Italian marines, facing trial for killing two fishermen off Kerala in February 2012, to extend their bail bond. Senior advocate K T S Tulsi appearing for the marines pleaded for the extension of the duo’s bail bond, which was allowed by the Bench. The court is hearing the plea of marines challenging the NIA’s jurisdiction to prosecute them. Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were part of a security team protecting a privately-owned cargo ship, claim that they mistook the fishermen for pirates. The government had handed over the investigation to the NIA. http://goo.gl/VRlLIo
10. Weather With You – Looking Back At Records
Weather records taken by 19th- and 20th-century seafarers are being digitised to give scientists a better understanding of the climate. Thousands of volunteers are being called on to help by transcribing records from the logbooks of ships that entered Australian waters in the 1890s and 1900s. The information, which includes sea water temperatures, will be added to a computerised climatic records database in the hope it will improve short-term weather forecasting. The online project will also increase understanding of severe events and help scientists predict weather patterns, such as those during El Nino conditions.
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