Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 26/09/2014
1. Shipowners Invest In Somalia
A joint initiative led by leading oil and shipping companies said Thursday they were donating $1.5 million in funds to stem piracy off the coast of Somalia. The Joint Shipping Initiative, lead by Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Danish conglomerate Maersk, MOL, Japanese shipping companies and others, announced the funds were made available through the U.N. Development Fund. "Piracy is a global problem that takes root in limited economic opportunities, high youth unemployment rates and poor infrastructure," Jens Munch Lund-Nielsen, a sustainability director at Maersk, said in a statement.
2. Panama Dragging Heels on Investigation
When the Panamanian flagged livestock carrier "Danny F II" rolled over and sank in the Mediterranean in December 2009 costing the lives of forty four people and in excess of 28,000 animals whilst she had been en route to Syria from Uruguay, one might have expected a speedy investigation and explanation for the disaster. Certainly that was the attitude of maritime union Nautilus with two of those lost being members of the organisation. This was a vessel detained in Adelaide just four years earlier because of serious faults and it is now over a year since the union asked, in no uncertain terms, just what had happened to the promised report.
3. ECDIS Still Not Featuring on Tankers
The majority of ships in the global tanker fleet have yet to adopt ECDIS, according to data published for the first time by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO). The SOLAS regulations on the mandatory carriage of ECDIS will come into force from 1 July 2015 for all tankers over 3,000 gross tonnes, apart from permitted exemptions. Over 8,500 tankers will be required to comply with these rules and, with less than 10 months to go, the UKHO can reveal that 58% of these ships do not yet use an ENC service. The amendments to the SOLAS Convention requiring the mandatory carriage of ECDIS were adopted in 2009. http://goo.gl/NyF8SI
4. Understanding The Shipping Market and Trends
Brokers, shipowners and even a few lawyers dissected important trends at Capital Link’s recent “Global Commodities, Energy and Freight” event. The best overview of the various sectors came from a panel of equity analysts at the day’s conclusion- moderated by Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer Brian Devine. Following on a somewhat upbeat earlier tankers panel, shares analyst Fotis Giannakoulis, from Morgan Stanley expressed a very cautious view on the product tanker markets, saying “it will depend on product shipments in the Atlantic”.
5. Most Insecure Waterway Explored
"The Gulf of Guinea is the most insecure waterway, globally," says Loic Moudouma. And he should know. The lead maritime security expert of the Economic Community of Central African States, and a Gabonese Navy commander, his focus has been piracy and maritime crime in the region for the better part of a decade. Moudouma is hardly alone in his assessment. From 2012 to 2013, the US Office of Naval Intelligence found a 25% jump in incidents, including vessels being fired upon, boarded, and hijacked, in the Gulf of Guinea, a vast maritime zone that curves along the west coast of Africa from Gabon to Liberia. Kidnappings are up, too.
6. Tackling Maritime Industry Corruption
The conference "Corruption – How do we tackle it in the maritime industry?" on 8 October will deal in depth with one of the largest financial and human challenges at sea. It would be almost inconceivable not to come across challenges linked to corruption and not least "facilitation payments" in an industry as global as shipping. It is still customary and an ingrained part of the culture for companies to give presents or small amounts of money to the local authorities as a gesture of common courtesy. Presenters include Transparency International, Maersk Line, Clipper Group, GAN and The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN).
7. Pirates Fight Over Ransom Cash
Six people were killed in central Somalia in a gunfight over a supposed ransom payment tied to the release this week of a German-U.S. journalist held hostage in Somalia for more than two years, police said on Thursday. The journalist, Michael Scott Moore, 45, was kidnapped by armed militia in the city of Galkayo in January 2012 while researching a book on piracy. After his release this week, local Somali officials said they were not unaware of any ransom paid. A local militiaman, said the ransom had totaled $2 million although he did not say who had made the payment. He played down the shooting, calling it "accidental".
8. UK Port Reaches Landmark
The port of Felixstowe in the UK has become the first in the country to receive Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, a mark of security and efficiency. The European Commission introduced the AEO programme as an international accreditation for operators throughout the logistics chain. Companies that demonstrate sufficient management systems, a proven track record of customs compliance and robust safety and security standards can obtain the accreditation and benefit from simplified customs and security and security controls. Hutchison Ports UK said it "demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible level of service".
9. Search and Rescue for 300 Migrants
Cyprus has launched a search and rescue operation off its coast for 300 people stranded at sea, mostly women and children, the state’s Defence Ministry informed. The stranded passengers are believed to be refugees from Syria, authorities said. A distress signal was sent early this morning from a small vessel, believed to be a fishing boat, sailing some 50 nautical miles (92 km) south-west of the town of Paphos, on Cyprus’s western coast. Cyprian authorities dispatched helicopters to the scene. It has been reported that the vessel has been struggling with rough seas caused by bad weather. There are no reports on potential injuries.http://goo.gl/UbVUbO
10. China Set to Soak Up Excess
China, the world’s biggest buyer of iron ore, will soak up excess global seaborne supplies of the steel-making material as it sustains demand even amid an economic downturn, according to Vale SA. China’s ore imports in 2015 will rise further from a record 900 million metric tons this year. The country will consume most of the 80 million to 100 million tons of supply from around the world. The prospect of rising imports highlights China’s demand for steel at a time of slower economic expansion. Vale, along with other major producers have invested billions of dollars to expand output, betting on sustained growth from the country.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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