Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 12/09/2014
1. Owners Decry Rush of Rules
In advance of a critical IMO meeting, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called on IMO Member States to give careful consideration to shipowners’ concerns about the implementation of an avalanche of new environmental regulations, which are about to impact on ship operations at more or less the same time. ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka, explained: “The shipping industry is not in any way questioning the need for these important new IMO rules and is fully committed to implementation. But governments need to address some very important issues if they wish to avoid confusion and market distortion.”
2. Gulf of Guinea Piracy Project
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is seeking to launch a pilot project aimed at monitoring and tackling piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The heads of states and governments approved a strategy which includes setting up maritime zones. The countries of the sub-region have been grouped into zones for information coordination and action, Suleiman explained. "The first one being piloted in West Africa is the Zone E. This comprises Nigeria, Niger, Benin and Togo.
3. Greek Owner Delisted From Stock Market
Greek dry bulk shipowner NewLead Holdings is being de-listed from Nasdaq having failed to come back into compliance with regulations. Nasdaq said NewLead would be delisted from the exchange from the start of trading on 22 September having failed to come back into compliance with three sets of regulations. In late June Nasdaq said NewLead faced de-listing for making false and misleading disclosures, an inability to sustain compliance with a minimum $1.00 share price and failed to regain compliance by 23 June with the $50m in market value required for securities listed on the exchange.
4. Indian Concerns over Piracy Hostages
Expressing concern at Indian seamen being held hostage by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and western Arabian Sea, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Union government to ensure better coordination with international agencies for securing the release of those Indian citizens. Pronouncing its judgment in a rare Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with an international dimension, the court took serious note of the fact that seven Indians captured by the Somali pirates four years ago were yet to be traced. The court said that "combating piracy is imperative for the safety of seafarers as well as successful world trade.
5. Failed Pilot Ladder Cause for Concern
A pilot nearly fell overboard after the pilot ladder he was using was not attached correctly to the rail. Such incidents are all too common, and CHIRP has reported to try and raise awareness of the need to ensure that pilot ladders meets the requirement set out in SOLAS. Pilots advise the MCA when they encounter sub-standard rigging of pilot ladders and this triggers a port state inspection. In this case, the vessel was later inspected by port state control at Boulogne sur Mer and with no deficiencies found. Securing pilot ladders is one of the most basic of all shipboard operations, so it needs to be done right.
6. North Sea Set to Flourish into Future
A leading energy economist has predicted there could be nearly 100 new North Sea oil discoveries by 2045. Professor Alex Kemp said that some oil and gas fields, including the Clair field west of Shetland, will last well beyond 2050. Meanwhile, the University of Aberdeen academic believes as many as 125 already-discovered fields will remain undeveloped by mid-century because they are not commercially viable at current prices. Prof Kemp made the claims in a new report, Illuminating the Future Potential from the North Sea.
7. Drones Continue to Shape Piracy Response
The latest addition to the arsenal keeping pirates at bay off the Horn of Africa is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Last week the 32nd wing of the Italian Air Force completed its first tasking with EUNavFor – a successful 11 hour check test flight of a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. Based in Djibouti the wing will now put its UAVs into service monitoring the sea off the coast of Somalia where pirates have been known to operate and give early warning of possible attacks. In addition to providing more real-time intelligence on possible pirate attacks, the Predators will also be used to monitor the safety of World food programme (WFP) vessels.
8. Intelligence the Key to Tackling Piracy
While global piracy is constantly changing, modern technology adapts to exploit the weaknesses in the pirates’ mode of operation. Intelligence gained from such technologies enables voyage planners and navigators to steer clear of harm – but what kind of information is required? While the image of the Somalian pirate is still high in the public’s mind as the number one piracy threat, the reality is not as straightforward. Pirates have had to change their tactics in the last few years, with a geographical expansion to the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, including the waters off Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Cameroon and Lagos. http://goo.gl/bd8bn6
9. Pirate Victims Return to Sea
Since MPHRP started their Programme they have discovered that seafarers are resilient people. Also the ones who were attacked by pirates, taken hostage or captured. Most of them went back to sea after a period of recovering from the trauma. They were assisted by their families and friends and only a few needed extra counseling or therapy. Very few decided, for obvious reasons, to look for another job ashore. However, a small number of seafarers faced greater problems of getting re-employed. After a period of more than 1000 days in captivity, companies were very reluctant to offer them jobs.
10. New EU Transport Commissioner Nominated
Maros Sefcovic, has been nominated to take charge of the directorate general for Transport in the incoming European Commission proposed by commission president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker. If his appointment by Juncker is confirmed, Sefcovic, a 48-year-old Slovak will succeed outgoing transport commissioner Siim Kallas and also take on responsibility for space research and infrastructure programmes, including satellite navigation. He was previously the EU commissioner for inter-institutional relations and administration.
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