Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 23/10/2014

Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 23/10/2014

1. New MLC Guidelines on Safety
The ILO has agreed guidelines to assist in implementing the MLC following a Meeting of Experts on Maritime Occupational Safety and Health. The guidelines are intended to aid in creating national laws and regulations by providing practical information relating to the maritime working environment including high levels of stress, fatigue, long hours of work, demanding physical working conditions, isolation and potentially hazardous tasks.
2. UN Fearful of Piracy Return
UN official Jeffrey Feltman has stated fears of a return of Somali piracy. Feltman said, "Piracy off the coast of Somalia is one of the manifestations of a political problem, requiring a political solution. State collapse in Somalia and other political challenges lie at the root of the problem". Without the international naval presence, shipboard self-protection, and until capacity-building efforts ashore deliver then large scale piracy may potentially return," he stated.
3. Seafarer Training Woes
According to experts, the continued training of Filipino seafarers’ is an issue that urgently needs attention. Filipino seafarers complain that the required training provided by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is oftentimes inferior to what their shipping employers routinely give. The training is considered insufficient to prepare seafarers for a serious career, and Filipinos believe they are being bypassed for the more lucrative officer positions as a result.
4. Seeking to Avoid Vessel Arrest
Seroja Investments is seeking to void an arrest warrant on its panamax vessel over claims by Conirma Marine that the ship is not fit for delivery. Seroja, which provides marine cargo and coal transportation services in China and Indonesia, announced that its jointly-owned vessel "Zhushui 5" has been served with an arrest warrant by Conirma Marine on 21 October. The company is currently seeking legal advice and intends to take steps to void the arrest.
5. Spectacular Leap in Capesize Rates
The cost of shipping iron ore jumped the most on record amid speculation that Chinese traders are increasing purchases of the raw material used in steel. Daily rates for Capesize vessels hauling about 160,000 metric tons of the commodity jumped 38 percent to $12,580 today, according to the Baltic Exchange in London, a shipping bourse tracking freight rates on more than 50 routes. The advance was the biggest in percentage terms since March 1999. 
6. Seafarers Held and New Plan Needed
Further to its fears that a dropping of the guard may lead to a return to Somali piracy, the UN has stated that while 37 seafarers remain in captivity then more needs to be done to tackle the maritime menace. “It is imperative that more nations criminalise piracy on the basis of international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said, emphasizing the need to deter the financing of piracy and the laundering of ransom money.
7. Green Ships Driving Sector Growth
Non-maritime commentators are often amazed by the realities of shipping, the fact that as one put it, we "owe a large chunk of your everyday grooming, sustenance and routine to the shipping industry". But that comes at an ecological price, and shipping is acting to stem the rising Green tide of pressure which is gathering momentum. There is a growing business in seeking to counter environmental pressures – from sails to clean engines, progress is coming. 
8. P&I Club on Wreck Removal
The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007 will enter into force in State Parties on 14 April 2015. The Convention provides a strict liability, compensation and compulsory insurance regime for States affected by a maritime casualty. Clubs will issue the required Wreck Removal Convention “blue cards”, to enable Members to obtain Certificates from States Parties.
9. Lower Bunker Costs Stymie Eco Ships
Fuel-efficient ECO vessels may be losing their advantage over their less-efficient peers as oil prices continue to plummet, according to report by Greek-based Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.  Presently, companies who bought discounted Chinese ships that have a higher fuel consumption are reaping the benefits, said Intermodal sales and purchase broker Theodore Ntalakos. He added, "Fact is that the fuel efficiency benefit disappears as bunker prices drop."
10. Indonesia Must Step Up on Maritime
The  new Indonesian administration of President Widodo will face a number of challenges to deliver on ambitious plans to safeguard Indonesia’s maritime economy and defence. Maritime concerns are key in a nation where millions of citizens still move across the vast archipelago by boats and ferries. This means that an improvement to the country’s maritime logistical capabilities is vital in connecting production and population centres across the nation.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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