Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/12/2014

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/12/2014


1. Denmark Also Pays Pirate Compensation

With the fuss about the EU ordering France to compensate pirates, it has emerged that Denmark compensated nine Somalis suspected of trying to hijack a Danish ship in 2013 because they were detained too long before being brought before a judge. Each defendant received $3,247 for the 13 days they were detained. The nine Somalis were charged with piracy after an attempt to hijack the tanker vessel Torm Kansas, which had been chartered by shipping company Torm, in the western Indian Ocean on Nov 10, 2013. According to Danish law, a citizen cannot be held in custody for more than 24 hours without being brought before a judge.




2. Pirate Payments an Insult to Seafarers

The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) has reacted to the news that the French government has been ordered to pay thousands in compensation to Somali pirates who had attacked French ships, “because the pirates’ human rights were disregarded when they were arrested”. Roy Paul Programme Director for MPHRP said, “This decision would be unbelievable if it wasn’t made by the European Court of Human Rights. The claim that this constituted a ‘violation of their rights to freedom and security,’ is an insult to the seafarers and yachtsmen they attacked as surely this is the true violation of the seafarers’ rights.




3. Cruise Ships in Environmental Spotlight

Cruise ships dumped more than a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean this year, much of it raw or poorly treated, according to federal data analyzed by Friends of the Earth, which continues the call for stronger rules to protect oceans, coasts, sea life and people. Friends of the Earth’s 2014 Cruise Ship Report Card reveals that some of the 16 cruise lines graded are slowly getting greener; but more than 40 percent of the 167 ships still rely on 35-year-old waste treatment technology. Disney Cruise Line was ranked as the most environmentally responsible line, earning an A for sewage treatment.




4. Shipbuilding Contracts Cancelled

ASL Marine announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has reached mutual agreement with a customer on the rescission of shipbuilding contracts for two offshore support vessels. The two vessels will be ready for operation by the first quarter and third quarter of 2015 respectively. The company is currently in talks with potential buyers and charterers for the vessels. There are no indications as to the nature of the cancellation, but it seems that vessels are still attractive to others, even though the offshore market is seeing something of a sticky time for rates.



5. Canada Targets Shipping for Strict Liability

Canada’s Senate has passed a bill that would establish strict liability, for hazardous substance incidents, for ship owners and has sent a different bill proposing $1 billion in absolute liability, for the nuclear and offshore petroleum industries, to committee. A day earlier, Bill C-3 – which would establish strict liability, for ship owners, for incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances – passed third reading in the Senate with no amendments. Once it becomes law, Bill C-3, the Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act, will require all Canadian-flagged ships to have pollution liability insurance.



6. Mainstream Media In Giant Ship Furore

Even broadsheet newspapers are getting in a tizz about the "CSCL Globe". According to the Telegraph, "She’s a quarter of a mile long, weighs 186,000 tonnes and is the biggest cargo ship on the seas – and she’s coming to England". The CSCL Globe, the new holder of the contentious title of world’s largest ship, set out on her maiden voyage from Shanghai on Monday and is scheduled to call at the port of Felixstowe early next month. Owned by China Shipping Container Lines, the Globe measures 1,312ft from stem to stern – longer than four football pitches – and has a beam of 192ft – wider than each of the runways at Heathrow.




7. Panama Looks to Risk Management Plan

The Panama Maritime Authority (PMA), has become the first port state to use Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC sanctions compliance and risk management service as a precaution against the outbreak of Ebola. PMA will use PurpleTRAC to screen port arrivals and Panama Canal transits to ensure compliance against a comprehensive range of economic sanctions and blacklisted ports. The system will also provide Ebola-risk warnings for any ships that have visited countries where the World Health Organisation (WHO) deems the outbreak of Ebola severe, currently the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.




8. Tanker Designs for Giant Megayachts

An Austrian yacht design firm has unveiled a new superyacht concept for the uber rich that is based on the size and shape of a modern suezmax oil tanker. The new yacht concept, developed by the company MOTION Code: BLUE and called “Imara”, will measure a staggering 280 meters long(or about 918 feet) with a hull shape based on the dimensions of a Suezmax tanker. According to the designers, this makes the design the world’s biggest yacht concept. "Imara" comes features, such as a four-story indoor ski slope with its own Austrian-themed après lodge.




9. US Looking North for Shipping Routes

The US Coast Guard has proposed a 4.6 mile-wide shipping route through the Bering Strait in an attempt to protect the Arctic as shipping industry eyes boosting vessel traffic in the area. The proposal is based on the Port Access Route Study the Coast Guard announced in 2010. In a notice to the Federal Register, the Coast Guard asked for comments on how consolidating vessel traffic into a defined vessel routing system may impact or benefit the region. The Coast Guard said that the goal of the study is to help reduce the risk of marine casualties and increase the efficiency of vessel traffic in the region.




10. Wall Street Shipping Backlash

Publicly traded shipping shares were particularly hard hit amidst a wider Wall Street selloff on 8 December. While the Dow Jones Average fell 0.59%, multiple shipping stocks logged double-digit percentage losses and the overwhelming majority of US-listed shipping shares declined. The overall market pullback was apparently spurred by the ongoing fall in crude pricing – and investor concerns over resultant fallout on both companies and nations – combined with more signs of weakness from Japan and China. Shipping executives have repeatedly claimed that lower crude prices equate to higher GDP growth and therefore more cargo volume.





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