Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/01/2015
1. Charity Highlights Piracy Violence and Hardship
The MPHRP highlights the hardship inflicted upon seafarers and families. Responding to recent reports on current levels of international maritime piracy, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program (MPHRP) noted the trend that they appear to avoid the word "piracy" in favor of new forms of criminality, specifically "attacks" and "hijacking". The technical differences denoted by these terms aside, MPHRP said a basic truth is veiled: that violent crime is committed against seafarers. The MPHRP warns against complacency and encourages continued efforts to ensure the safety of seafarers. The MPHRP calls for seafarers to be made aware, to remain vigilant and to apply themselves to protective measures.
2. Good Progress in Salvage Effort
The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reports “good progress continues to be made” today as salvors aboard the Hoegh Osaka have reduced the vessel’s list to starboard to 25 degrees, or roughly half of what it was 19 days ago. The agency says all water has been removed from the car decks and as ballast operations continue throughout the day, the ship will hopefully further reduce her list to 15 – 20 degrees. At this point MAIB investigators will board the ship to gather information for their investigation and subsequently, a skeleton ship’s crew will be permitted to board the ship in preparation for its move back to Southampton Port.
3. Emissions Means Higher Costs for Owners
Maritime consultants Dryad Maritime (Dryad) has stated that the 2015 Emissions Control Area (ECA) sulfur cap changes will mean inevitable cost increases for shipowners. "Firstly, ships’ costs structures will change as increased bunker costs are unavoidable," Karen Jacques, Asia Pacific Director for Dryad. Compliance with the new ECA rules means paying a premium for bunkers with no more than 0.10 percent sulfur content by weight, or investing in an alternative method of compliance such as scrubbing technology or the ability to use Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) bunkers. Dryad said the additional expense associated with ECA compliance goes further than just the cost of compliant bunkers.
4. Tackling Pirate Fishing and Ocean Poaching
About 20 percent of the world’s fishing catch is taken illegally by poachers, experts estimate, but a new satellite tracking system launched on Wednesday aims to crack down on the industrial-scale theft known as “pirate fishing.” Backed by environmental groups, Project ‘Eyes on the Sea’ will open a “Virtual War Room”. Experts will be able to watch satellite feeds of the waters around Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, and the western Pacific island nation of Palau, which lacks the resources to monitor all the illegal fishing taking place near its waters. The technology analyses numerous sources of live satellite tracking data, enabling monitors to link to information about a fishing vessels/ http://goo.gl/xxZSvL
5. Rowing Around Singapore for Seafarers
Mission Rasi, abbreviated Row Around Singapore Island, is aiming to raise £375,000 ($568,700) for charity to support seafarers in need around the world. The first of its kind rowing event, set to take place in Singapore on 22-23 April this year, will coincide with the Singapore Maritime Week 2015. The 24-hour rowing mission will see two teams of six-men each in ocean-going rowing boats attempting a 140km journey out at seas and along shipping lanes to complete a non-stop circumnavigation of Singapore island. “It is a serious challenge,” said Iain Anderson from RPC and one of the rowers. “We have a training squad of over 40 rowers and 20 crew in support.
6. Disposable Ship Trend Must Be Stopped
IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu has stated the imperative that disposable migrant ships do not form “a new trend” in the Mediterranean, indicating that the problem must be addressed “at the highest level”. Addressing recent cases of vessels full of migrants being abandoned close to shore, Sekimizu indicated: “I am very concerned about the recent developments, where large commercial merchant ships have been used in the illegal smuggling of migrants. I hope the involvement of commercial ships will not form a new trend." Sekimizu appeared to suggest that owners might be deliberately selling their vessels to traffickers rather than paying to scrap them.
7. Gas Leak Worry for Oil Major
Oil major Shell has detected a gas leak near its Curlew floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, 130 miles south east of Aberdeen. A Shell spokesperson said the leak happened at subsea infrastructure several hundred meters from the FPSO vessel. The FPSO is connected to the Fulmar Gas Line exporting gas to the St Fergus terminal. An investigation into the leak has been launched. “Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris – Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two valves which will isolate the Curlew FPSO from the Fulmar pipeline. In addition another detailed investigation of the isolated infrastructure, adjacent to Curlew, will be undertaken by the "Normand Subsea".
8. Limited Growth Concerns Owners
Limited economic growth potential and the slow pace of recovery of the global economy is only easing the pain in the global shipping industry to some degree, according to BIMCO. While the industry continues to suffer from oversupply in the freight market, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has further cut the demand side estimates. “The downward adjustment was expected, but it hits hard nonetheless. The global shipping industry needs much stronger support from the demand side to gradually improve the situation of too many ships chasing too few cargoes,” says Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, Peter Sand.
9. Owners Look to Electric Propulsion for Gas Carriers
General Electric (GE) has announced that it has received an order to have its electric power and propulsion systems installed on two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI). The systems use GE’s induction motor technology, which the company says increases reliability and fuel efficiency, along with lowering maintenance costs. “GE has demonstrated a low risk solution to KHI, showing professionalism in the execution plan and a high standard of quality control of their equipment which is the result of extensive experience in the supply of 65 Dual Fuel Diesel Electric (DFDE) drive systems with induction technology for LNG carriers over the last decade," said GE.
10. Captain Philips Lifeboat Become Las Vegas Attraction
The famed orange Maersk Alabama lifeboat in which Somali pirates held Tom Hanks hostage during a tense standoff in the multiple Oscar nominated blockbuster "Captain Philips" has docked at last. The huge apparatus, one of two used in the film, is now part of the incredible growing collection of movie, TV and custom vehicles on display at the new Hollywood Cars Museum in Las Vegas (www.hotrodcitylasvegas.com). The museum acquired it from the Picture Car Warehouse in Los Angeles and already home to five James Bond vehicles including the Lotus Esprit Submarine Car driven by Roger Moore in the 1977 film, , the "Back to the Future" DeLorean, the "Knight Rider" pursuit car (one of two in the world).
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