Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/02/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/02/2015

1. Big Bulk Players Come Together
Norwegian listed Golden Ocean Group and four other dry bulk shipping partners are setting up a joint venture chartering company, to help tackle the challenges of the current market. Golden Ocean Group, controlled by Norwegian shipping billionaire John Fredriksen, said it was combining forces with Bocimar International NV, CTM (C Transport Holding Ltd), Golden Union Shipping and Star Bulk Carriers Corp., to form the new JV called Capesize Chartering Ltd.
2. Greek Owners Warn Government
In its clearest warning yet to the newly elected radical coalition government, the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has revealed the temptations being put to Greek shipowners to re-locate from the Greek cluster. â€śIt’s no coincidence that, especially in recent years, we have become a daily target for tempting proposals from third countries, both in the European Union and outside, to relocate there so that their economies could benefit".
3. Big Piracy Spike Recorded
Last year saw a 26% spike in maritime piracy and armed robbery, according to statistics compiled by Control Risks. This marked the highest level since 2011. Somali pirates accounted for a mere 4% of global activity, and attacks by Nigerian groups in the Gulf of Guinea—another piracy hotspot in recent years—declined by 12%. Asia accounted for 30% of the global total. Shipping is at greater risk than perhaps even before.
4. Cemfjord Survey Completed
As the investigation into the sinking of the cargo vessel Cemfjord, continues, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch says it has  completed both the multi-beam side scan sonar and ROV surveys of the wreck. In westerly gales, the Cemfjord was last tracked at 1.15pm on Friday, January 2, not far from Stroma, heading west through the Pentland Firth. Around 24 hours later the ship was discovered, upturned, by the NorthLink ferry Hrossey.
5. Warnings Issued on Moist Cargoes
Marine insurers have issued warnings about the risk of shipping bauxite in case excess moisture liquefies the cargo and makes it unstable after a ship carrying a Malaysian shipment of the ore sank last month. The capsize and sinking of the Bulk Jupiter off Vietnam in January, with only one survivor, has raised concerns among some shipowners about a systematic risk in bauxite processing from the region’s mines.
6. Bunker Quality is on the Rise
Global bunker fuel quality is improving and shipowners appear to be using more distillate fuels, the International Bunker Industry Association has reported. Bunker fuel tests in 2015 so far show about 8% of samples are off-spec compared with 10% of samples in 2014, IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jorgensen said in a statement, citing data from testing company Intertek. This is an improvement over 2013, when off-spec samples "reached an all-time high" of 25%.
7. Owners Biding Time Before Buying
Ship owners appear to be waiting for lower prices in their dealings with Asian shipyards, as the dry bulk market is at historical lows. According to the latest report from shipbroker Clarkson Hellas, there were “a couple more specialised orders to report in the dry market. US based Vulica Shipping have contracted two firm 68,000dwt Self-Unloaders at Jiangsu Hantong. Pricing was not revealed, however delivery of both vessels is planned for the first half of 2017. 
8. Ferry Can be Raised for Huge Sums
The MV Sewol, the capsized South Korean ferry that killed 304 passengers, could be raised. A 23-member task force of experts concluded that raising the intact hull of the ferry is possible. The task force estimated the operation would cost $91.7 million. There are still nine passengers unaccounted for from the ferry, and there is still a sense of anger in the nation as to how the vessel was operated and ultimately lost.
9. Killer Migration Across Med 
Inadequate naval patrols means ever more migrants from Africa and the Middle East will die trying to cross the Mediterranean, aid agencies warned, as Italy appealed for a "more vigorous" European response to tackle the crisis.
The death toll in the Mediterranean since the start of the year stands at 50 against just 12 in the same period in 2014. "Europe must do more and better" stated an Italian minister.
10. Practising Against Pirates
In an effort to support East African and Indian Ocean nations in enhancing their maritime security responses and information sharing on common maritime threats, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) personnel recently participated in multinational maritime security exercise Cutlass Express 2015. The Royal Navy, said such exercises, "strengthen regional maritime forces in their ability to conduct maritime security operations".

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


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