Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/02/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/02/2015

1. Biggest Box Ship Welcomed
DNV GL welcomed the world’s largest containership, MSC Oscar, into class. Delivered in January by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Geoje, South Korea, the 19,224 TEU vessel has already entered service on the line’s new East-West service. The newest ship for MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has set a size benchmark for containerships in terms of capacity, and has also been designed with a number of efficiency enhancing features.
2. Pirates of the Mediterranean
Prompted by internal terror group chatter, experts are warning of ISIS piracy on the Mediterranean sea. There are warnings that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants could be about to bring Somali-style piracy to the Mediterranean. Analysis prepared by the Italian Ministry of Defense warns that ISIS have already taken control of ports and boats in Libya. Which has prompted real concerns that with Libya failing as a state, the conditions could be rife.
3. Charterer Fails to Make Owner Responsible
Leading oil trader Trafigura has failed to persuade a London appeal court that Navigazione Montanari should take financial responsibility for a cargo loss that resulted from a pirate attack off Nigeria. The legal battle arises from an attack on the 40,200-dwt products carrier Valle di Cordoba (built 2005) by 15 armed pirates near Abidjan in late 2010. The pirates transferred more than 5,000 tonnes of the tanker’s oil cargo of over 33,000 tonnes with a mystery vessel.
4. Port Welfare Board Provisions
A project to assist ports to establish seafarer/fisher welfare boards, as required under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), was launched in London on 17 February. Initiated by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network, the scheme is sponsored by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, and its website providing guidance and information will be managed by the UK-based Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB).
5. Theatre To Shine Light on Seafarer Issues
A theatre work shining a spotlight on the highs and lows of life at sea will have its world premiere in Tasmania next month. Scott Rankin, the creative director and co-founder of Tasmanian-based social change arts organisation Big hART says the message behind the production is not to take the world’s reliance on shipping for granted. Seafarers are a "big community…[many] are in very poor situations". They hope to tour and take in Manila and Shanghai.
6. Lawyers Offer Guidance on Emissions
Clyde and Co, has been speaking on the issue of emissions and of the various steps that owners must take to ensure compliance. Whilst there are various solutions to meeting the new regulations, such as passing the ship’s main engine exhaust gas through a scrubber to remove sulphur before emission from the funnel or using an alternative fuel, such as LNG, the most common method will most likely be to burn low sulphur fuel oil.
7. Stepping Up Anti Piracy Efforts
Japan and the European Union are strengthening anti-piracy cooperation in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia to reduce the number of pirate attacks on commercial vessels. Their joint operation had helped an international mission to reduce piracy incidents from 174 in 2011 to just two last year, Japan’s Jiji Press news agency reported. The first operation took place in January 2014 when EU naval forces and Japan’s troops teamed up to capture a pirate ship.
8. Nigerian Piracy a Real Concern
Analysts have predicted an increase in piracy incidences in Nigeria after the presidential elections were postponed last week. The military said it was unable to assure security in its fight against militant Islamist group Boko Haram. There are growing suspicions surrounding the credibility of the elections and fears that ransoms are being used to fund political campaigns, leading to an anticipated increase in offshore attacks. 
9. More US Port Problems
Marine terminal operations were suspended for the day Thursday at the Port of Oakland as longshore workers took the day off for a union meeting, the Port said in a statement. The Port said that means no gate, yard or vessel work will occur during the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day shift. The night shift at the port has been suspended by terminal operators for about a month now, the Port said.  “Stop work” meetings are typically held at night, not during the Port’s peak period.
10. Low Oil Leads to Offshore Boost
While U.S. drilling on land has fallen along with the price of crude, the risky and expensive drive to pull oil from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico is showing little evidence of a slowdown. Oil rigs working in the Gulf will increase by more than 30 percent this year compared with 2014. The rise in deep-water drilling stems from years of planning and billions of dollars already invested, and the payoff can be considerable. 

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


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