Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/04/2015
1. Rescuers May Have Caused Deaths
The boat that sank in the Mediterranean over the weekend with hundreds of migrants on board may have capsized after being touched or swamped by a cargo ship that came to its aid, a U.N. official said. Carlotta Asami, a spokeswoman for the United Nations’ refugee agency, made the comments to CNN after speaking to multiple survivors from the disaster. "They say that there was a point in which they were very close and probably what happened is that, you know, a big ship creating a big wave — they were approaching in a very strong manner and they lost balance," Asami said.
2. EU Ten Point Migrant Mayhem Plan
The EU has backed a 10-point action plan to counter deadly migration flows in the Mediterranean Sea. The 10 point plan will see reinforced Joint Operations in the Mediterranean, and an extended operational area. A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels. Law enforcement will gather information on smugglers modus operandi, to trace their funds. EASO to deploy teams to process asylum applications. Fingerprinting of all migrants; Emergency relocation mechanism; pilot project on resettlement, A new return program, Engagement with countries surrounding Libya and Immigration Liaison Officers (ILO) in key third countries.
3. P&I Warning on Yemen
P&I club Skuld has issued a member advisory warning to shipowners and charters considering calling Yemeni ports. Skuld said the Yemeni government in exile in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has issued a ban on all but essential shipping into the country, such as vessels carrying food supplies. It is understood that Saudia Arabia has been asked to enforce the ban and ships may be allowed entry after receiving permission from both the Saudi government and the Yemenis government in exile. "Before proceeding to Yemen, or even going close to its territorial waters, an urgent risk assessment has to be undertaken," said Skuld.
4. G7 Focuses on Maritime Domain and Development
In a statement for the start of the next G7 conference, ministers will stress that the "maritime domain is a cornerstone of the livelihood of humanity, habitat, resources and…trade". They will also stress that humankind depends on a safe, sound and secure maritime domain in order to preserve peace, enhance international security and stability, feed billions of people, foster human development, generate economic growth and prosperity, secure the energy supply and preserve ecological diversity and coastal livelihoods. As the world’s population grows, our reliance on the oceans will increase even more.
5. Ferry Safety Progress the Focus
The IMO will hold an international conference on the enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages, in Manila. The conference, which will be opened by IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu, is expected to consider draft guidelines on the safe operation of coastal and inter-island passenger ships not engaged on international voyages. The draft guidelines are expected to address issues relating to: the purchase of second hand ships intended to enter into service as a domestic passenger ship; a change in operating limits; the conversion or modification of a ship; passenger counting and voyage planning.
6. Shipowners Dismiss Critical Report
The International Chamber of Shipping is responding to recent claims by the European environmental lobby group Transport & Environment (T&E) that new ships built today are less CO2 efficient than those built over 20 years ago. The ICS has dismissed the group’s claims, which are based on a study by CE Delft, as “fanciful”. T&E argues that the study shows that the efficiency of new ships built in 2013 actually deteriorated since 1990 by 10% on average. The study, titled Historical Trends in Ship Design Efficiency, analyzed the development of the design efficiency of ships – measured by efficiency indicator values (EIVs).
7. Ferry Runs Aground in Storm
More than 180 passengers have been evacuated from a ro-pax ferry which had ran aground in a storm off the coast of Turkey. They ferry, the Turkish-flagged Gokceada-1, ran aground over the weekend along the coast of Gokceada, an island off the west coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea. All 188 passengers had to be a evacuated from vessel after failed attempts to pull the ship from the rocks. Photos from the ferry show the passengers donning lifejackets while awaiting rescue overnight – about 15 hours, one of the passengers said. The passenger said the ferry hit the island at full speed and without warning.
8. Politics Overlooks Shipping
Shipping has no place in the manifestos issued this week by the five main political parties contesting the UK general election on 7 May. The Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UK Independence Party (UKIP) documents did not mention shipping, ports, maritime industries or maritime training. Political commentators believe that the next UK government is likely to be a coalition created from two or more of these parties. The small Green Party did state that it would prioritise ferries and waterborne transport over road and air, and its website contains detailed policies on ferries and freight shipping.
9. Shipping a Magnet for Corruption
Shipping is hit by more cases of corruption than just about any other industry, Alexandra Wrage, the president and founder of anti-bribery compliance expert TRACE, says. “In many ways, the shipping industry is exposed to more levels of corruption than any other industry,” Wrage says, “as it is a global industry that does not have a mature anti-corruption compliance culture. “This industry,” she continues, “is traditionally very opaque, and has only made a slow shift to greater transparency. Fraud, bribery, and other illegalities are endemic to some parts of the industry, and the world.” Wrage has plenty of recommendations for shipping.
10. Singapore Calls for Maritime Collaboration
With international trade set to grow dramatically in the coming generation on the back of rising middle classes around the world Singapore’s transport minister has called for greater collaboration among shipping authorities to boost infrastructure and fix shipping’s problems, including its environmental footprint. Lui Tuck Yew said: “The international maritime community needs to come together and co-create solution that transcend geographical and organisational boundaries.” Lui said two thirds of the world’s middle classes would be Asian by 2030 necessitating a rapid build up of maritime infrastructure.
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