Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/04/2015
1. Tankers Attacked Every Two Weeks
A small coastal tanker is hijacked by pirates in South East Asia every two weeks on average, a report from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed. South East Asia accounts for 55% of the world’s 54 piracy and armed robbery incidents since the start of 2015. After a steady drop in global piracy over the last few years, attacks rose 10% in the first quarter of 2015 on the same period of 2014. Worldwide, pirates took 140 hostages in the first three months of 2015, three times as many as during the same period in 2014. A total of 13 seafarers were assaulted and three injured.
2. Captain of Migrant Ship Arrested
Prosecutors have arrested the Tunisian captain and a Syrian crew member of a boat that capsized off the coast of Libya with hundreds of people aboard in what may be the deadliest yet migrant tragedy. Assistant prosecutor Rocco Liguori said the two men were charged with favouring illegal immigration and the captain was also charged with reckless multiple homicide in relation to the weekend sinking. The two men were arrested aboard the rescue boat that brought 27 survivors from the shipwreck, which may have killed as many as 900 people, to Italy. Coastguard ships have been rushing to respond to new distress calls on the high seas.
3. Flags Wave for Reduced Greenhouse Emissions
In a submission to the International Maritime Organization, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, currently the world’s third largest shipping registry, has called for the setting of a new global target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, a growing sector currently left out of international climate negotiations. Speaking to the submission, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony de Brum said that the goal of keeping global temperature rise under 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius requires action from all countries, and all sectors of the global economy, and that international shipping must be part of the action.
4. Migrant Measures Not Easy to Implement
The 10-point plan agreed at Monday’s council of ministers is all about enforcement. Measures such as destroying the traffickers’ boats will not be easy to implement. Like the continuing attempt to curtail Somalian piracy, it may even involve a military element. There are signs that the EU would like to be able to subcontract its problem to third countries. Australia, which has faced acute migrant pressure for a decade, funds programmes in Nauru and Papua New Guinea to detain people in transit. But there are few countries on the south side of the Mediterranean that are likely to be either willing or able to do Europe’s job for it.
5. Demolitions Reach New High
The demolitions of dry bulk carriers hit a monthly record high in March. Braemar ACM shipping analyst Peter Malpas revealed that over 5 million dwt of dry bulk tonnage was scrapped in March. "If I look at the total amount of scrapping in the first quarter of 2015, it was over 10 million dwt," Malpas said. "If we continue scrapping at that rate, we’ll see (that the) fleet growth (will) start to change by the early part of next year and the oversupply will start to erode by the end of 2016." He pointed out that while it is still a significant amount of oversupply, he was optimistic that there would be support for the market due to significant scrapping.
6. Traffic Stopped on St Lawrence
A 621-foot bulk carrier remains hard aground in the St. Lawrence River with salvors on scene preparing to refloat the ship. The Bahamian-flagged MV Juno, carrying a load of sugar, ran aground early Monday morning in the vicinity of Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River, New York, while transiting inbound from the Seaway to the Port of Toronto. The vessel is slightly listing after taking on water in one of the forward ballast tanks. There are no reported injuries, and no reported pollution. Vessel navigation is currently suspended in the vicinity of the grounding, with seven other vessels in the area waiting for the channel to re-open.
7. Anthem Named in Spectacular Style
Royal Caribbean International, the world’s largest global cruise line, has marked the launch of Anthem of the Seas, the world’s newest, most technologically advanced cruise ship, with a spectacular naming ceremony. In true Royal Caribbean style, the company once again broke with tradition by choosing Emma Wilby, 27, a British travel agent and military wife as the Godmother of the ship. Emma took centre stage during the ceremony together with Welsh choir Only Boys Aloud to deliver the performance of her life. Anthem of the Seas and sister ship, Quantum of the Seas, have been designed to deliver a new kind of cruise experience.
8. Bridge and Engineering Courses Re-assessed
The IMO sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) is re-assessing bridge and engineering model training courses in light of changes to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention and code. This is expected to result in updates to model courses for engineroom simulators, radar navigation and integrated bridge systems, as well as the guidance for using ecdis, when the sub-committee meets next year. Three working groups and two drafting groups were set up at the latest meeting (HTW2), in February this year, to re-assess aspects of seafarer training.
9. Round Singapore for Seafarers
The epic endurance challenge that will see 32 volunteers rowing 140km non-stop around Singapore is starting in less than 24 hours. The project has raised a staggering $450,000 with more donations flooding in daily for global maritime charity The Mission to Seafarers. In Singapore’s 50th Golden Anniversary year, the project proudly carries the SG50 logo of support along with official endorsement by President Tony Tan Keng Yam of the Republic of Singapore and Mission to Seafarers’ President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal of the United Kingdom. The legacy of the project extends further for Singapore than just a row or raising money.
10. Supply Chain Threats and Opportunities
Rapid economic growth in emerging economies, labor disruptions, political instability and a disease outbreak in West Africa led to a rise in business losses in 2014 according to the latest Global Supply Chain Intelligence report from BSI Supply Chain Solutions. Globally over $23 billion was lost to cargo theft in 2014 from a variety of supply chain threats, while the four most economically damaging natural disasters caused a collective $32.8 billion of damage. Within Europe, trade interruption due to an array of strikes throughout Europe caused $1.5 billion of direct losses to business.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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