Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/04/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/04/2015

1. Operation Atalanta for Migrants
As they meet for Thursday’s talks on the Mediterranean people-smuggling crisis, EU leaders claim to have one small ace up their collective shirtsleeves. Faced with a potentially massive exodus of migrants in coming months, they have at least been able to pull out a ready-made plan for getting tough with the trafficking gangs. Its name is Operation Atalanta, and it was the EU’s response to those other modern-day scoundrels of the sea: Somali pirates. 
 
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2. Enhancing Anti-Piracy Cooperation
NATO and the Republic of Djibouti have enhanced their anti-piracy cooperation, by concluding an agreement to establish a NATO liaison office in Djibouti in support of the Alliance’s counter piracy operation, Ocean Shield, in the Gulf of Aden. The liaison office will facilitate greater operational, logistical and administrative coordination. It will also provide the basis for further dialogue between NATO and the Republic of Djibouti.
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3. Ship Finance Market Hots Up
The current climate for ship financing is warming up, and there is sufficient funds in the market, delegates were told at a ship finance discussion held at the Sea Asia conference. Mark Long, head of transport at HSBC, reckoned that reliance on bank finance is returning. “German banks are becoming less active and we have seen Asian banks aggressively increasing their share in the market, especially Chinese banks,” he said.
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4. Global Review of Box Trade
The European Shippers’ Council has revealed plans to start a global review of the container liner shipping market to address growing concerns among manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers about the long term threats of a concentrated container liner shipping industry through alliances, the ESC said in a release. The ESC increasingly worries that these companies will have less choice in shipping their products overseas.
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5. Syria Hits World Trade
Syrian rebels’ seizure of the main frontier crossing with Jordan has dealt a heavy blow to the Damascus government’s efforts to revive a once thriving export trade crippled by civil war, and is also hurting businesses across the region.
Western-backed mainstream insurgents took control of the Nasib crossing three weeks ago, closing the chief conduit for bilateral trade worth over $2 billion a year.
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6. Seafarer Eaten By Sharks
A coroner in Australia has ruled that a Chinese seafarer could have been murdered, thrown off a ship and then eaten by sharks. Sun Peng, 28, had a fight with another crew member on board the bulk carrier Great Talent in March last year as it sat off Australia’s northern coast near Weipa, Queensland. The ship was waiting to load bauxite about 22 kilometers from the coast in waters reputed to be infested with sharks.
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7. BIMCO Acts on New Issues
The sub-committee tasked with producing two standard novation agreements, one for the substitution of time charterers and one for the transfer of ownership, has now prepared two complete drafts which will be presented to the Documentary Committee. The agreements deal with issues such as payment of charter hire, renewal of guarantees, bunkers and equipment on board belonging to the charterers.
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8. Navios Buys Up New Vessels
Navios Group has agreed to acquire another 14 vessels from HSH Nordbank in the second major distressed fleet deal between the two parties in the past two years. HSH Nordbank and the Navios Group have signed a binding letter of intent for the acquisition of 14 ships at serious risk of insolvency. In the second transaction with Navios since 2013 a loan in a nine-digit USD amount will be financed by a new banking syndicate. 
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9. Oil Hits Pristine Beaches
Around 120 kilos of shipping fuel has been scraped up off the Spanish Gran Canaria tourist beaches, the government said on Thursday, after a Russian fuel-laden ship sank off the coast last week. The situation on the beaches would worsen over the next few days, the environmentalist group Greenpeace warned in a separate statement. The Russian vessel Oleg Naydenov, carrying 1,409 tonnes of fuel oil, is currently leaking 5 – 10 litres of fuel per hour.
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10. Queen Vic Passes Through Panama
Queen Victoria, a cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line cruise shipping company, was photographed during her recent passage through the Panama Canal. She features the same basic design as other Vista-class cruise ships, though slightly longer and more in keeping with Cunard’s interior style. At 90,000 GT, she is the smallest of Cunard’s ships in operation. She can carry 3,000 tons of heavy fuel and 150 tons of marine gas oil, consuming 12 tons per hour.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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