Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/04/2015
1. Shipping is Ill Equipped for Crisis
BIMCO has stated that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of distressed migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. BIMCO welcomed the announcement that the funding of Operation Triton and the contribution of extra ships, planes and helicopters. Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General at BIMCO, said: “The shipping industry has recently highlighted the risks to the health, safety and security of seafarers who assist distressed migrants in increasingly large numbers. Merchant ships are ill-equipped to deal with large-scale rescue operations".
2. New Migrant Station for Charity
Thousands more men, women and children will die in the coming weeks unless more rescue assets are immediately deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, according to search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which is due to set sail again on Saturday 2 May. MOAS saved some 3,000 lives in 60 days last year. In this year’s operation it will be partnering with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which will take care of the post-rescue care of migrants taken on board. "Every day, we are waking up to news of more deaths in the Mediterranean", MOAS director Brig. Ret’d Martin Xuereb said recently.
3. Maritime Security in the Future
Consolidation in the maritime security market has not happened. Why? Some have tried to diversify (PGI). Some have gone bump (GOAGT). Some have divested then gone bump (Drum Cussac). Some are grabbing market share (Ambrey). Others do what they do well (Diapolous). The long tail? All are out there, with shrinking margins, taking risks, fighting to the death. And it is, perhaps, in this last phrase that the clue to this market is apparent. Former soldiers starting companies see them trade their fighting spirit from the military to the commercial. The enemy bears a different name, but they fight and struggle all the same. http://goo.gl/1jEix6
4. Pleas for Malaysia to Sign Up
Malaysia should consider joining the Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) in promoting and enhancing security at sea and of the shipping business in the region. According to Sarawak Shipping Association (SSA) vice chairman Renco Yong, Malaysia is yet a member of ReCAAP despite piracy has become a rising concern in the Strait of Malacca, Singapore Strait and Pulau Tioman. In Asia, the only two countries that have yet to join are Malaysia and Indonesia, due to disagreement on the location of the HQ (headquarters) – which is currently in Singapore.
5. No Military Solution to Migrants
There is no military solution to migrants drowning in the Mediterranean, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said on Sunday, as European leaders search for ways to manage the flow of people leaving North Africa in rickety boats. Ban’s comments came a week after more than 700 people drowned in the worst shipwreck in decades of dangerous seaborne migration. The disaster has shocked the European Union into pledging more money for rescues. Ban said the United Nations was ready to help tackle the problem. He said, "There is no military solution to the human tragedy playing out in the Mediterranean".
6. Japan Port Traffic Plunges
Cargo traffic at Japan’s largest container port Tokyo plunged 7.3% year on year (y/y) in January to 6.579 million tonnes, according to preliminary figures released by the Tokyo metropolitan government. Of the 6.579 million tonnes, 3.574 million tonnes came from foreign trade, down 10.1% y/y, and the remaining 3.005 million tonnes came from domestic trade, down 3.7% y/y. A total of 406 ocean-going ships, including 375 container ships, entered Tokyo in January, down 10.6% y/y, while 1,557 domestic vessels entered the port, down 3.5% y/y.
7. Crime Agency Grabs Drug Tug
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), with support from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant, intercepted an ocean-going tug in the North Sea last week and made a “potentially significant seizure of illegal drugs,” according to John McGowan from the NCA. “The exact amount of cocaine on board is yet to be determined and the search is likely to continue for some time,” said McGowan. The MV Hamal and it’s crew of nine men was intercepted about 100 miles east of Aberdeenshire 23 April as a result of close cooperation with the French Customs and other agencies.
8. Vessel Detained for Multiple Violations
The U.S. Coast Guard detained a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier in Kalama, Washington, on Friday over multiple significant safety violations. The USCG says vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Portland discovered several discrepancies aboard the 738-foot MV Kind Seas during a routine inspection. Safety violations were related to a complete failure of the emergency generator, deficient structural fire boundary doors, inoperable bilge pumps, and inoperable life saving communication equipment. “Shipboard fires pose severe risk to vessel crews, the vessel, and the port,” said Capt. Patrick Ropp.
9. LR Issues New Guidance on Emissions
The new LR guidance addresses operational and in-service considerations reflecting further accumulated experience from working closely with clients, industry groups and regulators. As well as a focus on exhaust gas treatment (scrubbers) the guidance also examines the wider scope of options for SOx/NOx compliance beyond exhaust gas treatment. In the majority of the tanker, bulk carrier and container segments the uptake of scrubber technology remains slow. The time for decisions is fast approaching. If in 2012 the industry needed to start considering their options, today, in 2015, time is running out.
10. Clawing Back the Bunker Cash
OW Bunker’s administrators have managed to claw back over $100 million so far in the process of winding up the company, but $1 billion worth of receivables are proving hard to collect, Tradewinds reports. One of the administrators, Gorrissen Federspiel partner John Sommer Schmidt, this month said the team has recovered around $100 million from the sale of oil stocks on hand at the time of OW Bunker’s collapse. In addition, the settlement of in-the-money oil derivatives has allowed the administrators to recover a further $8 million for creditors. There are potentially tens of millions of dollars worth of further derivatives contracts in the market.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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