Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/07/2015
1. Rush to Cover Iran
Western and Middle East insurance specialists see Iran as an appealing $8 billion market in the wake of its nuclear deal with world powers, though uncertainty over when sanctions on Tehran will be lifted means they are treating the country with caution. Eight out of 11 insurance and reinsurance specialists who responded to questions emailed by Reuters said Iran was an attractive or very attractive market, especially in the marine and energy sectors.
2. First Ships Through Suez
The first cargo ships passed through Egypt’s New Suez Canal on Saturday in a test-run before it opens next month, state media reported, 11 months after the army began constructing the $8 billion canal alongside the existing 145-year-old Suez Canal. The new waterway, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hopes will help expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, will be formally inaugurated on Aug. 6.
3. Collision Death Toll Rises
The death toll from a boat collision on the Nile north of Cairo on Wednesday has risen to 36, the head of the civil protection administration has stated. On Wednesday, more than 35 passengers were estimated to have been aboard a chartered boat when it collided with a cargo ship near the shores of Al-Warraq district in Giza, causing the chartered boat to capsize. The skipper of the cargo ship has been arrested and detained pending a probe into the incident.
4. North Korea Blacklist
The US Treasury has blacklisted Singapore-based Senat Shipping and Trading over alleged business links with North Korea. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Senat Shipping and its president, Singaporean, Leonard Lai for allegedly provide “extensive support” Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMMC), a company which is already blacklisted. Senat Shipping meanwhile has issued strong denial.
5. Carnival Disablement Settlement
The U.S. Justice Department and Carnival Corp. have announced a comprehensive, landmark settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to advance equal access for individuals with disabilities who travel on cruise ships. The settlement agreement addresses accessibility on 62 ships among the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises brands and implements accessibility standards and policies for greater access.
6. Consumers to Blame for Shipping Pollution
A recent report claims the 16 largest container ships in the world emit more sulphur into the atmosphere than all the cars in the world combined. If there are in excess of 760 million cars in the world, this is truly an astonishing statistic. How can 16 ships produce more ‘pollution’ than 760 million cars? This just can’t be true, can it? Well, it is "sort of" true – and it is time for action. Owners have to clean up their act, but may need compulsion from consumers.
7. Mental Wellbeing for Seafarers
A newly developed training program for senior seafarers to promote awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing among crews has been trialled in Hong Kong by shipowner Wah Kwong. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of mental health issues and their consequences on vessels. “Long hours, limited social interaction and separation from shore-based family and friends can lead to stress and the risk of mental health problems" the company states.
8. Piracy Spike in Bangladesh
The EMEA region has seen a drop in incidents of piracy and armed robbery over the first six months of 2015 overall – but there is a worsening of security in some areas, a new report has revealed. Attacks on international shipping in Bangladesh are the highest they have been during this period since 2010, when eight attacks were reported. The attacks, which occurred off Chittagong anchorages and approaches, involved 10 boardings, with knives and also guns.
9. Prosecution Success Curbing Piracy
Piracy has been tackled partly because of aggressive prosecution by African and Western nations who saw the benefits of establishing a chain of deterrence from the high seas to the courts. International efforts to ensure that Somali pirates are prosecuted swiftly seem to have paid off: 1,350 pirates have been charged and imprisoned in 21 different countries, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
10. The Invisible Network
Time to abandon romantic notions of being away at sea. The impact containerization has has changed seafaring, and given a certain sense of alienation from the cargo. With email dictats from ashore, even the captain has become just another node in the network, the running of his ship dictated by the unseen algorithms. The myth of the seafarer as the drunken adventurer with "a girl in every port" couldn’t be further from the truth, with shore leave a rarity.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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