Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/10/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/10/2015


1. Weapons Could Reach Black Market 

A private maritime security company (PMSC) has warned that the shrinking of the Indian Ocean HRA could lead to a flood of weapons on to the black market as more PMSCs go bust. ESCGS Chief Operating Officer Madis Madalik said: “my main concern is what will happen to the arsenal of very sophisticated weapons that bankrupt PMSCs have stored in floating armouries.” Madalik estimates that 15,000 small arms and semi-automatic, long-range rifles are stored in Indian Ocean armouries alone.  The maritime storage of weapons is currently unregulated and a number of the vessels are flagged with registers that are blacklisted or unlisted.


2. Pirate Kidnap Fears

Spanish and Moroccan forces are searching for the three missing crew members of a Spanish air force helicopter who may have been kidnapped by pirates after their aircraft ditched into the Atlantic off the coast of Western Sahara.  The whereabouts of the three crew members remains shrouded in mystery four days after Thursday’s accident after initial reports suggested the men had been successfully rescued and were in the hands of authorities from Morocco, the country which governs the disputed Western Sahara territory.  The helicopter went down shortly after making a technical stop in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.


3. Relighting Piracy Touchpaper

A report by Secure Fisheries, called "Securing Somali Fisheries" unveils new satellite data showing foreign IUU fishing vessels are catching three times more fish than Somalis. They are targeting some of the highest-value fish, leaving their Somali counterparts to compete over lower-value fish. The report shows these foreign fleets have contributed to overfishing of swordfish, snapper, marlin, and shark populations. Foreign bottom trawlers have fished recklessly and acted with impunity, dragging heavy nets, razing the bottom of our seafloor, and damaging an astounding 46,000 square miles of important marine habitat.



4. Iran Repels Attack

Iran’s navy repelled pirate attacks against an Iranian oil tank, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Islamic Republic Navy said. A group of pirates on seven boats approached an Iranian oil tank, however, the pirates had to flee after the Iranian Navy’s Jamaran destroyer opened heavy fire on them, Sayyari said, Iran’s Fars news agency reported Oct. 27. The Iranian Navy’s Jamaran destroyer received urgent signals from an Iranian oil tanker and headed toward the commercial vessel which was under pirates’ attack. Unfortunately the Iranians did not unveil further information about the location of the incident.




5. Minutes Reveals Bad Governance

Cosco, China’s largest maritime conglomerate, has suffered an embarrassing leak, which lays bare the corruption and nepotism that has bedevilled the state-run giant for years. The minutes of a closed-door meeting were reported by Beijing Daily,  Xu Aisheng, Cosco’s newly appointed discipline inspection head, was quoted detailing the huge charters Cosco had paid out and other investment errors, and how the company had possibly been involved in illegal activities. “We are asking all units for accountability,” Xu was reported saying. Golfing and unnecessary travel, irregular hiring and delayed retirement were some of the other issues detailed.


6. IMO Not Doing Enough

Early results from the latest online survey carried by Maritime CEO suggest the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be doing more to tackle shipping emissions. 68% of the 310 people to have voted so far believe IMO has not done enough to curb shipping emissions. The issue is particularly relevant in the run up to the UN climate change talks set for the end of next month in Paris where shipping will be under the spotlight. “The IMO is a slow-moving beast that historically has trailed the requirements of industry and society. The requirement to reduce the emissions from shipping is no different,” one respondent commented.



7. Greek Company Fined for Pollution

A ship management company based in Greece has agreed to pay $1 million in penalties after concealing that a ship it owned had dumped pollution into waters off the Texas Gulf Coast. Chandris (Hellas) Inc. pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Corpus Christi federal court to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

According to court records, the chief engineer of the M/V Sestrea -an 81,502 ton cargo ship Chandris operated – failed to document that the ship had dumped directly into the sea oily waste that should have been disposed through a separator aboard the vessel or burned in the ship’s incinerator.



8. Drop in Suez Traffic

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) says that, in addition to an overall traffic drop compared to the previous month, Egypt’s revenues from the newly expanded canal declined to $448.8 million during the month of September from $462.1 million during August, Egyptian media reports. The number of ships transiting the canal in September is reported to have declined from 1,585 in August to 1,515. Further, the SCA is said to have indicated that revenues of the canal within the first nine months of 2015 has dropped by $207 million year over year from $4.09 billion in 2014, to $3.88 billion this year.




9. Ballast Stressing Shipping

Shipping is still a long way from comfortable with impending ballast water management legislation, according to minutes just released from the annual tripartite meeting between shipowners, shipbuilders and classification societies. This year’s industry roundtable was held in Seoul 10 days ago. According to a release sent out today participants at the event expressed concern with the likelihood that the Ballast Water Management Convention could enter into force very shortly. “Today, more than 11 years after the adoption of the treaty text, there is still little confidence in the capability of type approved equipment to perform satisfactorily".




10. Snapshot of the Industry

An infographic released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from its Review of Maritime Transport shows the state of the global merchant shipping fleet in 2015. The infographic states that 89,464 commercial vessels are active, which are needed considering there are around 20 million active containers in use, according to 2012 estimates. Further interesting data includes which countries are the biggest shipowners, as well as how the global fleet weighs up in terms of DWT.





Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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