Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/11/2015
1. Somali Pirates Strike Again
Somali pirates successfully attacked an Iranian and a Thai fishing vessel over the past 24 hours, although one crew escaped, an anti-piracy expert said. There were another two unsuccessful attempts this month. "The attacks are on fishing vessels, which shows because of the high levels of illegal fishing off Somalia, there are lots of potential fishing boat targets. That’s what started the Somali piracy problem in the first place," Steed said from Nairobi. "The potential is quite high for Somalia’s piracy problem to come back altogether if we are not very careful," piracy expert John Steed has said.
2. Tanker Crews Wait for Cash
With many large tankers on standby storing oil instead of transporting it, there are knock on effects for crew wages. According to an article about the Mission to Seafarers stepping in to assist seafarers, the problem is particularly acute off the UAW. By some estimates, as many as 100 are moored off the coast of Fujairah, some at anchor for many months. One of the problems is that companies are reportedly ring fencing their "single ship owning entities", and profits from trading tankers are ring-fenced for individual ships and cannot pay standby crews. The problem of unpaid seafarers is set to escalate.
3. New Tankers Attacked by Pirates
Two almost brand new Nordic MR tankers were among the thirteen ships that came under attack in Asia last month. The two ships were attacked by armed robbers within 24 hours. This is according to ReCAAPs piracy report for October. No crew members were harmed. The 50,000 DWT North Supreme was boarded by three robbers, while the ship was anchored at Belawan in Indonesia. The robbers, who were allegedly armed with long knives, threatened the crew as they approached them on the ship. The captain managed to alert the crew and raised the alarm. The assailants fled empty-handed.
4. CMA CGM in NOL Talks
CMA CGM S.A. has announced that it has entered into exclusive talks with Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) and Lentor Investments Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NOL’s controlling interest Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (Temasek), over the possible combination of the two companies. "Should these discussions lead to an agreement, such a combination would contribute to the consolidation of the container shipping industry, at a time when scale is more critical than ever," asserted CMA CGM. Such a combination would contribute to the consolidation of the container shipping industry, at a time when scale is critical.
5. China Ratifies MLC
China has ratified the Maritime Labor Convention, becoming the 68th International Labor Organization member state to do so. As the fourth pillar of the international maritime legal regime, complementing the key conventions of the IMO, the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) has placed decent working and living conditions of seafarers and fair competition for shipowners at the forefront of maritime affairs. With over 250,000 seafarers and a merchant fleet of 44,474,904 gross tons, China plays a significant role in the maritime industry, and its ratification is anticipated to have a strong impact on seafarer working and living conditions.
6. New Way of Managing Shore Leave
The ITF Seafarers’ Trust is launching an enhanced version of its free Shore Leave app – the first app designed to help seafarers looking for reliable transport when in port. Shore Leave only needs to be downloaded once, and after that all the contact details of seafarers’ centers all over the world are stored in the user’s smartphone and accessible offline, anywhere, anytime. It also includes all the contact details for ISWAN Seafarers Help, the 24/7 helpline for seafarers. Kimberly Karlshoej, Head of the Trust said: “The new version of Shore Leave allows seafarers to rate the centers and to leave comments".
7. Nigerian Navy Signs Security Deals
The Nigerian Navy signs MOUs with 29 private maritime security companies. The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said the Nigerian Navy has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 29 Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) to bridge security gap. Ibas stated this in a paper presented at the 2015 Annual Lecture, Investiture and Award ceremony of the Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS), that the use of such companies boosts maritime security in the region.
8. Flag Goes Green
The Isle of Man Ship Registry has been praised for its “green agenda”, after achieving Environmental Management Standard ISO14001. The certification came after an external assessment by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance. Isle of Man Ship Registry Director Dick Welsh says environmental management has been consolidated into the register’s management system to further enhance performance. Leonard Singer MHK, the Department of Economic Development’s political member for the registry says the certification shows how the register is reducing its environmental impact where possible.
9. Greeks Deny Harming Migrants
The Greek Coast Guard has denied their ship tried to sink a boat full of refugees. This is reported by the Embassy of Greece in Sofia in response to publications alleging that a ship of the Greek Coast Guard tried to immerse inflatable boat filled with refugees. “We declare that these allegations are absolutely untrue, as it is seen on the video, although it is clear that video had indeed been manipulated,” explained from the embassy. According to a statement, the Hellenic Coast Guard categorically refuted the publications in the foreign press and manipulated audiovisual material published in a foreign website.
10. American Club 2.5% Rise
The American Club’s board resolved to levy a general premium increase of 2.5% for P&I cover, but no increase in the cost of FD and D for the 2016 policy year. The club’s board also reviewed release call requirements for open policy years, significantly reducing the margins for 2013 and 2014, and undertaking to revisit the 2015 figure in the first half of 2016. In reaching these decisions, the Board took account of the Club’s recent performance against a background of the overall economic climate, the outlook for the freight and investment markets and the implications of emerging trends within the P&I environment.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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