Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/12/2015
1. Horrific Ballast Tank Find
Two bodies have been found in the ballast tanks of a Turkey-flagged bulk carrier when it arrived in Taiwan for maintenance. The bodies were found in a “rotten” state when the supramax "IDC Pearl", owned by Turkey’s Izmir Demir Celik. Turkish press reports suggest the bodies could have been onboard the ship for up to five years. The ship underwent its five-year special survey in September this year, but the bodies were found between tanks in a part of the ship not usually included in the inspection. The bodies are thought to be those of refugees or stowaways rather than crew or shipyard workers, none of whom have been reported missing during the past five years.
2. Seafarers Going Back to the Stone Age
Crewtoo, the online social network for seafarers and a part of KVH Industries, has published the results of its third Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index report, which monitors and benchmarks seafarer satisfaction levels. This time round questions about connectivity and shore leave emerged as key issues among seafarers. With connectivity, seafarers’ responses indicated that there is growing disparity in internet access. A number of respondents feel that insufficient investment is being made in ensuring ongoing, high-speed, and quality connections, and that those without internet access liken conditions to being in the “stone age.”
3. Piracy Stalls But Threat Remains
The latest ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAPP) report shows that there was a decline in reported incidents of armed robbery or pirarcy in Asian waters during the month of November. The ReCAPP report says there was a total of seven reported armed robbery incidents, including one attempted, against ships during the month of November, compared to a total of 15 such incidents during October. Of those seven incidents, three are said to have occurred in Indonesia, three in Vietnam, while the one attempted incident is reported to have occurred in the in the westbound lane of Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).
4. Shipping From Negative to Stable
Fitch Ratings has revised the global shipping sector outlook for 2016 to negative from stable in 2015. “We expect muted global trade growth and the economic slowdown in emerging markets to exacerbate overcapacity, leading to declining and volatile freight rates,” the company said in a release. Dry bulk and container shipping will remain under pressure, while tanker and LNG shipping should fare better, Fitch said. China’s slower growth increase overcapacity, Fitch said. The agency expects container shipping capacity to rise 6% in 2016 on top of a 9% increase in 2015, easily outpacing demand growth of 2% this year and 3%-4.5% in 2016.
5. Academics Fighting Corruption
World Maritime University (WMU) is getting involved in the fight against corruption in shipping. WMU President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry says the University has marked the United Nations’ International Anti-Corruption Day by announcing a new initiative, "which harnesses the expertise of both the World Maritime University and Maersk Line to raise awareness of corruption". “The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Transforming our World, is informing all the University’s activities. The joint initiative with Maersk Line responds directly to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
6. Marshall Islands Demands Security Standards
The Marshall Islands has informed those companies with vessels under its flag that “effective 1 January 2016, companies shall engage only those PMSCs that are certified to the new ISO 28007-1:2015 standard by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) authorised certification body”. The Marshall Islands, the world’s third largest registry with a fleet of over 3640 ships, is the first flag to implement the new rules following revised interim recommendations published in June’s Maritime Safety Committee circular MSC.1/Circ.1406/Rev. The MSC stated that flag states should ensure that PMSCs onboard ships hold a valid ISO 28007-1:2015 certification.
7. Cruise Ship Rips Coral Reef
Scuba divers in George Town, Grand Cayman, were alarmed this week when they noticed a luxury cruise ship encroaching on a protected coral reef. The "MV Zenith", a 700-foot ship with a carrying capacity of roughly 1,800 passengers, was “anchored oddly close to the reef,” said diver Scott Prodahl, in a YouTube video on Dec. 8. Prodahl, a local diving instructor, swam to the reef for a closer look, underwater video camera in hand. The footage he posted online shows the Zenith‘s anchor lodged “well within the reef,” and the anchor chain “draped across the entire reef, constantly moving back and forth across the reef and causing a lot of damage as it did that.”
8. New Emissions Regs for China
A new regulation on ship emission control areas of the Pearl river delta, the Yangtze river delta and Bohai sea waters was issued by the Ministry of Transport of P.R.China. The new rules provide the following timetable: – 1 January 2016, the ports in the control areas may make their own rules and require ships that berth at these ports to use bunker with sulphur no more than 0.5%mm. – 1 January 2017, all ships berthing in the main ports of the control areas shall use bunkers with sulphur contents no more than 0.5%mm. – 1st January 2018, all ships berthing in the ports of the control areas shall use bunkers with sulphur contents no more than 0.5%mm.
9. COSCO Boss Goes
China COSCO Holdings Company Limited (China COSCO) announced that Jiang Lijun has resigned as Executive Director and President of the company, which was followed with a warning from COSCO Corporation (Singapore) Limited (COSCO Singapore) that the company’s 2015 full year results will show a "significant" net loss compared to the 2014 year. Having reached retirement, Jiang resigned from his position as Executive Director and President for China COSCO effective December 8, said the company. Xu Zunwu has been proposed by the company’s Board of Directors to be appointed as the next Executive Director.
10. Latest Bulk Arrest in Singapore
The 41,500 dwt bulk carrier "Alianca Sky" was arrested in Singapore last Thursday, according to the latest records from the Supreme Court of Singapore. The Greece-flagged vessel was arrested on December 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm local time following action by local law firm Clasis LLC. The circumstances leading to the arrest are currently unknown, but such action is typical in instances of payment dispute. Data from VesselsValue.com indicates that the vessel is owned by Athens-based Samos (Island) Maritime Co Ltd and has a value of $2.61 million. The arrest is the latest of several bulk carriers this year, and follows action taken last month against capesize bulk carrier Sparta.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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