Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/04/2016
1. Seafarers and Social Dangers
The Norwegian Hull Club has issued a warning to seafarers about how journalists and pirates might use their social media postings. The club says that social media platforms such as Facebook, Sina Weibo and Instagram are used to keep in touch with family and friends and also to “snoop around in the lives of more distant acquaintances.” However, not everyone fully understands how social media works and that traditional media and journalists use it as a source for information. The club asks seafarers to consider the consequences of their postings – and ask questions of themselves before posting.
2. Navy Plane Foils Pirates
An Indian naval Poseidon-8I long-range patrol aircraft managed to thwart a piracy attack on the high seas by flying over a merchant vessel which was being targeted by "a pirate mother ship and two skiffs" around 800 nautical miles from Mumbai last week. The P-8I, based at the naval air station INS Rajali at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, was on a routine surveillance mission over the Arabian Sea when it received distress calls from the merchant vessel, the Malta-flagged MV Sezai Selah, on the international Channel 16 distress radio on April 15.
3. Shipowner Readies Ransom
The owner of the Indonesian boats whose 10 crew members are being held hostage by militants in the southern Philippines has agreed to pay 50 million pesos (S$1.45 million) in ransom. Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan confirmed this yesterday, saying the company and the militants, believed to be linked to Abu Sayyaf, may next communicate today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, efforts to free four other Indonesians held hostage in a later incident are still under way – with negotiations going smoothly.
4. New Box Alliance Beckons
A brand new container alliance comprising Cosco, China Shipping, OOCL, CMA CGM and the French line’s soon to be subsidiary APL is to be announced in Shanghai. The new alliance has been speculated about for many months. It will shake up all the existing container partnerships if regulators give it the go ahead. The new alliance would control around 26% of the Asia-Europe tradelane. Dubai-based United Arab Shipping Co (UASC) will be left exposed as it is in an alliance with China Shipping and CMA CGM. The Wall Street Journal also hinted tha Maersk and MSC, are angling for a new partner to bolster their position on the transpacific.
5. Maersk Heads Back to Liverpool
Maersk Line has recently announced that it will be running a service to Liverpool after a 10-year hiatus, offering a feeder product to connect in its Mediterranean transhipment hub, Algeciras. The weekly service is an addition to its extensive product portfolio, which opens up multiple opportunities for its customers in the North West of the UK to connect with Maersk Line’s global network. The SLX service gives Maersk Line transit time improvements to Africa and the east coast of South America plus benefits to and from Asia main ports via its East-West network.
6. Migrant Rescuers Face Charges
Media reports have suggested that volunteer maritime rescuers may be criminalized under legislation previously established to combat people smuggling. Therefore, the independent maritime human rights charity, Human Rights at Sea, has published new independent guidance for volunteer maritime rescuers on the risks of criminalization when facilitating rescues at sea. The free guidance is applicable to ship masters, NGOs and civil society organizations. The guidance examines the current E.U. legislation as volunteer maritime rescuers have expressed concerns about how it might appear to criminalize their humanitarian work.
7. Plotting Right ECDIS Path
On July 1, 2018 – or the first survey thereafter – internationally trading vessels over 3,000 gt will be required to carry an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), a worldwide sea change for watchstanders and shipowners. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, says, compliance aside, the real showstopper is that we’ve gone past the tipping point, and we’re now in a period where the majority of ships (of all types) trading internationally are “living with ECDIS.” There were just under 9,000 tankers (over 3,000 gt) affected last year, and there are only about 3,500 cargo ships (over 50,000 gt) this year. http://goo.gl/lgDSti
8. Newbuilds Off The Blocks
Ship owners are still refraining from placing more newbuilding orders on the back of the already high global orderbook for most ship types, a trend seemingly set in stone. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking confirmed that “after a very disappointing first quarter of 2016, with a large gap in the volume of fresh orders reported, it looks as though little has changed, with limited if any interest circulating in the market for most of the main ship types. Prices have seen a significant softening from where they stood at during the start of the year, but little avail as it has not managed to nudge interest as of yet.
9. Work to Raise Migrant Wreck
Italy’s navy said Monday that work to salvage a sunken trawler stuffed with the corpses of migrants was progressing but that the wreck would not be brought to port before next month. In a statement on the first anniversary of a disaster in which up to 800 migrants are feared to have perished, the navy said the salvage operation was behind schedule because of poor sea conditions in the area off Libya where the boat went down on the night of April 18th -19th, 2015. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed to give every one of the victims a decent burial. Only 28 people survived the disaster.
10. Making Security Work
Good maritime security should not be seen as an end in itself, it is a means to an end, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said. According to IMO, security enables sustainable maritime development, “which supports improved and sustainable economic development”. This was the message delivered by IMO’s Chris Trelawny, who was speaking at the International Sea Power and Security Symposium 2016, held in Istanbul, Turkey recently. In his presentation which focused on “Collaboration for Maritime Security”, Trelawny outlined IMO’s comprehensive capacity-building programmes.
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