Seacurus Bulletin: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/05/2016

Seacurus Bulletin: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/05/2016

1. Seafarers and Technology
Technology breeds laziness and over-reliance on electronic devices. This is seen in schools when tablet computers are introduced to 10-year-olds. Children begin to forget how to write properly and their mental arithmetic goes out of the window. On a ship it seems the basics of navigation also go out of the window as seafarers become over-reliant on technology. One of the biggest issues is how technology is changing the way bridge teams operate. 
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2. InterManager Welcomes Wake Up Call
InterManager has welcomed the joint BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report, hoping it acts as a wake-up call for the industry to address the issue of the accelerating shortage of seafarers. Speaking soon after the report was published, InterManager Secretary-General, Kuba Szymanski said shipping should not sit on its laurels when it comes to the recruitment and retention of seafarers. “Our people are our assets and we need to develop a strategy" Szymanski said.
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3. Worry About Talent War
Leading ship management company Norbulk Shipping has warned that the shortage of officers highlighted in the BIMCO/ICS Manpower report, could lead to an accelerated level of competition between ship managers. Glasgow-based Norbulk Shipping believes that despite the worrying prediction that there will be a shortfall of 147,500 officers over the next ten years, quality ship owners could in fact benefit from the lack of qualified officers as competition will ensue.
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4. New Commander for Anti-Piracy
The European Union has appointed a new commander of the bloc’s naval mission waged along the Somalia coast, the Council of the European Union said in a press release. "The Political and Security Committee appointed Brigadier Robert Magowan CBE, an officer from the British Royal Marines, as Operation Commander for the EU Naval Force Somalia- EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta. Brigadier Magowan will replace Major General Martin Smith MBE."
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5. Ringfencing ECDIS Usage
Seafarers should not be allowed to use ecdis for non-navigation operations to prevent the threat of virus infection. However, on ships where crew do not have access to computers, they are using ecdis for displaying personal digital images. According to Navico’s commercial marine division managing director Jose Herrero this leads to virus infections and ecdis operational problems. “It is hard to believe the amount of viruses our service engineers find on ecdis."
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6. Open Registers to Blame
International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) national coordinator in Australia, Dean Summers has questioned what he calls the flag-of-convenience system, after a container ship narrowly missed running aground when it veered off course and almost collided with rocks and reefs off the coast of Coffs Harbour, Australia. Summers said that last month’s near miss was the latest in a string of incidents involving flag of convenience shipping.
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7. Avengers Want Own State
Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group destroying oil installations in the Niger Delta said their ultimate aim is to create a sovereign Niger Delta, an independent state. The group said this in a statement in which it responded to denunciations and condemnations of its activities. The group described its critics as cowards and boasted that it has infiltrated the military. “To the Nigeria military, the Niger Delta Avengers is among you" they claimed.
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8. Hyundai Calls Charter Meeting
Financially-ailing Hyundai Merchant Marine and the owners of ships that it leases are set to be in final talks here over a cut in charter rates, as creditors of the country’s No. 2 shipper increasingly threaten to put it under court receivership without "meaningful" results from the negotiations, industry sources said Wednesday. Hyundai Merchant and high-ranking officials from five major shipowners have discussed the charter rate cut in downtown Seoul.
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9. Shipping Banker Faces Woe
German state-backed lender NordLB now expects to report a loss in 2016 after non-performing loans in shipping, where it is one of the world’s top lenders, helped push it into the red in the first quarter. The results at NordLB, which previously said it expected an earnings decline, bode ill for German peers HSH, Commerzbank, DVB and KFW, who have also been forced to take writedowns and boost capital buffers against shipping loan portfolios turning bad.
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10. Slashed Security Numbers
At a recent conference it was noted that the number of private maritime security companies (PMSCs) had dropped from 150 in 2011 to 50 today, and the market could probably actually support around 30–40 at most going forward. Somalia allowed them to operate in the way they do the same does not apply to other piracy hotspots West Africa or SE Asia. So many more may fail yet.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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