Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/05/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/05/2016

1. Tanker Runs Aground
A Team Tankers vessel carrying around 35,000 tons of vegetable oil has run aground offshore Uruguay. The "Siteam Anja", which is managed by Thome in Singapore, suffered engine failure after problems with the cooling system and grounded off Isla de Lobos near the popular tourist resort of Punta del Este. Tugboats and a Uruguayan navy vessel were in attendance and responders deployed a containment boom although no fuel spill was visible. Lightering was being considered by the authorities. As the cargo is vegetable oil and biodegradable, that poses no serious pollution threat. The vessel was en route from Argentina to Brazil.
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2. Grimaldi Proposes Carbon Tax
Emanuele Grimaldi, chairman of Confitarma and CEO of Naples-based Grimaldi Group, has proposed a tax on ship emissions after the COP21 climate change summit held in Paris last December failed to deliver on shipping and aviation. “We should tax ourselves for ship emissions” said Grimaldi at the Mare Forum Italy conference in Rome. “I’m thinking about $10 per certified ton of CO2 released and ship classification companies might have a role in this matter in order to certify the pollution coming out from any vessel,” he said.
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3. Second Tonnage Booms
With the freight rate market for dry bulk carriers having stabilized to higher levels than the historical lows witnessed in mid-February, ship owners have increasingly turned to modern second hand tonnage. According to the latest weekly report from shipbroker Allied Shipbroking, “carrying on from the rally noted in freight rates during the second half of March, most of April and the first week of May, sentiment across the dry bulk market has improved considerably, despite the still fearful fundamentals pointing for a possible continuation of problems to be faced ahead. Those who can find good opportunities are snapping them up.
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4. Latest Security Reports
According to maritime security reports, a merchant vessel reported that it was approached by five skiffs with three to five persons on board, which came within approximately 90 metres of the vessel. The presence of ladders sighted on board the skiffs, and the reluctance to move away from the merchant vessel indicates possible criminal intent. The incident comes amid ongoing reports of suspicious activity around the Horn of Africa, particularly in the Gulf of Aden, making it likely that opportunistic criminals continue to operate in the region. While in Vietnam, Mui Vung Tau Anchorage has seen repeated attacks on vessels.
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5. New Class NK Head
With the global maritime market in the grips of a collective slump, the likes of which have not been seen since the energy crisis and resulting economic malaise of the mid 1970s, Koichi Fujiwara has taken mantle of leadership at ClassNK, one of the world’s largest and most influential classification societies. “Today the shipping and shipbuilding markets are both very tough, which naturally is not a good situation for classification societies,” said Fujiwara. “My first priority is the stabilization of the ClassNK classification business based on the tough market conditions.”
http://goo.gl/M8pF3p
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6. Erosion of Seafaring Skills
The increasing automation of vessels is causing some mariners to lose basic maritime skills. The master of a ship, and consequently, the owner of that ship, is required to utilize all available means of navigation that will provide useful information. Just because satellite navigation is the most convenient means (and, in many circumstances, the most accurate) the master may be found negligent, and the vessel possibly unseaworthy, if that master does not require the deck watch officers to routinely check the radar, fathometer, and other means of navigation, as well as maintaining a good lookout.
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7. Time to Upgrade Software
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has today reiterated its call for ship owners to upgrade to the latest ECDIS software standards, highlighting the significant benefits that the new IHO S-52 Presentation Library edition 4.0 will offer mariners, including greater consistency in the display of Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs) and a reduction in the number of audible alarms on the bridge. According to the UKHO, shipping companies have welcomed the recent announcement of a 12-month extension to the transition period for owners to switch to the new Presentation Library 4.0.
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8. Container Ship Safety Forum Meets
Members of the Container Ship Safety Forum (CSSF) held their first biannual meeting in 2016 from 12th to 13th May in Hamburg at the premises of Hamburg Süd. The main topic on the agenda was the elaboration of a strategic roadmap for the forum covering the next five years. Besides continuous benchmarking, best practice sharing and identification of specific risk areas on container ships, the agreed strategy includes a long term goal of developing a CSSF standard focusing on Health, Safety, Environmental and Navigational practices for container ships.
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9. Calls for Career Push
The recently published BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report has given the maritime industry warning that the global shortage of deck and engineer officers is set to grow over the next decade. ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe commented, "Without continuing efforts to promote careers at sea and improve levels of recruitment and retention, the report suggests it cannot be guaranteed that there will be an abundant supply of seafarers in the future. " With this year’s theme for Seafarers Awareness Week (June 20-26), being Maritime Jobs for Future Generations, there has never been a more timely campaign.
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10. Greeks Introspective on Markets
At an address to Members of the Union of Greek Shipowners, owners heard that 2015 dry bulk freight rate collapse marked the worst period in their history. In particular, the decline of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has been dramatic, marking a historic record low of all time. Tectonic changes are being observed in the global economy, such as the turbulence and the hard landing in the Chinese economy, the sluggish growth in emerging markets, like Russia and Brazil, and in general the unexpected slowdown in trade. Globalization shows its teeth and finds shipping vulnerable because of the prevailing overcapacity and liquidity.
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