Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/06/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/06/2016

1. Breaking Up Big Blue
Danish shipping and oil group A. P. Moller-Maersk could be split up into separate companies, its chairman said on Thursday after naming Soren Skou, the head of its container business, as chief executive. Maersk shares rose more than 10 percent on the news with investors speculating on a break-up of the company and seeing the appointment as a sign of a more profound restructuring. "The question is whether we should be a large group, or whether we should be a number of independent companies," Chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen told Danish online media Finans.
2. Seafarers Left Traumatised
Seafarers onboard Benita have been left “traumatised” by the fight among crew that caused the vessel to run aground off Mauritius last week. Crewmember Omar Palmes Taton is accused of striking engineer Alvin Maderse on the head with a metal pipe, and is due in court today. “Several crew members say they are very traumatised and they all seem genuinely concerned for each other’s welfare,” said Father Jacques-Henri, Apostleship of the Sea’s (AoS) Port Louis chaplain, who has been visiting the crew. “The fourth engineer has been hospitalised and authorities are waiting for him to regain consciousness,” he added.
3. Weekend of All at Sea
This weekend promises plenty of shipping news what with Sunday’s opening of the expanded Panama Canal and tomorrow’s IMO-backed Day of the Seafarer. The IMO’s theme this year to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of seafarers is ‘At Sea For All’. The theme has a link with the 2016 World Maritime Day theme, “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, emphasising that seafarers serve at sea not just for the shipping industry or for their own career purposes but for all of us – and, consequently, they are also indispensable to the world.
4. Seafarers Onboard Charter
The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) – a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry – has announced it has developed the concept of a ‘Seafarers’ On-board Charter’ – a best practice charter that can be adopted by ship owners and operators to further enhance the welfare of seafarers beyond the mandatory standards of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The announcement coincides with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) annual Day of the Seafarer on 25th June 2016, which recognises the indispensable role that seafarers play in driving the global economy.

5. Nigeria Facing Kidnap Threat
Kidnap is a major threat to foreigners working in Nigeria. About a quarter of all kidnappings around the world occurred in Africa’s most populous and richest country during 2015. Security experts say foreign workers, like the three Australians, New Zealander and South African abducted in the country’s southeast, face plenty of other risks in the form of guerilla groups, organised crime gangs, civil unrest, and drug and weapon smugglers. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website urges against visiting areas including Cross River state where the foreign mine workers were abducted along with two Nigerians.

6. IMO Chief on Challenges
According to the Secretary General of the IMO, our key priorities are to continue to address GHG emissions from international shipping. This will include ongoing work by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to build on the already-adopted mandatory energy-efficiency measures for international shipping in MARPOL Annex VI. We will also focus on capacity building to support implementation of the energy-efficiency measures. The MEPC holds two sessions this year, in April and October, and will further develop a global data collection system for ships’ fuel consumption. I expect to see significant progress.
7. Fate of Ship and Crew in Balance
The fate of a Panamanian flagship vessel, "MV Karaagac", a Turkish owned bulk carrier currently docked at the Chennai Port, hangs in the balance after the crew approached the Marine Mercantile Department here complaining that the ship was unsafe and that the crew had not been paid wages for months. The ship, which is currently loading steel coils from Chennai Port arrived on Tuesday with a final destination supposedly Turkey. The authorities are now intending to survey the vessel and to make decisions on whether it is detained.
8. Drug Ship Auctioned Off
The Congolese-flagged bulker "Just Reema" is being auctioned off by port authorities in Malaga, one year after she was detained in connection with the seizure of nearly 15 metric tons of hashish. The Guardia Civil and customs authorities intercepted the Reema in international waters in June of last year on suspicion that some of her crew were involved in a drug-running ring. On boarding at sea, the search party found only 1,500 tons of salt, but the Reema was brought into port and subjected to a more thorough investigation – revealing a double bottom containing 15 tonnes of drugs, worth an estimated $27 million.
9. Demand Not Meeting Supply
It is now clear that the demands for shipping services are way below the availability of the fleets of existing ships in most sectors. While the tanker markets remain finely balanced, as the price of crude oil does not seem to affect demand, orders for new crude carriers are cause for concern. The dry-bulk and container sectors are grossly over-tonnaged causing most companies in these sectors to record growing losses. Most financial analysts and some major shipbrokers now concede that this shipping crisis will continue through the remainder of this decade and maybe well into the next one.
10. Weather Leads to More Migrants
Ships manned by humanitarian organisations, the Italian navy and coast guard helped rescue about 4,500 boat migrants on Thursday as calm seas returned to the Mediterranean, prompting a surge in departures from North Africa.“The mass movement is probably the result of week-long, unfavourable weather conditions” that have come to an end, MOAS said on Twitter. The Topaz Responder, a ship run by the Malta-based humanitarian group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), said earlier in the day that around two dozen migrant boats had been spotted in the sea about 20 miles from the Libyan coast.

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