Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/09/2016

1. Shipping’s Golden Opportunity
Shipping has a golden opportunity to promote its strategy for the future, do not squander it. The indispensable status of shipping as the backbone of global trade may be clear enough to those of us in the industry, but we still have something of a PR job on our hands if we are going to sell that message publically.
The IMO’s laudable commitment to cheerleading this cause via World Maritime Day deserves our collective attention and support. The challenge ahead is clear enough – shipping must carry more trade and emit less, but how?

2. High Profile Resignation
Singapore shipping trust First Ship Lease has announced the resignation of Esben Poulsson from its board. Poulsson, who is chairman of International Chamber of Shipping and president of the Singapore Shipping Association, resigned because he had several disagreements on issues with FSL chairman Tim Reid and certain independent directors. In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, FSL said there had been a strong disagreement between Poulsson and Reid and some board members over “process in HR matters, where decisions have been reached by a majority of the board.”
3. Box Trade in Confusion
In the 60 years since Malcom Mclean first whacked a box on a converted tanker and ushered in the era of container shipping, the sector has never been so up in the air as now. The fact is we all have no idea how all the pieces of the jigsaw will fit when the liner consolidation is finally complete. What we can say for sure is that the current container survival of the fittest challenge is far from over. There are now 15 major global carriers, down from 20 five years ago. When this phase of container shipping is over, it’s likely the number of global carriers will be in single figures.
4. Current State of Piracy
The Oceans Beyond Piracy project has convened a meeting of 35 maritime experts to discuss the current state of maritime piracy off the east and west coasts of Africa. The meeting included representatives from the maritime nations, the shipping industry, international organizations, and civil society groups. While the waters in the Gulf of Guinea remain dangerous, regional nations are increasingly able to respond to piracy attacks, though there is considerable frustration that regional justice systems are still not able or willing to hold pirates accountable.
5. COSCO Swoops on Ports
China Cosco Shipping Corp., owner of Asia’s biggest container-shipping company, said it could consider buying some container-terminal assets of the troubled Hanjin Shipping Co. after agreeing to spend $738 million on a new port in Abu Dhabi. ”We would like to study if it’s put on the table and if there’s a willingness to sell” on Hanjin’s part, Chairman Xu Lirong said in Shanghai late Wednesday. “So far, it’s not on the agenda.” Buying Hanjin’s terminal assets in the Port of Long Beach California will help Cosco widen its footprint after China’s government merged its key shipping companies last year to help them expand internationally.
6. Tackling Ship Air Pollution
Air pollution from ships is a serious problem that doesn’t get enough attention. Kelvin Boot explains how environmental science can help ensure industry plays by the rules.Europe has an estimated 80,000 ship-visits to ports each year, and many of those ships burn cheap, low-quality fuel that creates polluting exhaust emissions, containing sulphur, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. This thick, dirty, tar-like fuel oil is what’s left behind after the crude oil has been refined into petrol and other petroleum products. To reduce ship emissions, the IMO introduced new regulations in January 2015, but ships are still affecting the air.
7. Sustainable View on Development
International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Chris Trelawny outlined how sustainable maritime development, underpinned by good maritime security can support improved economic development, during a conference in Bahrain. Trelawny noted that while piracy and armed robbery is one threat, greater strategic threats include: illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; drug smuggling; terrorism against oil and gas installations; and transport systems; and above all, the failure to develop the maritime sector. All of these issues have similar solutions, namely, political will at the highest levels.

8. Singapore Tackling WMDs
Singapore is hosting a military exercise designed to help counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Exercise Deep Sabre 2016 is an exercise under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an arrangement to boost international collaboration to stem the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials. As of today, over 105 countries including Singapore are part of the initiative. This year’s exercise from 27 to 30 September, involved 800 personnel from 21 countries and included a series of shore and sea activities.
9. Venitians Sick of Cruise Ships
Protesters took to small boats in Venice to demonstrate against huge cruise ships being allowed to pass through the Italian city’s canals. Sounding horns and lighting coloured flares, the protesters waved banners which read "No Big Ships" as a Thomson Celebration cruise ship sailed down the central Giudecca canal to the international cruise ship terminal. Protests by Venice residents, and environmental groups such as the Comitato NO Grandi, Navi concerned about the damage caused by increasing cruise ship traffic to the fragile city, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, have been on the rise in recent years.
10. Worker Falls from Tanker
A worker died after he fell into the water while transferring from a service vessel to the chemical tanker Nord Gardenia, the vessel’s operator Danish shipping company Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S confirmed. The 47-year-old service technician was soon pulled out of the water and evacuated by a rescue helicopter. He was declared deceased upon arrival at the hospital. The incident occurred on Wednesday evening while the 2014-built tanker was anchored off Skagen, Denmark. Relevant authorities will launch an investigation into the accident.

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