Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/10/2016

1. Owners Make Positive Call
Many of the world’s biggest shipowners and charterers have called on heads of state to take swift action to force carbon emission cuts on their industry which is the only sector in the world not now bound by climate change targets. Maersk, Cargill, the Global Shippers’ Forum and 45 other shipping organisations including the Danish Shipowners’ Association said “ambitious” action is needed at a key UN meeting in London next week to bring shipping into line with the world’s 195 countries, all of which have signed up to the Paris climate agreement to curb emissions.
2. Applause for Shore Leave
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today applauded the granting of shore leave to the crew of the Hanjin Seattle on its arrival at the port of Seattle, USA. The denial of shore leave to Hanjin crews was highlighted by a spontaneous action of dockers at the same port last month, and by ITF inspectors in the USA. ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel commented: “This decision is an immense relief to the affected crew and we trust that it will apply to all Hanjin crews with bona fide visas who want to avail themselves of their basic right to step ashore.”
3. Unpaid Crew Left in Dire Straits
Unpaid seafarers aboard the 5,900-dwt "Newlead Granadino" (built 2009) report increasing privations as owner and manager NewLead Holdings remains silent on when the ship will be repaired and the crew sent home. Anchored in Baltimore Harbor after experiencing engine problems. US Coast Guard has also detained the ship due to safety violations. NewLead supplied food to the crew that is expected to last through the end of October. But some of the crew of 18 seafarers, are lacking personal care items, they no longer have shampoos or toothpaste, and charities are providing personal care kits.
4. Maersk Changing Old Ship Plans
On the heels of the troubling affair concerning the oil tanker ‘North Sea Producer’, which after 32 years of service for Maersk is being scrapped at a notorious yard in Bangladesh, the Danish shipping company is changing course. Maersk now says that if a ship is no longer viable, it will take responsibility for getting it scrapped and not sell it. This will ensure that the dismantling occurs according to Maersk’s own rules on ship recycling that take into account worker safety, the environment and the risk of corruption.
5. Iran Thwarts Pirate Attack
Iranian naval forces have successfully thwarted major pirate attacks on two merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden. The 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, saved two Iranian ships from three pirate attacks on Monday morning. Gulf of Aden pirates, who mainly come from Somali coasts, attacked an Iranian merchant ship in a bid to highjack it but they were forced to flee after a heavy exchange of fire by the Iranian fleet. The pirates also conducted two attacks on another Iranian merchant ship. They initially attacked the vessel with eight speedboats south of the Yemeni city of Aden.
6. US Awards Cyber Security Contract
ABS has been awarded a research contract by the Maritime Security Center (MSC), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence, led by Stevens Institute of Technology, for a two-year research program focused on defining the future of cybersecurity for the maritime industry. Study participants, which include DHS and the Department of Defense, will focus on key areas that will help define future research and guidance. “Cybersecurity incursions and threats to the marine transportation system and port facilities throughout the country are increasing,” says Dr. Hady Salloum, Director of MSC.

7. Plans for Royal Yacht Progress
The construction of a successor to royal yacht Britannia has moved a signifcant step closer after a group of entrepreneurs pledged £250,000 to pay a City firm to carry out an analysis of her costs and benefits to the British economy. Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest consultancy firms, has been formally approached by the group of businessmen to develop plans for a successor to the royal yacht. A "scoping document" will set out the cost of a new ship and her benefit to the economy. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has been urged to commission a panel to examine the case for a new ship.
8. Philippine Shipowners Protest
Shipowners in the Philippines are trying to torpedo a government initiative to ban ships over the age of 35 from operating. The Southeast Asian nation is an archipelago made up of 7,107 islands with one of the worst maritime safety records in the world. Executive order 909 is designed to improve the country’s dire maritime record, calling for all ships over the age of 35 to be phased out. However, members of the Philippine Roro Operators Association (PROA), Visayan Association of Ferryboat and Coastwise Service Operators (VAFCSO) and the United Trampers Association of the Philippines (UTAP) have asked for a rethink.
9. Hunting Oil Spill Ship
Authorities in Queensland are accessing vessel traffic systems to try and pinpoint which ship transiting near Fraser Island has been responsible for a 50 km oil slick washing up on the shores of the World Heritage-listed site. Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) is compiling a list of vessels known to have been in the area in the past few days. Maximum fines associated with oil spills in Queensland stand at A$11.78m ($9.05m), plus a further A$17m from the federal government.
10. ICS Urges Canada Action
Peter Hinchliffe has written on behalf of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to the Canadian Government after it announced an intention to establish a moratorium on the shipment of crude oil in the waters of Northern British Columbia. He states that while the global shipping industry fully recognises the importance of robust environmental protection measures, and is committed to the goal of zero pollution, consistent with the comprehensive global regulatory framework adopted by IMO in accordance with the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which Canada of course is a State Party.

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