Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/11/2016

1. Government Bungled Bankruptcy
The Korean government bungled the collapse of Hanjin Shipping and should have done away with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) instead, argued Tan Hua Joo, an analyst at Alphaliner, at today’s Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong. Hanjin’s demise was “political blundering taking place over economic sense” Tan maintained. He said it was a mistake to allow HMM to survive and let Hanjin fail. Hanjin was a stronger company than HMM with a foot in THE Alliance, Tan said, whereas HMM has yet to officially join any liner alliance. “Ego prevailed over common sense,” Tan said.
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2. Danes Depart Indian Ocean Patrols
Danish warships and patrols have been helping NATO keep Somali pirates at bay in the Indian Ocean for nine years, capturing 295 suspected pirates, of which 50 were forwarded for prosecution in other countries. The number of Somali pirate attacks against merchant ships has fallen from nearly 250 in 2011 to just a few this year. “We have been very pleased with the Danish effort, because merchant sailing in the area is completely dependent on maritime safety,” Anne H Steffensen, the director of the Danish Shipowners Association, told Metroxpress.
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3. IMOs Maritime Safety Committee 97
Delegates have been welcomed to the ninety-seventh session of the Maritime Safety Committee. For 2017, IMO will be focussing on the linkage between ships, ports and people. While the future for the IMO is to see a more cohesive and connected scheme of global ocean governance. There is also concern about security once more – with attacks on warships and the m.v. Galicia Spirit in the Bab Al Mandab, they are looking at cyber threats, floating armouries as well as receiving updates on piracy and armed robbery against ships, and unsafe mixed migration by sea.
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4. European Owners Want Clarity
IMO’s recent sulphur cap decision is a positive step as the ship owning community across Europe needs certainty, claims Dr. Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), ahead of the European Shipping Week. Still though, “we have to ensure that there is quality fuel available everywhere in the world and that adequate enforcement measures are in place to ensure a global level playing field”, said Dr. Verhoeven. It is an important decision and it shows the global leadership of IMO when it comes to regulating the environmental performance of shipping.
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5. Eyes on Security Concerns
The implications of a declining security environment in the Bab el-Mandeb are substantial. The strait is one of a few strategic maritime choke points worldwide, a narrow but vital waterway that sea traffic must be able to navigate for maritime trade to function effectively. The Bab el-Mandeb is, at its narrowest point, only 29km across, and therefore even small craft launched from the Yemeni coast will be able to interdict all traffic passing through it. Almost all maritime trade between Europe and Asia, approximately $700 billion annually, passes through this narrow waterway.
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6. Sale to Korea Line
South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping said on Tuesday it decided to sell part of its container ship business to Korea Line Corp for $31.38 million. Korea Line will buy Hanjin’s Pacific routes shipping business, relevant client management information, units in seven countries including the United States, China and Vietnam, as well as assets and manpower related to logistics systems, Hanjin said in a regulatory filing. Hanjin said the sale, which will be completed on January 5, 2017, is to secure funds to pay off creditors. Korea Line offered a higher price for the deal than Hyundai Merchant Marine.
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7. Seafarer Pre-Screening Success
In the 20 years since UK P&I Club first established its pre-employment medical examination (PEME) programme, the number of crew members failing their PEME examination has fallen from 11% in 1996 to a current figure of 3.25%, reflecting a combination of increased fitness and wellbeing of crew globally, as well as tighter selection criteria. The PEME Programme, which is part of UK P&I’s Loss Prevention department, began in the Philippines with just five clinics located in Manila and six members who collectively employed approximately 1000 crew. Today, it boasts 65 clinics in 24 countries, including 16 in Philippines.
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8. Tanker Engineer Jailed
An Italian oil tanker’s senior engineer who deliberately concealed that the tanker had discharged oily waste into the sea was sentenced to prison time and fined. Girolamo Curatolo, of Sicily, was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court in Newark in August. He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. The discharges came from a vessel owned by an Italian shipping company called D’Amica Shipping Italia S.p.A. The vessel was in the Atlantic Ocean and visited ports in the Everglades in Florida, in Baltimore and then in Bayonne. He bypassed pollution prevention equipment and discharged oily waste.
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9. Navy Battles Spanish
A Royal Navy patrol boat chased a research vessel out of waters off Gibraltar by firing a volley of flares. The Spanish research vessel "Angeles Alvarino" entered the area several times over the weekend, and the Royal Navy ordered her to leave each time. On Sunday, she did not respond and did not depart when asked, and the patrol vessel HMS Sabre approached and fired warning flares to chase her off. The Royal Navy said that the Alvarino was attempting to deploy sonar buoys, potentially in an attempt to support Spanish territorial claims: both Spain and the U.K. claim waters off of Gibraltar as territorial seas.
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10. Safety Campaign Promotes Awareness
As part of a major initiative to promote hazard awareness throughout the shipping industry, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and The Standard Club have issued free safety posters to shipping companies worldwide. The release of the posters marks the final stage of a campaign by the two organisations to promote hazard awareness with a ‘Spot the Hazard’ competition for seafarers.   The competition invited seafarers across the world to identify ten hazards within five typical scenes – bridge, deck, engine room, galley and port terminal. More than 1,300 entries were submitted by seafarers from 78 shipping companies.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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