Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/01/2016

1. CMA CGM Buying Spree
France’s CMA CGM, fresh from gobbling up Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), is being widely tipped to be the suitor to take over Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), the world’s eighth largest liner. Drewry has become the latest consultant to tip the French line to buy OOCL in the latest wave of consolidation. The share price of OOIL, the parent of OOCL, has shot up more than 20% since the start of the year on speculation that it will be bought. With just 575,000 slots to its name, OOCL is perceived to be too small as a global liner amidst the huge mergers shaping the sector at the moment.
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2. Bigger Ships Targeted
Asian pirates are focusing more of their attacks on larger merchant ships near the Philippines, hoping for bigger ransom payments from kidnapping their crew, the head of a regional anti-piracy body said. The region’s pirates have changed tactics since October, to target some of the biggest ships travelling through the Sulu and Celebes Seas, and paying less attention to small tugs and fishing boats. The growing problem has prompted Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to step up air and sea patrols in the waters, through which about $40 billion worth of cargo passes each year.
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3. Owners Adding to Woes
Shipowners, many of them Greek, have kept adding dry bulk carriers on their fleets, as they are waiting for the market to recover. Until that happens though, brokers report that despite last year’s optimism, the market didn’t manage to post a substantial rebound until the final quarter of 2016. As such, many analysts were expecting this trend to continue during the first quarter of 2017 as well, but so far, the Baltic Dry Index has witnessed a slow start to the year, which can be explained by the general market slowdown, leading into the upcoming Chinese New Year, which is due for the 28th of January.
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4. Sri Lanka Signs MLC
The Government of Sri Lanka has deposited with the ILO, the instrument of ratification of MLC, 2006. Sri Lanka is the 81st ILO member State and the 16th Asian State to have ratified the Convention. In depositing the instrument of ratification Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, stated: “Sri Lanka is committed to the creation of new job opportunities in sustainable manner as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and particularly, in line with the Government’s commitment to eradicate poverty and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
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5. IMO Ballast to Take Stage
The IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 will enter into force on 8 September 2017. The Convention seeks to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by the establishment of standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments. As of 11 January 2017, there are 54 Contracting States to the Convention representing 53.30% of the world’s global tonnage. Gard has explained, the complications of the new system and stresses the need for shipowners to act to ensure compliance .
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6. Djibouti Code Widens Coverage
An international agreement that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden has seen its scope significantly broadened to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. A high-level meeting of signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (10 to 12 January 2017) has adopted a revised Code of Conduct, which will be known as the “Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017”.
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7. More Magic Pipe Cases
Two Greek shipping companies have been sentenced to pay corporate penalties totaling $2.7 million in yet another “magic pipe” pollution case in the United States. Two company’s were convicted for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), tampering with witnesses and conspiracy. The case stems from an inspection of the cargo ship M/V Ocean Hope conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard at the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina in July 2015. During that inspection, senior engineers for the companies tried to hide that the vessel had been dumping oily wastes into the ocean for months.
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8. Euro List of Ship Recyclers
The European Commission recently has published its first edition of the E.U. list of approved ship recycling facilities. At this stage, it only features yards situated in Europe and reaches under 30 percent of the E.U.’s own recycling capacity target. For the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), this demonstrates clearly that yards outside Europe should get E.U. recognition to raise standards worldwide and respond to demand. The first edition includes 18 European recycling yards that are deemed safe for workers and environmentally sound, in accordance with the 2013 E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation.
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9. Barrow Carries Flag Burden
Maritime London announces that its Chief Executive Doug Barrow will be stepping down in March 2017 after 11 years in the role. He has been appointed as Director of the UK Ship Register by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. The search for a successor to lead Maritime London, the trade promotion body for the UK’s maritime services sector, is underway with Spinnaker Global leading the process. Funded by over 100 companies and organisations from a wide range of disciplines, Maritime London ensures that the UK remains a world-beating location to base a maritime related business and to conduct maritime trade.
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10. UK Club Stresses Training
The UK P&I Club has highlighted the importance of adequate training around ECDIS and navigation. George Devereese, loss prevention executive said that while ECDIS has proved extremely helpful for navigation at sea, there are issues that should be considered when it is in use. Seafarers should always ensure that ECDIS charts are updated on a weekly basis. When paper charts were in common usage, this could be a time consuming and laborious process. With ECDIS, updates can be downloaded through various applications such as Chart Tracker in a matter of minutes.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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