Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/04/2017

1. 2020 Challenges Ahead
In 2020 the shipping industry is facing its biggest change since the shift away from burning coal a century ago as the IMO is set to impose a new 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuel emissions. S&P Global Platts associate director Paul Hickin and editorial lead for bunker news Jack Jordan assess the readiness of the industry for the changes ahead, as well as the likely options for shipowners in coping with the stricter emissions regulations. Alarm bells are ringing for the bunker market after the IMO cut the global marine fuel sulfur content limit from 3.5% to 0.5% from the start of 2020. But so far it seems the industry is sleep-walking into it.
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2. Class Worried About Loss
The head of the International Association of Classification Societies says he’s ready to learn from any defects or mistakes made in the run up to the recent sinking of the "Stellar Daisy" VLOC. “As yet, IACS does not have sufficient confirmed information to comment or in any way speculate on the cause of the vessel’s tragic loss,” Robert Ashdown, the secretary general of IACS. He stressed that both the Korean Register and the ship’s registry, the Marshall Islands, are continuing to investigate the case.
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3. Ship Lost in Heavy Seas
A cargo ship with 12 people on board has gone down in heavy seas in the Kerch Strait off the Russian Black Sea coast. Rescue crews reached the scene early on Wednesday and officials said one person was pulled to safety. Two bodies were found and nine crew were missing. Russia’s marine agency said the 3,500-tonne "Geroi Arsenala" split in two and sank at about 03:40 (00:40 GMT). The high winds hampered the search for survivors, reports said. The Panamanian-registered ship went down around 19 nautical miles (35km) south of the Taman Peninsula.
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4. Late, Slow and Old Fashioned
The head of Transas, Frank Coles has been urging shipping to go back to basics, just the transportation of goods, cargo and parcels from producer to consumer. What happens next in the maritime sector will be determined by more than an aspirational digital vision. It will also be profoundly affected by changes in the political and economic climate. Together, these will create various, difficult to predict feedback loops in the shipping and maritime ecosystem. The maritime industry is not unique; it is just late, old and behind the times, Coles says. That makes it especially vulnerable to disruption from the likes of young digital start-ups.
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5. Iron Ore Loading Halt
The loading of iron ore at Brazil’s Itaguaí terminal operated by mining and steel firm Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional has been halted since Saturday due to an accident, sources and the Itaguaí Port Authority told Reuters on Wednesday. Four to five Capesize bulk carriers that were waiting to load iron ore at the terminal are being put back into the charter market, said a German shipping source, due to the impossibility to load the product in Brazil. CSN confirmed the accident but had no immediate information regarding Itaguaí operations. CSN did not give details of the accident or how it shut down loading operations.
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6. Indian Advises Pirate Vigilance
In the aftermath of the recent piracy attacks at the Gulf of Aden, the Directorate General of Shipping has issued an advisory to Indian vessel owners to refrain from sailing in the troubled zone. The advisory, a copy with DNA Money, mentions that it is due to the recent piracy attack on an Indian vessel on the coast of Somalia region. The Korean Naval Ship, UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) and International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have shared information with the Indian authorities regarding hijacking of an Indian mechanised sailing vessel transiting Gulf of Aden, off Socotra Island.
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7. Philippines Eyes Abu Sayyaf
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Wednesday he might "invade" an island stronghold of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf to "finish the game" following a thwarted attempt by the group to kidnap tourists on a resort island last week. Duterte offered cash rewards for the capture, dead or alive, of six Abu Sayyaf militants still at large following a day-long clash last week on Bohol island, which killed six rebels and four members of the security forces. "I will, maybe, invade Jolo," Duterte told reporters after a security briefing in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
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8. Failing on Seafarer Rights
Writing on the issue of seafarer abandonment, David Hammond or Human Rights at Sea has said he has great respect for the mental and physical tenacity of the remaining 13 Indian crew of the "MV Liberty Prrudencia". At the time of writing, they remain effectively abandoned by the owners in Zhoushan, China, having been paid just one month’s wages in six months, but to date have steadfastly refused to bow down to pressure exerted to get them to leave their vessel. In March, the outstanding wage bill was in excess of $148,000 from the papers supplied. So we are failing on seafarer rights.
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9. Jobs Lost to Foreign Workers
Jobs on British-flagged ships are going to foreign workers despite there being thousands of officers out of work in this country, a study by seafarers’ union Nautilus International found yesterday. There had been a “significant decline” in the number of British officers in the shipping industry, said the union.
It called on the government to take urgent action to protect British jobs, including by reforming the certification system for working on a British-flagged vessel. Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson pointed out that in 2015, there were more than 10,500 non-British nationals with valid certificates.
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10. Cruise Lines Lifeguards
After a slew of tragic pool deaths, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will employ certified lifeguards at all family pools across their fleet, making it the third major cruise line to do so. The first responders will be trained and certified by the American Red Cross in lifesaving rescue measures and will monitor the family pools during scheduled pool hours. The lifeguards will begin service this summer on the line’s four largest ships – Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic – and on the remainder of the fleet by early 2018.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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