Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/04/2017

1. North Korean Sabre Rattling
North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a U.S. carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the "USS Carl Vinson" carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies. The United States has not specified where the carrier strike group is as it approaches the area. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday it would arrive “within days”.
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2. Ports and the Ivory Trade
Surveys by the NGO "TRAFFIC" of Hong Kong’s ivory markets indicate that traders are flaunting regulations. In a report Closing Strategy: Ending ivory trade in Hong Kong, the NGO found that 59 percent of the outlets did not have (or even claim to possess) ivory retail licenses, a violation of local ivory trading terms and making it impossible for consumers to distinguish those premises trading legally from exclusively black market operations. Hong Kong’s location has long made the port a main transit point for ivory, other endangered animal products and for large volumes of wood in an international illegal timber trade.
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3. Norway HNS Treaty
Norway has become the first signatory to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 2010 (2010 HNS Convention), when in force, will provide a regime of liability and compensation for damage caused by HNS cargoes transported by sea, complementing existing regimes already in force for the transport of oil as cargo, bunker oil used for the operation and propulsion of ships, the removal of hazardous wrecks and claims for death of or personal injury to passengers, or for damage to their luggage, on ships.
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4. Jailed Maritime Guards Recognised
The Propeller Club Liverpool has awarded its first ever “Maritime Personality of the Year” to a group of six British mariners who have been convicted of weapons offences and are serving five-year jails terms in Chennai, India. The #Chennai6, Nick Dunn, Billy Irving, Ray Tindall, Paul Towers, John Armstrong and Nicholas Simpson, were recognised by Propeller Club Liverpool for their endurance and bravery in the face of their controversial convictions.  The men were arrested whilst working as anti-piracy guards on a merchant vessel in the Indian Ocean.
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5. Africa Woefully Underrepresented
The African merchant fleet is woefully underrepresented on the global stage, the head of the IMO, Kitack Lim, said during a speech addressing the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) in Abuja. “Of the 35 shipowning countries in the world, holding approximately 95% of global shipping tonnage, none is from the African continent,” Lim noted. He provided further statistics that in terms of share of ownership by country grouping, developing countries in Africa own only 1.23% while their counterparts in Asia own 36.24%. Africa also represents just 0.9% of shipping yard and marine-related industries.
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6. Huge Growth in Wind Turbines
Offshore wind turbines are about to become higher than the Eiffel Tower, allowing the industry to supply subsidy-free clean power to the grid on a massive scale for the first time. Manufacturers led by Siemens AG are working to almost double the capacity of the current range of turbines, which already have wing spans that surpass those of the largest jumbo jets. The expectation those machines will be on the market by 2025 was at the heart of contracts won by German and Danish developers last week to supply electricity from offshore wind farms at market prices by 2025.
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7. More Ruthless Cost Cutting
Singapore’s Keppel Offshore and Marine continues to deal with the offshore downturn with ruthless cost cutting, announcing further reductions in staff numbers in its first quarter results report. Keppel said it has reduced its workforce by a further 1,250 during the last quarter, around 6%, with total job losses now close to 18,000 since the beginning of 2015. The job cuts come in addition to other efforts to rightsize, including the mothballing of two overseas yards and the closure of three supporting yards in Singapore. Additionally, Rotterdam yard Keppel Verolme was sold to Damen earlier this month.
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8. Getting Books in Order
The London P&I Club says its inspectors have consistently noted negative findings in connection with the management of ships’ chart folios and associated publications, as well as concern over the approach adopted by deck officers to the management of external navigational warning information from SAT-C and Navtex. The club said: “Ships’ ISM manuals should give clear and concise guidance on how the nautical publications are to be corrected to avoid inadequate and personal approaches being applied by ships’ officers.”
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9. Stunning Visuals of World Shipping
Researchers at UCL Energy Institute together with London-based data visualization and digital journalism studio Kiln have released this amazing interactive map that plots 250 million data points to show the movements of the world’s commercial shipping fleet during the year 2012. The map was created based on the methodology developed for the Third IMO GHG Study 2014 and AIS data to estimate emissions from five different ship types; containerships, tankers, dry bulk, gas carriers and vehicle carriers.
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10. Shortlived Storm Oddity
In a year of weather oddities, the Atlantic has produced one of its own: the short-lived Tropical Storm Arlene. With top winds of 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, Arlene became only the sixth tropical system to emerge in the Atlantic in April since geostationary satellites began watching the basin starting in the mid 1960s. It was swallowed up by a larger system in the north Atlantic Friday, a day after it formed, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Unfortunately the emergence of Arlene doesn’t say much about how active the hurricane season that begins June 1 will be.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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