Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/06/2017

1. Tanker Fired Upon
A product tanker was approached and fired upon while underway around 103 nautical miles East of Muscat, Oman on Thursday, June 1. The tanker in question was identified as "MT NAVIG8" Providence by EU NAVFOR, which confirmed the attack. According to a report from ICC’s IMB Reporting Centre, the tanker was approached by six persons armed with guns in a skiff, with a mother vessel lingering in the vicinity. Alarm was raised and the non-essential crew retreated to the citadel. Following evasive manouvers and firing of warning shots from the ship’s onboard armed security team the pirates dropped away.
2. IMO Urged to Continue
A host of senior shipping officials and NGOs have reacted as one to urge the International Maritime Organization to continue its efforts to cut shipping emissions, despite President Donald Trump’s decision on Thursday to pull pull the US out of the UN’s Paris Agreement on climate change. The deal – signed off in December 2015 by 195 countries – aims to limit global warming to well below 2C above pre industrial levels, a ceiling deemed dangerous by many scientists.
3. Panama Eyes Toll Change
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has taken a big step towards modifying its tolls structure by publishing its proposed changes. Publication marks the start of a 30-day formal consultation period in which industry stakeholders can give feedback. And it comes after an already extensive period of meetings and discussions with Canal customers about possible changes. Those exchanges led to proposals to give extra incentives to the containership sector, to revise tolls for LPG and LNG vessels, and to reclassify container and breakbulk ships. The proposals will be open for public comment until July 3.
4. Taskforce to Boost Indian Seafaring
The Indian government is concerned at its dwindling global market share of seafarers and is taking action. Representatives of leading shipping associations in the country – such as the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), the Maritime Union of India (MUI), the Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipowners and Agents (MASSA) and others – have joined a taskforce formed by the Directorate General of Shipping to work out how to increase the global share of Indian seafarers’ market to more than 9% from the current 7%. A list of recommendations will be submitted to the Director General of Shipping later this week.
5. Port State Looks at ECDIS
The Paris MoU held its 50th Committee meeting in Gdansk, Poland, in May, with members agreeing to conduct a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on ECDIS in partnership with the Tokyo MoU. The CIC aims at checking the compliance with Safety of Navigation, including ECDIS. The CIC will be carried out from September to November 2017, and the questionnaire will be published in August. Paris MoU is also reviewing the methodology for calculating flag and recognized organization performance, used for the targeting of ships for inspection, and a move away from the current White-Grey-Black List system.
6. Trail of Failures in Grounding
Ambiguous communications and incorrectly installed backup steering controls led to the January 2016 grounding of the container vessel "MSC Monica" in Canada. The "MSC Monica" was en route from Montréal, Quebec, to Saint John, New Brunswick, with a helmsman, the officer of the watch, and two pilots on the bridge. The vessel ran aground on the St. Lawrence River. The vessel unexpectedly veered to starboard, likely due to the helm being inadvertently placed to starboard. The subsequent communication between the helmsman and the pilot navigating the vessel was ambiguous.
7. Pains of Automation
The maritime industry is becoming more connected – at sea, on land and in between. This trend has given rise to a cyber-enabled fleet that continues to adopt greater levels of automation and operational complexity. For the end user, the benefits of modern shipping are multiple. For the ship owner or operator, however, every incremental advance of technology creates new entry points for risk. In this hyper-connected era, defending against the introduction of new risks as technology changes demands a recommitment to systems engineering and, more broadly, established risk-engineering techniques.
8. Admiral Warns of Piracy

A Combined Maritime Force (CMF) visit to Dubai has given the regional counter-piracy coordinator an opportunity to discuss security issues with global maritime industry representatives. Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda attended the bi-annual Maritime Information Exchange Vessel Operators Meeting (MIEVOM), an opportunity for merchant vessel owners to discuss ways to collaborate more closely with military naval officers from the international task forces working to maintain safe seas and pirate-free waters off Somalia.
9. Nigeria Spending on Security
Nigeria will spend $186m to combat piracy. Transport minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi revealed this in a speech at Nor-Shipping’s inaugural Africa Podium in Oslo, Norway. The Fund is meant to acquire three new ready-for-war ships, three aircrafts, 12 vessels and 20 amphibious vehicles to combat the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In the latest report by the IMB, Nigeria was named as one of the hotspots for sea piracy. The report said: “Of the 27 seafarers kidnapped worldwide for ransom between January and March 2017, 63 per cent were in the Gulf of Guinea.”
10. Transparency Comes to Shipping
The age of shipping as an opaque business is about to change, all thanks to the prospect of blockchain technologies creeping into the industry, according to experts at Nor-Shipping. The prospect of blockchain in the shipping business means that getting access to finance from banking institutions could have more strings attached. European Investment Bank shipping head Mark Clintworth welcomed the possibility that blockchain will deter certain owners from seeking finance if they do not wish to be consistently under the microscope. Blockchain will remove some of the secrecy in the industry at least when it comes to finance, he added.

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