The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Papua New Guinea-flagged cargo ship "Kiunga Chief" from entering or using Australian ports for three months after the ship was detained for a third time in less than 18 months. "Kiunga Chief" has been issued a total of 79 deficiencies by AMSA between 14 August 14, 2015 and May 29, 2017. The deficiencies include failure to maintain critical equipment such as the ship’s engines and fire extinguishing systems, inadequate food provisions, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate training and crew exceeding 72 hours of work in seven days and being underpaid.
Ports in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ barred ships flying Qatari flags after the two countries broke off diplomatic ties with Doha, in a move that raised fears of disruption to oil and gas shipments from the Gulf OPEC member. The Saudi Ports Authority has notified shipping agents not to accept vessels flying Qatari flags or ships owned by Qatari companies or individuals, it said on its Twitter account on Monday, adding that Qatari goods would not be allowed to be unloaded in Saudi ports.
A new report by U.S.-based One Earth Future Foundation Inc.’s Oceans Beyond Piracy program found that seafaring incidents involving kidnap for ransom jumped in 2016. Asia led the way with 125 instances of piracy, while West Africa had 95. Incidents of kidnap for ransom rose in West Africa and in Asia (in the Sulu and Celebes Seas specifically) from 2015 to 2016. 2016 saw a 57% rise in the number of seafarers affected by piracy in West Africa. The total cost of counter-piracy operations in the Western Indian Ocean has steadied out at around $1.5 billion.
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a CO2 emissions proposal that is intended to bring shipping into line with the spirit of the accord. ICS suggests that as an “aspirational objective,” shipping’s total CO2 emissions should be kept below 2008 levels, then further reduced by an IMO-determined percentage by 2050. ICS acknowledged the existence of anthropogenic climate change and the role that shipping plays in that.
The change in the sulphur content of marine fuel oil is likely to have a significant impact on transport costs by the end of this decade. The shipping industry burns the dirtiest of fuel types. Marine bunker fuel is produced from the waste leftover in refineries when more volatile and valuable fractions are extracted from crude oil. As a result, current levels of sulphur in maritime fuels can be as high as 3.5%, representing a major source of pollution, as anyone who has seen a large tanker or cruise ship fire up prior to departure — spewing out dirty, unscrubbed funnel fumes in vast plumes — can attest.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched the first Smart Port Challenge 2017 (SPC 2017) on Monday as part of the port authority’s wider effort to develop innovation and push ahead with digital transformation. MPA said SPC 2017 is built upon the last two Smart Port Hackathons in 2014 and 2015, which brought together maritime people and other professionals to develop innovative solutions to enhance productivity and sustainability in Singapore port. SPC 2017 is now conceived to further encourage collaboration between organisations, start-ups and the venture capital community to push digital transformation in the maritime industry.
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