Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/06/2017

1. Maersk Runs into Qatar Quagmire
The world’s biggest container shipping line has been stopped from transporting goods in or out of Qatar as the Gulf crisis rumbles on. Maersk said the move by Arab countries to impose restrictions was stopping trade in the region. Trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food are among the goods thought to be affected by the isolating move. Shipping lines normally trans-ship cargoes from the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali to Qatar, which relies heavily on imports by sea and land. Kuwait bids to mediate Gulf crisis after Qatar isolated by neighbours
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2. UN Urges Save the Seas
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the first UN conference on oceans with a warning that the seas are "under threat as never before," noting one recent study warns that discarded plastic garbage could outweigh fish by 2050. The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from nearly 200 countries that oceans — "the lifeblood of our planet" — are being severely damaged by pollution, garbage, overfishing and the effects of climate change. The five-day conference, which began on World Environment Day, sees that conserving our oceans and using them sustainably is preserving life itself.
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3. Tackling Seafarer Obesity
Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director at UK P&I Club, comments on the fact many crewmembers fail pre-sea medical examinations due to a combination of serious illnesses linked to obesity. “It could be argued that obesity alone is a pre-cursor to other more serious conditions if nothing is done to reduce body mass index (BMI) and improve lifestyle. A BMI of 25 or above can signify a serious weight problem. Poor eating habits and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to the development of many lifestyle diseases.
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4. Sewol Family Arrests
Yoo Som-na, the third daughter of the owner of the sunken ferry Sewol, has finally been extradited from France to South Korea. She will be flown under arrest to Incheon, where she will be arraigned on charges of embezzling $43 million from subsidiaries of Cheonghaejin Marine Co., the Sewol’s operator. Som-na was first arrested in Paris in May 2014, and she has fought against an extradition order in the French courts for three years. Authorities believed that Som-na’s father, Yoo Byung-eun, bore a significant share of responsibility for the disastrous ferry accident, which claimed the lives of more than 300 people.
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5. Suez Traffic Steadies
Traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal stabilized in March and April following declines for much of last year and early 2017 as discounts on transit tolls began to take effect. The number of vessels transiting the canal grew by 4% year over year in April and 4.8% in March, according to the latest available transit data. A total of 2,973 vessels passed through the Canal during the two-month period. The three main vessel categories of containers, tankers, and bulkers all showed year-over-year growth in April, but it was bulker traffic that booked the highest growth, with the number of vessels using the canal growing by 28% in April.
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6. Box Cancellation Charges
Hapag-Lloyd has become the latest container shipping line to introduce a cancellation/no-show fee, as carriers appear increasingly intent on penalizing shippers and forwarders that book slots on services but don’t arrive with the cargo on time. The German carrier has announced a $60 fee for all export shipments from Singapore to India from 9 June on “all bookings which are canceled within three calendar days prior to vessel arrival”. It would appear carriers are increasingly “testing the water” with cancellation fees on selected, smaller-volume tradelanes. The fee follows a similar announcement from CMA CGM.
goo.gl/LY4qDc
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7. Looking to Ship Safety
Philippine Register of Shipping, the country’s first and largest classification society, has embarked on a rebranding while expanding its services to support its aim of safer shipping and increase its client base in the growing domestic fleet. William Hernandez, president of Philippine Register of Shipping (PRS), says the service expansion is to meet the demand from the changing maritime landscape in the Philippines and is a response to the call for safer ships in the country. Hernandez has noticed growing vessel maintenance demand from the growing vessel tonnage in the domestic shipping market.
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8. Angry Tax Break Response
The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has reacted angrily to suggestions made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that the Greek government had failed to keep promises to abolish a series of tax breaks for Greek Shipping. UGS President Thodoros Veniamis talked about an “unwarranted attack” against Greece over the Greek shipping sector, which represented 50% of the shipping sector of Europe, while noting that the German finance minister appeared ignorant of the extremely favourable regime governing Germany’s shipping sector.
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9. Time to Clean Plastics
Seismic survey company Petroleum Geo-Services has developed a concept for efficient, large scale collection of plastic from the oceans. The solution uses seismic vessels and takes advantage of their air compressors and capabilities for handling large towing configurations. The PGS concept consists of a seismic vessel and a support vessel towing booms, in a fan formation, which are connected to a processing unit at the end of the spread.  The seismic vessel’s large onboard compressors pump air through a ventilated hose, towed at approximately 50 meters water depth and plastics are lifted to the surface for collection.
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10. Underwater Cruise Lounge
Cruise companies have been obsessed with firsts, as of late. Last year, Royal Caribbean debuted the world’s largest ship, "Harmony of the Seas", while Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched the $450-million "Seven Seas Explorer", the most expensive ship ever built. And now, the French expedition cruise company Ponant is getting in on the game by launching the first-ever underwater lounge at sea. Blue Eye, a sleek, multi-sensory space has two large glass portholes designed like the eyes of a whale that let passengers peer out into the depths below, digital screens that project live images filmed by three underwater cameras.
goo.gl/3dRhAL
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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