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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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