The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) have released a report card on shipping company efforts to help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. Collisions between endangered North Atlantic right whales and large shipping vessels are one of the leading causes of death for these rare whales and hinder the recovery of their entire species of approximately 500 individuals. As a protection measure, mariners are required to travel at 10 knots or less in designated right whale habitat areas.
In a surprise joint statement released on Monday evening Panama said that Panama and China were recognising each other and would be establishing ambassadorial-level relations the same day. Meanwhile Panama severed ties with Taiwan. In Panama, President Juan Carlos Varela said in a televised address that “[the opening of diplomatic relations with China] represents the correct path for our country.” Panama’s government said in a statement that it recognised there was only one China, with Taiwan belonging to the Asian giant, and that it was severing ties with Taipei.
A bunker fuel dealer from Malaysia has fallen victim to an e-mail payment scam and lost $1.1m. Local reports said the owner of the bunker fuel company was cheated by a fake bunker fuel supply company, which asked him to make payment into a US-based bank account. The scammers had apparently used spyware to infiltrate the victim’s computer and spy on e-mail correspondence between the victim and his actual supplier in Singapore. They then masqueraded as the supplier to invoice the victim for payment into a bank account, which he duly paid up, ignoring the fact that it was different from the supplier’s regular account.
The Port of Fujairah has eased restrictions for vessels that have called from Qatar, which should allow for bunkering. Last week the Port of Fujairah banned all vessels that were either Qatari-flagged, owned, and all vessels that had or were going to call in Qatar from Fujairah’s port or anchorages. In a new circular issued on Monday the ban of Qatari-flagged or owned vessels remains, but other restrictions were reduced to not allowing ships to load or unload any cargo of Qatari origin or allowing ships to load UAE cargo destined for Qatar.
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