Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/06/2017

1. Shipowner CO2 Plans Slammed
A host of NGOs have criticised the submission by four leading shipowning bodies on how the IMO should tackle CO2 emissions as not being ambitious enough. Ahead of next month’s crucial IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London, BIMCO, Intercargo, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intertanko have submitted a submission, which contains two “aspirational objectives”, namely to maintain international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels; and to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre, by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.

2. India Seafarer Marketing Blitz
India’s private and public sectors are coming together to promote the nation’s seafarers to global shipping in a bid to close the gap with the Philippines, the dominant resource for global crewing. In association with the Ministry of Shipping, India’s leading shipping associations including the Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA), the Maritime Union of India (MUI) and National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) have jointly planned a series of road shows described as a “global marketing blitz” , primarily to interact with foreign shipowners and their representatives.
3. Merger Plans Scuppered
Plans by Japan’s three largest shipping lines to merge their container divisions have been thrown into disarray again. The South African Competition Commission, the Pretoria-based antitrust watchdog, has decided not to support the joint venture between Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), ruling yesterday that the deal would encourage anti-competitive behaviour in the liner markets as well as in the car carrier sector, the latter of which all three have faced fines in the past from South African authorities over cartel behaviour.
4. Seismic Surveys Killing Life
Marine seismic surveys could cause a two to three-fold increase in mortality in zooplankton, new research has shown. Scientists from the University of Tasmania studied the impact of commercial seismic surveys on zooplankton populations by carrying out tests using seismic air guns in the ocean off southern Tasmania. The research found that the air gun signals caused an increase in mortality from 18 percent to 40-60 percent. Impacts were observed out to the maximum 1.2 kilometer (0.75 mile) range tested, 100 times greater than the previously assumed impact range of 10 meters (33 feet).
5. No Need for Seafarer Pity
In recent years there has been an increasing amount of ‘pity’ of the seafaring profession, in media and by various organizations. One industry commentator is taking issue with that. And he thinks you should, too. It seems to be standard fare these days to portray seafaring as a substandard profession; a career only for people without choice and a life full of hardship, it’s dangerous, poor working conditions are rife and there is a cultural reliance on the pity of the world to make ends meet and to avoid exploitation – or worse fates. Not sure knitting them woolly hats does much for the image either…
6. Crew Connectivity Conundrum
As internet packages for shipboard use become cheaper, it becomes easier to give seafarers the ability to remain in touch with their families on all manner of social media and online voice communications. While this obviously solves the age-old problem of seafarer-family contact, it has also a double-edged dilemma around crew wellness and seaworthiness. A less discussed issue around internet access is the issue of crew seaworthiness and crew awareness. The distractions of technology need not only occur in the private confines of a cabin. So are upset crew a risk to seaworthiness?
7. Hotel Chains Look to Yachts
Want to cash in your SPG and Marriott points for a yacht cruise? That may soon be possible, as Ritz-Carlton, Marriott International Inc.’s flagship luxury brand, announced a seafaring expansion Thursday. As part of the newly minted Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the five-star hotel brand will launch three small, ultra-luxury ships with laid-back itineraries and spacious, open-concept design schemes that flip the traditional cruise experience on its head. The maiden vessel will pull out of the shipyard late in 2019, with bookings opening next May—marking the first time that a hotel company hits the high seas.

8. COSCO Looks to Expand
China COSCO Shipping Corp is extending its container fleet as the company expands its sea routes. The group, through its subsidiary China COSCO Shipping Holding Co Ltd, plans to buy six mega container ships from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd. Another eight container vessels will be purchased from Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd. The two deals will be worth about $1.78 billion. Deliver dates for the 14 container ships have been penciled in for the next two years, and they will raise the group’s operational TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent units, capacity to more than 2 million by the end of 2018.
9. Law Firm Poaches Marine Team
Clyde & Co has poached a team of senior lawyers from rival firm Eversheds Sutherland, including the firm’s former Newcastle senior partner. Partners Stephen Mackin and Jessica Maitra will join Clydes’ marine insurance team from Eversheds along with a team of three lawyers. The pair have spent the majority of their careers at Eversheds with former senior partner Mr Mackin working at the firm for 25 years. Ms Maitra spent 18 years at Eversheds. The five-lawyer team specialises in shipping and energy work, particularly related to transporting liquid cargo such as oil, chemicals and gas.
10. Freakonomics of Marine Accidents
Have you ever thought of the reasons behind marine accidents? I particularly wonder whether the rules of irrationality and moral hazard are at work here, too. To examine this, let’s first connect the money to marine accidents. There are several types of marine accidents, like a ship sinking or catching on fire. Let’s divide accidents into two groups: public accidents and anonymous accidents. A public marine accident is a ship-to-ship accident or an accident around the vicinity of land (e.g. around ports, channels, or rivers). Anonymous marine accidents are the opposite. There is nobody in the vicinity of the accident.

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