Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/10/2017

1. Modern British Slavery
Shipping trade union Nautilus International has called on the British government to stamp out maritime modern slavery. The organisation has claimed in a release that modern slavery in UK waters is “alive and kicking”. The union has warned of the plight of seafarers working on foreign flagged ships in British waters, who are receiving minimal or no pay and suffering atrocious conditions.
2. UK Ship Detentions
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has detained nine (9) foreign flagship including one Indian and four (4) Panama flagged vessels in the Territory of British Sea. “There were two new detentions of foreign flagged vessels in a UK port. Seven vessels remained under detention from previous months” Authorities said that it was in response to one of the recommendations of Lord Donaldson’s inquiry into the prevention of pollution from merchant shipping.
3. Underwriters Fear Autonomy
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has warned that there could be global disunity when it comes to autonomous ship regulation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) expected to take many years to approve laws governing this new technology phenomenon. Long before IMO reaches agreement, a number of autonomous ships are set to be trading, so the stakes are being raised all the time.
4. Iranian Pirate Rescue
Military forces on board the Iranian Navy’s 48th flotilla rescued one of the country’s merchant vessels from a pirate attack near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The pirates, sailing seven boats equipped with light and semi-heavy assault weapons, launched an attack on the Iranian trade vessel near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Iranian Navy’s Alvand destroyer received a distress signal and rushed to the scene, forcing the pirates to flee.
5. Harmonisation in Ports Needed
The new head of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has called for a greater harmonisation of standards for LNG bunkering worldwide as a way for shipping to go about reducing its carbon footprint. However, Patrick Verhoeven has not endorsed recent suggestions from the OECD who have pitched the IMO to get ports to make green incentives mandatory.
6. Reducing Suez Reliance
Japan’s exporters appear to be steadily reducing their reliance on the Suez Canal to reach markets in North and South America, as Japanese ship traffic through the Suez fell for the second year. A survey by the Japanese Shipowners’ Association (JSA) found that 1,066 ships passed through the Suez in calendar year 2016, down 9 percent from 1,172 vessels in calendar year 2015. 
7. Illegal Fishing Cover 
A coalition of insurance firms have agreed to ban coverage for more than 100 vessels on the European Union’s blacklist of those involved in illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, Reuters reports.  More than 20 insurance firms are part of the agreement and the plan has been backed by the United Nations. The EU blacklist of “pirate trawlers” is drawn from lists contributed internationally by regional fisheries management groups.
8. Broken Glass Ship Floats
A cargo vessel carrying broken glass has been refloated after it ran aground off the Kent coast. The 75-metre "Islay Trader" became stuck near Margate Harbour about 30m (98ft) from shore shortly after 03:00 BST. It was just a few feet away from the Antony Gormley sculpture, in front of the Turner Contemporary gallery. It was towed from the sea bed with the assistance of a tug 12 hours later, and is now planning to continue its journey to Antwerp, in Belgium.
9. All Change At Cruise Firm
Thomson Cruises has announced it will rebrand as Marella Cruises later this month. The word Marella — which means “shining sea” in Celtic — comes at the same time as Thomson rebrands to TUI later this month. The name change will also be reflected in the ships, which will be rebranded Marella Dream, Marella Celebration, Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 and Marella Explorer, which launches next year.
10. Arctic Seafarer Support
With global warming chipping away at ice in Arctic waters, more and more routes are opening up to shipping companies looking to find a shortcut. Last year, researchers predicted that there will be double the opportunities for non-ice strengthened vessels to cross the Arctic by 2050. Nevertheless, the increasing number of vessels travelling through freezing waters has already resulted in more marine casualties, suggesting many of them aren’t yet built for the task.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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