Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/03/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/03/2018

1. Greek Tycoon Drug Denial
Greek shipping tycoon and the owner of Olympiakos Piraeus and Nottingham Forest soccer teams, Vangelis Marinakis, denied any links to drug trafficking on Saturday, a day after a Greek prosecutor brought preliminary charges
against him. 
The prosecutor charged Marinakis with financing and storing drug substances and setting up a criminal group to traffic and sell drugs, a judiciary source said. The 50-year
old shipowner denied any wrongdoing saying that the charges were legally unfounded and accused the country’s leftist-led government of plotting against him.
2. Shipyard Indefinite Strike
Around 700 workers at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding have gone on indefinite strike in South Korea today, protesting restructuring plans. The severe restructuring package recently proposed includes slashing labour costs by 75%. Creditors
have given STX and its workers until April 9 to agree to the package or face court receivership. 
STX has been told it can continue to build ships so long as it slashes 40% of its workforce and focuses on product, chemical
and LPG carriers.

3. The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness has become quite a topic of conversation lately – there has been the International Day of Happiness, and the United Nations recently released its global happiness report. For all the focus on happiness, the view
has always been of those ashore. At last we are building a picture of what it means to be happy at sea, as the Mission to Seafarers has relaunched the Seafarers Happiness Index. Why is happiness so important and what difference can it make when it comes to
safety, performance, efficiency, even recruitment and retention of seafarers?
4. More VLOC Safety Concerns
Just ahead of the first anniversary since the high profile sinking of its "VLOC Stellar Daisy", South Korea’s Polaris Shipping has been rocked by yet another safety fault. On March 31 last year 22 crew lost their lives when
the Marshall Islands-flagged, 1993-built converted ore carrier sank in the South Atlantic, the start of what would turn into a dire year for Polaris with many more of its ageing bulker fleet found to have deficiencies. Keen to put the bad news behind it, Polaris
initiated a fleet rejuvenation programme last year.
5. DP In the Middle of the Congo
Port operator DP World has won a 30-year concession for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DP World will set up joint venture with the Central African
country’s government to manage and invest in the Atlantic Coast’s Port of Banana. DP World will hold 70% equity interest in the joint venture. 
The company will make an initial investment of $350m, which will be spread
over 24 months. The total project cost will be over $1bn, spread over four phases.
6. Nitrogen Level Concerns
Human activity increases the amount of nitrogen that reaches the oceans by 50 percent, on top of natural processes, according to a new report which assesses the magnitude and impacts of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen inputs to the ocean.  The
study by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a United Nations advisory body, provides a new estimate of the extent that human beings are altering the cycling of nitrogen in the oceans. Extra nitrogen
is reaching the oceans through rain or dust fall, as a result of fossil fuel burning and intensive agriculture.
7. Korean Ferry Grounding
All 163 people on board a South Korean passenger ferry that ran aground on Sunday afternoon have been rescued. Six people were injured when the 223-ton Pink Dolphin ferry grounded on a reef to avoid hitting a fishing vessel
off the nation’s southwest coast. Conditions were foggy, says South Korea’s Coast Guard.
On board were 158 passengers and five crew. They were taken ashore by coast guard vessels and civilian fishing boats. The incident occurred in the same region as the sinking of the ferry
Sewol. The ferry sank in April 2014, killing over 300 people.

8. Setting Environment Agenda
The upcoming Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 72nd session, starting April 9, will discuss the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships and is expected to adopt an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from
ships.  The strategy is expected to set out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles; to include candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures
with possible timelines and their impacts on States as well as capacity building, technical cooperation and research and development.
9. Tiny Chip Big Problem
IBM unveiled a portfolio of "cryptographic anchors" that will serve as digital fingerprints to authenticate shipments. As a consignment makes its way from factory to ship to consumer, the anchor would create a verifiable blockchain record of the product’s
origins, contents and whereabouts. The company says that these technologies could cut the multi-billion-dollar problem of fraudulent goods in half.  "Almost everything has been copied," says Andreas Kind, manager of industry
platforms and blockchain at IBM Research. "The total value of counterfiet goods was estimated in 2015 to be $1.8 trillion dollars."
10. Importance of Cargo Insurance
In the wake of the major fire that broke out on the Maersk Honam in the Arabian Sea earlier this month online freight forwarder iContainers has reminded shippers of the importance of investing in appropriate cargo insurance. This
is especially pertinent “given that Maersk has now declared general average, which means that the surviving cargo has to pay a share of the cost for the vessel damage, the tow, clean up, legal settlements, etc,” said iContainers vp of sales and operations
Klaus Lysdal. 
By law, all shipping carriers are obliged to offer a minimum amount of insurance, but it offers limited coverage.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
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