Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/11/2018
1. Big Sulphur Fine
On Monday, a court in Marseille fined cruise ship master Capt. Evans Hoyt $110,000 for using fuel with a sulfur content measuring 0.18 percentage points above a disputed limit. It is the first ruling of its kind in France, and it is contrary to the French government’s previous stance on sulfur content rules for cruise ships. In March, P&O cruise ship Azura called at Marseille. Inspectors boarded, sampled her tanks and determined that she was using fuel with a sulfur content of 1.68 percent. This amount is slightly higher than the EU’s 1.5 percent limit, it was alleged P&O used slightly higher-sulfur fuel to save money.
2. Russia Not Backing Down
Russia on Monday ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews it fired on and captured near Crimea at the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict. In Ukraine, where armed forces were on full combat alert, President Petro Poroshenko sought parliament’s approval to impose martial law from Wednesday to strengthen national defenses against possible “invasion” by Russia.
3. Port Closed by Collision
Containership Hua Yuan 9999 and dry bulk vessel Pu Hui 1 collided on Yangtze River near Taicang Port. Hua Yuan 9999 capsized after the collision and all 115 containers onboard the vessel fell into the water, blocking the navigation channel of Taicang Port. The local maritime safety authority have sent a rescue team and managed to save all four crew of the ship from the water, and implemented emergency traffic control blocking any ships coming in and going out of the port until further notice. Ten tugboats and six engineering vessels have been deployed to the scene for container salvage operations.
4. UNCTAD on 50 Years of Shipping
The major events that have marked the past of maritime transport, and issues that are likely to forge its future, are examined in a special publication released on Friday, marking 50 years since UNCTAD first published its longest standing annual report, the Review of Maritime Transport. The new commemorative publication offers a forward-looking assessment of issues likely to shape shipping in the future and explores fresh directions in research and analysis, as well as examining the history of the Review of Maritime Transport over the past 50 years. It comprises reflections by seven eminent guest essayists.
5. Weaknesses of GPS
Cyber threats to shipping grow in East Mediterranean. The GPS system is still maintained by the US Air Force. While regional alternatives exist, including both Chinese and Russian systems, GPS has come to be used globally by every conceivable industry for nearly every conceivable purpose. The problem is that those signals are surprisingly weak: anything from averse “space weather” to a conflicting signal can disrupt them. As a result, GPS jamming is a simple point and shoot operation. The largest risk, however, is the sheer scale of the disruptions to a system that is often taken for granted.
6. Squeezing Every Last Drop
Refineries around the world are squeezing out every last drop of diesel while drowning in gasoline, in what could well become the new normal for the next few years. The imbalance is a confluence of major shifts in oil markets – surging production of light U.S. shale oil, plummeting exports of heavier Venezuelan and Iranian crude, weakening gasoline demand and rising diesel consumption. The coming in 2020 of the biggest change in fuel regulations in decades, when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will start requiring ships to use cleaner fuel, is likely to prolong this reality, oil executives and analysts say.
7. New Approach to Biofouling
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is one of three partners in a new project launched this week to combat biofouling and the negative impacts of the transfer of aquatic species. The GloFoulings Partnership project in intended to drive actions to implement the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling, which complement the same body’s mandatory Ballast Water Management Convention, likewise designed to limit the spread of invasive organisms.
8. Dialogue on Cargo Lashing
There must be greater dialogue between ship owners and dockworkers to prevent a repeat of a tragedy which last week claimed the life of a seafarer. Dennis Gomez Regana was crushed while lashing and securing containers aboard the MV Francop at Southbank Quay in the port of Dublin. His death sparked outrage, with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) saying he should not have been involved in lashing and securing containers. ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith told the American Journal of Transport lashing and securing containers was the responsibility of dockworkers.
9. Ice Change Challenge
Shrinking ice cover is making the Arctic more accessible to various countries, commercial entities and researchers, among others. “While Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, human activity in the region is only growing. Ice extent, which is monitored by the U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC), often determines what types of activities are pursued in the region,” says NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). This increased human activity in the Arctic has also led to more national security concerns from both a traditional and non-traditional point of view.
10. Abandoned Crew Head Home
Fifteen of 21 Filipino seafarers abandoned by their employer at a port in eastern India have returned home to the Philippines, officials have revealed. The Foreign Affairs Department in Manila said the first batch of seafarers stranded at Kakinada port onboard their vessel by their Greek employer for three months. The crewmen were abandoned onboard the MV Evangelia M, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, at Kakinada, which is east of Hyderabad. Officials said the workers had claimed their unpaid salaries from local recruitment agencies and would be given legal assistance.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com