Joint Piracy Operations for Australia and Indonesia

By MarEx 2015-08-31 15:02:37

Australia and Indonesia will from a partnership to combat regional maritime piracy. It will begin later this year and includes training, criminal intelligence exchanges and joint patrols. The primary goal is to not only curb piracy, but to deal with drugs and aquatic poaching.

The countries also launched a maritime enforcement training program at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, which is jointly managed by Australian Federal Police and Indonesian National Police. It is the center of their partnership for maritime operations as well as counter-terrorism projects.

Since his October 2014 inauguration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has sought to make the nation a global shipping hub and has placed an emphasis on protecting territorial waters. On August 25, Indonesia announced that it formed a rapid deployment force with Malaysia to combat piracy as well. There have been 106 reported incidents of piracy in Southeast Asia this year.

On August 17, Indonesia’s navy publicly sank 70 vessels which were captured poaching in its waters. Widodo instituted the “Sink The Vessels” policy after his election, saying Jakarta would no longer tolerate the invasion of more than 5,000 ships illegally operating in its waters.


Obama Set To Punctuate Climate Legacy

By Reuters 2015-08-31 14:44:45

President Barack Obama sets off for a three-day tour of Alaska on Monday, aiming to shine a spotlight on how the United States is being affected by warming temperatures and rising oceans.

With 16 months left in office, Obama is trying to build support for tough new rules on carbon emissions from power plants ahead of a hoped-for international climate deal later this year that could cement his legacy on the issue.

The White House has said Obama will announce new policies to help communities adapt to climate change and deploy renewable energy. But the main purpose of his trip is to use the media attention on his tour – amplified by an aggressive social media campaign – to convince Americans to take action.

“It’s a really important punctuation mark on what he’s saying is a top priority for him,” said Sharon Burke, a former Pentagon official who worked on energy issues for Obama.

“It’s the ultimate legacy issue because it is something that’s going to affect so many generations of Americans,” said Burke, now a senior adviser at the New America think tank.

The hype for the tour began on Sunday with an announcement that Obama would rename North America’s tallest mountain as Denali, restoring the traditional Alaska native name to what maps and tourists currently call Mount McKinley.

When Obama lands in Anchorage, he will meet with a group of native leaders and elected officials before addressing an international conference on climate change in the Arctic.

Environmental groups hope he will announce new reforms or restrictions for resource extraction while he is on the trip.

“It’s an historic event for America and it comes at a critical time for the Arctic, which is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world,” said Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska regional director of The Wilderness Society.

During the past year, Obama took steps to seal off parts of the oil-rich state from new drilling, although environmental groups are howling about a recent decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea.

Alaska’s economy is based on oil and gas and the state has pushed to allow expanding the industry.

Obama plans to hike the receding Exit Glacier in Seward on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will fly to the salmon fishing mecca of Dillingham and then north of the Arctic Circle to the small town of Kotzebue.


Group To Map Depths of the Ocean

By MarEx 2015-08-31 12:43:01

The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is exploring the deepest corners of the world’s oceans. On August 25, ONC deployed exploration vessel (E/V) Nautilus and research vessel (R/V) Thomas G. Thompson on a three-week expedition across eight of its west coast observatories in the Salish Sea and Pacific Ocean. The observatories span a wide range of environments from Canada’s busiest coastal waterway to the Juan de Fuca volcanic ridge, 186 miles offshore.

Both vessels will provide real-time video streams of the ocean abyss to observers around the world. Each will vessel will be outfitted with systems to measure underwater landslides, microphones for whale detection and to analyze ship nose, sensors to measure how offshore gas hydrates change as climate changes as well as a tsunami meter to better predict coastal flooding. The team onboard the vessels will also map the seafloor.

ONC is a University of Victoria initiative and manages cabled ocean observatories off the west coast of British Columbia and in the Arctic.

Follow the progress of the vessels here.


Ancient Ship Identified

By MarEx 2015-08-31 12:35:25

The ancient vessel discovered off South Korea’s Mado Island in November 2014 has been confirmed to be a Joseon Dynasty grain carrier. The Joseon Dynasty was a Korean kingdom founded by Yi Seonggye that lasted for from 1392 to 1897 when it was renamed the Korean Empire. The vessel, which is named the Mado No. 4, was discovered by the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage. This is the first ship confirmed to be from the dynasty’s epoch.

The vessel’s confirmation as Joseon era ship was due to 140 pieces of Buncheong ceramics discovered during the excavation. Buncheong ceramics were produced during the first 200 years of the dynasty. Some of the ceramics are engraved with the abbreviation “Naeseom,” which refers to Naeseomsi, a government organization that oversaw items used in the royal court.

The Mado No. 4 is the 14th ancient ship discovered by South Korea. Ten ships from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), two were Chinese vessels from 14th century, and a ship from Korea’s Silla Period (676-935) have been discovered thus far.


Two Ships Collide in UK

By MarEx 2015-08-31 12:21:28

The M/T Erin Wood was towed to Scotland’s Peterhead Harbour following a collision with M/V Daroja on August 30. The U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) responded to the collision and no injuries were reported.

The ships were on crossing routes when the Erin Wood made a last-minute course correction, which caused the Cyprus-registered Daroja to slam into the tanker’s bow. The Erin Wood, which is a bunkering tanker, suffered damage to the hull and a ballast compartments to be flooded.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the collision.

The Daroja is a 4,155 dwt vessel and is operated by German shipping company H&H Bereederung.


Stolen Tanker Cargo Suspect Arrested

By MarEx 2015-08-31 12:09:06

The Indonesian Navy has arrested the man suspected of leading the hijacking of the M/T Orkim Harmony. The Indonesian man was identified as Albert Johanes. He was apprehended in Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta on August 27, and is currently being questioned by the police in Jakarta.

The Orkim Harmony was transporting $5.6 million of fuel for Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned energy company, as it was transiting from Malacca to Kuantan when it was reported missing on June 12. The ship was attacked by 13 pirates who took command of the bridge and disabled the Automatic Identification System (AIS). The pirates repainted the hull and altered the ship’s name to avoid detection. The Orkim Harmony was found eight days later and eight of the pirates still onboard were arrested.

One of the tanker’s original crew was shot in the leg, but the rest were unharmed.

Southeast Asian pirates have frequently targeting small tankers because it is easier to steal their cargoes. According to the PGI Risk Portal, a risk management solutions company, eleven percent 2015’s maritime hijacking have taken place in Malaysian and Indonesian waters.