Great Barrier Reef: Garbage Dumpers Fined

By MarEx 2015-06-10 03:29:11

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prosecuted two shipping companies and their masters for two separate marine pollution incidents within the Great Barrier Reef.

Tokyo based Perses Maritima Ltd and the master of its Japan-registered vehicle carrier Asteria Leader were found guilty on May 18 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on one charge each of illegally discharging garbage under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983.

A routine Port State Control inspection conducted by an AMSA marine surveyor at Fisherman Island in the Port of Brisbane revealed a record of the discharge of 0.03 cubic meters of food waste within the Great Barrier Reef on October 8, 2014.

Perses Maritima Ltd was fined $5000 for the illegal discharge and the master of the ship was fined $500.

Hong Kong based company Seaspan Corporation and the master of its Hong Kong-registered container ship CSCL Brisbane were found guilty of illegally discharging garbage on August 6 last year within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The illegal discharge was also discovered by an AMSA marine surveyor during a routine PSC inspection at Fisherman Island.

It was also found that the ship’s passage plan did not take into account the required marine environmental protection measures as per the safety of navigation requirements prescribed by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) international convention.

Seaspan Corporation was fined $6000 for the illegal discharge and the master was fined $600.

AMSA Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley said it was disappointing ships were failing to adhere to the measures in place to protect sensitive marine areas, such as the Great Barrier Reef. But the discovery of the illegal discharges showed Australia’s port state control regime was both rigorous and effective, Kinley said.

“Australia has a robust port state control regime, which is designed to ensure shipowners and their masters are adhering to the rules and regulations to prevent marine areas from being polluted,” Kinley said. “These prosecutions highlight to the shipping community if they flout the regulations they can be caught and subsequently prosecuted.”


Chronic Under-Reporting of Piracy

By MarEx 2015-06-10 03:16:41

Oceans Beyond Piracy has launched its fifth annual report detailing the economic and human costs of maritime piracy, citing a chronic under-reporting of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The region faces a variety of challenges related to chronic under-reporting of incidents and an absence of prosecutions. “We have observed that up to 70 percent of piracy-related incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are never reported, so we currently lack a complete understanding of the problem,” says Pottengal Mukundan, Director of the International Maritime Bureau. “This also makes it difficult to assess the extent of the threats seafarers face in this region.”

In the Western Indian Ocean, Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) found that while naval mandates recommended industry self-protection practices and the size of the high risk area remain unchanged, the observed commitment of naval assets and use of vessel protection measures such as increased speed and rerouting by merchant vessels continued to decrease, resulting in the total economic cost dropping by 28 percent in 2014.

Alarmingly, the perceived reduction in the piracy threat has also resulted in more foreign fishing vessels returning to areas close to the coast of Somalia. Alan Cole, Head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Maritime Crime Programme notes, “These provocations are similar to those that triggered piracy off the coast of Somalia in the first place. We are already seeing an upturn in regional piracy incidents since the beginning of the year.”

OBP’s analysis of pirate attacks in Southeast Asia documents a clear and reemerging threat to seafarers. The study found that more than 90 percent of the reported attacks resulted in pirates successfully boarding target vessels, and 800 seafarers were involved in incidents in South East Asia where violence or the threat of violence was specifically documented.

Finally, the report recognizes that seafarers across the globe are the primary victims of piracy and armed robbery at sea. A chilling example is the 26 high-risk hostages from the Naham 3 who remain in pirate captivity in Somalia today, more than three years after the initial hijacking of their ship.

According to Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, “The evidence shows that piracy continues to be a world-wide threat to seafarers. There are specific contexts that distinguish each region, but there is a common lesson in the need to address piracy through cooperation, vigilance and sustained effort by all actors across the maritime sector.”

A summary of the report is available here.


China to tighten ship emission limits

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has released the second version of limits and measurement methods for marine engine standards for public consultation.
The marine engine standards will be applied to inland vessels, coaster vessels, river-sea ships, as well as channel ships

XMH bags contracts worth over $17.1m

Singapore-listed diesel engine propulsion solutions provider XMH Holdings has secured new contracts worth over SGD23.1 million (USD17.1 million).
One of the contracts was secured by Z-Power Automation (ZPA), in which XMH had acquired 80% equity stake back in March 2015. ZPA has bagged six new