March 31, 2023FLASH NEWSThe Liberian-flagged Danish oil tanker Monjasa Reformer, which was attacked on 25 March in the Gulf of Guinea, was located on Thursday 30 March off Sao Tome and Principe at 21:30 UTC by the French navy. But only some of the 16 crew members were still on board, the Monjasa company said in a statement. It is possible that three crew members were abducted, but this figure has not been made official. When the French military arrived, “the pirates had abandoned the ship and taken some of the crew with them,” the Danish company said. No damage was found to the ship or its fuel cargo. The 135-metre vessel was attacked about 140 nautical miles off the Congolese port of Pointe Noire. In 2022, only about 20 attacks were recorded in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness Center. There were 52 in 2021 and 115 in 2020, according to the maritime security consultancy based in Brest, France. Since the beginning of 2023, two attacks have been reported in the area, the latest on 2 March. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 30, 2023FLASH NEWSIn Singapore, the world’s second largest container port, the Port and Maritime Authority has decided to ban fossil fuels powered harbor craft by 2030. Only ships with electric propulsion, using B100 biodiesel or running on non-CO2 emitting fuels such as hydrogen will be allowed to dock. This decision follows on from other commitments of the port, such as the installation this year of charging stations for electric ships. Singapore is aiming for zero CO2 emissions in 2050. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 30, 2023FLASH NEWSOn the night of March 25, about 144 nautical miles west of Pointe Noire (Congo), the oil tanker Monjasa Reformer was attacked by a skiff with 5 armed men. The vessel, flying the Liberian flag, was en route from Pointe Noire to Lome (Togo). The pirates fired shots at the ship and boarded it. The crew was taken to the citadel. The ship stopped transmitting AIS a few hours later. Following the orders of the French Atlantic Command, the high seas patrol boat Premier Maitre l’Her left the port of Libreville to reach the last known position of the Monjasa Reformer. Thus, search was conducted in coordination with the navies of the region. The MRCC in Monrovia and the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT Gog) have not yet been able to locate the vessel. According to an unconfirmed report from EOS Risk Group, the Monjasa may have travelled up to 470 nautical miles since the last AIS position. The searche has not established any visual or radio contact with the vessel yet. This year, there have been few high-profile piracy incidents. The main interactions were shootings or approaches to vessels by suspicious craft.However, authorities and analysts are urging shipowners to remain cautious in the area. The International Maritime Bureau said there were only 19 piracy incidents in 2022, compared with 35 in 2021 and 84 in 2020. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 28, 2023FLASH NEWSYesterday, an European citizens’ initiative called “STOP FINNING – STOP THE TRADE” to ban shark finning and fishing was presented to the EU. Sharks, predators of the seas, are today the prey of man. No less than 167 species are threatened with extinction. Sharks are captured for their fins. They are known for their virtues in traditional medicines. Finning is the practice of capturing sharks, cutting off their fins and releasing them alive into the sea. Once released, the sharks suffocate and bleed to death. This practice is banned since the regulation: Fins Naturally Attached » ((UE) no 605/2013 of the European Parliament and Council). Thus, in European Union, the finning trade is prohibited. The sharks must therefore be transported whole and not just released mutilated into the sea. However European vessels can still catch and sell them to foreign markets. Europe is one of the largest exporters of shark fins to Asia with around 3 500 tons of fins exported by years. A decision is expected by July 2023. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 28, 2023FLASH NEWSLast week, the government of New Caledonia hosted the 12th meeting of the South Pacific Group, which brings together the member states of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), for discussions focused on the issue of sustainable albacore tuna fishing in Pacific waters. Longline tuna fishing is a major issue for New Caledonia, where tuna accounts for 66% of catches. New Caledonia is considered an example of sustainable fishing in its maritime area. Its sixteen longliners are certified as “responsible fishing”. A project for the shared management of this resource by the coastal states, whose EEZs constitute the essential habitat, is currently being developed. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 23, 2023FLASH NEWSBetween August 2018 and March 2023, over 220 vessels involved in maritime crime in Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone, have been prosecuted. At the inauguration of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Abuja, President Buhari said more than 87 oil tankers involved in various crude oil and product thefts had been arrested. Over three million barrels of crude oil were seized. Crude oil theft, maritime robbery and piracy are often linked to terrorist groups and violent extremism which remain a major challenge in managing the evolving security situation in the country. This calls for the strengthening of regional and international cooperation as a key instrument to enhance the country’s national security. It is in this context that the peace adviser of the office of the Resident Coordinator (UN Nigeria) commended the progress made by the Nigerian military in reducing the operational capacity of the West African province of the Islamic State and Boko Haram. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 23, 2023FLASH NEWSSince the night of March 8 to 9, Gabon is in turmoil following the death of 23 people in the sinking of the Esther Miracle. After the rescue services was alerted around 4.00 AM, the he first ship to arrive on the scene was the Céleste, owned by French oil company Peschaud. The Gabonese army led the rescue operations, assisted by French forces in Gabon. A “Fennec” helicopter was dispatched by the french army to look for castaways. It located two survivors and one body. On the 151 passengers, 123 were rescued. An inquiry is underway to determine the causes of the sinking. The overloading of the ship is the hypothesis put forward. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 21, 2023FLASH NEWSOn 16 March, the Chinese shipping company Cosco acquired 25% of the Egyptian port of Sokhna in the Red Sea for a period of 30 years, for a sum of 375 million dollars. Cosco, which has the third largest container fleet in the world, is pursuing its growth strategy towards developing countries. The port, 120 kilometres east of the capital, is located in an area adjacent to the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which Egypt wants to develop as a global logistics base. The newly built terminal is expected to have a container loading capacity of 1.7 million TEUs per year. Cosco Shipping Ports currently operates 367 berths in 36 ports around the world, with a total container loading capacity of 122 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 21, 2023FLASH NEWSOn March 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the United Nation announced the extension of the International agreement “Black Sea Grain Initiative” on the export of Ukrainian grain. Signed in july 2022, it helps control the global food crisis created by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As drafted, the grain export agreement should be automatically extended for the same 120 day period unless either party wished to amend or teminate the agreement. A first prolongation has already taken place in November 2022. Russia, unhappy of the implementation of the second one, has specified that the third would only be for 60 days. Turkish, which hosts the Joint Coordination Center, needs to speed up vessels controls to make grain exports more fluid. Negotiationsare underway to add new portsin the Mykolayev area to the actual 3 ports Chornomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi. Ukraine is of the largest grain exporters in the world. This initiative allows the exportation of about 25 millions of tons of corn, wheat and others grains. Moscow expects compromises on international bank payments, insurance, logistics and ammonia supplies via the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 16, 2023FLASH NEWSOn Tuesday, the maritime cooperation exercise “La Pérouse” came to an end. It brought together several nations involved in maritime security, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan and France. Eight ships gathered in the Bay of Bengal to conduct manoeuvres at sea, the PHA Dixmude, the Frégate La Fayette, the Indian frigates INS Sahyadri, INS Jyoti, the American frigates USS Charleston, HMS Tamar, the British frigate HMAS Perth and the Japanese frigate JS Suzutsuki. These trainings maintain a high level of interoperability between long-standing naval partners with a shared vision of maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. This contributes to the preservation of an international order based on maritime law and multilateralism. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 9, 2023FLASH NEWSOn March 5th, within the framework of the XELINSULAM-ALBACARES operation. The Guardia Civil seized 2 tons of cocaine hidden in tuna cans in a container from Ecuador, in Algeciras. The operation began in February of last year, when agents became aware of a criminal network based in Castro Urdiales (Cantabria), dedicated to large-scale fraud against banking entities. Continuing with the investigations, it was found that this organisation had brought a group of people, of Colombian origin, with the intention of creating a security nucleus and establishing the necessary logistics to introduce cocaine through the port of Algeciras. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 8, 2023FLASH NEWSA United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) report released on March 2 noted an increased presence of boats, carrying up to six people, maneuvering at high speed near the eastern entrance to the Gulf of Aden’s Recommended International Transit Corridor (IRTC), suggesting a possible piracy risk. This area, better known as IRTC Point B, is the eastern entrance to the Recommended International Transit Corridor, established in 2009 in response to the threat of Somali piracy. The IRTC is 492 miles long with a five-mile wide corridor to the east and west where naval assets are concentrated. It is monitored by Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), which works alongside the European Union Naval Force in Somalia (EU NAVFOR), among others. This report comes after the shipping industry withdrew its “high risk area” (HRA) designation on January 1, 2023, following a decrease in Somali piracy incidents. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 8, 2023FLASH NEWSOn March 3, off the coast of Barbados, the Antilles-Guyana patrol boat “la combattante” in collaboration with the National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations DNRED, intercepted 1.7 tons of cocaine on board the vessel DONHI (Venezuela flag). The estimated resale value is 122 million euros. The total drug seizure since the beginning of 2023 is currently 3.2 tons. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 6, 2023FLASH NEWSThe General Assembly of the United Nations gathered from the 20 February to 3 March 2023 to discuss the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. A settlement was found after 15 years of negotiations. This legally binding agreement would address three main issues : the creation of marine protected areas MPAs in the high seas, the development of studies on the impact of humans activities on the marine environment and the equitable sharing of benefits from marine resources. The current concern is which member states will ratify the document. At this time, nothing has been ratified or published. Its acceptance and enforcement would be a step forward in resolving disputes peacefully between states through supranational authorities and the establishment of a binding international law of the high seas. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 3, 2023FLASH NEWSOn February 25th, the Council of the European Union adopted unanimously a 10th package of sanctions against Russia, a year after the launch by this country of an unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine. The Russian maritime sector is targeted in these new measures and in particular the company SUN Ship Management, a ship management company established in Dubai, which is part of PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), the largest Russian shipping company and specializes in the transportation of hydrocarbons as well as maintenance in the field of marine energy production. For several months, Sun Ship Management, the company that manages the Sovcomflot fleet and operates a fleet of nearly 100 oil, LNG and chemical tankers, was suspected of circumventing EU sanctions. By adding this entity to Annex 1 of Regulation (EU) No. 269/2014 to the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/429 of the Council of 25 February 2023. The EU Council confirms that SUN Ship Management (D) Ltd. is a substantial source of income for the government of the Russian Federation, accounting for more than 70% of the country’s energy revenues and allowing the Kremlin to finance its war against Ukraine. Other key players in the Russian maritime sector are also targeted by the sanctions such as Atomflot company, which manages the Russian icebreaker fleet and guarantees Russia’s maritime transport via the Northern Sea Route, the Arctic shortcut between Europe and Asia. The Russian National Reassurance Company (RNRC) is also targeted by these new restrictive measures. It is the main insurer of Russian ships responsible for the export of Russian oil, since Western insurance companies have stopped covering Russian shipowners. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 1, 2023FLASH NEWSOn February 28, the French oceanographic fleet operated by Ifremer announced its campaign schedule for the year 2023. For the first time, it will carry out missions involving several oceanographic ships, but also the coordination of ships and a satellite. Four campaigns will be coupled with measurements from an ocean observation satellite as part of the international SWOT mission, co-piloted by CNES and NASA. During 133 days at sea, they will aim to improve the quality of data and their use for a better understanding of the ocean, its dynamics and its impact on climate. The French oceanographic fleet is equipped with four deep-sea ships (Marion Dufresne, Pourquoi pas?, L’Atalante, Thalassa), two semi-offshore ships and five coastal ships (L’Europe, Thalia, Côtes de la Manche, Tethys II and Haliotis). It also has deep-sea submarines, unique in Europe, such as the Nautile submarine or the remotely operated robot Victor 6000, capable of working at a depth of 6,000 meters. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
March 1, 2023FLASH NEWSOn February 27, the Samoan government announced its support for the creation of a new project called “Climate Action Pathways for Island Transport”(CAP-IT). It is designed to accelerate the decarbonization of Samoa‘s maritime transport sector. This project aims to promote urgent and inclusive decarbonization by accelerating the uptake of electrical vehicles and exploration of low-carbon propulsion systems to transform Samoa’s land and maritime transport sectors respectively. Planned interventions will adopt an integrated approach to create an enabling environment through strengthened and gender-sensitive institutional governance, financial, infrastructural, and technical capacity development. This regional “green transformation” project in the Pacific region is funded by Japan with US$36.8 million dollars. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 28, 2023FLASH NEWSAccording to the Philippine Coast Guard, a spillage of diesel fuel ensued after an oil tanker carrying 800,000 liters of oil half-submerged in Oriental Mindoro early Tuesday morning. The Philippine Coast Guard said MT Princess Empress departed from Bataan en route to Iloilo with its 20 crew members. “Initial investigation revealed that the distressed motor tanker encountered engine trouble due to overheating. It then drifted towards the vicinity waters off Balingawan Point due to rough sea conditions until it became half-submerged,” the PCG said in a statement. A passing foreign vessel identified as MV Efes rescued the 20 crew members, who were later dropped off at the Port of Subic Bay, according to Sino Cruz. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 27, 2023FLASH NEWSLast Sunday, Ecuadorian police confiscated about 8.8 tonnes of cocaine worth $330 million that had been hidden between bananas in a container bound for Belgium. In 2022, seizures exceeded 200 tonnes – 61% of which was hidden among bananas destined for export. Since the start of 2023, confiscations have totalled 31 tonnes. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 22, 2023FLASH NEWSCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the deployment of two military vessels off the coast of Haiti in the coming weeks. The vessels will conduct surveillance, gather intelligence and maintain a maritime presence. This announcement was made from the Bahamas where a meeting was held with the heads of state and government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Driven by economic difficulties and rampant insecurity on the island, the number of Haitians attempting to illegally emigrate to neighboring countries by sea has increased significantly in 2021 and 2022.Although the ships will not be used to intercept Haitian migrants, interactions between Canadian frigates and migrant boats are expected. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 20, 2023FLASH NEWSSouth Korea has taken command of multinational counter piracy Taskforce CTF 151. Thus, the Republic of Korea Navy Rear led by Adm. Ko Seung-bum succeeds to Brazilian Navy Rear Adm. Nelson de Oliveira Leite. The handover took place at the US Navy Base in Bahrain. CTF 151 was established in 2009, with a specific mission to counter piracy activities within the international waters of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 10, 2023FLASH NEWSThe Royal Navy of Oman sank one of its old ships to serve as an artificial reef on the coast of Musandam Governorate. The site is sheltered from the currents and is already a dive site. The debris from the ship is expected to be used to form coral reefs and encourage the proliferation of wildlife. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 6, 2023FLASH NEWSBrazil’s Navy has sunk the 32,000 tons Sao Paulo some 350 kilometers (2020 miles) off its coast in the Atlantic Ocean, at an approximate depth of 5,000 meters, on Friday February 3,2023. For a few days now, several environmental groups have expressed concerns regarding what they call a “state-sponsored environmental crime”. In fact, the vessel contains tons of asbestos and other toxic materials – including mercury and PCBs – that should increase marine pollution and therefore largely endanger marine life coastal communities. Bought from France in 2000, this 1960s warship needed an $80 million refit that was never done by the Brazilian Navy. Since then, the Sao Paulo has experienced multiple breakdowns and accidents jeopardizin its operations at sea. This “planned and controlled sinking”, according to the Brazilian Navy, and its environmental consequences will probably raise a few criticism in the next few months. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
February 1, 2023FLASH NEWSOn Monday 23 January, the French surveillance frigate Ventôse (F733) recovered 12 bales of cannabis from a suspect vessel in the Caribbean Sea. During a surveillance patrol off the Grenadine Islands, the surveillance frigate seized 324 kg of cannabis from a boat with no visible markings of nationality. 10 suspects were arrested, 9 of whom were Venezuelan and one Colombian. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 31, 2023FLASH NEWSOn 24 January, a committee of more than 800 Thai fishermen filed a lawsuit against Star Petroleum Refining Public Company (SPRC), a subsidiary of US energy giant Chevron, after an accidental spill of nearly 60 tonnes of oil in January 2022. Following the spill, which was caused by a leak from a marine pipeline operated by SPRC near Rayong province, dozens of ships released more than 80,000 litres of chemicals onto the affected area, causing environmental damage. The committee is seeking $150 million in compensation, most of which will go into an environmental rehabilitation fund. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 31, 2023FLASH NEWSOn 23 and 24 January, the Bulgarian Navy neutralised two drifting mines in its waters. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine have destroyed some 40 drifting mines in the BlackSea.On 24 January, the cargo ship TUZLA (Vanuatu flag), operated by a Turkish operator, was hit by an explosive charge in the port of kherson , where it had been stuck since February. There were no casualties on board the vessel, which suffered damage from the explosion and subsequent fire.A dozen Turkish ships have been stuck in the Ukrainian grain port since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 30, 2023FLASH NEWSOn 26 January, the Chilean Council of Ministers for Sustainable Development declared the “Pisagua Sea” a marine protected area. This decision was taken on the basis of recommendations from the OCEANA association, which works to protect marine ecosystems around the world. This new marine protected area is located in the north of Chile. It covers 181,622 hectares and is the first coastal protected area in Chile. It also has the particularity of allowing fishing activities by local communities. The press release states that the local communities exploit the fishery resources in a responsible manner and that they should not be affected by the creation of this protected area. According to OCEANA’s studies, the waters concerned are particularly rich in plankton and krill and include large underwater forests of algae that are conducive to the reproduction of many species, including several rare ones. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 30, 2023FLASH NEWSOn 24 January, Spanish police and customs officials boarded a livestock ship, “ORION V” (Togo flag), off the Canary Islands. The vessel was en route from Colombia to Beirut. Investigators found approximately 4.5 tons of cocaine hidden in the grain silos used to feed the animals. The operation was carried out with the support of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Togolese police. This is the third ship to be diverted in the Canary Islands in the space of a few days. The 1750 cows on board were to be either slaughtered in Tenerife or allowed to reach their final destination. The ship left Gran Canaria on 29 January. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 26, 2023FLASH NEWSThe removal of cargo from the the wreck of the bulk carrier OS35, which sank on 29 August 2022 after colliding with another vessel on its way out of Gibraltar harbour, began at the beginning of January, with the arrival of the tug KOOLE 42 and a barge. The captain of the port has also received confirmatio that the tug Koole 31 towing barge K10030 have successfully departed from Brest and are expected to arrive in Gibraltar before the end of the month. Led by the Dutch salvage company Koole Contractors, the first phase of the operation, which focuses on the removal and recycling of the cargo (33,632 tonnes of steel bars), has begun. It has been agreed with the port to cut the vessel into two sections to avoid uncontrolled breakage. The sections will be lifted one by one onto a barge for recycling. The authorities expect the ship to be removed by 30 May 2023. Like this:Like Loading... [...]
January 23, 2023FLASH NEWSIn 2022, 201 tonnes of drugs were seized in Ecuador, down from 210 tonnes in 2021, with Europe the main destination for international drug trafficking from Ecuadorian ports. More than 4 tonnes were seized in containers bound for France, far behind those bound for Antwerp (35T) and Rotterdam (23T). Ecuador has a strategic position for transnational organised crime activities dedicated to drug trafficking. As a transit country, which has become a collection, storage and departure point for international shipments, it is now also a processing site. France has financed (2020 and 2021) 9 of the 13 anti-drug dogs of the Ecuadorian forces, via the inter-ministerial mission for the fight against drugs and addictive behaviour (MILDECA) Like this:Like Loading... [...]