SSA Appeals to Indonesia to Stop Forest Fires

MarineLink.com
Friday, June 21, 2013

Grave concerns on safe navigation through Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The Malacca and Singapore Straits is a strategic gateway in world trade and one of the world’s busiest waterways. On any given day, over 140 ships – such very large oil tankers, container ships, bulk carriers and cruise liners, ply through the Straits; not forgetting the smaller crafts like passenger ferries, tugs and barges making frequent cross-Straits voyages in the littoral states of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

During the past week, acrid haze originating from forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia has blanketed the region, including the southern Straits, southern peninsular Malaysia and the island of Singapore. While smoke haze is a perennial problem for the region during this time of the year, at noon today, the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index hit an unprecedented high of 401, which is deemed as being hazardous to health. Visibility had also dropped significantly.

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) is gravely concerned with the effects of the worsening hazy conditions on the safe navigation of ships through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

Whilst shipmasters are competently trained to navigate through very foggy and stormy weathers in other open seas, transiting through the narrow and busy Straits of Malacca and Singapore, however, can be very challenging and dangerous especially under extreme smoky conditions.

Daniel Tan, Executive Director of SSA said, “The Straits of Malacca and Singapore are among the busiest and narrowest shipping lanes in the world. Reduced visibility in such heavy shipping traffic will definitely affect the safe navigation of ships in the Straits. The passage through the Straits is further complicated by the many smaller barter trading ships and also passenger ships in cross-Strait traffic.”

While the smoke haze is a serious concern for the region, a maritime accident in the Straits would also have an extremely adverse and lasting impact on the marine environment.

He added, “In the event of any unfortunate accident, human lives and the marine environment will be at risk, especially if it involves a fully laden VLCC. The oil spillage from the tanker can have serious consequences not only on the marine life in the Straits but also affect the livelihood of fishermen and those who depend on the tourist industry.”

The SSA is also concerned that the smoke from the forest fires will not only contribute to atmospheric pollution but also climate change. The inhalation of the particulate matters from the smoke by the seafarers on board the transiting ships is also a serious concern.

In this regard, the SSA has urged the Masters of all ships transiting the Straits of Malacca and Singapore to take all necessary measures to ensure a safe passage. In addition to paying close attention to safety broadcasts on the relevant VHF channels, Masters have also been advised to navigate with caution in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

In particular, Masters have been strongly advised to proceed at a safe speed and to posting additional look-outs, instead of solely relying on electronic navigational aids to detect small ships in the vicinity.

In the interest of safe navigation and clean environment, both marine and atmospheric, the SSA appeals to the Indonesian Government to put an urgent stop to the indiscriminate ‘slash and burn’ method of land clearing in Sumatra.
 

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Bulk Carrier Trends

Golden Ocean, Knightsbridge Set for Merger

Dry bulk shipping companies Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) and the listed dry bulk shipping company in John Fredriksen's business empire Knightsbridge Shipping

Mitsubishi Bags Fourth LPG Carrier Order from Astomos

Tokyo-based Astomos Energy Corp has placed an order today with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for a very large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier.     The 83,

ClassNK's Structural Rules for Bulkers & Tankers

The Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) has announced the establishment of its “Common Structural Rules for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tanker” (Rules for the Survey and

Navigation

Record Thames Ridership

A record 9.8 million passengers are using the River Thames‎, two years on from the launch of the Mayor's River Action Plan, it was announced today. The River Action Plan,

Italy to Begin Naval Exercises off Libya

Italy will begin annual naval exercises this week near the coast of Libya, where a breakdown in order has allowed tens of thousands of migrants to try to reach

Ice Coverage on Great Lakes 89 pct: NOAA

Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is nearing 90 percent, reveals high resolution satellites images from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   The entire Great Lakes is at 88.

Environmental

Record Thames Ridership

A record 9.8 million passengers are using the River Thames‎, two years on from the launch of the Mayor's River Action Plan, it was announced today. The River Action Plan,

Tallink & Meyer Turku to Build LNG Ferry

AS Tallink Grupp and Meyer Turku Oy signed a contract for the construction of LNG powered fast ferry for Tallinn-Helsinki route shuttle operations. The dual

1st lifejacket for Working at heights

The first lifejacket custom-designed specifically for offshore personnel carrying out rope access or work at height has been developed by Survitec Group, the

Container Ships

MOL Expands Container Fleet

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced today that the company has signed a deal for construction of four 20,000 TEU containerships with Samsung Heavy Industries.

Mitsubishi Bags Fourth LPG Carrier Order from Astomos

Tokyo-based Astomos Energy Corp has placed an order today with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for a very large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier.     The 83,

Container Ship Runs Aground at Fremantle Port

A ship that ran aground at Fremantle Port early Saturday has been refloated. The 62,000-tonne Denmark-registered container ship Maersk Garonne became stuck in soft sand about 500m off South Mole.

News

MOL Expands Container Fleet

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced today that the company has signed a deal for construction of four 20,000 TEU containerships with Samsung Heavy Industries.

Record Thames Ridership

A record 9.8 million passengers are using the River Thames‎, two years on from the launch of the Mayor's River Action Plan, it was announced today. The River Action Plan,

Tallink & Meyer Turku to Build LNG Ferry

AS Tallink Grupp and Meyer Turku Oy signed a contract for the construction of LNG powered fast ferry for Tallinn-Helsinki route shuttle operations. The dual

Maritime Safety

Italy to Begin Naval Exercises off Libya

Italy will begin annual naval exercises this week near the coast of Libya, where a breakdown in order has allowed tens of thousands of migrants to try to reach

Hijacked Indonesian Vessel Found in Philippines

The hijacked Indonesian cargo ship Rehoboth has been found abandoned in waters off Mati town in Davao Oriental province off the southern Philippines coast, says the  the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Canadian Submarines Ready to Hit the Sea

For the first time since they were purchased in 1998, the Royal Canadian Navy has reached a stage where three of its four diesel-electric submarines are now shipshape and available for operations.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1635 sec (6 req/sec)