IMO to Push Nations for Legislation on Treaties
An important strategic objective for International Maritime Organization (IMO) is improve the way its treaties and conventions are implemented, at the national level.Domestic implementing legislation is required but audits carried out by IMO reveal that, in many countries, it either doesn’t exist or is incomplete.To address this need, IMO offers an intensive 5-day workshop for lawyers and legislative drafters. It provides them with the tools they need to understand IMO treaties and how they are developed and adopted.
Ethiopian Cargo Ship Docks in Eritrea, First in 2 Decades
An Ethiopian commercial ship docked in an Eritrean port for the first time in two decades on Wednesday, state-affiliated Ethiopian broadcaster Fana Broadcasting said, in the latest sign of rapprochement between the two countries.The Mekelle, due to carry 11,000 tonnes of Eritrean zinc to China, docked in Massawa, FBC said.(Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by George Obulutsa)
Saudi Arabia, UAE to Establish Shipping Lane to Yemen's Hodeidah Port
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced a five-point aid plan for Yemen's Hodeidah port and surrounding areas on Wednesday, after a Saudi-led alliance of Arab states launched an attack on Yemen's Houthi-held main port city.As part of the plan, the two coalition states aim to establish a shipping lane to Hodeidah from the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, and Jizan, a city in southern Saudi Arabia, officials told a news conference in Riyadh.They will also distribute food, provide medical supplies, equipment and staff to hospitals, sustain electrical stations and provide economic support, they
Dryad Maritime Urges for Overhaul of Maritime Intelligence Industry
Dryad Maritime is calling on the maritime industry to develop a Standardisation Agreement (STANAG) setting minimum standards for the production of intelligence. "The threat is changing. Ship owners and operators no longer simply face a sporadic pirate threat in the Indian Ocean but are routinely deploying armed security teams to counter the threat of Water Bourne IED in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa," it said in a statement.
Cargo Ship Sinks near Oman
A Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship sank off the Omani coast due to leaked sea water, reported Bahrain News Agency. Twenty sailors were saved. The report quoted Authorities in Oman saying that the ship was loaded with construction material, consisting of steel bars and sand. Police and Oman’s Transportation and Communications Ministry said that the boat sank off the coast of Lakabi, a town some 620 kilometers (385 miles) southwest of the sultanate’s capital, Muscat. The 20 sailors, who were of various nationalities, were rescued and brought to the nearby police hospital in Lakabi.
US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine
The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti. The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. The United States uses the base in Djibouti…
Somali Regional Antipiracy Chief Says Sacked over Illegal Fishing Comments
The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province's president sacked him after he told journalists that permits had been handed to illegal fishing vessels. "The problem with Puntland is that if you talk about illegal fishing, you are seen as a criminal," Dirir told Reuters.
More than 11,000 Migrants Rescued off Libya this Week
More than 5,000 migrants were saved on Tuesday and Wednesday off the Libyan coast and 28 bodies recovered, bringing the total number of people rescued this week to more than 11,000, Italy's coast guard said. More than 20 people were reported to have suffocated in the hold of one overloaded fishing boat, bringing the total death toll for Monday and Tuesday to 50. Italian officials said three women saved on Monday had given birth over the past 24 hours on a coast guard vessel that was bringing some 1,000 refugees to Sicily. The women and their three children were all reported to be in good health. The coast guard said the 4,655 migrants rescued on Tuesday were taken from 33 overcrowded boats…
Nearly 11,000 Migrants Rescued in Last 48 hours off Libya
Many bodies found in the hold of one ship. More than 4,650 migrants were saved on Tuesday off the Libyan coast and 28 bodies recovered, bringing the total number of people rescued in the last 48 hours to nearly 11,000, Italy's coast guard said on Wednesday. More than 20 people were reported to have suffocated in the hold of one overloaded fishing boat, bringing the total death toll for Monday and Tuesday to 50. Italian officials said three women saved on Monday had given birth over the past 24 hours on a coast guard vessel that was bringing some 1,000 refugees to Sicily. The women and their three children were all reported to be in good health.
Human Remains and Belongings Found from Plane Crash at Sea
Egypt said on Friday its navy had found human remains, wreckage and the personal belongings of passengers floating in the Mediterranean, confirmation that an EgyptAir jet had plunged into the sea with 66 people on board. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered condolences for those on board, amounting to Egypt's official acknowledgement of their deaths, although there was still no explanation of why the Airbus had crashed. "The Egyptian navy was able to retrieve more debris from the plane, some of the passengers' belongings, human remains, and plane seats," the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement. The navy was searching an area about 290 km (180 miles) north of the port city of Alexandria, just south of where the signal from the plane was lost early on Thursday.
Hundreds of Migrants Arrive in Italy from Egypt
Italy's coast guard said on Thursday it had rescued more than 300 migrants from a packed boat in which they had travelled hundreds of kilometres (miles) from Egypt to the Strait of Sicily. People fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have been arriving in southern Italian waters for years, usually from Libya, where they pay smugglers for the passage. A spokeswoman for the Italian coast guard said migrants had arrived from Egypt in the past, but much less frequently than from Libya, which is about half as far away by boat. Italy's coast guard and a Spanish aircraft working for European Union border agency Frontex went on Wednesday to the aid of the boat, rescuing 156 men, 51 women and 107 minors.
Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel
Somali pirates have hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel with 15 crew members, a Somali official and a maritime expert said on Monday amid warnings that piracy might be making a comeback in the Indian Ocean. Although there are still occasional cases of sea attacks, piracy near Somalia's coast had largely subsided in the past three years, mainly due to shipping firms hiring private security details and the presence of international warships. The Iranian ship was taken on Sunday evening in waters off northern Somali city of Eyl, said Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of the anti-piracy and seaport ministry in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in Somalia. "Pirates hijacked an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel with its 15 crew from near Eyl," Dirir told Reuters.
UN Urges EU to Help With Med Migrants
Island communities unable to cope with migrant flow, UN says. The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that Greece urgently needed help to cope with 1,000 migrants arriving each day and called on the European Union (EU) to step in before the humanitarian situation deteriorates further. More than 77,000 people have arrived by sea to Greece so far this year, more than 60 percent of them Syrians, with others fleeing Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia, it said. "The volatile economic situation, combined with the increasing numbers of new arrivals, is putting severe strain on small island communities," William Spindler of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a briefing.
No more: Italy Refused to Take More Mediterranean Migrants
Italian politicians based in the north vowed not to shelter any more migrants saved at sea, even as thousands more were being rescued in the Mediterranean from smugglers' boats in distress, reports AP. All of those rescued will be deposited at ports on Sicily or elsewhere in southern Italy in the coming days, lifting this year's total of new arrivals on Italian soil to more than 50,000. Lombardy president Roberto Maroni said he would be writing to local mayors and prefects in his region on Monday to warn them not to accept any more "illegal immigrants" allocated by the government.
Somaliland to Pick Berbera Port Partner by End of Year
Somaliland expects to choose a partner to develop and manage its Berbera port by the end of the year, with construction expected to start early next year, the breakaway territory's foreign minister said on Wednesday. Mohamed Behi Yonis said the state, which broke away from Somalia in 1991 but is not internationally recognised, was in talks with France's Bollore, the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company and Dubai's DP World. "Those are the three major port management companies that are interested in developing the port. We have been discussing with all of them," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an African Development Bank meeting in Ivory Coast. "We have not made up our minds. We're looking at all options," he added.
Italy Reports 3,600 Migrant Rescues in 2 Days
Almost 3,600 migrants have been rescued from overcrowded boats sailing from Africa to Europe over the past 48 hours, Italy said on Thursday, with sea conditions seen as perfect for attempting the crossing. As more than 600 migrants were brought ashore at the port of Catania in Sicily, rescuers plucked another 2,500 from rickety boats off the coast of Libya, the coast guard said. Most of those who arrived in Catania had been picked up by the British warship HMS Bulwark and were Somali and Nigerian, port officials said. With Libya engulfed in strife, people smugglers are increasingly free to pack migrants onto unsafe boats, and they are expected to push total arrivals in Italy for 2015 to 200,000, an increase of 30,000 on last year, according to an Interior Ministry projection.
Libya's Coast Guard Detains Almost 600 African Migrants
Libya's coast guard detained on Wednesday almost 600 illegal African migrants, among them pregnant women and 18 children, who had tried to sail to Europe on a fishing boat, a security official said. The North African country, gripped by violence and a breakdown of state authority four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, has turned into a major hub for human traffickers smuggling African migrants by boat to Italy. As many as 900 people may have died last month off Libya's coast when their packed boat capsized as they were trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa. Many thousands more have managed to make the crossing in an almost daily exodus of boats.
Thousands of Migrants Rescued in Mediterranean
The Italian coastguard has said it had coordinated the rescue of thousands of migrants as they sailed across the Mediterranean on rickety boats, bringing the number of people rescued this weekend to 5,800. The migrants were to be taken to the Italian region of Calabria as well as the islands of Sicily and Lampedusa, it said. The bodies of eight migrants were found on board two of the rescued vessels. Two other people drowned after they jumped into the sea to rush towards the rescue teams, the coastguard said.
New Rescue Mission Aims to Curb Migrant Death Toll
A new sea rescue operation is to be launched in May to try to reduce the number of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers killed making the treacherous crossing from Africa to Europe, medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) said on Thursday. Last year was the deadliest on record when more than 3,400 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean, MSF said. This year, the death toll is expected to be even higher, MSF added. There is less help available for boats in distress since the Italian navy's search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, closed down in November last year because of a lack of funds.
EU Braces for Flood of Mediterranean Migrants
Boat arrivals up more than 40 pct this year; this year 600 dead vs 100 in same period last year. With migration across the Mediterranean surging, the European Union's largest border operation is bracing for a record year of arrivals by sea, especially as summer brings calm waters between Italy and Libya. Off the eastern coast of Sicily earlier this week, the 18-member crew of the Icelandic coast guard vessel Tyr -- named after a Nordic god of war -- conducted rescue drills in seas more familiar in Greek mythology, preparing for the worst. Though the United Nations refugee agency has criticised the mission, known as Triton, because its mandate is not search and rescue but border control with patrols near the Italian coast, the EU border agency Frontex says it is saving lives.
Maritime Piracy - A Global Headache
The maritime environment has presented a complex and challenging operating environment for all of human history. Piracy has been the most dangerous threat for seafarers. The first prize winner of 2015 CIMSEC (Center for International Maritime Security) High School Essay Contest Steel Templin brought out piracy issues faced by maritime sector. The nations of Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore all share a unique strength. Despite being third world countries and overall economically weak…
Italy Ending Med Sea Rescues
Rights groups warn of risk of more deaths; EU mission Triton will have more limited scope. Italy said on Friday it would close a sea rescue mission that has saved the lives of more than 100,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East, a move one rights group warned could lead to a "surge of deaths" in the Mediterranean. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the Mare Nostrum or "Our Sea" mission would end to make way for a smaller European Union scheme - and to help relieve the strain on Italy's public finances amid a three-year economic slump. "Mare Nostrum is closing down because it was an emergency operation," Alfano told a news conference.
UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal
The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday, though Russia and Jordan abstained from the vote over concerns about the move. The resolution, adopted by the 15-member council with 13 votes in favor, approves the use of "all necessary measures" - diplomatic code for military force - to carry out such inspections. The council imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 to cut the flow of arms to feuding warlords…