Indian Ocean News

05 Nov 2019

Maritime History & the Panama Canal

Grace Lines COLOMBIA transit of Panama Canal. Source: U.S.Merchant Marine Academy Maritime Museum.

The Panama Canal is a strategic crossroads for maritime traffic, and is arguably one of the most important maritime developments in the past century. Here we take a deeper dive into the history behind that famous strip of waterway.The present canal, which saw its first vessel transits in 1914, along with possible alternatives through Nicaragua and Mexico, had actually been on the minds of merchants, explorers and military/political strategists since the Age of Exploration in early 1500’s.

31 Oct 2019

Russia Presses for Northern Sea Route

Mikhail Belkin, State Policy Director, Rosatom; Dr. Torsten Sevecke, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation; Ekaterina Demicheva, Director of Development Rusatom Greenway; Ingo Egloff, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, and Alexander Neklyudov, CEO, Rusatom Cargo. Photo: © HHM

Russia is advocating expansion of ports and shipping along the Northern Sea Route (NSR).The  existing excellent contacts between Port of Hamburg Marketing and Russian ports as well as the Hamburg maritime industry’s second most important trading partner in seaborne freight traffic provided the occasion for an expert session on the use of the Northern Sea Route – NSR - and development of transit freight traffic between Europe and Asia.At a meeting in Hamburg, members of a delegation…

21 Oct 2019

DP World: Djibouti Dispute Hurts Firm's Borrowing Ability

File image: A typical DP World Terminal during cargo operations. (CREDIT: DP World)

Global ports operator DP World has struggled to borrow from banks to finance new investments since a port it partially owns in Djibouti was seized by the government there in 2018, its chairman said on Monday."We are investing but it is costing us more. That’s the damage," DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters in Rwanda's capital Kigali, where the company opened a $35 million logistics platform on Monday."Fewer banks will lend us money today," he said, without giving further details.

25 Sep 2019

29 Firms May Invest in Chabahar Port

Pic: Ports & Maritime Organization

29 companies have applied for investment in the Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar, Iran,  in the first six months of this year.Behrouz Aghaei, Director General of ports and maritime of Sistan and Baluchestan, said that Chabahar Port, as the country's largest oceanic port with a strategic location and access to international free water, has a special place in Iranian trade exchanges with other countries in the region.Chabahar Port as a gateway to trade with IORA, CIS, Afghanistan and Central Asia…

16 Sep 2019

Boluda Tows World’s Largest Container Ship

Image: Boluda CorporaciĂłn

Tugs from Boluda Towage Spain, the towing division of Boluda Corporación Marítima, have recently towed the largest container ship in the world in and out of the port of Algeciras.Built this year, the MSC MINA a has 23,756 TEU capacity and is powered by 228,741 GT. The ship called at the port of Cadiz during its maiden voyage from the Chinese port of Xingang to northern Europe, a service operated jointly with Maersk.The containership with the greatest container-holding capacity in the world was towed upon arrival at the Bay of Algeciras on 4 September by the tugboats VB JUANGONZALEZ…

23 Aug 2019

GloFouling Partnerships Project in East Indian Ocean

Pic: International Maritime Organization

"The introduction of invasive aquatic organisms into new marine environments not only affects biodiversity and ecosystem health, but also has measurable impacts on a number of economic sectors" said Lilia Khodjet El Khil, head of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-led GloFouling Partnerships project.The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project has concluded two workshops, one in Madagascar and one in Mauritius (19-21 August), two of 12 lead partnering countries whose aim is to protect marine biodiversity by addressing biofouling.During the first workshop…

22 Aug 2019

Privinvest’s Deliveries to Mozambique: A Model for Africa

About the Author: Gary Roughead, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), is a former chief of U.S. Naval Operations and former Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Media reports about Mozambique’s failure to launch a fishing and security fleet and its subsequent $2 billion debt default seem destined to torpedo, or at least set back similar efforts to build needed coastal security and national fishing fleets across Africa. That must not happen.The systems and equipment Mozambique bought a few years ago from shipbuilder Privinvest could serve as a template for coastal African nations seeking to rightfully benefit from their natural resources…

16 Aug 2019

July: Earth's Hottest Month Ever Recorded

© Alexander/Adobe Stock

According to the latest monthly climate report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet and Polar sea ice melted to record lows.Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees…

09 Aug 2019

MSCI Advisory Strait of Hormuz Precautions

This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisories 2019-004 and 2019-008.1. References: U.S. Maritime Alerts 2019-004A, 2019-003A, 2019-002A, and 2019-001A.2. Issue: Heightened military activity and increased political tensions in this region continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Associated with these threats is a potential for miscalculation or misidentification that could lead to aggressive actions. Vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman may also encounter GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning.Since May 2019, the following maritime incidents have occurred in this region:Six attacks against commercial vessels (see U.S.

19 Jul 2019

Operation Atalanta Welcomes ESPS Canarias

Image: EUNAVFOR

European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia officially welcomed the ESPS Canarias as she began her most recent deployment with Operation Atalanta.The ESPS Canarias will sail with Operation Atalanta alongside the ITS Marceglia from the end of July 2019 until early November 2019, countering piracy and monitoring fishing activity off the Somali coast.Spain continues to show its commitment to the defense of international rights in the Area of Operations and has contributed naval assets…

18 Jul 2019

ONE Launches India-Europe Direct Service

Map: Ocean Network Express

Ocean Network Express (ONE)  announced the launch of a new direct service, the Indian Ocean Service 3 (IO3), which covers South East India, Mediterranean, and North Europe.The new product will offer new port coverage and boost reliability to a wider range of direct port call options to ONE’s valued customers, the Japanese container shipping company said in a press release.It will also further expand ONE’s already comprehensive service offerings and allow its clients to enjoy greater choice while bringing efficiency and additional values to the supply chain…

18 Jul 2019

Indian Warships Staying in PG, Won't Join U.S. Coalition

A US Navy oiler underway and engaged in unrep operations. (CREDIT: Nicholas Burgaines)

Indian warships escorting merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf will remain deployed for the longer term, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, as tensions between Iran and Western powers rise.But the two ships, backed by surveillance aircraft, will not be part of a military coalition that the United States is assembling to safeguard the waters off Iran near the Straits of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil moves, the two officials said.Since June following attacks on tankers that the United States blamed on Iran and Iran-aligned fighters…

26 Jun 2019

Coast Guard Training in Kenya

Pic: International Maritime Organization

Senior officials from the newly established Kenya Coast Guard Services are undergoing training on coast guard functions at a national workshop in Mombasa, Kenya (24-28 June), said a press note from International Maritime Organization(IMO).The UN body said that fifteen participants are taking part in the training, which is using scenario development methodology and plenary discussions to highlight issues, identify insights and develop deeper understanding of effective ways to meet…

29 May 2019

EU NAVFOR Reviews Somali Piracy Attack

Pic: EU NAVFOR Somalia

The European Union’s counter-piracy force EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta has revealed the scenerio after having responded to the attack on 21 April. The suspected pirates seized a fishing dhow off the coast of Somalia then, holding 23 people hostage.Two days later, the incident was over; Operation Atalanta had detained five suspects and released 23 hostages, it said. EU NAVFOR explained detailed of the operation.The incident began when five suspected pirates captured a fishing dhow off the coast of Somalia.

31 May 2019

Sri Lanka, Japan, India Pact on ECT

Photo: Sri Lanka Ports Authority

The three governments of Sri Lanka, Japan and India have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for the development of the East Container Terminal (ECT) located in the Colombo South Port."As a hub of the Indian Ocean, the development of Sri Lanka and openness of its ports are of great importance. Colombo Port is the leading Port in the region. This joint project reflects the longstanding good will and cooperation among the three countries," said a joint statement.Japan has provided cooperation for the development of the Jaya Container Terminal since the 1980’s.

03 Jul 2019

Abu Dhabi, Mauritius Pact on Indian Ocean

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports and Ramalingum Maistry, Chairman, Mauritius Ports Authority at the signing ceremony at Abu Dhabi Ports’ HQ in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports and the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) have signed an agreement to pool their combined expertise to enhance the maritime sector across the Indian Ocean, from port infrastructure and security to protecting the environment and driving the cruise industry.Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Abu Dhabi Ports and MPA will explore areas of collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as how to ensure the safety and security of passengers, crew members…

15 Jul 2019

INTERTANKO Director Visits EU NAVFOR

 Photo: EU NAVFOR

Operation Atalanta Operation Headquarters (OHQ) welcomed a visit from Phillip Belcher, Marine Director at the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), as part of key EU NAVFOR relations with the shipping industry at a strategic level.Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, said in a press release that Belcher visited to hold a meeting regarding the latest developments in counter-piracy operations and the last incidents in the Indian Ocean.The meeting was chaired by Operation Atalanta’s Deputy Commander…

18 Mar 2019

Fire Breaks Out Aboard USS Devastator

Mine countermeasure ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) (U.S. Navy photo by Corbin J. Shea)

A fire broke out aboard the mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) while the ship was pierside at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain at approximately 8 p.m. local, March 14, the U.S. Navy said. No personnel injuries were reported.The ship declared the fire out at approximately 9 p.m. local, and Sailors continued to cool hot spots to prevent a reflash.The extent of the damage is being assessed, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.Sailors aboard Devastator…

13 Mar 2019

Boluda Corporación Goes to N. Europe

Kotup tugboat maneuvering a container ship. Image:  Boluda CorporaciĂłn MarĂ­tima

Shipping services provider Boluda Corporación Marítima has signed a letter of intent to acquire all the shares, worth 300 million euros, of Kotug Smit Towage.The Netherlands-based towage services provider Kotug Smit Towage is operating in North Sea countries (United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany).Boluda Corporación Marítima is now in talks to acquire 100% of the towage company Kotug Smit Towage created in 2016. The shares are owned equally by the two companies Kotug International BV and Royal Boskalis Westminster NV…

02 Jun 2019

Farewell to Carlo Margottini

ITS Carlo Margottini carries out a passing exercise with the Royal Navy of Oman while working with Operation Atalanta, countering piracy off the Horn of Africa. Photo: EUNAVFOR

European Union’s first naval operation Operation Atalanta, launched in 2008 to prevent and deter piracy at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean, said farewell to ITS Carlo Margottini on May 30, 2019.For the past three months, the Italian warship (hull number F592) has worked alongside the ESPS Navarra, countering piracy and monitoring fishing activities off the coast of Somalia. Previously, the ITS Carlo Margottini sailed with EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta from 5 April to 6 August 2018.The frigate ITS Carlo Margottini is the third ship of the Bergamini Class…

10 Jun 2019

India Woes Sri Lanka, Maldives to Checkmate Dragon

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (left) being welcomed by the President of Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in Male, Maldives on June 08, 2019. Photo: PIB

The re-elected Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's first foreign travel was to the neighbouring Maldives and Sri Lanka as part of his "neighborhood-first policy."China is also trying to exert its influence, especially in maritime sector, in both Sri Lanka and the Maldives. China's increasing involvement in both Sri Lanka and the Maldives pose threat to India's maritime boarders.Both South Asian countries are facing political instability as their ruling class has been divided into pro-India and pro-China groups.According to government sources…

01 Jul 2019

MSCI Advisory: Regional Conflict and Piracy

Logo: MARAD

2019-007-Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean-Violence Due to Regional Conflict and PiracyDescription:This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-0151. References: (a) U.S. Maritime Alerts 2018-001A, 2018-002A, 2018-002B, 2018-005A, and 2018-007A2. Issues: Regional conflict and piracy threats continue to pose potential risks to commercial vessels operating in the above listed geographic areas.3. Conflict in Yemen continues to pose potential risk to U.S.

17 Jul 2019

Unarmed Guards Deployed to Navigate Gulf

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

Shipping companies are hiring unarmed security guards for voyages through the Middle East Gulf as an extra safeguard after a wave of attacks in the region, security companies involved said.Relations between Iran and the West are increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar this month. Britain also said last week that one of its warships had to fend off Iranian vessels seeking to block a UK-owned tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz.As the risk of escalation grows…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2019 - Workboat Edition

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