Marine Link
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Canada Orders Ships to Reduce Speed to Prevent Whale Deaths

North Atlantic right whales (Photo: Jolinne Surrette / Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Certain ships are being ordered to reduce speed because of the deaths of at least 10 North Atlantic right whales in Canada's Gulf of St Lawrence during the past two months, the government said on Friday. The deaths have made 2017 the deadliest year for the endangered marine mammal since scientists began tracking their numbers in the 1980s, researchers said. The ministries of transport and fisheries issued a temporary order for vessels 20 meters or longer to slow to a maximum of 10 knots in the western portion of the Gulf, which stretches from Quebec to north of Prince Edward Island.

Termination of Seadrill Unit's and Rosneft Deal Extended

Photo: North Atlantic Drilling Ltd.

North Atlantic Drilling (NADL), a subsidiary of Seadrill, will delay the closing of a deal with Russia's Rosneft by two years and has agreed to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, reports Reuters. NADL will also be permitted to delay the construction, delivery, or shipyard stay of any of those rigs. Western sanctions levied against Russia for its actions in Crimea have raised concerns over the future of the $4.1 billion agreement and have already forces Rosneft to terminate several North Atlantic Drilling contracts.

Baltic Index Surges on Strong Demand for Larger Vessels

(Photo: NORDEN)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, notched its biggest one-day percentage gain in five months on Thursday, buoyed by soaring demand for larger vessels. The index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 42 points, or 4 percent, at 1,092 points – the highest since April 28. "We are seeing a seasonal uptick ... This time of the year you basically see the rates improve," said Herman Hildan, analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities.

MSC Announces New Service

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)announced that the company now offers new direct service to West Mediterranean ports in addition to its existing North Atlantic Service. This service is being operated using five 1200 TEU capacity vessels on a weekly basis. Valencia, Naples, La Spezia and returning to Boston. moving to and from Western Europe," said Nicola Arena, president of MSC (USA) Inc. Gulf to North Europe; plus their Atlantic service to the Western Mediterranean out of Charleston. Mediterranean areas (via Relay Service) can be accommodated. available between U.S. Mexico and the Caribbean. While the company's North Atlantic to Europe vessels will not stop in Freeport…

Rosneft Cancels Rig Contract

Russian oil firm Rosneft has cancelled a contract for a two-and-a-half year rig contract with Northern Offshore and Seadrill's North Atlantic Drilling Ltd, the Norwegian offshore driller said. Western sanctions against Russia, and Rosneft in particular, have led the Russian oil group to cancel a North Atlantic Drilling vessel earlier this month and raised concerns whether a larger agreement would go through.. The contract, worth about $150 million, was for Northern Offshore's jack-up rig…

North Atlantic Extends Rig Contract with Total

West Phoenix Rig. Photo by North Atlantic Drilling Ltd

North Atlantic Drilling has been awarded a contract extension for the semi-submersible rig West Phoenix by Total E&P UK Limited. The contract will commence mid-March 2016 and secure work for the unit through the end of August 2016. The total revenue potential for the contract extension is approximately $62 million. "A portion of the $62 million will be paid during the currently anticipated idle period from the beginning of September 2015 to the middle of March 2016. The Company has the ability to market the rig for alternate work during this period…

Hapag-Lloyd Increases Rate Increase for North America services

Freight rates have come under pressure in recent months with the entry of new players into the North Atlantic market. Moreover, costs, particularly for charters, bunkering and additional security measures, have risen. Hapag-Lloyd has thus decided to raise freight rates for the North Atlantic and for the US Gulf and the US West Coast with effect from February 1st 2007. The increase amounts to $200 for a 20-ft. container and $250 for a 40' container. Hapag-Lloyd also plans to rationalize its ship capacities for North America services next year.

HSV 2 Swift Completes Sea Trials

In a world first for a commercial based High Speed Craft (HSC), certified and operated in accordance with the HSC Code by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), USN HSV 2 Swift has completed very comprehensive heavy weather sea trials in the North Atlantic Ocean. HSV 2 Swift is a 98 metre Incat SeaFrame configured to US Navy specifications and is designed by Revolution Design in Tasmania, Australia, and built by Incat Tasmania, also in Tasmania, Australia. HSV 2 Swift is contracted to the US Navy, through Military Sealift Command by Bollinger Incat USA.

Denial of Petition to Re-Route Ships

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a Notice stating that it denied the petition submitted by various environmental advocacy groups requesting that the agency promulgate emergency regulations to slow and/or re-route vessels within the habitat of the North Atlantic right whale. The agency has various pending efforts to enhance protection for this endangered species and issuance of an emergency rule at this time would curtail full public notice, comment, and analysis. In the meantime, NMFS continues to advise vessels transiting North Atlantic right whale habitats to comply with current regulations and to exercise caution to avoid ship strikes. 70 Fed. Reg. 56884 (September 29, 2005).

Seadrill Rig Contract Extended

West Epsilon Rig: Photo credit Seadrill

Seadrill - North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. announces extension of Statoil contract for the harsh environment jack-up rig 'West Epsilon'. North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., a majority owned subsidiary of Seadrill Limited, announce that Statoil has exercised its option to extend the contract for the heavy-duty harsh environment jack-up rig West Epsilon by two years from December 2014 to December 2016. The estimated value of the contract extension is US$215 million. Seadrill is a leading offshore deepwater drilling company…

KVH Expands mini-VSAT Broadband Network

Image: KVH

KVH Industries, Inc. expanded the capacity of its mini-VSAT Broadband network with two upgrades recently, supporting growing customer demand for broadband at sea. One expansion added a new satellite beam that doubled the mini-VSAT Broadband network capacity in the North Atlantic Ocean region, including Canada’s Hudson Bay. The second expansion added a new beam across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to add 30 percent more capacity across areas such as the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Greenpeace Wins Bid To Delay North Atlantic Exploration

Greenpeace won its bid to delay oil exploration in the north Atlantic when a judge ruled the British government was failing to apply a European Commission environmental directive in allocating licenses. The government is considering an appeal against the judgment on the basis that it is not taking into account the Commission's Habitats Directive in issuing exploration licenses. A spokesman said the government had been planning to issue new licenses in its 19th round early in 2000, but this was likely to be delayed. Ten energy companies were also party to the case. These were: Texaco, Esso UK, Marathon Oil UK, Mobil North Sea, Enterprise Oil, Conoco Ltd, Statoil, Philips Petroleum Co UK, Elf Exploration and British Gas Exploration and Production.

CG Reminder, Slow for Right Whales

The Coast Guard reminds operators of vessels 65 ft or greater in length that the Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule takes effect Nov. 1, requiring those vessels to slow down while operating in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic waters where North Atlantic Right whales are known to migrate, calve and nurse. The Coast Guard has worked closely with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service division during the past decade to further both agencies’ shared goal of conserving and rehabilitating the North Atlantic right whale population. “The Coast Guard, in coordination with NMFS, has a long history of protecting living marine resources and will continue to take action to protect the right whale from ship strikes and other threats…

Cast To Cut North Atlantic Shipping Times

Containershipping company Cast will reportedly cut transit times on the North Atlantic as it introduces three new ships this summer. Transit cuts would include Zeebrugge to Montreal reduced to eight days from 12, three days off the Le Havre-Montreal voyage and Montreal to Liverpool reduced by one day to seven, the company said in a statement. The first of three faster 1,800 teu (container equivalent) capacity ships would enter service on June 20 with the other two vessels coming on stream in August. Service speeds of more than 22 knots were attainable with the new ships, compared with the 17 knots of the current four vessels being replaced.

North Atlantic Right Whale – port access routing study

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a port access routing study to analyze potential vessel routing measures and consider adjusting existing vessel routing measures in order to reduce vessel strikes on the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. The areas under consideration include Cape Cod Bay and possibly Race Point and the Great South Channel in the northern region and approaches to Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, and Brunswick in the southern region. Comments should be submitted by April 19. 70 Fed. Reg. 8312 (HK LAW)

Potential Whale Breeding Grounds Discovered

A large number of North Atlantic right whales have been seen in the Gulf of Maine, leading right whale researchers at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center to believe they have identified a wintering ground and potentially a breeding ground for this endangered species. The NEFSC’s aerial survey team saw 44 individual right whales on Dec. 3 in the Jordan Basin area, located about 70 miles south of Bar Harbor, Maine. Weather permitting, the team regularly surveys the waters from Maine to Long Island and offshore 150 miles to the Hague Line (the U.S.-Canadian border)…

Two New Reefer Vessels for Eimskip

Eimskip has entered into shipbuilding contracts for the construction of two reefer vessels. The investment is supporting the company strategy to be a supplier of quality services in the North Atlantic. This is a part of a renewal for the fleet and making Eimskip able to transport in an efficient and secure way. With this new fleet structure Eimskip is will be able to enter into more diversified transportation services, serving temperature controlled commodities such as meat, vegetables, fruits etc. The new ships will contribute to the extensive transport network in the North Atlantic Ocean of Eimskip and Eimskip-CTG, its subsidiary in Norway. The company received one reefer vessel last year and will within one year receive three vessels ordered in 2004 and 2005.

Battelle Wins $15 Million USACE Contract

Five-year contract provides environmental expertise for maintaining the nation's waterways. Battelle has won a five-year, $15 million contract to support and consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District, North Atlantic Division.Battelle will provide technical expertise in support of the District's mission for maintaining the nation's waterways, specifically focusing on contaminated sediments, restoration, and remediation. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for USACE also calls for Battelle to support environmental assessments and policy decisions and help with resource management in the North Atlantic Division.

Wärtsilä to Power Two New Fishing Trawlers

rendering of the fishing trawler to be built at the PJSC Vyborg shipyard in Russia (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Wärtsilä said it has been contracted to provide the engines and the complete propulsion package, including the propulsion control system for two new fishing trawlers being built for Murmansk, Russia based Nord Pilgrim Ltd. The ships are to be constructed at the PJSC Vyborg shipyard in Russia. The orders with Wärtsilä were booked in June, 2017. The 80-meter-long trawlers will be reinforced to Ice3 class, thereby enabling them to extend their fishing operations in the Barents Sea and North Atlantic.

Globalstar USA Expands Coverage

Globalstar USA announced extended service coverage in both Alaska and the North Atlantic. As a result of agreements among Globalstar service providers in North America and Europe, calls can be made along the main shipping route between the two continents. Globalstar's expanded coverage also includes Alaska, regions of the north Pacific to the International Date Line, portions of Greenland, and all of Iceland.

NOAA Proposal Aims to Extend Reduced Whale Ship Strikes

A right whale skim feeding with NOAA Ship Delaware II in the background.

NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on its proposal to make permanent the rules it implemented five years ago to reduce the number of collisions between ships and North Atlantic right whales. Right whales are among the most endangered species in the world, and are highly vulnerable to ship collisions. The rules, part of NOAA's long-standing efforts to recover right whales, are currently scheduled to expire in December 2013. NOAA's proposal to make them permanent, which includes a 60-day public comment period, was filed at the Federal Register today.

Melting Sea Ice Opens Arctic Passages for Invasive Species

Arctic Navigation: File photo

For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center assert in a commentary published in 'Nature Climate Change' and excerpted here. Two new shipping routes have opened in the Arctic: the Northwest Passage through Canada, and the Northern Sea Route, a 3000-mile stretch along the coasts of Russia and Norway connecting the Barents and Bering seas.

Sargasso Sea Protection: 11 Countries Pledge to Support Pact

Sargasso Sea image from video courtesy of SSA

Representatives from 11 countries and territories from North America, the Caribbean and Europe have committed support for the conservation of the Sargasso Sea eco-system for the benefit of present and future generations, informs the Sargasso Sea Alliance (SSA). The Alliance explains that for more than two years, it has collaborated with the Bermuda government  in a push for the establishment of safeguarding measures for the Sargasso Sea, a unique two-million-square nautical mile ecosystem in the North Atlantic that is without effective legal protection…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

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