Pacific Island News

30 Jul 2019

SAR Exercise in Pacific Ocean

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A workshop, organized by International Maritime Organization (IMO) in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), aimed to promote ratification of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979 (SAR Convention) in the region, was held (22-26 July) in Hawaii, United States. The 8th Regional Pacific SAR (PacSAR) Workshop was to identify gaps and promote common best practices in SAR services. A mass rescue operations sea and air search and rescue (SAR) exercise in the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii  was just one key elements in the Workshop.Besides the practical MRO exercise…

23 May 2019

Race Against WW II Shipwrecks Oil Spill

Image: MV Ocean Recovery

A remediation programme to protect island ecosystems from damage caused by oil pollution from World War II wrecks sunk in the Pacific Ocean will launch in Newcastle Harbour today (Thursday 23 May).The programme is the result of a partnership between Major Projects Foundation, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) – an intergovernmental Pacific regional organisation made up of 26 members – and the University of Newcastle. It will see expert teams of scientists…

09 Apr 2019

Australia Gifts Guardian Class Patrol Boat to Tuvalu

Prime Minister The Hon Enele Sopoaga accepts the Te Mataili II from the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific. Tuvalu's Minister for Natural Resources, The Hon Dr Puakena Boreham and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, The Hon Taukelina Finikaso joined the Prime Minister at the ceremony. (Image: Austal)

Australian designer and manufacturer, Austal handed over a Guardian-class patrol boat to the Pacific Island country Tuvalu in a ceremony in Perth, Australia.This is the second of 21 GCPBs being gifted by the Commonwealth to 12 Pacific Island Nations and Timor-Leste under the Commonwealths Pacific Maritime Security Program."Austal is pleased to deliver this program for the Commonwealth of Australia. The Guardian Class has brought together the industry-leading skills of over 200 Austal employees…

05 Dec 2018

India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals

© Mykola Mazuryk / Adobe Stock

In the 1870 Jules Verne classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", underwater explorer Captain Nemo predicted the mining of the ocean floor's mineral bounty - zinc, iron, silver and gold.India is catching up with that only now, as it prepares to unearth treasures down below, aiming to boost its economy.The floor of the world's seas is scattered with vast beds of black potato-shaped polymetallic nodules comprising copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, iron and rare earth elements.These natural goodies are key to making modern gadgets…

12 Nov 2018

USP, CNCo Join to Research New-Generation Low-Carbon Ships

Image: Swire Shipping

The University of the South Pacific (USP) and The China Navigation Company (CNCo), parent of Swire Shipping and Swire Bulk, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct feasibility studies for the design costs and plan for new generation ships for the Pacific region which is committed to low carbon sea transport.Under the MOU signed on 10 November 2018, Project Cerulean aims to eventually develop a new class of small cargo freighter, which, once proven to be commercially viable to operate…

27 Aug 2018

Pacific International Lines Names Southern Pearl

Photo: Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd

Singapore-based containership operator Pacific International Lines (PIL) said that a naming ceremony of Southern Pearl had taken place at Taizhou Kouan Shipyard in China. The vessel is the first to be owned by PIL’s subsidiary Pacific Direct Line (PDL), the company said.The naming ceremony was graced by PDL board of directors, together with the Godmother of Southern Pearl, Ms. Lucy Bladinières.The ceremony was a huge success and as part of the family, we are immensely proud to…

20 Mar 2018

CNCo, SPREP Ink Recycling MOU for Pacific Islands

James Woodrow, MD, CNCo signing the MOU in Singapore. Photo SPREP

The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) have today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address critical waste management issues in the Pacific islands. Known as the “Moana Taka Partnership”, this MOU allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific. “This historic partnership will be of great benefit to our Pacific islands…

22 Jan 2018

Ten Institutes Join the Nereus Program

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Ten new research institutes from Europe, North America and Australia have joined the Nereus Program research partnership, bringing the total to 17. Launched in September 2011, the program is an international collaboration between The Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia with the aim to make comprehensive forecasts of the ocean’s future, the program has grown into one of the world’s largest research initiatives in its field. Principle investigators from eight…

13 Dec 2017

Pacific Centre Launches on Low-Carbon Shipping Mission

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Pacific region has celebrated the launch of a centre of excellence for low-carbon shipping technology, which joins centres in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America as part of a global network run by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and funded by the European Union. Through this network – the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) – these centres will develop and promote low-carbon maritime transport systems, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

08 Dec 2017

Putin Okays Loading Start at Yamal LNG

President Vladimir Putin launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic (Photo: SCF Group)

President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic, which will further expand Russia's global energy reach. The Yamal project, which required investments of $27 billion, will allow Russia to fulfil a plan to double its share of the global LNG market by 2020 from around 4 percent now. The LNG was loaded onto the ice class tanker "Christophe de Margerie", named after the former head of France's energy major Total, who died in a plane crash in Moscow in 2014. Total holds a 20 percent stake in Yamal LNG.

26 Nov 2017

Novatek Aims to Launch Yamal LNG on Dec 8

(Photo: Novatek)

Russia's Novatek has provisionally set Dec. 8 as the official launch date for its Yamal LNG plant, two sources with direct knowledge of the event planning told Reuters. Novatek's partners on the project are France's Total, the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and China's Silk Road Fund. The project, on the Yamal Peninsula above the Arctic Circle, will be Russia's second LNG plant after Sakhalin-2 on the Pacific island of Sakhalin. At full capacity, the Yamal facility will be able to produce 16.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year, which it will ship to Europe and Asia.

15 Oct 2018

The Quest to Find and Explore USS Indianapolis

An image shot from a ROV shows a spare parts box from USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in more than 16,000 feet of water. (Photo courtesy of Paul G. Allen)

Sunk by Japanese torpedoes near the end of World War II, heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis disappeared to the darkest depths of the Philippine Sea, where it remained undiscovered for more than 70 years. Recently a team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen set out equipped with an arsenal of high-tech search equipment on a mission to locate the historic vessel last seen on July 30, 1945. The story of the USS Indianapolis is one of military might, heroism, tragedy, controversy and mystery.

28 Sep 2017

Liability Treaties at Pacific Islands

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

An International Maritime Organization (IMO)/Pacific Community (SPC) workshop in Fiji is supporting Pacific Island countries (Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) to implement treaties dealing with liability and compensation. The workshop, taking place in Suva (26-29 September), is providing a comprehensive overview of the IMO liability regime, including treaties covering wreck removal…

15 Sep 2017

PacRim Nations Crack Down on N.Korean Ships

South Pacific island nations are scouring shipping records for vessels with links to North Korea after Fiji said it had identified 20 falsely flagged ships it suspects the isolated regime is using to evade United Nations sanctions. Fiji, along with Interpol and the Singapore-based regional shipping regulator Tokyo MoU, are investigating the vessels for links to North Korea, a spokesman for the country's Maritime Safety Authority (MSAF) told Reuters on Friday. Interpol and Tokyo MoU did not immediately respond to requests for comment on their investigations. The 18 members of the Pacific Islands Forum this month agreed to launch an audit of every ship registered in the Pacific to search for any links to North Korea.

01 Aug 2017

First Pacific Patrol Boat Keel Laid

Minister Pynes’ signature was welded into a plate that was in turn welded into the hull by the Minister, with assistance from one of Austal’s newest Apprentice Fabricators, Ricardo De Oliveira. (Image: Austal)

Austal hosted the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defense Industry, at the ceremonial keel laying of the first of 19 Pacific Patrol Boat vessels for the Australian Government’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project. Minister Pyne authenticated the keel by committing his signature to a plate that was subsequently welded and placed in the hull of the vessel. Austal chief executive officer, David Singleton, said the ceremonial keel laying was a significant milestone in the A$306 million (US$245 million) PPB-R Project…

10 Jul 2017

Austal Opens Cairns Office

Hon Warren Entsch MP, Member for Leichardt joined Austal’s Vice President, Defense RADM (Retd) Davyd Thomas AO CSC to open Austal’s office in Cairns Queensland 10th July 2017. (Photo: Austal)

Austal Australia was joined by Warren Entsch, Federal Member for Leichardt, to officially open its vessel sustainment office in Cairns, the latest effort in the expansion of Austal’s national footprint. The shipbuilder said its new Cairns sustainment facilities will employ nearly 30 people to support the Austal-built Cape Class fleet for the Australian Border Force and the Royal Australian Navy and the future Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB) that Austal is currently building for the Australian Government.

10 Jul 2017

Port Autonome de Papeete Orders Tug for Tahiti

Damen’s local agent, Damien Barrow, Boris Peyterman, Technical Director PAP, George Puchon, CEO PAP and Damen Sales Manager Vincent Maes. (Photo: Damen)

Damen Shipyards said it has won an open tender for the supply of a tug to Port Autonome de Papeete on the Pacific island of Tahiti. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of the French Republic. The tug will be Damen’s popular ASD 2810 model, a rugged, versatile vessel capable of delivering 60 tonnes of bollard pull. Pape’ete is the capital of French Polynesia and the economic hub of the archipelago. Port Autonome de Papeete serves a wide range of vessels including local ferries…

24 Feb 2017

Austal completes DDR for Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project

Austal’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project is on schedule, with Detailed Design Review completed on time and in accordance with the Construction of the 19 steel vessels is due to commence, on schedule Photo Austal

Austal has successfully completed the Detailed Design Review (DDR) for the A$306 million Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project on time and in accordance with the contracted schedule. A key element of the Commonwealth’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy, the PPB-R Project is contributing to the growth of Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability in the lead up to the Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate programs for the Royal Australian Navy, due to commence in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

01 Mar 2017

USCG, Navy Conduct Joint Maritime Security Mission

U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Kelley

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy completed an 18-day joint mission in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 103 from Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team embarked USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and conducted 16 fisheries enforcement boardings with the assistance of the ship’s visit, board, search and seizure team and law enforcement ship riders from Tuvalu and Nauru.

09 Mar 2017

Austal Opens New Patrol Boat Building Facility

Image: Austal

Austal has opened a new Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Shipbuilding Facility in Naval Base, Western Australia. Australian Defense Industry Minister Christopher Pyne cut the red ribbon at the 10,500m² facility in front of defense industry stakeholders, suppliers and partners from across Australia. Austal CEO David Singleton said the PPB-R project is estimated to create up to 207 jobs across production, project management, services and support - from Perth Western Australia to Cairns in Queensland.

26 May 2017

Pacific’s Wild Weather Challanges in Search

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Pacific’s wild weather and vast distances make it a challenging location for search and rescue, said Keith Manch, Director Maritime New Zealand, in his opening address at the Pacific Regional Search and Rescue workshop in Auckland, New Zealand (22-26 May). The objective of the workshop is to provide Pacific Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators and responders with the tools to improve coordination between national SAR agencies. The event also aims to improve regional collaboration through formal protocols and communication ensuring a uniform SAR response throughout the Pacific.

09 Jul 2017

IMO Edges Towards Decarbonisation Objective

Photo: Seas at Risk

The UN's shipping body has settled on the main elements of an interim strategy aiming to decarbonise the sector, said a press release from Seas at Risk. Over 170 countries meeting at the International Maritime Organisation in London had some substantive discussion on objectives and ways to decarbonise shipping resulting in a 7-step outline that now needs to be developed into an interim plan due in 2018. One proposal calling for the shipping sector to adopt climate targets in line…

16 Dec 2016

Pacific Islands for Energy Efficiency

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

An energy efficiency workshop for Pacific Island countries and territories has been held in Port Vila, Vanuatu (12-14 December). The event helped participants gain knowledge and tools to develop national strategies and clear policies to improve energy efficiency in maritime and port infrastructures, to use alternative and cleaner fuels and to increase awareness of energy-efficiency measures. International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Edmund Hughes delivered a presentation (via remote participation) on policy and strategy for energy efficiency in maritime transport.

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