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The 353-meter Maersk Honam, an ultra-large container ship (ULCS) built in 2017, first reported a serious fire in one of its cargo holds on Tuesday, March 6, while heading west in the Arabian Sea approximately 900 nautical southeast of Salalah, Oman. Of the 27 crew members, 23 were evacuated to nearby containership, the ALS Ceres. Unfortunately there five fatalities resulting from the fire. The Indian Coast Guard was first to commence firefighting on Thursday, March 8. Two additional vessels, the CSC Nelson and Maersk Involver, arrived the following day and initiated firefighting. The Maersk Honam was carrying a total of 7,860 containers and hundreds of containers have been destroyed by what many are speculating a chemical fire.

Another fire was just reported, this time below the deck of the 6,188 TEU Maersk Kensington while en route from Salalah, Oman towards Suez. All 26 crew members are safe and accounted for and the fire is reported to be contained. 

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The mandatory fuel consumption data collection system for international shipping, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in October 2018, has entered into force as of 1 March 2018. It requires ships above 5,000 gross tonnage to start collecting and reporting fuel consumption from the start of 2019.  The data collection methods may be based on using bunker delivery notes (BDNs) combined with tank readings at the beginning and end of the reporting period (calendar year); using data from onboard flow meters; or daily fuel oil tank monitoring on board. It will require records of consumption for each type of fuel used as this in turn determines the ship’s carbon dioxide emissions by applying a Conversion factor. Ships equipped with direct CO2 emissions measurement equipment may use these instead of measuring fuel consumption.  The data collected under the mandatory reporting system will help inform the Marine Environment Protection Committee when it comes to adopting a revised strategy in 2023.

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The concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on safety of navigation in accordance with SOLAS Chapter V was carried out in the Tokyo MoU region from 1 September to 30 November 2017 on all types of foreign merchant ships. A total of 6,720 vessels were inspected including 2,360 bulk carriers, 1,333 general cargo and 1,186 container ships.  36 ships were detained as a direct result of the campaign. The most notable deficiencies found during the campaign were related to the passage plan for the voyage 338 (21.82%), followed by exhibition of navigation/signal lights 304 (19.63%) and recognition of stages of remote audible alarm of BNWAS 168 (10.85%).

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Adidas Originals and Parley for the Oceans has joined together in a shared mission to learn, evolve, and reconfigure the way we think about pollution in the world’s oceans. Adidas has announced that it has reached its goal to sell one million pairs of the shoes made out of ocean plastics. Each pair is made from 11 reused plastic bottles, with the laces, heel linings and sock liner covers all made from other recycled materials.  

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An international search for a new CEO of Canadian National is underway following the news that Luc Jobin (left) is leaving the railroad effective immediately.  In the interim Jean-Jacques Ruest (right) has been appointed by the board to serve as interim president and CEO.  Ruest has been with the company for 22 years, the past eight as executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. Since Jobin's departure, CN has apologized for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and says it’s taking immediate steps to clear the backlog—including mobilizing more train cars and workers. The Chamber of Shipping has issued a statement on the backlog of all shipments and the need for improved fluidity and reliablity. 

Friday, 09 March 2018 13:49

SSB on STCW Requirements in Polar Waters

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Ship Safety Bulletin SSB No: 01/2018: How to Meet STCW Requirements for Masters, Deck Officers and Other Crew Members of Certain Canadian Ships Operating in Polar Waters was issued by Transport Canada this week.  The bulletin explains how masters, deck officers and any other crew member can meet certification and familiarization training requirements for those on certain ships operating in polar waters.

Friday, 09 March 2018 13:33

Provocative speech by Transas CEO

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At the Transas Global Conference held earlier this week in Vancouver, Transas CEO Frank J. Coles delivered a very forward-looking and thought-provoking opening speech envisioning a world with fewer middlemen and more standardized solutions. He also reminded the conference delegates of the need to address the Human Factor.  He states, "Until we change the attitudes to the business and the current maritime culture, technology remains just a patch, not a solution." The full video can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KWzYbTghcP8.

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Oceana Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nations, Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA) and Ocean Networks Canada are partnering to explore areas of high ecological, cultural and economic significance – joined by Alexandra Cousteau, filmmaker, Oceana Senior Advisor and granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau – in the Central Coast of British Columbia from March 7-14, 2018. To watch live go to: http://protectoceans.ca/.

Friday, 09 March 2018 12:55

TMEP protests this weekend

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On Saturday starting at 10 am the Protect the Inlet protest is expected to be the largest demonstration so far against TransMountain starting at Burnaby's Lake City Way SkyTrain station and followed by a 2.5km march.  If you're a supporter of the pipeline, more info at the project's website, or sign the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.'s ongoing pro-pipeline petition.  In the latest development, Alberta has threaten to cut off oil exports if obstruction to the project continues along with the debate on whether diluted bitumen floats despite studies that have already proved that it does but clean up would need to be much faster than a conventional spill.  

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The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to launch a formal investigation focused on practices of vessel operating common carriers and marine terminal operators related to detention, demurrage, and per diem charges.  As the designated Investigative Officer, Commissioner Rebecca Dye will have broad authority to conduct Fact Finding 28, including the power to issue subpoenas, to hold public and non-public sessions, and to require reports. Under this Order, she is charged with making recommendations for Commission action including investigations of prohibited acts; enforcement priorities; policies; rulemaking proceedings; or other actions warranted by the record developed in the proceeding.  The final report of Commissioner Dye's findings and recommendations is due on December 2, 2018.


The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin to clarify NVIC 01-18 and Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) compliance date extensions. No extensions will be granted to a vessel with an installed alternate management system (AMS) and no extensions will be granted to install an AMS. However, the Coast Guard will consider granting extensions to vessels that intend to install a BWMS that is expected to receive type approval in the near future. There are six Coast Guard type approved BWMS at this time and USCG has received its ninth application for type approval for the BALPURE BWMS.

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The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau has now issued its report on the August 21, 2017 collision between the USS John S McCain and the Liberian flag tanker Alnic MC. The safety investigation determined that the USS John S McCain made a sudden turn to Port (left) into the path of Alnic MC because of a series of missteps that took place after propulsion controls were transferred. The collision happened within three minutes of the USS John S McCain turning to Port, and the actions taken by Alnic MC were insufficient to avoid the collision.

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