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Maritime Blogs

Blogs by Maritime Community

<div class="cStream-Attachment-inner-custom"><div><div style="float:left; width: 130px;margin-right: 12px;float: left;color: transparent;"><a href="/…; target="_blank"><img… style="width: 200px;height: auto;" /></div><div style="width: 75%;float: left;"><div style="font-weight: bold;font-size: 18px;margin: 0 auto 2px auto;"><a href="/…; title="…; target="_blank">6 Indian sailors killed, 6 missing in Kerch strait ship accident</div><div style="margin: 0 auto 8px auto;">Two fuel ships carrying Indian and Turkish crew members caught fire in Kerch Strait</div></div></div></div>

ACROSS the river from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters in London protesters have pressure-hosed “IMO DON’T SINK PARIS” into the muck lining the walls of the Thames. The river bank is not the only thing that is dirty.

Shipping and airlines were the only greenhouse-gas-emitting industries not mentioned in the 2016 Paris climate agreement. This was, in part, because assigning emissions is hard. To whom should you designate emissions for shipping Chinese goods, made with South Korean components, across the Pacific to American consumers? But similar problems did not stop airlines quickly agreeing on an industry-wide limit. This week delegates to the IMO, a United Nations agency responsible for shipping safety and pollution, met in a belated attempt to catch up. A deal was due last week.

It may not be an impressive one. A preliminary agreement set out to achieve cuts of 50% on 2008 emission levels by 2050. Ambitious nations, like those in Europe, think the industry should be carbon-free by then. Shipping produces 3% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, similar to an economy the size of Germany’s, and that is likely to grow.

Lack of cleaner shipping technology is not a constraint. New design standards are already lowering harmful emissions. Zero-carbon fuels are becoming available. Slowing ships down by 10% could reduce fuel usage by almost a third.

Diplomats argue that the slow progress is because their actions affect not just the shipping industry, but exporters too. If regulators move too aggressively they may reduce the competitiveness of seaborne trade. For instance, Brazil, a big exporter of iron ore to China, fears overzealous caps could drive shipping costs higher, helping its competitor, Australia, whose ores travel a quarter as far as Brazil’s. The idea of slowing vessels down draws ire from countries that export perishable goods, like cherries and grapes, as Chile does.

Others argue that powerful lobbyists have hijacked the process. A report by InfluenceMap, a research firm, found that at a recent IMO meeting 31% of nations were represented, in part, by direct business interests. Thomas O’Neill, one of the firm’s researchers, is irked by the power of business at the IMO. “In Paris, we did not have coal companies telling us what was possible.”

Countries with large shipping registers can have starkly different interests. The Marshall Islands, a low-lying nation keen to allay climate change that is also home to the world’s second-largest shipping registry, leads the call for drastic cuts. Its president co-authored a vociferous op-ed in the New York Times last week calling for swift action. But Panama, which has the biggest shipping registry, is an opponent. Japanese firms sail many ships under its flag. InfluenceMap says it may be the biggest obstacle to ambitious emissions curbs. Slow sailing indeed.








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The shipping industry, from the mariner’s viewpoint, is rather like a set of Chinese boxes. Open one and there is another inside and another inside that, with each more remote and more difficult to deal with. Every casualty produces a flurry of documents, rules, advice on how not to collide and the inevitable ‘we fail to understand pronouncements. Blame, of course, is apportioned without going too deeply into the boxes and we settle down to await the next inevitable incident.

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This blog I have written as an article, what I have read in the “Alert”, the magazine published by the Nautical Institute. It is written originally by Maria Pittordis, Partner, Hill Taylor Dickinson, a maritime consulting firm, concerning the claims arising due to stress related medical conditions in the sea

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The Human Element is mentioned periodically in every safety statistics as it accounts for between 50 to 90 % of accidents at sea, in addition, every incident’s investigation reports an involvement of the human element at some point in the causal chain.  Many studies have been carried out to investigate this issue in the shipping industry in different terms, such as the impact of new technology, lack of training, psychological factors just to mention few of them.

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In ensuring the safe conduct of the ship and the safe and timely delivery of its cargo the technical operation of a ship is as important as its navigation. The machinery and systems are what makes the ship work, and it is the engineers, both ashore and afloat, who make sure that it works efficiently, effectively and in a manner acceptable to the crew. 

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Golden Bollard 2017


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