Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 30, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • North Korean fishing vessel gets slap on the wrist for illegal nets

  • Safmarine MAKUTU joins the fleet

  • Big Cape Town welcome for NATO fleet

  • Fierce overnight gunfight in Mogadishu

  • News from the shipping lines

  • Pic of the day – HDMS OLFERT FISCHER

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    WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

    North Korean fishing vessel gets slap on the wrist for illegal nets

    A North Korean-registered fishing vessel currently operating in southern African waters received a relatively small and easy-to-pay fine of R400,000 this week (US$55,000) after fishery and wildlife inspectors discovered illegal gill nets on board.

    This is not the first time this particular ship has been in the news. The vessel has undergone a number of name changes in recent times is currently berthed at Durban’s Maydon Wharf under the name of INA MAKA. Ironically this name means ‘Earth Mother’ in some native American languages.

    The Norwegian Black List of fishing vessels lists Ina Maka as having previously operated under the names Black Moon, Eolo, Dorita, Magnus, Thule, and Red Moon. Greenpeace’s Blacklist of fishing and other vessels shows her previous names as being Eolo (2004), Thule (2004) and Viarsa II (1984).

    The ship is registered to a Panamanian company named Meteora Developments, and this week the ship’s master, acting on behalf of the Panamanian-listed company which owns the vessel, pleaded guilty in a Durban court to charges of carrying the illegal nets. The newspaper report claimed that the nets, which have been confiscated, are large enough to form a 60-km long barrier in the sea.

    But if the fine seems lenient in real terms considering the plunder of the seas, the court further extended its lenience by suspending half the fine. The balance is to be paid over to the Marine Living Resources Fund and the SA Association for Marine Biological Research.

    Conservation personnel who monitor visiting fishing ships in Durban harbour were alerted to the vessel by the name having been freshly painted over but leaving ‘Black Moon’ clearly visible underneath the new paint. It is believed that a local fishing company, which is active in the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators and which acts as a watchdog against illegal fishing of Patagonian toothfish, may have played a role in alerting the authorities.

    SAFMARINE MAKUTU joins the fleet

    The fourth in a series of newbuilds for Safmarine, to be delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries, was named SAFMARINE MAKUTU at a ceremony at the shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, yesterday.

    The honour of naming the new ship, a sister vessel to Safmarine Meru, Safmarine Mulanje and Safmarine Mafadi, was performed by Mrs Natalie Scholtz, wife of Duard Scholtz, managing director of JF Hillebrand South Africa Pty Ltd, one of Safmarine’s clients.

    The new ship with a container capacity of 4,154-TEU, will join her sisters on the SAFARI 1 service between South Africa and the Far East and replaces MAERSK TOBA, a ship of equal size which will be repositioned. Altogether Safmarine and sister company Maesrk Line employ 13 ships on the twin Safari strings – Safari 1 and Safari 2.

    The respective Safari service rotations are as follows:

    Safari 1: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Durban, Cape Town, Port Louis, Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong.

    Safari 2: Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Louis, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Hong Kong.

    The new ship’s other dimensions are: Length - 292,08 m; Breadth - 32,25 m; Deadweight – 60,700 tdw; Service Speed - 24,50 knots. Safmarine Makutu is named for a 2,164m high mountain of that name in Zambia.

    See also PORTS & SHIPS News Bulletin for 21 August, ‘News from the shipping lines’ http://ports.co.za/news/article_2007_08_20_3717.html#one

    Big Cape Town welcome for NATO fleet

    The guided missile cruiser USS NORMANDY, flagship of the NATO task force which arrived yesterday in Cape Town harbour. See also image of this ship in yesterday’s News Bulletin. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Cape Town, still in the aftermath of winter, managed to roll out one of its better days yesterday for the arrival in port of six NATO ships forming Task Force SNMG1 (Standing Nato Maritime Group 1), which are on a 12,500 n.mile circumnavigation of Africa.

    SNMG1 is also the first NATO force of naval ships to visit South Africa and to undergo exercises with ships of the South African Navy. That lies ahead for early next week – crew on the ships will first enjoy some rest and recreation in the Mother City after several weeks at sea, during which they paid an official call in Nigeria and have also paid individual calls at one or more ports along the way.

    Next week on 3 and 4 September the six ships HMCS TORONTO (Canada), HDMS OLFERT FISCHER (Denmark), FGS SPESSART (Germany), HNLMS EVERTSEN (The Netherlands), NRP ALVARAS CABRAL (Portugal), and USS NORMANDY (United States of America), will go to sea south off Cape Point to take part in Exercise Amazolo with the South African Navy, represented by the frigates SAS AMATOLA and SAS ISANDLWANA, the submarine SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE and strike craft SAS GALESHEWE.

    The Dutch stealth frigate HNLMS EVERTSEN in Cape Town harbour on Tuesday, 28 August. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Media will be on board one of the ships during the exercises (not PORTS & SHIPS unfortunately) but we still hope to have reports soon afterwards. A media conference will be held on board SAS AMATOLA on Tuesday 4 September.

    Fierce overnight gunfight in Mogadishu

    Fierce fighting broke out in the northeastern suburbs of the port city of Mogadishu on Tuesday, reports Shabelle Media Network. The report said the fighting involved Somali police and insurgents in and around the Hilawa district after the insurgents attacked the police post.

    The Somali capital remains an area subject to sudden outbreaks of violence and insurgency, despite the presence of an African Union peacekeeping force and elements of the Ethiopian Army, and indicates that the infant interim government has so far been unable to restore calm and law and order.

    This is also evident with repeated attacks on international shipping in waters up to several hundred miles off the Somali coast. The assaults which have resulted in ships being captured lead to extortion by way of ransom demands that have in many cases been paid by shipping companies and other bodies – further exacerbating the problem in the eyes of some.

    Recently the Danish consulate in Kenya admitted that a ransom had been paid to release the captured freighter DANICA WHITE and its crew of five Danes, who had been held by the pirates for over a month. Other cases where ransom has been known to have been paid included South Korea.

    News from the shipping lines

    Deutsche Afrika-Linien (DAL) GmbH & Co has chosen to operate all liner activities under its own name in South Africa in future.

    Malte Kersten, the owner’s representative in South Africa has relocated the company’s head office in South Africa from Johannesburg to Durban. He told PORTS & SHIPS that with effect from 1 September 2007 all offices representing DAL, apart from SAFDAL, will be renamed into DAL Agency Pty Ltd.

    He said this was a further indication of DAL Deutsche Afrika-Linien’s willingness to become further involved and to expand liner activities particularly in Southern Africa.

    DAL has been involved with Southern African shipping for many years, particularly with SAFDAL, its long-term joint venture with Safmarine. DAL currently operates two ships on the SAECS (South Africa Europe Container Service) twin strings – DAL KALAHARI on the main string and DAL EAST LONDON on the intermediate service.

    Safmarine is set to introduce a number of new ships into service from 2008 to further boost the growing fleet (see report about SAFMARINE MAKUTU above).

    Among the new additions expected for delivery in 2008 are five 2,474-TEU container ships to be delivered by Volkswerft Stralsund in Germany and two 6,160-TEU ships coming from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction in South Korea. These seven ships will all be owned vessels.

    In addition Safmarine is chartering four Chinese-built multi-purpose tweendeck vessels of 12,000-DWT which are being purpose-built for Safmarine’s West Africa MPV service.

    Safmarine has already taken delivery of two 1,600-TEU feeder ships, Safmarine BANDAMA and Safmarine SANAGA and these are to be joined by a further two during 2008. Safmarine Bandama, which is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd is currently deployed on the East Africa - Middle East trades, and Safmarine Sanaga, owned by Misuga Kaiun Co Ltd of Japan will join the Algeciras – West Africa feeder service later this year.

    French carrier CMA CGM, which claims to have been the first shipping company to employ containers fitted with bamboo floors (known as eco-containers), has received a further 30,000 of these bamboo-fitted boxes, increasing its fleet to 37,000 TEU.

    “Expanding our eco-container fleet has a dual objective. First, we want to make use of modern eco-design ideas and limit the use of tropical wood because this resource is disappearing. We also want to improve the technical performance of our own containers to ensure that we provide customers with the service they expect,” says Alexis Michel, senior VP of Container Logistics and a member of the company’s Environment Committee.

    The group claims the introduction of eco-containers has saved almost 10,000 m³ of tropical wood.

    Maersk Line expects to return to profitability later this year following a US$568 million loss in the previous fiscal year. Parent company AP Møller-Mærsk published its half year results yesterday in which it anticipates reaching a total revenue of $50 Billion for the full year, up from $44.5 Bn last year.

    Anticipated profits have been adjusted from the previous forecast of US $3 Billion to $2.7 Bn.

    By reducing capacity in loss-making markets Maersk Line has refocused on improving earnings by moving tonnage from loss-making trades to trades with better earnings, the group said in its half-year statement.

    It is believed some of this transfer of trade has involved moving away from inland container operations particularly in the USA.

    Maersk Line increased the number of routes operated on the important Asia – Europe trade which resulted in growth of 13 percent in this market, while the African and Oceania trades reflected reasonable growth of 12 percent and 8 percent respectively. Transpacific trades however reflected a decline in volumes of 12 percent and transatlantic trades remained unchanged.

    During the six months under review Maersk Line took possession of 15 new-built container ships and sold 13 older vessels.

    Maersk Line carried a total of 3 million FFE (40ft container equivalent units) during the first half of 2007, an increase of 3 percent over the same period for 2006. Sister company Safmarine carried 295,000 FFE for the six months ended June, a 14 percent increase on the same period 2006.

    During the period Safmarine took possession of two newbuilds, both 4,150-TEU ships deployed on the Safari 1 service (South Africa-Far East).

    Pic of the day – HDMS OLFERT FISCHER

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Royal Danish Navy corvette HDMS OLFERT FISCHER, one of six ships making up the NATO task force now visiting Cape Town, where Ian Shiffman took this picture

    Send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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