Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 19, 2006
Author: P&S


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  • Biltong Bertie dies

  • MCLI warns of Maputo boycott

  • Ethiopia and Djibouti sign multi modal transport agreement

  • 80 die off West Africa as boat capsizes

  • Government extends time for comment on subsistence, small-scale fishing policies

  • Pic of the day – car carrier Undine

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    Biltong Bertie dies

    The death has occurred of Bertie Reed, aka Biltong Bertie and renowned South African yachtsman who came to fame with his single-handed round the world yacht exploits.

    Stanley John Reed, better known as Bertie, died of cancer this week. He was 63. During one of his round-the-world yachting races he subsequently became the recipient of the Wolrade Woltemade medal, South Africa’s highest award for civilian bravery, for having abandoned any chance of the lead in the race by going to the rescue of fellow South African John Martin in the deep Southern Ocean, after Martin’s hi-tech boat had struck an iceberg.

    In his first round-the-world race, the BOC Challenge, Reed surprised everyone by taking second position across the line and first on handicap despite having raced in a 15-year old Knysna-built yacht named Voortrekker, with which he was to become synonymous. The man who beat him, Frenchman Philippe Jeanot was racing in the purpose-built hi-tech ocean racer Credit Agricole.

    Reed went on to become the first South African to complete three single-handed circumnavigations – and was also one of only a few international yachtsmen to accomplish this.

    In another yachting matter, Durban-based sailor and businessman, John Anstess is missing feared dead after a storm off the Oregon coast of Western USA.

    The catamaran was later found upside down and ashore near Lincoln City, a small Oregon beach community. The yacht was dismasted and overturned and there was no sign of survivors.

    The US Coastguard undertook an extensive search involving five helicopters and a C-130 aircraft, which has since been called off.

    Anstess is believed to have been delivering the yacht from South Africa to its owner in Washington State area and had sailed from San Francisco on 8 December 2006 with two others on board.

    MCLI warns of Maputo boycott

    The Maputo Corridor Liaison Initiative (MCLI) has warned of a boycott of the port of Maputo if Mozambique authorities and customs continue to charge a fee for scanning cargo moving across the country’s borders.

    According to the MCLI’s CEO Brenda Horne, both the World Bank and the IMF have expressed their concern to the Mozambican government that the scanning surcharge is not in line with international standards, and that the charges imposed on all cargo are "unprecedented and unacceptable".

    "European donor countries representing private business investments in the port of Maputo have informed the government of their concerns that future private investments in Mozambique by European companies would be jeopardised when it is known that charges such as these can be allowed to be imposed on their investments," said Horne in a stakeholder newsletter.

    A privately-owned company, Kudumba, has been awarded the contract to operate the country’s scanners and has imposed a fee of US $ 100 on each 20ft container for scanning purposes. Empty containers attract a charge of $ 20.

    Other charges apply to every conceivable cargo including bulk items like coal and iron ore.

    According to Horne the credibility of the port of Maputo has been placed at risk. She said that the charges would raise the cost of doing business through Mozambique to the amount of over $ 6 million a year.

    "Already South African and Swazi customers are reacting by transferring their business back to Durban and Richards Bay where there are no charges imposed for scanning," she warned.

    She said that internationally it was the exception rather than the rule for customs to levy scanning charges on cargo moving through the ports. In Durban, by contrast, only 10-15 percent of container cargo is scanned by the SA Revenue Services’ scanner for which no charge is made.

    Ethiopia and Djibouti sign multi modal transport agreement

    Ethiopia and Djibouti yesterday signed a multi-modal transport logistics agreement valid for the next 20 years which will see the port of Djibouti taking on the mantle of official port of entry for Ethiopia.

    In addition the two countries will introduce a door-to-door system for transit cargo. All clearing and forwarding operations at the port of Djibouti will be undertaken by the Maritime Transit Services of Ethiopia (MTSE), a company that includes within its makeup the Ethiopian Shipping Lines.

    In terms of the agreement the Ethiopian Shipping Lines can appoint an inland transport operator through an open bid process for Ethiopian import cargo

    Both countries retain the right to terminate the agreement ahead of the expiry date.

    80 die off West Africa as boat capsizes

    Crowded with more than 100 people on board, a migrant boat from Senegal has capsized in the Atlantic Ocean leaving 80 people dead.

    The migrants were heading for the Canary Islands in the hopes of obtaining access to Europe through the Spanish island territory. The accident happened on Saturday. Survivors were taken to St Louis in Senegal. It is not yet known whether any bodies have been recovered.

    According to survivor reports the fishing boat capsized at least twice during the ill-fated journey, spilling passengers into the sea. Those who survived then drifted among the wreckage for ten days without food or water until rescued by other fishing boats.

    Government extends time for comment on subsistence, small-scale fishing policies

    by Bongani Mlangeni, BuaNews

    The deadline for two key policy documents that affect subsistence fishing communities such as Paternoster in the Western Cape has been extended to next year.

    Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced on Wednesday that there was still a need for more extensive deliberations on the policies.

    The draft policies for the Allocation and Management of Medium-term Subsistence Fishing Rights and Small-scale Commercial Fishing Rights were published in the Government Gazette on November 2006 for public comment.

    The rights will be valid for a period of 10 years.

    Mr van Schalkwyk said the original deadline for comments was December 18, but said the department acknowledged the need for more extensive deliberation on the issues.

    The new deadline for public comments on these issues is March 12 2007, he said.

    The two draft policies provide guidelines for the allocation and management of medium-term rights for both subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries.

    The policies' main objectives are to award a four year medium-term rights to persons who can demonstrate their historic and cultural dependency on marine living resources.

    They also need to ensure orderly and sustainable development of fisheries and environmental sustainability.

    "These draft policies are intended to ensure that our rights allocations framework provides a fair share to our very poorest communities," Mr van Schalkwyk said.

    The policies, he said, were also intended to benefit coastal fishing communities who depended on the sea for their own food needs and the most basic of incomes.

    "We urge the interested parties - especially community-based organisations to provide as much input as possible so that we can proceed from a stronger and wider knowledge base" he added.

    He said in addition to the draft policies, the department had undertaken a number of measures to improve the livelihoods of coastal communities.

    This included doubling the total number of allocations of West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) near shore from 418 to 812.

    "I had to intervene because I sympathize with the fishing communities who have relied on the sea for their livelihood," he said.

    Earlier this year Mr van Schalkwyk announced interventions aimed at alleviating poverty among poor coastal communities.

    Pic of the day – car carrier Undine

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    An unusual and somewhat unflattering view of the Wallenius Wilhelmsen car carrier UNDINE at the Durban Car Terminal. The picture was taken in May 2003 on the occasion of the ship’s first visit to South Africa. Picture Terry Hutson

    NB Pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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