News Digest 15-Aug-2022

Union Minister laid the foundation for Seafarers Club and celebrates Har Ghar Tiranga programme

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 08 Aug 2022 to 14 Aug 2022 in descending order:


India: Union Minister laid the foundation for Seafarers Club

14 Aug 2022
Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday inaugurated infrastructure projects at Kamarajar Port.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH Sabaranand Sonowal waving the Tricolour at Kamarajar Port in Chennai on Saturday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT. Image Source: The Hindu

The list of projects included the newly-developed Amrit Mahotsav Marg at North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) junction, internal roads, truck parking bays, rest shelter, and container examination shed. These projects were executed at a cost of ?87.26 crore to facilitate seamless movement of cargo and to provide ease in terminal operations, a release by the port said.

Mr. Sonowal laid the foundation stone for the construction of Seafarers Club at a cost of Rs. 6.88 crore. The new building will have accommodation and recreation. He took part in the celebration of Har Ghar Tiranga programme organised by the employees as part of the 75th Independence Day celebrations. Reference


Cruise Lines’ Crew Shortages Lead to Canceled Trips

14 Aug 2022
Cruise ships are filling up again, but passengers have been reporting back quicker than crew members.

Image Source: Yahoo!

Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises this week canceled 11 fall sailings on its Diamond Princess, saying it couldn’t provide the level of service customers expect amid ongoing labor shortages. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., another large operator, told investors it’s had to limit capacity on the Pride of America because of staffing. The ship, which sails the Hawaiian islands, is required to have a crew that’s mostly US citizens, a tall order in this tight labor market.

Princess’s cancellations comes after a rocky few months. P&O Cruises, another Carnival division, canceled seven voyages earlier this summer due to staffing shortages. But other adjustments have been more subtle. Carnival Cruise Line, the company’s namesake brand, scaled back some of its offerings this summer, including suspending some special events like its parties for loyal cruisers, and instead provided perks like onboard credit or cocktail vouchers. Now, those events have returned.

Carnival offered incentives, including bonuses and greater contract flexibility, to increase the number of staffers. Those have now been discontinued.

Most crew members hail from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and throughout the Caribbean islands, according to Walker. Generally, non-US citizens require a visa to work on ships that travel in and out of American ports.

The number of visas processed by the State Department declined as much as 90% during the pandemic. Around March, the department’s overall issuance of visas rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but Loweree says the agency had to play catch up on two years of backlogs.

While cruise operators have tried to maintain their offerings, some passengers have complained of inadequate service. Reference.


Ten tech startups aiming to revolutionize maritime

13 Aug 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic proved once more that the maritime supply chain remains crucial to the global economy and that the largely traditional industry is desperate for Israeli disruption

As a geographical bridge since ancient times, Israel, and in particular its ports, have carried great significance throughout history. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption proved that the maritime supply chain remains as crucial as ever to the global economy. In addition to its geography, Israel now has an additional role to play in the industry thanks to its innovative startups.

Below are some of the Israeli companies aiming to revolutionize the largely traditional sector:

1. Name: Captain’s Eye, Product: AI-based system that detects unusual events on ships, Year founded: 2020, Funding: $4 million
Founders: Col. (Res.) Uri Ben-Dor and Col. (Res.) Doron Oizerovich
Earlier this year, it was reported that Captain’s Eye received a $4 million investment from SixAI, founded by Ran Poliakine. The maritime AI company has developed an advanced safety, security, and management system to identify and alert real-time events on ships.

2. Name: Orca AI, Product: Safe maritime navigation through Artificial Intelligence, Year founded: 2018, Funding: $15.6 million
Founders: CEO Yarden Gross and CTO Dor Raviv
According to the company, Orca AI helps the marine navigation arena by providing an intelligent technological solution for collision avoidance in maritime transport. Its system analyzes environments and reduces human error with the help of automated vessels.

3. Name: Windward, Product: Predictive maritime intelligence, Year founded: 2010, Funding: $32.3 million
Founders: CEO Ami Daniel and Matan Peled
Windward screens and monitors deep investigations by providing bottom line go/no go recommendations that the company claims produce 75% fewer false positives. This means its customers and partners can focus on future-forward decisions and optimize their businesses correctly.

4. Name: SeaErra, Product: AI-based underwater imaging technology, Year founded: 2018, Funding: $500,000
Founders: CTO Dr. Tali Treibitz
SeaErra has developed AI-based imaging solutions to help improve the visibility, contrast, and colors of images that are captured underwater. Its product line is planned to include software and hardware solutions that can apply for post-processing and real-time photos and videos taken by off-the-shelf cameras.

5. Name: ECOncrete, Product: Eco-friendly concrete, Year founded: 2012, Funding: $10.6 million
Founders: Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella
ECOncrete was founded by its current CEO Ido Sella and Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, an award-winning marine ecologist and tech entrepreneur who tragically died last year. The company manufactures concrete structures that accelerate the growth of marine plants and animals, including fish, coral reefs, seaweed, and sea anemone.

6. Name: Ocean Brick System, Product: Modular concrete blocks for marine construction, Year founded: 2005, Funding: Funded by revenue
Founders: Yoram Alkon and Dr. Eli Kent
The company’s Ocean Brock System (OBS) is used to help with large maritime infrastructure projects, such as artificial inlands (including offshore airports), breakwaters, marinas, and deep-water ports. It is based on studies in Structural Morphology and modules are built up by being stacked and connected to create stiff and buoyant ‘superstructures’.

7. Name: Sealartec
Product: Develops autonomous launch and recovery systems for USVs and manned boats, Year founded: 2018, Funding: $1.3 million
Founders: CEO Amitai Peleg and CTO Alon Cohen
The fact that Amitai Peleg and Alon Cohen are aiming to disrupt a practice dating back hundreds of years is all one needs to know to understand the mammoth challenge they have taken upon themselves. The co-founders of startup Sealartec have developed a robotic launch and recovery system capable of performing precise and fully autonomous launch and recovery of an unmanned surface vessel (USV).

8. Name: Cydome, Product: Provides cybersecurity and protection to the maritime industry, Year founded: 2019, Funding: $2.2 million
Founders: CEO Nir Ayalon and COO Avital Sincai
Israeli startup Cydome Security aims to address this exact issue, providing a cyber solution to seamlessly safeguard the maritime IoT ecosystem. The company’s solution is designed for systems including guidance, sensors, control, command, communications, and links to coastal infrastructures.

9. Name: HARBO Technologies, Product: Minimizes the consequences of oil spills. Year founded: 2013, Funding: $1.258 million
Founders: CEO Boaz Ur, CTO Arnon Shany, and Board Member Haim Greenberg
HARBO Technologies has developed an immediate containment system that is designed to reduce the damage from maritime oil spills. Its T-Fence system can be installed on any potential spill source, such as large ships and tankers, ports, marinas, coastal infrastructure facilities, and exploration and production rigs.

Name: Pick a Pier, Product: Sustainability platform for boaters and marinas, Year founded: 2017, Funding: Undisclosed
Founders: CEO Idan Cohen and COO Asaf Cohen
Pick a Pier is working to make sailing more accessible, convenient, and sustainable. Its platform connects boats and marinas and helps the marinas with their resources and repetitive tasks. Reference


Wifi connectivity for seafarers remains ‘hit-and-miss’ despite legal obligation, warns Idwal

13 Aug 2022
Most seafarers have no access to free unlimited onboard wifi while working at sea, according to a study by ship-inspection company Idwal.

Image Source:

The worrying findings come more than 15 years after the Maritime Labour Convention legally required shipowners to provide crew with onboard communications.

It also comes despite increased awareness of the need for onboard connectivity prompted by the pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers had to endure prolonged separation from families after being forced to work at sea for as long as a year beyond their contracted period.

Idwal’s study is drawn from 12 seafarer welfare data points that are routinely checked during its ship inspections.

Thom Herbert, Idwal’s senior marine surveyor and crew welfare advocate who compiled the study, said: “It seems that it’s still very hit and miss as to whether seafarers get the connectivity they want and need.”

Lack of crew communication facilities was recently linked to a major marine casualty. In July 2020, the 203,000-dwt bulk carrier Wakashio (built 2007) grounded off Mauritius, spilling more than 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil, with catastrophic consequences for the environment.

Without free internet access available onboard, the ship’s crew had sailed too close to Mauritius’ coastline to pick up a mobile phone connection.

Ship inspections carried out by independent companies such as Idwal now go beyond checks on the ship’s structural and safety operations.

They also routinely rate crew welfare services, which also contribute to the overall assessment of the vessel.

Crew supply is under pressure, with fewer Russian and Ukrainian seafarers working in the international labour force due to the ongoing conflict.

Many seafarers are also turning away from the industry after their experiences during the pandemic.

Idwal, along with the Standard Club and Mission to Seafarers, is a sponsor of the Seafarers Happiness Index that regularly assesses crew wellbeing. Reference.


Technology’s Pivotal Role In Making Global Shipping Hassle-Free

12 Aug 2022
The shipping industry has always been efficient, but it has been slow to accept new technologies that could disrupt the existing logistics infrastructure. Technological change in logistics has happened as step functions due to the high investment needed in fixed infrastructure but rapid technological changes have reduced the time between these step functions. Operating in the digital age implies the sector must make use of new technology to cater to high consumer expectations regarding shipment times and sustainable operations.

Image Source: Business World

Today, consumers are buying more things online than ever before, yet they still want the immediate satisfaction of instant transactions. This indicates that customers want handling and shipment periods to be completed more quickly.

The shipping industry is undergoing a technology revolution now. This age-old industry till the last decade was hesitant to harness new technology but now has taken up all-around modernization with a vengeance. Startups that are developing tech solutions specifically for the industry are also supporting its digitization ambitions. Drones, AI, machine learning, the internet of things, blockchain, and other technologies are being used to create a more secure, productive environment for conducting export and import trade.

As digitization and technology blur geographical boundaries, consumers can now have their products of choice sourced from anywhere in the world. Indian e-commerce brands, too, realizing the potential the market offers, are looking at globalization as their next frontier. Reference


An Industry First Brings Sailors’ Society’s Wellness At Sea To 1,600 Aspiring Seafarers

12 Aug 2022
The first in a series of ground-breaking global wellness and mental health conferences designed exclusively for maritime school students has been hailed as an overwhelming success.

Image Source: Sailors’ Society

More than 1,600 cadets from 21 Indian and Sri Lankan maritime colleges registered to take part in the first of four conferences created and run by international maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society.

The virtual event took place on August 3 and was hosted online by technical partner UK P&I Club, with support from gold sponsor Inmarsat and bronze sponsor Fleet Management Limited.

More than 96 per cent of cadets, polled at the conference, also said that wellbeing training should be mandatory.

Chaired by Sailors’ Society’s Head of Wellness, Johan Smith, the conference opened with an inaugural address from Captain Subroto Khan, Campus Director at the Indian Maritime University and featured top maritime industry and wellness experts throughout the day, who spoke on a diverse range of current issues including being a seafarer in a time of war and staying mentally strong at sea.

Keynote speaker Mrs H.K. Joshi, ex-Chairwoman of The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI), addressed the topic of diversity and women in maritime, commenting: “If women can go to space, they can go to sea”.

Each conference is tailored to the region. They will feature internationally renowned speakers and focus on key and current issues facing cadets today, drawing strongly on material from Sailors’ Society’s pioneering Wellness at Sea programme. Reference


Rare 400-year-old ship found in German river is a stunningly preserved ‘time capsule’

11 Aug 2022
Maritime archaeologists in northern Germany have discovered the wreckage of a 400-year-old cargo ship that “sank almost standing,” escaped decay from ravenous shipworms and still has the barrels of lime it was carrying for the stone-building industry centuries ago.

Divers have made 13 dives to the sunken vessel, totalling 464 minutes, to make a first report about the 400-year-old shipwreck. (Image credit: Research diver Christian Howe). Image Source: Live Science

The ship, a rare discovery, is from the Hanseatic period, when a group of northern European trade guilds dominated the Baltic and North seas from the 13th to 17th centuries, Live Science previously reported. Wood quickly rots away underwater in this region, and few shipwrecks of this age have ever been found. But maritime archaeologists think the wreck survived beneath the waves because it was quickly engulfed and protected by a layer of fine mud carried there by the river Trave, which leads to the city of Lübeck about 5 miles (8 kilometers) inland.

The remains of the ship were first found in 2020 during a routine sonar survey by authorities of the navigable channel in the Trave. The vessel lies at a depth of about 36 feet (11 meters) in the predominantly saltwater outer stretch of the river, between Lübeck and the port of Travemünde at its mouth to the Baltic Sea.

The wrecked ship was between 66 to 82 feet (20 to 25 m) long and may have been a galliot, a single-masted cargo ship common during the Hanseatic period, Fritz Jürgens, the lead maritime archaeologist on the project and assistant chair of protohistory, medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Kiel University in Germany, told Live Science. At that time, the towns and guilds of northern Germany and elsewhere in Europe made up a successful bloc — the Hansa — that dominated trade throughout the Baltic and the North Sea.

The layer of river mud over the wreck may have prevented it from being colonized by Teredo navalis, a type of saltwater clam called “shipworm” that rapidly eats submerged wood, Jürgens said. The bivalve quickly destroys wooden wrecks in the western Baltic region, but it doesn’t live in the colder waters of the eastern Baltic; as a result, centuries-old wooden wrecks like the one in the Trave are almost never found in the west, he said.

About 150 wooden barrels found almost intact on or near the wreck indicate that the ship was carrying a cargo of quicklime when it sank in the late 17th century. Quicklime is made by burning limestone and is a crucial ingredient for the mortar used in stonework. Reference


ITF hails newly recognized human right to clean environment

10 Aug 2022
THE United Nations General Assembly has recognized a new human right — the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Image Source: ITF Seafarers

The landmark vote on July 28, 2022 was backed overwhelmingly by 161 countries, with no votes against and only eight abstentions.

Though not generally binding on UN member states, the resolution served as a ray of sunlight for workers all over the world.

It also further deepens the global consensus on the co-dependence of human rights and environmental protection, including climate action.

According to ITF, the state of the natural environment is inseparable from issues of occupational safety and the health of transport workers.

Rising temperatures, toxic air pollution, and more frequent storms and flooding are everyday challenges for workers.

The new resolution also notes the vulnerability of women and young people to environmental damage, as well as their vital leadership role in achieving sustainable development.

The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment has applications for workers across the different transport sectors.

The humanitarian role required by the world’s seafarers is increasing with the rate of wildfire evacuations and greater flows of climate refugees. The sector needs stronger safety standards to ensure resilience to climate change, while any shift to decarbonize must be negotiated with unions — especially as new technologies like ammonia, hydrogen and methanol fuels pose their own safety risks. Reference


Container Shipping Lines Set to Smash Profit Record

10 Aug 2022
The world’s biggest container lines are on course to post profits in 2022 that will top last year’s record by 73%, according to a new forecast, buoyed by logistics and labor strains that are squeezing capacity amid sustained US demand for imports.

Shipping containers are unloaded from ships at a container terminal at the Port of Long Beach-Port of Los Angeles complex, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson. Image Source: gCaptain

Net income this year will likely reach $256 billion based on the 11 carriers monitored by industry veteran John McCown, the founder of Blue Alpha Capital. That’s an increase of $36 billion from his prior estimate in April and roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Portugal. The figure last year hit an all-time high of $148 billion, according to McCown.

Two years of economic disruptions have transformed an industry that carries about 80% of global merchandise trade from a perennial money loser into one of the pandemic’s most surprising financial successes. Some are investing the cash influx in new ships with cleaner-burning engines and more digital links to land-based computer networks.

The turn of fortunes, however, is fueling critics beyond the customers of ocean freight as inflation grips economies from Australia to Germany and politicians look for scapegoats. Some governments are increasing their scrutiny of shipping companies’ profits in defense of logistics workers whose livelihoods aren’t seeing a similar lift.

As economies around the world slow in the third year of the pandemic and with Russia’s war in Ukraine worsening shipping snarls, the rising tide of profits was expected to recede for container carriers. But they’re proving more resilient than they have in recent history, where they’ve fallen victim to boom-and-bust cycles.

McCown is raising his outlook after a series of better-than-expected results for the second quarter were announced by some of the biggest shipping firms — the latest of which was Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp. on Friday.

The windfall comes despite an almost 30% decline in spot shipping rates tracked by Drewry since the beginning of the year. That’s because only 10% of ocean freight travels under spot-market terms — the rest moves based on contracts between carrier and cargo shipper that spell out rates and volumes for a year or more, according to McCown.

In McCown’s analysis, overall container-shipping pricing in the second quarter was 2.84 times higher than levels measured two years earlier. Average spot rates were 4.72 times higher, while contract rates are up 2.13 times. Reference


U.S. Navy’s MSC Sends Ship to India for Repairs for the First Time

09 Aug 2022
In a first-of-its-kind move designed to strengthen the U.S. position with India, the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command sent one of its vessels for maintenance and repairs at an Indian shipyard. While the project itself maybe be smaller in scope, the significance of the U.S. Navy contracting for work in India is serving as a significant diplomatic moment, gaining broad exposure in India and designed to strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and India.

The USNS Charles Drew, one of a class of 14 dry cargo ships in the Military Sealift Command Combat Logistics Force, arrived on August 7 at the L&T (Larsen & Toubro) Kattupalli shipyard in Chennai, India. The vessel is scheduled to spend 11 days at the yard and was greeted by India’s Defence Secretary and senior members of the navy as well as the members of the staff from the U.S. Consul in Chennai.

Terming the event as a red-letter day for the Indian shipbuilding industry and the Indo-US defense relationship, Indian Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar said, “We are indeed pleased to welcome US Naval Ship USNS Charles Drew to India, for making her voyage ready. India’s initiative also assumes special significance in furthering the strategic partnership between India and the US. It marks the beginning of a new chapter for deeper engagements.”

He pointed out that India has grown its exports and specifically to the United States in recent years as part of a Made in India campaign. The country is also developing its domestic shipbuilding industry. Dr, Kumar highlighted that India today has six major shipyards with revenues of nearly $2 billion. Reference


Tankers See Strongest Market in 25 Years

09 Aug 2022
Tankers hauling everything from diesel to gasoline are experiencing a period of strength not seen in at least 25 years, buoyed by robust demand for fuels and stretched sailing distances after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Stock Photo: MartinLueke/Shutterstock. Image Source: gCaptain

So-called product tankers have earned more than $40,000 a day for the past 14 weeks, a feat not achieved in data that began at the start of 1997, according to figures from Clarkson Research Services Ltd., a unit of the world’s largest shipbroker.

Disruption to trading routes since Russian forces attacked Ukraine in late February caused oil prices to soar this year. While crude prices have begun to fall back amid growing fears of a recession, for now, fuel tankers have benefited from one of the tightest refined product markets on record. Analysts say a further warping of Russian flows could add to the surge later this year.

Sanctions against Russian oil supplies due to come into force later this year are likely to tighten the product market even more, providing additional support to tanker rates, Nokta added.

Monaco-based shipper Scorpio Tankers Inc. reported its largest quarterly profit ever last month. Increased global refined product demand and lowered refining capacity have triggered a surge in seaborne exports, while there’s been an increase in so-called ton miles, a demand measure that multiplies the amount of cargo by how far it gets shipped.

Several other owners are set to report earnings later this month. On Monday analysts at Pareto Securities said Hafnia Ltd. will post a strong second quarter report “but that is nothing compared with what is ahead.” Evercore ISI upgraded TORM Plc late last month and said Ardmore Shipping Corp. and Scorpio could all see “material upside” despite earlier price gains.

The buoyant market isn’t just confined to oil product tankers. Those hauling crude have also been rising steadily in recent weeks after more than 18 months of loss-making business. Reference


Japanese majors team up on digital engineering technology

09 Aug 2022
Japanese industry majors have joined hands in a program aimed at strengthening digital engineering technology and skills in the maritime sector by building a cooperative simulation platform.

The companies involved in the project are Japan Marine United Corporation, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, NYK Group, Furuno Electric, Japan Radio, BEMAC Corporation, ClassNK, and NAPA.

The program called “Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering” (MODE) is scheduled to be established at the University of Tokyo in October 2022.

The move comes as the Japanese maritime industry seeks to develop and implement new technologies in the context of global decarbonization and integrate autonomous ships into the sector. The program also targets higher productivity as ship design and manufacturing processes become ever more complex.

Innovation is playing a key role in the decarbonization process of the shipping sector and is one of the decisive factors in beating the competition when it comes to securing new shipbuilding contracts.

Japanese shipbuilders have their job cut out for them being faced with fierce competition from their Korean and Chinese counterparts as they try to win new businesses. Therefore, coming up with efficient and green ship designs and technologies is becoming more important than ever.

To address all of these challenges, MODE will use model-based development (MBD) and model-based systems engineering (MBSE).

MBD and MBSE approach problems by examining the functions of products and components as computer models, and then checking their behaviors through simulations. In this way, complex designs can be optimized through a collaborative development process.

The program will be established by forming a broad network between the Graduate Schools of Frontier Sciences and Engineering at the University of Tokyo and other universities and research institutes around the world that are promoting advanced engineering initiatives. Reference


Historic replica of Sweden’s Gotheborg wooden sailing ship sails under London’s Tower Bridge

09 Aug 2022
An historic replica of an 18th century Swedish trading ship that sank more than 270 years ago wowed commuters on their way to work today as the boat made a triumphant return to London for the first time in 15 years.

Image Source: Daily Mail

The Götheborg of Sweden sailed up the River Thames and underneath the capital’s iconic Tower Bridge on Monday morning with its crew in rigging and singing sea shanties to a delighted crowd.

It later moored at Thames Quay in Canary Wharf, where members of the public got the chance to view the remarkable vessel up close on British waters for the first time since its last expedition in 2007.

The extraordinary galleon, which stands 150ft tall, stretches 36ft wide and boasts more than two dozen sails, was painstakingly reconstructed by shipbuilders on a 1:1 scale before it was finally completed to great fanfare in 2005.

Once the world’s largest wooden seafaring ship, the original Götheborg sank in mysterious circumstances after running aground on a notorious submerged rock in 1745.

Today’s replica remains one of the largest operational wooden sailing vessels still used in the world today.

It will dock in London for the next four days, where visitors are encouraged to learn of the ship’s epic past, which saw it travel to China in the 18th century and help propel Sweden’s second city into an economic powerhouse. Reference


What do you think of data management systems?

09 Aug 2022
Data management onboard a superyacht is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the market. As coverage and connectivity become global, yachts no longer operate in isolation. Effective data management and monitoring are cornerstones of the marine industry, and in many ways, superyachts are behind other commercial sectors.

Image Source:

The next generation of owners, with a highly trained crew and the leading edge of technologically advanced vessels, will require data management and monitoring systems that can optimise and support next-generation cruising. The superyacht industry has operated with data streams siloed and independent of one another in the past. Yachts can change hands with much of this data lost in the memory of the crew and management.

Sustainability and accountability for the future of the fleet will also require significant data collection and management. The industry can address these issues, and bring the data systems in line with the levels of transparency and efficiency that are seen in the commercial sector.

There is a range of products and systems already in use across the fleet. Ranging from small-scale accounting software, to fully integrated platforms across all departments, onboard technology and operational data. They have been in use for some time, and The Superyacht Agency is taking this time to analyse this sector of the market. Reference


India begins cooperation with Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces

08 Aug 2022
Last month, India formally commenced cooperation with the Bahrain-based multilateral partnership, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). However, the modalities of the exact nature of cooperation are being worked out, according to official sources.

At the India-US 2+2 in April this year, India had announced that it would join the CMF as an Associate Partner, which Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had then said will strengthen cooperation in regional security in the Western Indian Ocean. Joining the CMF is the latest in a series of multilateral engagements by the Indian Navy as part of India’s widening military diplomacy.

CMF is a multi-national naval partnership to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

The 34 nation grouping is commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander U.S. Naval Forces CENTCOM and U.S. Fifth Fleet. All three commands are co-located at U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain. In the immediate neighbourhood, Pakistan is a full member of CMF.

It is comprised of three task forces: CTF 150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism), CTF 151 (counter piracy) and CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation).

As per CMF’s website, it is a flexible organisation and members are not bound by either a political or military mandate. Reference


Philippines: Maritime school eyed as think tank

08 Aug 2022
THERE is a plan to convert the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a training and research institute in Tacloban City, into a “think tank” that will focus on enhancing the skills of Filipino seafarers and improving the process for certifying them.

Department of Migrant Affairs (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople disclosed the conversion plan in an interview with The Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd in “Business and Politics,” a weekly television show that aired Saturday night on SMNI.

Ople also enumerated the problems facing the Philippines’ seafaring and maritime sectors.

She said that during a recent meeting with a joint manning group, she learned that the Philippines produces an estimated 30,000 maritime graduates. However, manning agencies can only hire 5,000 graduates. The official added that 1 in 5 international seafarers is a Filipino.

Ople said she has been informed by the joint manning agency, maritime sector and the biggest seafarers’ union that the industry is “almost” back to the pre-Covid deployment numbers and that the demand is increasing.

She said because of the crisis in Ukraine, Europe is now keen on hiring Filipino seafarers.

She said the problem is that there are many training schools in the country that do not have their own training ships.

She admitted that the problem is formidable because it calls for a lot of logistics and coordination, capital, and private sector participation, she said.

Also, it is not clear whether the Commission on Higher Education or the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is in charge when it comes to educating and training Filipino seafarers, Ople said.

One solution is to expand the mandate of the NMP, considered as the country’s leader in maritime training, assessment and research using modern technology. Reference.


Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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