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IMO fishing vessel safety conference to be held in South Africa in 2012

The instruments on fishing vessel safety previously adopted by IMo have not come into force yet The IMO Council has agreed to the convening of a diplomatic conference in South Africa, in 2012, for the purpose of adopting an Agreement on the Implementation of the 1993 Protocol relating to the 1977 Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels. The Agreement would amend the technical provisions of the 1993 Protocol and bring them into force.The safety of fishermen and fishing vessels forms an integral part of the Organizations mandate but the instruments on fishing vessel safety which have previously been adopted by the Organization have not come into force due to a variety of technical and legal obstacles and the fishing sector is still experiencing a large number of fatalities every year. Bringing into force a binding international safety regime is expected to play a part in helping reverse that trend.The decision by the IMO Council to hold the 2012 conference follows the endorsement of the draft Agreement by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2011. The Committee had undertaken extensive work to review the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol and address impediments to its entry into force. The MSC ...

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2011 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea to go to piracy survivor

Dedicated to the Master of the chemical tanker Samho Jewelry The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has unanimously endorsed the decision of a Panel of Judges that the 2011 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea should go to Captain Seog Hae-gyun of the Republic of Korea, Master of the chemical tanker Samho Jewelry.Captain Seog was nominated by the Government of the Republic of Korea for his heroic actions to keep his vessel and crew safe, while suffering vicious assaults, following a hijack by pirates off the coast of Somalia.The Council agreed that Captain Seog displayed truly extraordinary bravery and concern for his crew after his ship was hijacked in the Indian Ocean in January 2011, going far beyond the call of duty, at great risk and danger to himself. With the pirates onboard, Captain Seog steered the vessel away from the Somali coast, watered down the fuel to prevent combustion, pretended the steering gear was not working properly and reduced the vessels speed.He also managed, surreptitiously, to communicate information to naval forces, which facilitated a dramatic raid by commandos from the Republic of Koreas destroyer Choi Young. As a result, all 21 crew members were rescued.During the ...

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IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic – theme for the World Maritime Day 2012

Tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives on that fatal night The IMO Council has endorsed a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos to adopt IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic as the World Maritime Day theme for 2012.The time has come for us to return to this Organizations roots and raison dêtre, i.e. safety of life at sea, Mr. Mitropoulos said.One of the consequences of the sinking, in 1912, of the Titanic, in which 1,503 people lost their lives, was the adoption, two years later, of the first International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (the SOLAS Convention).The 1914 version of the Convention was gradually superseded, respectively, by SOLAS 1929, SOLAS 1948, SOLAS 1960 (the first adopted under the auspices of IMO, then known as IMCO) and SOLAS 1974. SOLAS 1974 is still in force today, amended and updated many times.Mr. Mitropoulos said the selection of the theme proposed would provide an opportunity to:-take stock of improvements in maritime safety during the 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic;-pay tribute to the memory of those, who lost their lives in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic on that fatal night of ...

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GHG challenge awaits new IMO chief

Looking for clues as to industry's regulatory future Many in shipping have been looking for clues as to industry's regulatory future in the election this week of a new chief of International Maritime Organization (IMO), Japan's Koji Sekimizu, currently director of the IMO's maritime safety division.On the thorny issue of greenhouse-gas (GHG) regulation, the IMO is currently exploring market-based measures (MBMs) to cut emissions and mulling a decision to make energy efficiency standards in ship design and operation mandatory. It appears any big decisions on market measures for international shipping will be made under the Sekimizu reign between 2012 and 2015.It is hard to gauge how his appointment will affect the direction of such regulation. Certainly, he can't be seen to be using his position to push Japan's MBM proposal for a bunker levy scheme designed to reward energy efficiency in ships. As to Semikizu's ability to oversee resolution in shipping's GHG emissions challenge, which has eluded his predecessors up to now, opinions differ.Lloyds List comments: "As a long-time insider Mr Semikizu might not be the Richard Branson-style candidate to shake up the organisation, as many people appeared to favour in a Lloyd's List's poll. But he is highly respected ...

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Mr Koji Sekimizu elected as IMO Secretary-General

For an initial term of four years Mr. Koji Sekimizu of Japan has been elected as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with effect from 1 January 2012, for an initial term of four years.The vote took place during the 106th session of the 40-Member strong IMO Council, which is meeting from 27 June to 1 July 2011. The decision of the Council will be submitted to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 27th session from 21 to 30 November 2011, for approval.Mr. Sekimizu, 58, is currently Director of IMO's Maritime Safety Division. Mr. Sekimizu studied marine engineering and naval architecture and joined the Ministry of Transport of Japan in 1977, working initially as a ship inspector and moving on to senior positions in both maritime safety and environment related positions within the Ministry.He began attending IMO meetings as part of the Japanese delegation in 1980 and joined the IMO Secretariat in 1989, initially as Technical Officer, Sub-Division for Technology, Maritime Safety Division, becoming Head, Technology Section in 1992, then moving to become Senior Deputy Director, Marine Environment Division in 1997 and Director of that Division in 2000, before moving to his current position in 2004.Congratulating the ...

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Six candidates for the position of IMO Secretary General

The final countdown to change Six candidates had been nominated by their Governments for the position of Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Andreas ChrysostomouANDREAS Chrysostomou spent 10 years representing Cyprus on every committee that met at Albert Embankment and is seen as a strong political debater who knows the IMO and its conventions to the letter. He has been chair of a number of the IMO's committees and there is no doubt that most of the members and secretariat know Andreas Chrysostomou.He admits there is a need to change the work load within the IMO. This is best seen in some of the committees, with an ever increasing number of submissions and political debates with a resulting headache for a secretariat that is expected to keep up with its members' expectations.Today Mr Chrysostomou is most widely known as the chair of the maritime environment protection committee, and particularly for his handling of some very sensitive and contentious topics in recent years. Jeffrey LantzMr Lantz,who will be 59 years old in September, is the US Coast Guard's Washington DC based director of commercial regulations and standards and has been a regular face at IMO meetings for the last decade.He ...

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New IMO regulation for voyage data recorders

VDRs will become more sophisticated Voyage data recorders (VDRs), which are playing a major role in accident investigation, will become more sophisticated and the data will be recovered easier.At the Nav 57 meeting, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed a new performance standard for VDRs to counter the major failing of the system where crew fail to back up or save data immediately following an accident. For instance,when the 270,000-dwt Hebei Spirit (built 1993) spilled 10,000 tonnes of crude oil off South Korea in 2009,the inability of the crew to back up data on the VDR was cited against them in a subsequent court case.Data proves to be expensive or impossible to retrieve when a vessel sinks. Recovering the VDR from the 2,400-gt expedition cruiseship Explorer (built 1969), which sank in the Antarctic, is estimated to have cost up to $3m and is the subject of a legal dispute over payment. An official investigation into the accident criticised the crew for not removing the VDR before the ship sank.Under the new IMO regulation, which is subject to final approval from 2014, VDRs should be capable of saving the most recent 48 hours of data for up to two years. They ...

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IMO urges the world to tweet and like on 2011 Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer on June 25 People everywhere are being urged to voice their support for seafarers by using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, by posting videos on YouTube, discussing seafarer issues on LinkedIn, or even writing a blog about life at sea, to mark the first ever international Day of the Seafarer, on 25 June, 2011.Last year, the Diplomatic Conference which met in Manila to adopt milestone revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (the STCW Convention) and its associated Code, also agreed that the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole, should be marked annually with a Day of the Seafarer.The date chosen was 25 June, the day on which the amendments were formally adopted.An innovative web-based and social media campaign forms the centrepiece of efforts to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer and to pay tribute to the worlds 1.5 million seafarers men and women from all over the globe for the unique, and all-too-often overlooked, contribution they make to the well-being of all of us.The campaign, which emphasizes the fact ...

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IMO’s ban on the use of heavy fuel oil will lead to a decline of Antarctic cruises

IMO's ban will come into force this August The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) expects IMOs ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO), which come into force this August, to lead to a decrease in the the number of voyages by 500-plus passenger vessels from 12 this past season to just five in 2011-12.Passenger numbers on these category from 14,373 to less than 5,000 for the 2011-12 season. As a result, Because of this and the lingering effects of the slow economy, the overall number of visitors traveling with IAATO operators next season is projected at 25,319, a 25 percent decline from the season just ended.Antarctic tourism numbers have been trending downward since the 2007-08 season when IAATO members carried a total of 46,265 visitors to Antarctica, noted Steve Wellmeier, Executive Director of IAATO. The decline to date has largely been the result of the effects of the economic slowdown worldwide. While we expect this to continue playing a role, there is little question that the more significant factor in next years lower numbers is the consequence of the HFO ban. The result will be visitor numbers overall that mirror those of a decade ...

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