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Shipping community pleased with India’s anti-piracy efforts

Piracy off Somalia is currently at the lowest level International shippers are "impressed" with the Indian military's confrontation of the piracy off the coast of Somalia and have expressed the appreciation of the efforts."We are very grateful to the efforts of the Indian military and their contribution to tackle the Somali piracy is really very impressive. The international shipping community is very pleased with that," Simon Bennett, director of external relations of the London-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), said.He pointed out that piracy off Somalia was currently at the lowest level with about 200 seafarers held in captivity."However, this is totally unacceptable," he said. He also called on India to allow the embarkation and disembarkation of armed guards on merchant ships."We understand the sensitivities of the issues in India about people with arms and terrorism. But we are sure that working through the international community procedures can be agreed whereby it is possible to embark and disembark armed guards in India," said Bennett, who is here to attend the three-day Asia Pacific Maritime 2012 conference in Singapore which opened yesterday.He declined to comment on the Italian marines facing court charges in India for killing two Indian fishermen, but said ...

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EU calls for rules on ship guards

After Italy-India diplomatic spat The European Union called on Tuesday for international rules on the use of armed guards aboard ships amid a diplomatic spat between Italy and India over two Italian marines jailed in the south Asian country.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton discussed the issue with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Brussels after the two oil tanker guards allegedly killed two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates last month."She underlined the need to put this incident into the broader context of international co-operation on counter-piracy and more specifically on the issue of regulating the protection aboard ships," her office said in a statement.Several nations have allowed shipping companies to hire armed guards to protect their ships sailing through pirate-infested waters off the Horn of Africa, stirring a debate about their use.The two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, have been imprisoned in India's southern state of Kerala pending a murder investigation despite pressure from Italy for them to be handed over to Rome for prosecution.Italy argues India does not have jurisdiction in the case as it involved an Italian-flagged vessel and occurred in international waters near India.India disputes this, saying the incident happened in waters under ...

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Merchant vessels asked to report presence of armed guards

Vessels to exercise extreme caution when within 50 nautical miles of the Indian coast Following the killing of two local fishermen off the Kerala coast by Italian marines aboard an oil tanker, Directorate General of Shipping here has issued a notice, saying that merchant vessels should report the presence of armed guards to the Navy or the Coast Guard."All merchant ships are advised to report the presence of armed guards on board to the Indian Navy or the Indian Coast Guard," says the notice signed by Captain Harish Khatri, Deputy Director General of Shipping and issued on March 7.It also advises vessels to exercise extreme caution when within 50 nautical miles of the Indian coast.Fishing trafficThe merchant vessels should take note of dense fishing traffic on the Indian coast, along with the possibility that they may be approached by the boats for safeguarding fishing nets, and should not mistake such boats for pirate skiffs (as happened in the Kerala incident), the notice reads.The merchant vessels are also expected to report any suspicious craft within the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to the Coast Guard.According to the notice, over three lakh fishing boats operate off the Indian coast. "Fishing off the ...

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Italy warns India about ship firing detentions

India detains two Italian marines who killed two Indian fishermen at sea Italy warned India on Wednesday that it was creating a "dangerous" precedent by detaining two Italian marines who were on an anti-piracy mission when they allegedly killed two Indian fishermen at sea.Premier Mario Monti relayed the warning during a telephone call with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh as the diplomatic standoff reached the highest levels of government as well as the halls of the European Union.According to a statement from Monti's office, Singh agreed to transfer the marines from prison to somewhere "adequate to their status."The marines, who were providing anti-piracy security aboard a cargo ship, are accused of shooting the fishermen Feb. 15 after mistaking them for pirates off India's southwest coast.A court in the southern state of Kerala on Monday ordered them jailed for another two weeks while officials investigate.New Delhi says the case should be tried in India because the killings occurred on an Indian boat. Rome says the shooting took place in international waters and the case should be handled in Italy.Italy says the presence of military personnel aboard the cargo ship is governed by an Italian law conforming to UN anti-piracy resolutions, and ...

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India has termed as “worrisome” the increase in attacks by pirates

Calling on the international community to adopt a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy India has termed as "worrisome" the increase in attacks by pirates off the coast of Somalia, calling on the international community to adopt a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy to deal with the problem.India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said such a counter piracy strategy should involve effective sanitisation of the Somali coastline and enactment of national laws on a priority basis to criminalise piracy.It should also involve naval operations by UN-led anti-piracy force as well as coordination of anti-piracy operations by various naval forces, Mr. Puri said at an open debate on Somalia at the UN Security Council here yesterday.Mr. Puri said a number of seafarers, including over 30 Indians, are currently being held as hostages by pirates adding that the humanitarian condition of the hostages is a source of "serious concern" for the Indian government."What is more worrisome is that attacks by pirates have been increasing in spite of counter-piracy operations. Given the growing scope and expanding coverage of piracy off the coast of Somalia, the international community has to think about adopting a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy," Mr. Puri said.He said India, on its part, continues ...

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Cargo support for Indian flag vessels

8 per cent of the Indian cargo is being carried by Indian vessels The Union Shipping Ministry is on the verge of finalising a programme for cargo support for Indian flag vessels to help the shipping industry, which is passing through its worst phase on account of a slump in the global shipping business. Though the Indian trade has multiplied several times, tonnage is a little below 1 percent of the global tonnage, said Mr K. Mohandas, who retired as the Shipping Secretary last week."We will be able to attract more tonnage once we provide some assurance on cargo," he said, adding, that the Ministry is in the process of consultingwith other user Ministries - such as Petroleum, Power, Steel and Fertiliser - that can provide cargo support for Indian flag vessels. "Right now, our assessment is that only 8 per cent of the Indian cargo is being carried by Indian vessels. This figure was 30 per cent in early 80s," he said.On the relaxation of Cabotage law, the Shipping Secretary said, "It is now at an advance level of final decisions. The proposal will go to the Cabinet in the next two weeks." Once the Cabotage law is relaxed, ...

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Deepening and widening of Mumbai Harbor Channel and JN Port Channel

To handle vessels up to capacity of 6000 The Mumbai Harbor Channel and JN Port Channel will be deepened and widened to handle vessels up to capacity of 6000 Twenty feet Equivalent units and up to draught of 14 meters by using the tidal window.The channel length will be increased from existing 29 km to 33.54 km to meet the natural water depth of 14 meters at sea. Further, the width of the channel will also be increased so as to maintain a minimum width of 370 meters from the present dimension of 325 meters in the straight reach.Completion period of the work is 25 months including mobilization period after awarding of work. The key benefits/results on implementation of the project are as follows: 1. Handling bigger size vessels up to a draught of 14 meters by using tidal window. 2. Attracting international container vessels and enabling JN Port to develop as Hub Port on west coast. 3. Increase in future traffic 4. Savings in ship waiting cost and ocean freight costs per TEU due to larger volumes 5. Avoiding costly and time consuming feedeing operation 6. Optimum utilization of capacity 7. Faster turnaround of larger vessels 8. Incremental regional ...

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India Kerala fishermen killed in collision with ship

Two Indian fishermen have been killed and three others have gone missing Two Indian fishermen have been killed and three others have gone missing when a ship collided with a boat in the southern state of Kerala, police said.Two other fishermen who were in the boat swam to safety after the collision which happened off the Kollam coast early on Thursday, police said.Last month, an Italian cargo ship fired at an Indian trawler off the coast of Kochi in Kerala, killing two fishermen.Reports say the Italians mistook the Indian boat for a pirate vessel.Police said a rescue operation had been launched to trace the missing fishermen.Coast guard officials said efforts were on to locate the ship.Source: BBC News

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India Submits Anti-Piracy Proposals at the UN to Build Consensus

emarks by Shri AK Antony at the Annual National Maritime Foundation Conference The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for global efforts to uproot the threat of piracy. Inaugurating the Annual National Maritime Foundation Conference here today, Shri Antony said India has already submitted certain proposals at the United Nations. "If ever there was a need for consensual and cooperative effort, it is in relation to piracy and India has put forward certain proposals at the United Nations."The Defence Minister pointed out that the Indian Navy has made significant contribution to the global anti-piracy efforts in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) since 2008. "What is significant is that more than 85 percent of the ships escorted by the Indian Navy are of foreign flag." Shri Antony said that the challenge of piracy is yet to be effectively quarantined. "There is a consensus that while the pirates can be neutralized at sea, the real solution lies in addressing the root causes, which are complex and are actually located on land."The Defence Minister also voiced concern at the military presence of world's major powers in the IOR despite the waters being far from their shores. "Unlike the Atlantic and Pacific, few ...

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Loading of iron ore fines at Indian ports

Information provided by the Britannia P&I Club The Britannia P&I Club issues bulletin regarding Loading of iron ore fines at Indian ports (pre-loading surveys) as follows:Reference is made to the Association's bulletin of October 2009 dealing with the implementation of a precautionary survey programme and the subsequent circular of December 2010, more generally dealing with the safe shipment of iron ore fines from Indian ports including an overview of incidents involving liquefaction, obligations under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), specific problems encountered at Indian ports and the Managers' recommended precautions.Members are reminded of their overriding obligation to ensure that iron ore fines cargoes to be carried comply with the IMSBC Code and the Managers continue to recommend the precautions listedFor more information, click Loading of iron ore fines at Indian ports - protective pre-loading surveysSource: The Britannia P&I Club

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