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Council of Europe demands policy overhaul to stop migrant boat deaths

Call follows 2011 incident in which dozens of refugees were left to die in Mediterranean A boat full of migrants arrives at the Italian island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean in April 2011. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPAEurope's leading human rights watchdog has called for an overhaul of policy on migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean following an incident last year in which dozens of Africans were left to die in a rubber dinghy despite their desperate appeals for help.In a significant about-turn, Nato expressed "deep regret" for any role it may have played in the tragedy - but the alliance was swiftly accused by Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock of a cover-up over the deaths. Hancock said he plans to raise the issue in parliament next week.On Tuesday a debate by the 47-nation Council of Europe on the fate of 72 migrants who set sail from Tripoli to Italy at the height of the Libyan war, only to run into trouble several hours later and end up drifting with the currents, united parliamentarians from across the political spectrum in anger at the huge and unnecessary loss of life.The story of the doomed vessel, first revealed by the Guardian in May 2011, ...

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Blue economy needed to protect Mediterranean Sea and world’ s oceans

The Mediterranean Sea is a The Mediterranean Sea is a "key pillar" for the development of the countries in the region, a senior United Nations official said , warning that continued degradation of the aquatic environment could put its entire ecology at risk.The call came as delegates from 22 Mediterranean and European Union countries brought their three-day meeting on safeguarding and promoting a clean and healthy Mediterranean environment to a close in Paris."The time has come for us to rethink how we manage our oceans," said Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in his address to the gathered delegates. "They are a key pillar for many countries' economic and social development, and are vital in the fight against poverty," he added.The participating countries have called for the creation of a "blue economy" initiative which would be a marine version of the green economy, and hope to see a strategic policy framework adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) to be held in Brazil in June.UNEP defines a green economy as one that improves human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities."Management decisions and investments that focus on the well-being ...

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Mediterranean: the deadliest sea for refugees and migrants

Says UN agency The Mediterranean Sea has become the deadliest stretch of water in the world for migrants and refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today.According to the UN agency's estimates for last year, more than 1,500 people drowned or went missing while attempting to cross the sea from Africa to reach Europe, making 2011 the deadliest year for this region since UNHCR began recording the statistics in 2006."Our teams in Greece, Italy, Libya, and Malta, warn that the actual number of deaths at sea may be even higher," UNHCR spokesperson Sybella Wilkes told reporters in Geneva.Ms. Wilkes added that the UNHCR estimates were based on interviews with migrants who reached Europe by boat, telephone and e-mail communication from their relatives, as well as reports from Libya and Tunisia from survivors whose boats either sank or were in distress.More than 1,500 people drowned or went missing while attempting to cross the sea from Africa to reach Europe.Since pro-democracy protests erupted across North Africa and the Middle East early last year, large numbers of people have taken to boats to try to reach Europe, with Italy and Malta bearing the brunt of the displacement and migration.Survivors have ...

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The Mediterranean Sea – Requirement for Ballast Water Management

ClassNK - TEC 0875 BWM.2/Circ.35 has been issued by IMO to inform that a communication has been submitted from the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) regarding a ballast water management guideline in the sea area.The ships entering the Mediterranean Sea area are encouraged to apply the guidelines on a voluntary basis as from 1st January 2012. And the guideline includes ballast water exchange according to the standard set out in the D-1 Standard of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments.Each vessel calling at a port within the Mediterranean Sea area is required to have on board a Ballast Water Management Plan complying with requirements of the Guidelines for Ballast Water Management and Development of Ballast water Management Plans (G4) developed by the IMO and to keep a record of all ballast water operations carried out.Ballast Water Management Plans for vessels registered to ClassNK can be received approval service according to IMO Resolution MEPC.127(53). The necessary number of copies of the plan in addition to one copy for ClassNK should be sent to the below mentioned department for the service.For more information, click here.Source: ClassNK

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Larger Vessels and Rising Population to Impact Mediterranean Port Growth

4th Annual Med Freight Conference Addressing the 4th Annual Med Freight Conference, APM Terminals Director of Port Investments for Europe and the Mediterranean, John Trenchard cited both long-term demographic trends and the expected introduction of larger vessels into regional Mediterranean trades as driving factors of port development and expansion in the Mediterranean."Shipping lines are looking to increase the size of ships calling the Turkish Market which is a natural candidate for tonnage cascaded out of the Asia-Europe services" advised Mr. Trenchard, who also noted that the latest generation of Ultra-Large Container Ships, up to and including the 18,000 TEU capacity vessels, will be likely committed to the Europe/Far East trade lane, which transits the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal. The first of these vessels on order are scheduled to enter into service in 2013."Port design will have to reflect advances in vessel design and their new operational requirements" he noted, speaking on the subject of "Building Stability and Promoting Growth in the Mediterranean" presenting the perspective of a terminal operating company.APM Terminals is one of the leading terminal operating companies in the Mediterranean region with interests and operations in facilities in the ports of Algeciras, Spain; Port Said, Egypt; and ...

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Turkey sends another vessel to Mediterranean Sea for hydrocarbons exploration

Hydrocarbons exploration in the Mediterranean Sea Turkey, which jointly with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is conducting hydrocarbons exploration in the Mediterranean Sea, has sent the third research vessel to the sea, the Sabah newspaper quotes the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz as saying on Monday.Yildiz said the second vessel after "Piri Reis" vessel, which is conducting 3D survey, was sent to the Mediterranean Sea 40 days ago.With regard to the third ship, Yildiz said it will conduct research in an area of 1,100 square kilometers. Thus, hydrocarbons exploration will be carried out by three vessels, which will enable rapid conduct of work.The Turkish research vessel "Piri Reis" left the port of Urla for the shores of Cyprus to conduct oil and gas exploration operations and has already completed the first phase of work in water area of 1,000 square kilometers.After Nicosia began working to develop the shelf near the shores of the island, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will explore for oil and gas in the exclusive economic zone of Northern Cyprus along with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.Erdogan and President Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) signed in New ...

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