The Nigeria 26 – unfairly criminalised seafarers


The 26 seafarers are currently being held in Nigeria and face charges for alleged involvement in oil theft and ‘faking’ a piracy attack in breach of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act. However, the ships owners have confirmed that there has been no unlawful activity. The treatment and welfare of the 26 crew members is of upmost importance with several of the crew suffering with typhoid fever and malaria.

The very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Heroic Idun (IMO: 9858058) was authorised to load at Akpo oil field in the Niger Delta in late July. The British oil giant was subcontracting the ship to take the load and has expressed its support for the crew.

“These seafarers have been subjected to lengthy detentions and unfair legal action apparently because of a mix-up,” said Dave Heindel, ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair and Co-Chair of the FPCSG. “Some have been held in appalling conditions and interrogated without charge. They have been denied legal help. Their basic human rights have been infringed and that’s something the ITF will not stand for.”
The theft that never took place

This month, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria ordered the detention of all crew members for alleged involvement in oil theft. The seafarers face five charges under the various Nigerian statutes including the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.

The crew initially faced three charges, but the court later amended this to five charges including: dealing in export crude oil without a licence; entering a restricted zone; falsely reporting piracy; refusing lawful orders from maritime authorities; and violation of customs laws. The seafarers pleaded not guilty.

The charges have been laid despite the fact the tanker was never loaded with oil and was seized outside Nigeria’s legal jurisdiction.

The Marshal Islands, where the ship is registered, initiated a case against Equatorial Guinea for the illegal seizure at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, in Hamburg, Germany on 10 November 2022.

“The way these seafarers have been treated is outrageous,” said Heindel. “There are rules under international law for dealing with crimes at sea, that both Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea appear to have completely ignored.”

“Nigeria must recognise the complete lack of evidence in this case and free the crew immediately. Their arrest, continued detention and possible lengthy legal battle is a complete miscarriage of justice.”

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping added:

“This unacceptable detention of the Heroic Idun crew must be resolved as quickly as possible. It is essential that this situation is de-escalated, and that the seafarers and ship are released. Christmas is fast approaching, and we ask that the Nigerian authorities urgently review this case rather than waiting until next year.”

According to the ship’s owners, Idun Maritime:

Late July: The Heroic Idun (IMO: 9858058) was authorised to load at Akpo oil field in the Niger Delta. BP was subcontracting the vessel.
August 8: The Heroic Idun arrived at Akpo on 8 August 2022. The terminal said it had not received confirmation of the final quantity of oil from NNPC (formerly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and the vessel was asked to stand at anchorage for a few days.
Night of August 8: The vessel was approached by a launch whose identity could not be verified as its automatic identification system was turned off. The master suspected it may be pirates trying to board the ship, and after consulting with the owners and the company’s specialist piracy insurers, sailed away from the danger. The master immediately reported a potential piracy incident which is considered best practice for an oil tanker in that area (it later transpired that the launch was a Nigerian naval vessel).
August 11: The Akpo terminal advised the Heroic Idun that it now had NNPC clearance to load on 17 August.
August 12: The NNPC reversed the order and advised the vessel not to enter.
August 12: While passing through the exclusive economic zone of Sao Tome and Principe, the vessel was intercepted by the navy of Equatorial Guinea and ordered to proceed to Luba Bay. The crew was split up. Fifteen were taken ashore and interrogated for up to 14 hours. They were denied access to legal representation. The seafarers remained in detention ashore or on board for nearly three months. No formal charge nor arrest was ever made.
November 11: Nigerian authorities moved the vessel and crew to Bonny Offshore Terminal, Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria, escorted by a navy gunboat and armed guards. It appears that Equatorial Guinea permitted this despite never having arrested or charged any of the crew.
November: The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria ordered the detention of all crew members for alleged involvement in oil theft. The seafarers face five charges under the various Nigerian statutes including the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019. The charges include dealing in export crude oil without a licence; entering a restricted zone; falsely reporting piracy; refusing lawful orders from maritime authorities; and violation of customs laws. The seafarers pleaded not guilty.

This article is shared by courtesy of the International Transport Workers

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The energy transition is like a rubber band


Making waves

In this section, you’ll hear from people who are committed to a smart and sustainable port of Rotterdam, and our planet as a whole. Let them inspire you and help make that a reality.

“We need to start paddling in time. That way we’ll get to ride the green energy wave”, says Nico van Dooren, Director of New Business Development & Portfolio at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. On the 11th floor of Rotterdam’s World Port Center, Nico uses quite a few metaphors in just under half an hour. He does so enthusiastically, to stress the enormous importance of the energy transition for a liveable planet.

He stresses that that’s ‘not just for future generations, but also right now, for ourselves.’ He’s committed to it both privately and professionally. ‘Unfortunately,’ he says, ‘we are a front-runner; we should all be much further along by now. At present, the main concern of companies and individuals is still that sustainability should earn money immediately. It’s only when it does so that they take action. But that alone isn’t going to get us where we need to be.’ Companies and people must want there to be a transition. Nico gives the example of ZES (Zero Emission Services): ‘Both Heineken and we ourselves wanted to achieve zero emissions for inland shipping. For us it was the solution – the aim – that was the starting point, not the revenue model. Only then did we start looking at whether it was technically and financially feasible. And the result speaks for itself: by tackling it that way, we were successful.’


The energy transition is only possible if you work together. ‘The port of Rotterdam’, says Nico, ‘where so many companies are close to one another, is the perfect place for that.’ He explains why: ‘Let’s say there’s a winemaker in France who makes wine organically, but his neighbour still produces it the traditional way. As a result, the organic winemaker finds pesticides along the edge of his vineyard. That means the wine from the grapes there can’t be labelled organic. But he has found a solution. The bucket of ‘bad’ grapes that he picks is labelled with a negative text about the neighbour: ‘Robert est un … ‘. You can fill in the missing word for yourself! What I’m trying to say is that making the energy transition or being climate-friendly on your own little bit of property won’t work. Your neighbours need to collaborate.’

‘Making the energy transition or being climate-friendly on your own little bit of property won’t work. Your neighbours need to collaborate.’

Net positive

A zero-emissions port, that’s the goal. But Nico’s ambition goes further: a port that’s net positive. He gives the example of Westlake Epoxy: ‘The wastewater that company discharges contains less pollutants than the water they get from the tap. But as far as I know, there’s just that one company.’ Together with his team, he’s trying to promote this development. ‘How we’re doing that? We start from scratch. We determine what net positive means, we see where the relevant know-how is, and we access a network. The metaphor I always use is: if you pull too hard, a rubber band will snap; if you don’t pull hard enough, it’ll just hang there floppy. So you need to find the right amount of tension – a balance – so as to make the energy transition possible.’

Solar panels: food for thought

At home, Nico has had solar panels on the roof for many years and a solar water heater for 15 years. ‘And I also use our spent coffee grounds in the garden to fertilise the mushrooms.’ Despite the climate benefits of solar panels, the first ones on his roof have given him food for thought. ‘They’re nearing the end of their lifespan. So, what will we do with them? How can we recycle or reuse them? Even applied science institute TNO doesn’t yet know, despite researching the question.’ Nico wishes things were already different, but he’s confident that the necessary know-how will be developed.

Reusing wind turbine blades

What’s true of solar panels is also true of the wind turbines out in the North Sea; they too have a finite lifespan. The latest generation of solar panels last about 25 years, whereas wind turbines have a lifespan of no more than 15 years. ‘Currently, there are nearly 300 wind turbines out in the North Sea. By 2030, there’ll be nearly 2000 of them, collectively producing about 21 GW of wind power a year. They won’t all reach the end of their lifespan at the same time, but a large number will each year. Those first 300 will then be at the end of their lifespan. Each wind turbine has three blades. They’re made of aluminium or a composite containing plastic and aluminium or polyester and polyurethane. So far, I know of only one company – based in Rotterdam’s Botlek industrial area – that can process those blades.’


Besides metaphors, Nico knows his classics. A quote from Ghandi keeps him and his team (net) positive: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ And that’s what will happen if it’s up to Nico: a port with zero emissions, with a second life for solar panels and wind turbines, and a lot of (net) positivity, including from the neighbours. That’s what he and his team are working hard to achieve.


This article is shared by courtesy of Port of Rotterdam. Click here for more about the energy transition in Rotterdam.

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A gamechanger for a green Europe


New mandatory reporting of environmental and social performance for all companies would be a ‘gamechanger’ for green finance in Europe, says Transport & Environment (T&E), a member of the EU’s official expert group, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).

T&E, along with other NGOs, has called on the European Commission not to cave into industry lobbyists who will try to water down a bill that will bring long overdue transparency.

EU sustainability reporting standards (ESRS), which have been proposed by the European Commission’s expert group at EFRAG and are currently under negotiation, will provide a common European framework for corporate reporting on a number of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics.

The introduction of mandatory Scope 3 reporting (lifetime emissions) in particular will have a significant impact in areas of the economy such as transport.

Unlike a piece of furniture or a mobile phone, more than 90% of the emissions from a plane or a ship come mostly in their use and not their manufacture, and are rarely accounted for.

Luca Bonaccorsi, sustainable finance director at T&E and member of the expert group, said: “This is a gamechanger for green finance in Europe. Transparency allows us to cut through the fog of misinformation and greenwashing, and allows investors to make informed decisions on where money should rightly go. The European Commission must adopt the most robust reporting measures which includes Scope 3 for all companies. It must not cave into lobbyists as it did with the taxonomy debacle.”

T&E has warned however that it doesn’t go far enough in requiring detailed information for companies active in high-carbon sectors like transport and energy.

These more detailed requirements should be further developed by EFRAG in the coming months and will be pivotal to ensure the robustness of the entire framework.

T&E also criticises the absence of any mandatory reporting on the diversity of company workforces. “The absence of details in reporting ethnic diversity is disappointing. The standards include information on picnics and language courses but nothing on the presence of underrepresented minorities in the workforce and the management. This needs fixing.” concludes Luca Bonaccorsi.

This article is shared by courtesy of Transport & Environment –

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Shipping’s progress towards decarbonisation


The ‘Climate Action in Shipping Report – Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough’ assesses progress towards its 2030 breakthrough goals and states that there is “significant progress, especially in terms of commitments by industry, national governments, and positive developments at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The 5 per cent goal can be viewed as a breakthrough needed to rapidly scale uptake of SZEF (scalable zero emission fuels) and achieve zero emission shipping by at least 2050”

Led by Katharine Palmer, shipping lead for the UN High level Climate Champions team, and Dr Domagoj Baresic, research associate at UCL Energy Institute and Consultant at UMAS – UCL Energy Institute’s maritime consultancy wing, evaluated the 2030 breakthrough goals against key levers for change, which include: technology and supply, finance, policy, demand, and civil society action.

This was supported by The Getting to Zero Coalition – an industry led Coalition of more than 200 members from across the maritime value chain in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global Maritime Forum.

While the report finds that shipping is making good progress in decarbonising, it does also state that “actions towards this 5 per cent goal can be considered as being partially on track” and “more is needed to bring us to 5 per cent and beyond, not just in terms of commitments, but also in terms of converting those commitments into concrete developments.”

Currently, there are at least 203 shipping decarbonisation pilot and demonstration projects in the pipeline, according to the report.

“Internationally, progress has been observed regarding bunkering and safety guideline developments. However, moving from pilots to SZEF production commitments, investments, and infrastructure development is now a key requirement. Current estimates in line with IMO Initial Strategy ambitions put the total additional capital needed for shipping’s decarbonisation at US$ 1-1.4 trillion, with over 80 per cent of this figure upstream (e.g., associated with infrastructure investment)” the report states.

In terms of policy to facilitate SZEF uptake, the study finds that developments are also partially on track. Several industry announcements regarding SZEF safety rules have been made and there have been an increasing number of calls for shipping to align with a 1.5°C trajectory.

According to the report, from an IMO perspective, progress has been made regarding shorter term measures, as well as a consensus on pricing GHG emissions.

Domagoj Baresic, research associate at UCL Energy Institute and Consultant at UMAS, said: “In order for the shipping industry to decarbonise, multiple actions which can increase production and adoption of scalable zero emission fuels in the industry are required now.”

“This report provides evidence for the significant progress which has been made to decarbonise shipping, yet at the same time shows that further significant action is required. The evidence presented shows now is the time to take the necessary actions to ensure that by 2030 the industry is committed to a decarbonisation trajectory.”

Download the report here

This article is shared by courtesy of Vessel Performance Optimisation –

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Do you remember Jonas at Sea?


Whales spotted • Dolphins spotted • Compostela de Santiago • Fantastic starry sky • Made first 3 schooltests • First laundry done (after 3 weeks. ‘it doesn’t smell so good in our cabin, because I had put a wet towel in my laundry bag the second day’) • Arrival at Tenerife

The farewell

The adventure has begun! After a tour of the Thalassa and an impromptu performance, the microphone sounded, “You may say goodbye now, we’ll see you on the boat in 10 minutes. Gulp! After lots of kind words and big hugs, Jonas, to the applause of all present, stepped aboard the ship that will be his home for the next 6 months. Another 5 minutes of waving to the shore and then they walked below deck.

For the first week they stayed docked in Harlingen to put in all the stores (provisions) and for extensive safety instructions. And on Oct. 21, Jonas’ sister Maartjes birthday, they sailed out.

Handing in his phone

Upon arrival at the ship, Jonas not only had to hand in his luggage, but also his cell phone. ‘Part of the deal’ is that he is only allowed to use his phone briefly in some ports and not otherwise. Those are the moments when he can send us some pictures (if there is a fast food restaurant with wifi nearby) or make a quick (video) call.

The Route

A few days after leaving, the captain chose to let a storm pass by in the lee of Margate, England. On twitter, curious locals wrote about the pirate ship anchored off their coast for a few days, haha. Then they were able to sail quietly through the channel. Well you quietly … this is one of the busiest sea routes, sort of like Giethoorn but with container ships.

Then they sailed through the Bay of Biscay towards Spain. Because they had a strong headwind, they motored for large parts of the journey. They tried to sail here and there but it was not easy. They even tore a mainsail, but a replacement was already waiting for them on Tenerife, Jonas said. In Spain they spent a few days in the port of A Coruna. There they made an excursion to the pilgrimage site of Compostela de Santiago.

Today they arrived in the port of Santa Cruz in Tenerife. We have a group app ‘the SAS chatterbox’ with all the parents and in it they immediately shared the webcam of the port. So we could see the Thalassa sail in nicely and secretly hope to catch a glimpse of Jonas.

You can see where the Thalassa is via Photoshopped together all the screenshots from the past few weeks gives a good idea of the route, see below.

500 woorden

In addition to the sporadic phone calls, we are in touch through a weekly digital correspondence. Every Monday Jonas gets to put 500 words in a txt file in a dropbox, max 4 KB, no pictures or videos. And every Wednesday we get to put 500 words for him in the dropbox.


This article is shared by courtesy of Jonas at sea –

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What is ballast water?


Large cargo ships use ballast water to balance their weight and keep them stable during a voyage. Although it is essential for the safety of the ship, ballast water can be harmful to the marine environment as its discharge can release potentially invasive species into a new marine environment.

Proper management and treatment of ballast water significantly reduces this risk.

What is ballast water?

Ballast is extra weight added to a ship when it unloads its cargo – without it, the ship would pop out of the water like a cork and could become unstable.

Prior to the 1880s, ships used solid ballast materials such as rocks and sand, which people had to shovel into and out of cargo holds. If not properly secured, solid ballast could shift in heavy seas, risking capsizing.

With the introduction of steel-hulled ships and automatic pumping technologies in the 20th century, water became a safer ballast material for ships.

When ships need ballast, water is easily pumped into ballast tanks from the sea or the inland waters where the ship is located, which adds weight to the bottom and sides of the vessel.

Ballast water is pumped out into the ocean when it is no longer needed (when the weight of the ship needs to be lightened) – for example, when the ship is taking on cargo.

Ballast water can be disposed of on land while ships are at berth; however, this practice is not common as it is costly and requires specialized equipment and complex processes.

Ballast tanks are an integral part of a ship’s design with their number and size varying according to the vessel’s type and construction.

Ships can have a range of ballast capabilities and capacities, but generally ballast equates to 25% to 30% of the weight the ship can carry – including cargo, fuel, crew, passengers, food, and water – or its dead weight tonnage.

Why is ballast water important?

Ballast water is crucial for the safe operation of ships. It is used to adjust the distribution and overall weight of the vessel to keep the ship floating upright and in a safe, stable condition.

Ballast is used to compensate for different cargo loads that a ship may carry at different times, including changes in weight during loading and unloading. It also provides stability and manoeuvrability during a ship’s voyage.

Ballasting – the process by which a commercial vessel pumps water in or out its ballast tanks while in transit or at a port – is essential for safety, especially if the ship is carrying a heavy load in one hold and a lighter load in another, or empty and facing rough seas.

Ballasting is not to be confused with “bunkering” – the process by which a ship’s fuel tanks (called bunker tanks) are filled with the marine fuel (called bunker fuel) needed for the voyage.

Why is ballast water an issue?

Loading and unloading untreated ballast water can pose a major threat to the environment, public health and the economy as ships become a carrier for the transfer and spread of threatening invasive aquatic species, from one part of the world’s oceans to another.

When ballast water is pumped into a ship, sediment and microscopic organisms are also transferred into the ballast tanks. These organisms include bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts, and larvae of various species.

Many of these organisms are able to survive for extended periods in inhospitable environments, including a ship’s ballast tanks. When the ballast water is discharged, the organisms are released into the local marine environment.

Without their natural predators and given the right conditions these foreign species will not only survive but can also flourish, becoming invasive and threatening and even eliminating resident populations.

The zebra mussels’ invasion of the Great Lakes is one example of the devastation a species can cause when introduced to a new marine environment.

Since its arrival in the late 1980s due to ship ballast water discharge, this freshwater mussel, native to the Black and Caspian Seas in Europe, has caused significant environmental damages, including disrupting the local food chain.

Because they reproduce quickly and in large numbers – it is estimated that females can lay as many as one million eggs per year – zebra mussels rapidly overwhelm local species such as native mussels, feeding on the same food sources and hampering native species’ growth and development.

Zebra mussels can also attach to and suffocate native mussels, causing them to die. Over the years, zebra mussels have continued to spread in Canadian waters and have been found in Quebec (St. Lawrence River) and Manitoba (Lake Winnipeg).

This invader has also cost billions of dollars for cleaning and repairs to underwater infrastructure, for example clearing clogged outflow pipes and clusters on pilings.

On the economic front, the impact of invasive species is considerable. In Canada alone, it is estimated that invasive aquatic species cause close to $6 billion in disruption and damages every year.

These include increasing the proliferation of toxic algae, clogging water intakes and pipes for power and water treatment plants, and damaging watercraft and docks.

Ships’ ballast water is one of the main causes of the transfer of invasive aquatic species worldwide, explaining why it has become an important issue over the past decades.

The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet as the damage caused is often irreversible.

For example, the European Green Crab – one of the world’s most unwanted invasive species – was first introduced by ship to eastern Canada in the 1950s and, more recently, to the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a formidable predator that out-competes native crabs for food and disrupts essential eelgrass beds and the crustaceans, molluscs, and fish they shelter.

Because they compromise the overall balance of the coastal ecosystems and reduce the abundance of native species, European Green Crabs threaten local fisheries and aquacultures and the people that depend on them.

It has been found to threaten salmon including the food, ceremonial, and social fisheries of Indigenous communities. Although the population of European Green Crab is closely monitored and controlled in Canadian waters, this invasive species can cause critical damage to the marine environment in which it thrives.

Facts and figures about ballast water and invasive species:

Approximately 10 billion tonnes of ballast water are transported worldwide every year, which could fill about 4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools
An estimated 7,000 aquatic species are transferred in ballast water every hour of every day
One new invasion occurs every 9 weeks

The European Green Crab, round goby, barnacles, and bloody red shrimp are all examples of invasive aquatic species found in Canadian waters. Learn more about the role commercial marine shipping plays in the transfer of invasive species here.

What are the ballast water regulations in place in Canada?

To prevent ecological and environmental damage resulting from the discharge of ballast water, in 2006 Canada implemented Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations (now Ballast Water Regulations) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

In 2010, Canada acceded to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, commonly known as the Ballast Water Management Convention.

The Convention, which came into force in September 2017, aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments.

The ballast water management standards under the Convention include:

D-1: a standard for ballast water exchange that requires ships to exchange their ballast water in open (at least 200 nautical miles from the shore) and deep seas (at least 200 metres deep), away from coastal waters 5
D-2: a standard that prescribes the maximum number of living organisms allowed to be discharged in ships’ ballast water. Ships must install onboard ballast water management systems to treat the ballast water before it is discharged
D-3: a standard for the approval of ballast water management systems to be used. In Canada, treatment systems meeting the IMO ballast water management systems code and approved by Transport Canada must be installed onboard commercial ships of 400 gross tonnes or more, such as bulk and car carriers, container ships and oil tankers

Commercial ships of at least 400 gross tonnes built on or after September 8, 2017, must be equipped with a ballast water management system.

However, the vessels built before that date must be retrofitted with a ballast water management system by 2024 to meet the Ballast Water Management Convention’s D-2 standard.6

In 2021, Canada adopted new Ballast Water Regulations to replace the previous regulations and impose more stringent requirements on ships while ensuring better compatibility between the Canadian and American ballast water regimes.

The new regulations apply to Canadian vessels everywhere and foreign vessels operating in Canadian waters that are designed and built to carry ballast water. Under these regulations, ships are required to:

Develop and implement a ballast water management plan
Obtain a certificate attesting that their ballast management plan meets the Convention’s requirements
Keep records of ballast water regulations and be subject to inspections to verify compliance with the regulations
Comply with a performance standard (D-2 of the Convention) to limit organisms discharged by 2024

Failure to comply with these regulations is subject to monetary penalties that can range from $600 to $25,000, depending on the violation. The new regulations allow smaller vessels – less than 50 m in length and 3,000 gross tonnes, that are not self-propelled – operating in Canadian waters and the high seas the option of adopting an equivalent compliance approach tailored to their operations rather than installing a ballast water management system. More information on the new Ballast Water Regulations is available here.

What is a ballast water management plan?

The ballast water management plan is an operational tool ship operators must develop, implement, and keep on board to meet the Ballast Water Management Convention’s requirements. It outlines the actions to take and the procedures to follow by the ship’s crew to ensure the safe management of ballast water. The plan addresses the following:

What are the duties of the crew in carrying out ballast operations
How to conduct ballasting operations
Where are locations for ballast water exchange
What are the rules for different port state controls worldwide
Which ports provide shore discharge facilities for sediments and ballast water

The plan also requires record-keeping – ballast water exchange record book – in which information such as the date and the amount of ballast water exchanged, the salinity and temperature of the ballast water, and the location of the ship, is recorded.

What are ballast water management systems?

Ballast water management systems eliminate the organisms that can be found in ships’ ballast water. These systems use or combine different technologies – filters, chemicals, light, ultrasound, heat, electricity, magnetic fields – depending on the type of ships, the space available onboard, and cost.

Ballast water is generally treated in a two-stage process through which the solid particles in the water are first separated before the water is treated using one or more technologies to destroy potentially harmful marine organisms in the water or sediments.


This article is shared by courtesy of Clear Seas –

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MARPRO’S top 10 hot maritime jobs


MARPRO Search & Selection is a global specialist in recruitment in Shipping and Maritime. We connect our business partners with relevant talented employees or suitable business partners globally, ensuring potential candidates are matched to the right jobs.

In fact, since 2017 MARPRO has been providing job opportunities for maritime & shipping professionals, helping them take the next step in their career in the maritime and shipping industry.

Entering the current job market can be difficult, as the geopolitical situation has made its mark on all sectors of the maritime industry.

Nevertheless, the maritime industry is always moving, changing, and evolving, and across all maritime disciplines, talented candidates are in high demand.

After analysing our data, we bring you MARPRO’s top 10 hot maritime jobs currently available. Our job postings range widely. Among the roles, you can find responsibilities in sales, sustainability, legal, technical and operations in Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, France, Greenland, the Netherlands and much more.

If none of above vacancies quite fit, then you can find all vacancies here. Otherwise consider submitting your CV to the database and we will contact you if something relevant comes in:



For more news about MARPRO and maritime recruitment, click here.

Survived 11 days on a ship’s rudder


An incredible photo shared on Twitter by the Spanish coastguard on Tuesday, 29 November 2022, went viral. Three men are photographed sitting on the rudder of an oil tanker with their feet hanging just a few inches above the waterline.

The three migrants were found miraculously alive by Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service after the survivors arrived at the Port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on Monday evening on the rudder of Alithini II.

According to Marine Traffic, the 183-meter ship sailed from Lagos on November 17th, navigated through the West African coast, where the three men endured a dangerous 11-day journey until arriving in Las Palmas.

At the mercy of the rough seas and vulnerable to bad weather, the migrants survived beyond expectations the 3,000 km journey (2,000 miles), but they needed immediate medical attention for dehydration, hypothermia, and fatigue.

Sofía Hernández, Head of the Las Palmas Maritime Rescue Coordination Center stated: “Anyone who knows a little about the nautical subject, realizes that these are some of the worst conditions that exists. Even worse than an inflatable boat.”

She continues: “It’s a site that is not enabled to house a person, with environmental conditions of the open sea and the risk of dying from dehydration, or because you fall into the water due to a stroke, or due to hypothermia, the rudder can also be flooded. The risk is maximum.”

According to a police spokesperson from the Canary Islands, in these cases the ship owner is responsible to take care of the survivors and return them to their country of origin.

It is not the first time, nor will it be the last something similar happens. Due to geographical position, the Canary Islands are a popular gateway for African migrants risking their lives and fleeing their countries for a better life in Europe.

Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service have stated that they have coped with similar incidents in recent years. But most migrants make the Atlantic crossing on crowded boats. Data from the Spanish Government shows that so far this year, 14,875 people have arrived in Spain coast by precarious boats.

Article shared by courtesy of Narjiss Ghajour, Event & Marketing Manager at MARPRO, a recruitment company for the maritime industry for onshore personnel. Read more about MARPRO.

See more relevant articles by MARPRO here.

25 reasons why your cargo is delayed?


Current maritime supply chains are not well optimised due to operational difficulties caused by an inefficient management of logistics and vessel operations and navigation, not taking into consideration force majeure events.

Who, if not a logistician, most often hears the question “Why is my cargo late”? Are all logisticians (or even half of them) that bad, and this notorious profession is doomed to be a place for people who never get anything on time?

Well, there is also the fault of the transport company responsible for transporting your cargo. However, in what cases? Which companies fall under the category of “transport company”? What is their area of responsibility? Let’s figure it out together.


1. Weather conditions.

If your cargo is transported by sea, then the influence of hydrometeorological factors on the ship’s controllability is directly related to the delivery time of your cargo.

Deviation from the route, depending on weather conditions, will require time to adjust the course, and in some cases strong storms can even force vessel to enter the nearest safe port, which will shift delivery times by 1-2 weeks. In case of damage caused by a storm, this period may be even longer; see more in point 2.

2. Technical malfunction of the ship

Single marine engine consists of over 120,000 parts. All of them can break. Potential occurrences of malfunctions, upon detection of which it is expected that litigation will not be possible. The time that inevitably requires the cost of moving a slow ship to the nearest docks for repairs, plus the time for the repairs themselves, can be a month or more.

If your cargo in this case is in containers, then it will probably be transferred to another nearest ship at the port of transshipment, but only if the country or port is served by a shipping line.

3. Navigational dangers

These include various floating objects, such as floating ice, mines torn from anchors, fishing nets, barrels, flooded trees, etc. These factors can force the ship to change course. In addition, the most common risks in practice are stranded and reefs.

For example, the case when the cargo ship “Grigory Lovtsov” got into severe ice conditions in the Sea of Okhotsk. Often the cause of this type of danger is RSS violations, crew errors and human factors, equipment failure, poor vessel stability, and others.

4. Ban on leaving the seaport

In accordance with the requirements of international treaties, under certain circumstances, in the course of monitoring environmental safety, cases sometimes arise that can lead to the detention of ships.

Depending on the presence of the detected violation, the delay period may also be different. Non-compliance can be filed not only with the port authorities but also with local authorities, veterinary, environmental, marine, and other specialized services in different parts of the world, as well as fines, which can also be deferred upon delivery of your cargo.

5. Lack of free space at the berth

A concept familiar to the maritime industry, congestion or “congestion” is usually a seasonal phenomenon in some of the world’s busiest ports.

Although recently the world community has noted that such tourist ports as Shanghai, Singapore, Rotterdam, New York, and others are successfully mastering technologies, incl. IT and their workload no longer block congestion control, but ports like Port Said and Chittagong, which are ten times inferior in terms of cargo turnover, continue to suffer from this problem.

For example, tropical rains in Bangladesh in August-October became a serious problem for unloading the fleet, and seasonal harvests for Egypt (where Port Said is a hub and transshipment port for many shipping lines) simply do not allow adjusting the volumes of cargo.

If your container has landed on a vessel following this route, be prepared to wait. Shipping lines usually send notifications of existing delays.

6. Failure in the filing schedule

It is known that only 35% of all European airline routes are served by private services. Everything else is the delivery of goods using transshipment ports. And if the required delivery time for your cargo in China is 35 days for an indirect service, be prepared to boldly add a week to this figure (if there is only one POT, and exactly the same amount more if there are several).

Why? Because the expected time is the ideal time when the connection with the feeder occurs at the port of transshipment the very next day. But deviations from the schedule are constant, and the average regularity of ship calls in the world is 7 days. So, if your container didn’t hit the feeder yesterday, you’ll only have to wait a week.

7. Technical malfunctions in ports

In fact, this is a very common cause of delays that is not often reported in the media. This is especially true for developing countries: stationary equipment, lack of certification and scheduled inspections, non-compliance with safety regulations. And sometimes this happens due to the accidental negligence of the terminal workers.

Remember that this can happen to your cargo, so never neglect the possibility of insurance. By the way, some insurance companies also insure the risks of untimely delivery of goods associated with the expectation of events.

8. Customs

Identification of violations that may lead to the detention of containers or even a vessel, described in paragraph 4, is not the only phenomenon that may affect the delivery time of your cargo. Between the two countries there are at least 2 customs posts that the container will pass through, and in the case of transshipment ports, there are even more of them.

At the same time, the customs authorities at the port of transshipment may also present control standards for your cargo, and even in this case it will be detained. Of course, you should pay attention to this point if you are doing business with countries with a high level of corruption. In any case, at least make sure that you really have everything in order with the documents.

9. Military action

Armed conflicts, considered by some to be an unlikely event, still cause serious problems from time to time. Firstly, when such events occur, they can block the channel or close the port in which your cargo is already located or through which it passes.

War risk insurance is probably the only viable solution for this outcome; or try not to work on a route where there is an increased risk of conflicts.

10. Weather conditions during loading

Not only the events during the voyage described in paragraph 1 can cause delays in the delivery of cargo. Strong winds, tropical storms, which exceed the limits provided by the terminal’s loading equipment, can cause serious problems at the transshipment complex itself, which can no less affect the final time of your delivery.

11. Taking part in rescue operations

The international maritime convention SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) provides for a general practice of providing assistance at sea in the event of distress. The ship that is as close as possible to the scene of the accident is obliged to come to the rescue, and its crew members must take due care of another ship in distress or people in danger.

The Convention has now been signed by every shipowner as a compliance with the standards of international shipping. And while it is worth rejoicing that in a civilized society there are the right things that are aimed at rescuing and helping others in trouble, the reaction to SOS will definitely lead to a delay in your cargo.

12. Rescue of a crew member

In addition to rescue work, there is also the internal situation on the ship, and there are cases of force majeure associated with just one person in need of emergency assistance. In such cases, there are obvious delays in time for proper action to be taken, and no one can influence these delays.

As a rule, in such cases, the delay does not exceed one day, since even if necessary, the delivery of the victim from the ship will be carried out by a separate transport; however, there are different situations (for example, the ship is far from the coast) when the operation can take longer.

13. Bankruptcy

In the practice of world shipping, there are also cases when it is not possible to continue sailing due to the arrest of the vessel or financial problems.

This can happen when transporting goods on a charter flight or when working with little-known small companies whose financial reputation you have not been able to verify.

And although everyone has been working with the giants of the market, say, container transportation, for many years, and, at first glance, nothing can portend trouble, there is hardly anyone who has not heard about the bankruptcy of one of the largest shipping lines Hanjin.

14. Crime 

Murder, smuggling, or any other crew-related crime – history knows such cases. Perhaps your cargo is on board a vessel of one of the most reliable shipping lines, with a select crew, and your transportation has been established for many years – it should be remembered that the vessel is still run by living people who change often, and some of them are unpredictable. It is not worth writing off vessel delays for this reason.

15. Pirates 

It is not just off the coast of Somalia that the danger of being seized by informal military groups for ransom exists. There are many cases of piracy in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, as well as off the coast of India and Pakistan.

The famous movie “Captain Phillips” well illustrates falling into the hands of pirates and the possible consequences. And although armed guards are hired on all modern ships passing through high-risk areas, this is still not a panacea; after all, security also accompanies the ship only on a separate section of its route.

Read more Evolution of piracy at sea: pirates in maritime 2020

16. Pollution of port water

Violation of the environment due to the fault of the vessel or crew, and as a result, arrest and loss of time is a common case and one of the situations described in paragraph 4. The vessel does not have to be a tanker in order to harm the environment and the water area of the seaport.

Every even the smallest ship has a stock of bunker fuel, measured in hundreds of tons, as well as a certain amount of lubricants. In case of non-compliance with safety regulations, negligence of the crew, or failure to perform scheduled maintenance and repair of the ship, the release of these substances can occur with a high probability – and the first thing after that the ship will be arrested at least until the damage is repaired (about a month). With a considerable number of these incidents in history, they, unfortunately, continue to occur.

17. Violation of the ship’s stability

This concept should not be confused with sustainability. Due to the displacement of the center of gravity of the cargo on the ship, engineering errors in the preparation of the cargo plan, the performance of the voyage can significantly deviate from the norm, which at best will lead to a change in the seaworthiness of the vessel and its speed.

In case of a critical stability violation, the vessel will need to call at the nearest port for re-stitching. In the worst cases, history knows the tragic cases of the death of a ship with cargo.

18. Holidays and weekends

In the modern world, about 60% of all world terminals work without holidays and weekends, because the planning of the work of ships and cargo companies becomes more efficient, and the profits of all parties involved increase.

Nevertheless, there remains a considerable number of ports where weekend stops take place, and this cannot but affect the speed of cargo delivery. In chartering ships, when calculating steel, there is even the concept of SSHEX / SSHINC (Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays excluded / included), in which, respectively, weekends and holidays are not taken into account when calculating steel (no cargo work) or accepted (cargo work is performed) .

Here we are talking about the technical work of the terminal, and does not affect the work of customs and other port structures, which in almost 100% of cases do not work.

19. Lack of free space on the feeder

In this case, even a rupture of the bill of lading is possible. Containers are waiting for a new vessel at the transshipment port, as the line dispatch service was unable to allocate space at the planned feeder.

The reasons may vary, but usually it is due to some one event that caused a shift in the schedule, and all shippers whose reservations were announced before yours will have to go to the feeder in priority, and you will have to wait.

Today, shipping lines are trying to combat such trends in order to avoid claims from customers and not incur additional costs for storage/demurrage of containers.

20. Collision of ships

Collisions or collisions is a specific definition under the SOLAS convention, as well as the Merchant Shipping Codes of individual states. Can be considered as one of the cases of general average. Hitting a boat or boat also applies to this kind of collision.

One of the clearest examples is the collision of two large container ships in the Suez Canal in 2014 – Maersk Tanjong and Colombo Express, owned by the Hapag Lloyd line. The consequences of such incidents in terms of delivery times need no explanation.

21. Passage of channels and bottlenecks

Can be considered as one of the scenarios described in paragraph 5. There are not many places among the seaways of the world with extremely limited capacity – and often these are artificial reservoirs created or developed by man to facilitate navigation and international trade (Panama Canal, Suez Canal and etc.).

As with highways, a kind of congestion/congestion can occur during the passage of the canal due to the large congestion of ships, which inevitably leads to deviations from the schedule and delay of the vessel.

Read more about TOP 15 navigable canals important for shipping and maritime logistics

22. Port or terminal congestion

This usually happens when a huge (overstocking) number of containers arrive at the port. This is especially true for transshipment ports, where the turnover of transit cargo most often exceeds the import-export one.

Due to this phenomenon, the ship is forced to wait longer for the start of cargo operations until the work on previous cargoes is fully completed.

Read more about TOP-15 significant seaports for global logistics

23. Strike

In many maritime transport contracts, in the “Force Majeure” section, there is always a reference to strikes (along with military risks, storms and other force majeure circumstances). It is no coincidence that all these events stand side by side and are grouped into one section – after all, they also affect delivery times in a similar way.

Due to disagreements with management, employers often strike workers in ports (often in European ports lately), which inevitably leads to a stop in cargo operations, the impossibility of timely handling of the ship.

24. Customs inspection at the transshipment port

As already mentioned in paragraph 8, if your cargo follows from the port of departure to the port of destination on an indirect flight (through one or more ports of transshipment), then control standards can also be assigned at intermediate ports. All costs for this verification are borne by the cargo owner. For example, it is very common for customs authorities at EU ports to take containers for inspection.

Keep in mind that each customs office has its own criteria for selecting containers for inspection, and as a rule, containers with products from risk groups or containers of a sender with a bad reputation are subject to inspection.

25. Overbookings and rollings

When, after booking confirmation, the line unilaterally “cuts off” your containers from loading and rolls them onto the next ship – this reason is called “vessel overbooking”, i.e. there is not enough room on the ship on the actual date to load your scheduled containers.

For example, this is the most common reason for cargo delays in Ukraine during export, especially during the grain season.

It would seem that we live in a time of high technology, when the resale of seats on the ship – all this has long sunk into oblivion and is a relic of the past. Alas, this happens in our time, and this becomes especially true during the holiday seasons, for example, on the Chinese New Year, or before the start of Christmas.

If you have the opportunity, then try to avoid peak seasons. If you just need to send a batch at this time, then I strongly do not recommend resorting to the services of small and unknown carriers. Their prices will be lower, but in such “very busy” seasons, they simply cannot cope with the volume.

More reputable carriers, in turn, in case of any problems, can use larger vessels from different trade routes.


As you can see, there are many typical reasons for cargo delays. Only 25 of them were collected in this review. If you are just starting your import or export business, you are very lucky to read this article because every point has been earned through hard work. And now you can make smarter decisions about timing, vendors, routes, and more.

This article is shared by courtesy of Marine Digital – Marine digital have huge experience in the automation of logistics processes and operations management in shipping.

For more articles about cargo, click here.

How to address seafarers’ COVID-19 challenges?


The COVID-19 pandemic posed severe challenges for flag states, port authorities, shipping- and crewing companies. Crew changes were severely hindered since international shipping and Governments were unable to facilitate crew changes and unable to respond effectively to these challenges.

Restrictions and delays of crew changes and repatriation, including the measures implemented by countries, brought serious operational consequences, and caused a humanitarian crisis at sea.

Consequently, mariners and seafarers faced the risk of extreme fatigue, physical and mental health crises, increasing the risk of maritime casualties that include collisions, allisions and groundings. Maritime labour rights and basic human rights could not be secured and protected.

Without humans, ships cannot move goods or provide services. Thus, the crew change crisis highlighted a severe risk for our global supply chain.

In February 2022, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), UNCTAD and the World Health Organization (WHO) urged governments, the shipping industry and other stakeholders to scale up efforts to safeguard seafarer health and safety to avoid supply chain disruptions during the ongoing pandemic.

Many seafarers today, are still

forced to remain working onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract
unable to go on shore to receive medical treatment or travel freely
abandoned by their employers and left isolated on board ships without help or support
not given the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
not considered to be ‘key workers’

The severe risk for human wellbeing and risks for the global supply chains require further action from all parties concerned worldwide.

Current mandates of UN organizations do not go beyond urging member states to follow UN Resolutions. A holistic approach is needed to ensure that all parties within the maritime industry take action, further pushing UN objective, furthering the mandate of the International Maritime Organization.



Northeast Maritime Institute offers seafarers the opportunity to be educated, certified, and licensed though online education, simulation and examination tools called NEMO° and HALO°.

By providing seafarers globally with these tools and support, NEMO° helps to improve their physical health, welfare and well-being. NEMO° is currently developing online tools to improve the physical health, welfare, and well-being of seafarers, at no additional expense.

These tools will create an opportunity for maritime health professionals to offer their services online and globally. This unconditional support will not only benefit people but will also allow for greater operational safety and mental health.

The Center for Ocean Policy and Economics (COPE°) links academic, corporate, non-governmental, and governmental partners to create impactful solutions.

COPE° enables people to work on driving necessary change in the maritime sector, with ethical and humanitarian values guiding those efforts.

COPE° is able to facilitate opportunities for change and drive ocean policy and economic development project initiatives to create impactful solutions.


designate seafarers as ʺkey workersʺ in order to facilitate shore leave and safe and unhindered movement across borders, recognizing relevant documentation carried by seafarers as evidence of this status, which would entail the application of temporary measures including (where possible under relevant law) waivers, exemptions or other relaxations from any visa or documentary requirements;
consider the implementation of the Industry recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (MSC.1/Circ.1636/Rev.1, as may be revised);
prioritize vaccination of seafarers, as far as practicable, in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes, noting the advice of the WHO SAGE Roadmap4 for prioritizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines; and consider extending COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers of other nationalities, taking into account national vaccines supply;
consider exempting seafarers from any national policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for entry, taking into account that seafarers should be designated as ʺkey workersʺ and that they travel across borders frequently;
provide seafarers with immediate access to medical care and facilitate medical evacuation of seafarers in need of urgent medical attention when the required medical care cannot be provided either on board or in the port of call.

All IMO Member States and international organizations are urged to bring this resolution to the attention of all parties concerned.


This article is shared by courtesy of Northeast Maritime Institute –

For more articles about Covid-19, click here.