Competition Heats up in the Arctic

The first Chinese domestically built ice breaker, Xue Long 2 (Snow Dragon 2) was delivered in 2019 and made her maiden voyage to Antarctica the same year. She is Polar Class 3 and therefore capable of breaking 1.5m thick ice in polar areas. An earlier ice breaker was purchased from Ukraine and modified to China’s requirements.

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Destruction of British Columbia Road and Rail Infrastructure

As 2021 draws to a close, we are left to reflect on a year which has seen British Columbia subjected to record breaking summer heat and autumn rainfall. The summer heat domes are concluded to have cost around 600 lives, mostly seniors living alone in inadequately ventilated homes plus the razing of the northern town of Lytton which was almost entirely burnt to the ground.

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Shipping Industry Leaders attend COP26

Top brass representing maritime states, the world’s major shipping companies, and industry associations have been in Glasgow earlier this month to attend a single-day joint shipping industry association organized decarbonization conference during the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP26).

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Courtesy Sovcomflot

Moving the World’s Energy

The world is currently rattled by rising energy prices. There is panic over the rising price of natural gas, in North America, Asia and Europe, but also the fact that crude oil has edged over US$80 per tonne for the first time since 2014. Added to this is the impact on global coal prices as China wrestles with major industrial power outages as a consequence of the country’s ban on Australian coal imports and is forced to comb the world for supply alternatives.
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The Maritime Economy – Below the Radar

It never ceases to amaze that given the dependence of the global economy on shipping, very little attention is paid to the industry until an incident freaks out the media or there are impacts to the global supply chain.

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Strict Liability & The Criminalization of Seafarers

The grounding of the Capesize bulk carrier Wakashio on a reef off Mauritius in July 2020 revived the longstanding debate related to criminalization of seafarers. A preliminary investigation indicates that the vessel was off course in an attempt to pick up a wi-fi signal at the time of grounding. The ensuing environmental damage to the coastline was considerable and resulted in a decision to detain the Master and Chief Officer without consideration to bail. Most other crew members are under house arrest in a local hotel pending their appearance as witnesses in an eventual trial.

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