Weekly Press Review – 30 January 2015

There were mixed headlines in the news this week relating to the maritime industry.

A warning from Saldanha Bay’s Port Manager, Willem Roux, that if the harbour does not make the most of opportunities available for oil services now, they will lose out to other harbours in the southern hemisphere made headlines.

These comments came on the back of a major new oil service project in Saldanha Bay launched earlier this month by TNPA and the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone.

The stricken cruise liner the Costa Concordia is back in the news this week.

Calls have been made for a strict sentence to be passed down to Francesco Schettino, the captain of the vessel which ran aground in early 2012 causing the deaths of 32 passengers. Italian lawyers for the prosecution have said that if found guilty Schettino should serve a minimum of 26 years for the part that he played in the accident.

The release of 17 young turtles back into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean has also made headlines. They were found washed up on various beaches in the Western Cape over the past 18 months and rescued by concerned members of the public.

The turtles were taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium for the first part of their rehabilitation, after which they were transported to Ushaka Sea World in Durban for further rehabilitation including antibiotics, stabilising their body temperature in warmer waters, wound care and assistance with flotation.

“How wonderful to see them all swimming away again. Some were in a really poor state when they came to us,” said Renee Leeuwner, Two Oceans Aquarium communications manager.

 

Weekly Press Review – 16 January 2015

The release of the International Maritime Bureau’s global report made headlines this week with the revelation that in 2014 Asia accounted for three-quarters of global maritime piracy.  The piracy mostly took the form of tanker hijackings, resulting in a jump of 22 percent in armed robbery and pirate attacks in the region.

Intertanko regional manager Asia said, “There is no hiding the fact the 22 percent increase is significant and worrying.”

In a response to this and the concern for crew safety, ReCAAP has proposed the extension of naval and coastguard patrols in the area.

A fossil discovery in Scotland has made headlines this week. The fossil, a shark-like reptile believed to have lived 170 million years ago, was discovered on the Isle of Sky in 1959, but has only now been identified as a new species of Ichthyosaur – a long extinct marine reptile that dominated the oceans in the Jurassic period.

The discovery has been named Dearcmhara Shawcrossi after the amateur collector who donated the specimen to the Glasgow Hunterian Museum.

Dr Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh said, “During the time of the dinosaurs, the waters of Scotland were prowled by big reptiles the size of motor boats.  Their fossils are very rare.”