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Bunker Jobs: Singapore Marine Sales Manager - Lubricants
by Ship Bunker
Friday, February 15, 2019

Our client is a leading independent supplier with a global presence.

Police Hit Drug Smuggling Gang on High Seas
by Reuters
Friday, February 15, 2019
By Catarina Demony LISBON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Authorities seized more than three tonnes of cocaine and arrested 11 people off Portugal’s Atlantic coast, dismantling a drug smuggling gang that operated across international waters from a cargo vessel, police said on Friday. The seizure of the 3.3 tonnes of cocaine – thought to be worth […]

Product Tanker Operator Fined $2M for MARPOL Violations
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 15, 2019

A U.S. court has sentenced a Cypriot ship management company to a $2 million fine and four years of probation for MARPOL violations, the latest in a long-running series of successful federal prosecutions for oil pollution charges. 

In a plea agreement, Interorient Marine Services of Limassol, Cyprus admitted that oil cargo residues and oily bilge water were illegally dumped from the product tanker Ridgebury Alexandra Z into the ocean without being processed through an oil-water separator. The company pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying entries in the ship's Oil Record Book in connection with the discharge. 

“By illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean, Interorient intentionally violated federal law that protects valuable marine resources and wildlife,” said Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark. “This conviction shows that corporations and individuals that willfully flout our nation’s environmental laws will be held accountable by criminal prosecution.”

The method the Alexandra's crew used to circumvent their ship's pollution control equipment was more sophisticated than the common "magic pipe" arrangement, in which a hose setup is used to pump oily waste directly over the side. Instead, senior officers aboard the vessel engineered a method to flush clean fresh water through the sensors used to detect oil-in-water concentrations, tricking the ship's pollution prevention system into recording a much lower oil content than what was actually being discharged. They then logged a "properly treated" discharge of 90,000 gallons in the Oil Record Book. 

After Coast Guard inspectors discovered this violation and began an investigation with federal prosecutors, Interorient pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) for failing to accurately maintain the Ridgebury Alexandra Z’s Oil Record Book. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the company will pay a total fine of $2 million and serve a four-year term of probation, during which all of the firm's vessels will be required to implement an environmental compliance plan if calling in U.S. ports.

According to a tally compiled by the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Justice Department has convicted 140 shipping firms of MARPOL violations and collected $470 million in fines since enforcement began in the 1990s. Nearly ten percent of the total came from one penalty: the $40 million fine for Princess Cruises related to the discharge of oily bilge water from five cruise ships in 2013. Crewmember whistleblowers have contributed to many of these investigations, and some have been rewarded financially for their assistance. 

The master of the Alexandra, Vjaceslavs Birzakovs, faces six federal charges in connection with his involvement in the case. Prosecutors allege that Birzakovs directed circumvention of the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment, falsified records, obstructed justice, made false statements, and conspired with other crewmembers to falsify the vessel’s Oil Record Book and to obstruct the U.S. Coast Guard’s enforcement of the law. 

Photos: Cut Up Maersk Honam Heads to South Korea for Rebuild
by Mike Schuler
Friday, February 15, 2019
The sound stern section of the fire-stricken Maersk Honam has been loaded onto a heavy lift ship in Dubai for its transport to South Korea where it will be rebuilt, Maersk said in an update Friday.  The section of Maersk Honam was successfully loaded aboard the heavy-lift vessel Xin Guan Hua on open waters outside […]

Tough Policing is Restoring Indonesia's Fisheries
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 15, 2019

[By Nithin Coca]

Five years ago the world’s most populous archipelago nation started taking action against the decimation of its fish stocks. Indonesia’s waters were being plundered by vessels from nearby countries, particularly China and Thailand, but also Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia.

When Susi Pudjiastuti became minister of fisheries and maritime affairs in 2014, she began dramatically curbing this practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. A report last year found a more than 80% drop in foreign vessels fishing in Indonesian waters, as well as evidence of increased catches by Indonesian fishermen.

“Before this paper, the ministry [of fisheries] would say their anti-IUU policy was having an effect, and would throw in numbers, but there was no hard evidence,” said Reniel B Cabral, a lead author of the report, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. “We used independent data … to show that there really is an effect, and gave confidence to Indonesia that [their policy] was working.”

Foreign fishing vessels anchored in Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia in 2015 during the government moratorium on their permits (Image: Ardiles Rante / Greenpeace)

Muscular strategy

The main reason for the change? Fewer Chinese vessels engaged in IUU fishing. Such vessels had been responsible for between 2,000 and 5,000 hours of fishing per month – nearly ten times that of the next biggest perpetrators, Thai vessels. Monitoring the situation using satellites and other means, Cabral’s team found the policy had brought those thousands of hours down to virtually nil.

Susi’s muscular strategy for defending Indonesian fisheries included the sinking of 488 IUU vessels since October 2014. Only one of these was carrying a Chinese flag. However, many of the 26 vessels illegally using Indonesian flags were likely connected to China. Susi has attributed this low proportion partly to superior technology on Chinese boats which makes them more difficult to capture. Indonesia may also be loath to test its relationship with China too explosively.

China has the largest fleet of distant water fishing vessels. Greenpeace puts the number at around 2,500. While its total catch is hard to determine, the existing data sketches an alarming picture. A study by the non-profit Global Fishing Watch suggested they outstrip the total fishing hours of the next ten countries combined.

Global cooperation

Under Minster Susi, Indonesia has taken a lead role in the fight against IUU fishing. Last October, the country hosted the Our Ocean conference to foster cooperation and action on global marine policies. China was conspicuous in its absence.

“Not attending the conference in Bali was a missed opportunity for China to show their level of seriousness and commitment to ocean issues,” said Amanda Shaver, research associate with the Environmental Security programme at the Stimson Center.

Not long ago China was more active in engaging Indonesia on maritime issues. It was during Xi Jinping’s first visit to Indonesia in October 2013 that he launched the Maritime Silk Road, the component of the Belt and Road Initiative which aims to expand investment in ports and coastal infrastructure across Asia. Early in his term, Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomed Chinese maritime cooperation. But those initial steps have not led to sustained collaboration between the countries on these issues.

Despite encompassing six million square kilometres, Indonesia’s territorial waters cover only a tiny fraction of the globe. The country has no control over the high seas, which are currently loosely regulated by the 1982 UN Law of the Sea. Many consider it woefully inadequate for addressing modern IUU fishing practices.

Shaver believes China needs to be a bigger part of the solution. “As the largest seafood-producing country … and the largest distant water fishing nation in the world, China is critical to addressing IUU fishing and ensuring sustainable fisheries practices,” she said.

Indonesia’s aggressive policing is not feasible for countries with fewer resources. Minister Susi and an increasing number of NGOs are calling for new international agreements to stem IUU fishing and other threats to the ocean. Several international schemes are being deliberated. One is Port State Measures, a binding agreement that would prevent known IUU vessels from using ports and landing their catches. Fifty-seven nations have signed up, and though China is not yet one of them, the agreement has the potential to have a big impact.

“Beijing doesn’t really want to be left out of any of these high-level, political processes,” said Shaver, “and so continuing to show the success and impact of [ocean policy efforts] will likely push them to engage more”.

Promising signs

There are some signs that China may be shifting, at least domestically. According to Tabitha Grace Mallory of the University of Washington, the latest five-year plan for fisheries caps the number of distant water fishing vessels, and their catch. Moreover, China is set to provide ports with a list of more than 200 IUU vessels to be denied entry. The question is how will the measures be implemented.

“My concern is that it’s partly for show,” said Mallory. “China is essentially abiding by the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law.” She is concerned, for example, about a lack of clarity around the stated goal of reducing fishing subsidies by 40%.

For mechanisms like this to work, there is a need for more data on fisheries, IUU vessels and their catches. Indonesia has been a leader on that front too, becoming in 2017 the first country to share fishing vessel tracking data with Global Fishing Watch. Other countries, including Peru and Micronesia, have stated their intention to do the same.

“Susi has inspired other countries … to share their data,” said Aki Baihaki of Global Fishing Watch. “I hope it has a bigger ripple effect.”

For Indonesia, the focus now will be on better understanding the role of domestic fisheries and developing regulations that protect resources while preserving the livelihoods of fishing communities.

Indonesia’s remarkable progress shows that, with concerted, data-driven action, the health of fisheries can be improved. Restoring global fish stocks will require China to collaborate more closely in the policing of IUU vessels originating in the country.

“It’s best to have China’s participation directly,” said Mallory. “Managing fishing is a collective enterprise. Everybody needs to play their part.”

Nithin Coca is a Southeast Asia based freelance journalist who covers development, environment, and sustainability. His feature and news pieces have appeared in global media outlets including Al Jazeera, Quartz, Engadget, Foreign Policy, The Diplomat, Vice, and several regional publications in Asia and the United States.

This article appears courtesy of China Dialogue Ocean, and it may be found in its original form here

Six Dead in Fishing Vessel Fire in Durban
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 15, 2019

Six are dead following a fire aboard the fishing vessel Tropical 1 at the port of Durban, South Africa, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reported Friday. 

The fishing vessel was docked at Durban for repair work when it caught on fire at about 1430 hours on Thursday, killing six crewmembers and injuring three more. Firefighters with KwaZulu-Natal EMS responded to the scene and brought the blaze substantially under control by about 1800 hours, with response efforts continuing through the night. The bodies of the victims were discovered at about 0200 hours on Friday.

Image courtesy SAMSA

Image courtesy SAMSA

Image courtesy SAMSA

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and an inspection of the vessel will begin once conditions allow. 

SAMSA said Friday that bodies of the deceased crew have been brought to a mortuary in Durban. Five of the deceased were Mozambican nationals, and the sixth crewmember was of Portuguese origin. 12 surviving crewmembers are receiving assistance from South African authorities. 

It is the second deadly casualty at the port of Durban this week. On Tuesday, a heavy truck accidentally drove backwards off the pier during stevedoring operations at the port's M-Shed, leading to the death of the driver. The victim and the truck were recovered from the water, and local police have launched an inquest. 

Image courtesy SA Police Service

Image courtesy SA Police Service


South Korea to Explore Floating Offshore Wind Opportunities with Equinor
by Mike Schuler
Friday, February 15, 2019
South Korea’s national oil company is teaming up with Norway’s Equinor to develop commercial floating offshore wind in South Korean waters as the Korean government looks to add more renewables to the country’s energy mix. The deal comes in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Korea National Oil Corporation and Equinor ASA […]

Big Firms Weigh in as France Looks to Revive Offshore Wind
by Reuters
Friday, February 15, 2019
By Geert De Clercq PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) – A French wind power tender has attracted interest from a slew of international energy heavyweights, signalling that France’s offshore wind industry could finally be taking off after years of missteps. While Britain and Germany have already built 8,200 and 6,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity […]

Tank Vessel Operator to Pay $2 Million Fine for Illegal Discharges, Vessel Captain Indicted
by gCaptain
Friday, February 15, 2019
Vessel operator Interorient Marine Services was convicted and sentenced to pay a $2 million fine and probation Wednesday in the Western District of Louisiana for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil from the tank vessel Ridgebury Alexandra Z, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.  Interorient Marine Services admitted that oil […]

U.S. May Expand Sanctions on Venezuelan Oil Shipments
by The Maritime Executive
Friday, February 15, 2019

The political crisis in Venezuela continues to affect tanker shipping in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, with U.S. pressure on the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro creating increasing difficulties for the country's petroleum imports and exports. 

A raft of new developments could bring further disruption to historical patterns of petroleum trade with Venezuela. U.S. refiner Citgo, which is controlled by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and is the largest American importer of Venezuelan crude, is said to be considering a bankruptcy filing; the White House is holding internal discussions on new sanctions measures that would affect overseas buyers of Venezuelan crude, not just American entities; and PDVSA is sending more oil on long-haul deliveries to Russia, China and India, which all have long-term trade relationships with Caracas.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's National Assembly and the self-declared interim president of the country, seeks to remove Maduro from power, with the backing of the United States. The White House has structured sanctions measures in a manner designed to preserve Venezuelan assets for a future Guaido-led interim government, and permits American entities to buy PDVSA's oil - so long as they deposit the payment in a blocked account, for later use by a democratically-elected government. In addition, USAID is shipping aid to the Colombian border for delivery to Venezuela, and is coordinating with Guaido's opposition movement on the possibility of airborne deliveries into Venezuelan territory. So far, Maduro's administration has refused to allow American truck convoys across the Colombian border and into the country. 

The American pressure campaign may be working: Maduro confirmed Thursday that his foreign minister met recently with the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, and invited him to visit for high-level talks. “If he wants to meet, just tell me when, where and how and I’ll be there,” Maduro told the AP. Abrams has previously demanded Maduro's resignation, leading to speculation that the talks could be negotiations over the terms of Maduro's exit. 

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WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2829 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_content] =>

Clipper Oil is a worldwide wholesaler of marine fuels and lubricant oils specializing in supplying vessels throughout the Pacific Ocean. Operating internationally from our headquarters in San Diego, California, USA, we serve the bunkering needs of all sectors of the marine market. This includes fishing fleets, ocean-going yachts, cruise ships, cargo ships, military/government/research vessels, and power plants.

Clipper Oil’s predecessor, Tuna Clipper Marine, was founded in 1956 by George Alameda and Lou Brito, two pioneers in the tuna fishing industry. Tuna Clipper Marine’s first supply location was in San Diego, California, USA where they serviced the local fishing fleet.

Established in 1985, Clipper Oil was formed to serve the needs of marine customers in the Western Pacific as vessels shifted their operations from San Diego. Clipper Oil has been a proven supplier of quality marine fuels, lubricants, and services to the maritime community for over 25 years, serving many ports throughout the Pacific Ocean. We maintain warehouses in Pago Pago, American Samoa; Majuro, Marshall Islands; and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. We also have operations in the Eastern Pacific in Balboa/Rodman, Panama and Manta, Ecuador. We supply marine vessels and service stations with fuel, lubricant oil, salt, and ammonia. We also supply our customer’s vessels with bunkers at high-seas through various high-seas fuel tankers in all areas of the Pacific Ocean.


The Tuna Clipper Marine Pier in San Diego Bay (1980).

Clipper Oil supplying the USCGC Kimball ex. pipeline at the fuel dock in Pago Pago, American Samoa (2020).

Throughout the years, Clipper Oil has grown from a small marine distributor in San Diego to a worldwide supplier of marine fuels and lubricants. Clipper Oil offers a broad diversity of products and services and are active buyers and suppliers of petroleum products. It is this combination that gives us the edge in market intelligence needed to develop the best possible pricing for our clients.

Our daily monitoring of both the current and future oil market enables our customers to take advantage of market pricing on an immediate basis. This enables Clipper Oil to provide the best current and long term pricing for our customers.

Clipper Oil offers the following to our customers:

  • Extensive network of refueling locations throughout the Pacific Ocean
  • Full range of marine fuels, lubricants, and associated products
  • Competitive pricing
  • Technical support

All of the products we supply meet international specifications and conform to all local regulations.

With our many years of experience in the marine sector, Clipper Oil understands the attention to detail and operational performance vessels require during each port of call.

As a proven reliable and reputable supplier of marine fuel and lubricants, we welcome the opportunity to meet your vessel's needs. Please contact us for all of your marine energy and petroleum needs.

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