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August 9, 2021 / 2:00 PM Modi is the first Indian prime minister to preside over a UNSC open debate focussed on ways to effectively counter maritime crime and strengthen coordination in the domain. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday adopted the first-ever presidential statement on maritime security soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a virtual open debate focused on global cooperation for maritime security. India, as the UNSC president this month, noted the threats to maritime safety and security and called upon the members to consider implementing the 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. External affairs minister S Jaishankar later thanked all members for “supporting the first signature event of Indian Presidency” after the statement on maritime security was unanimously adopted by UNSC. “Ten non Council members sent their written position underlining that the debate was timely and relevant. PM articulated five key maritime principles- on trade, disputes, natural disasters, environment and connectivity,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi called for a “framework of mutual understanding and cooperation” on maritime security as he outlined five principles, including the settling of maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international laws. Among the four other principles proposed by PM Modi as chair of a high-level debate were free maritime trade, jointly fighting maritime threats from natural disasters and non-state actors, preservation of the maritime environment and promoting “responsible maritime connectivity”.

August 6, 2021 / 12:00 PM The Port of San Diego is inviting the public to review and provide input on its Draft Revised Maritime Clean Air Strategy, it was announced Thursday.

The policy document is intended to help the port identify future projects and initiatives to improve health through cleaner air for all who live, work and play on and around San Diego Bay while also supporting efficient and modern maritime operations.

Collaboration with community residents, industry, businesses, public agencies and non-government organizations helped produce the goals and objectives identified in the MCAS discussion draft issued for public review and feedback in March. With changes made based on that feedback and direction by the Board of Port Commissioners, the Port is seeking additional community and stakeholder feedback.

To review the Draft Revised MCAS, go to Written feedback will be accepted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. through Sept. 3. During the review period, the public is also invited to participate in an MCAS virtual update on Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

As an update to the port's 2007 Clean Air Program, the MCAS "identifies a vision centered on health equity, with ambitious goals for 2030 that will contribute to improved air quality," a statement from the port reads.

In support of the 2030 goals, the MCAS establishes more specific, near- term emissions reduction goals and objectives to be accomplished within the next five-year period between 2021 and June 30, 2026. Collectively, in conjunction with the near-term goals and objectives, the MCAS identifies approximately 34 potential projects, partnerships, initiatives and/or studies. 

Some of the goals include making 100% of cargo trucks and handling equipment calling on the Port of San Diego cargo maritime terminals zero emissions vehicles by 2030, the first all-electric tugboat in the U.S. in 2026 and doubling shore power for cruise ships by 2023.


August 3, 2021 / 12:10 PM  A "potential hijack" was unfolding off the coast of the United Arab Emirates' Fujairah region on Tuesday, Britain's maritime trade agency reported, without giving details on the vessel or vessels involved.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) had in an earlier warning notice, based on a third party source, advised ships to exercise extreme caution due to an incident around 60 nautical miles east of Fujairah.

The area in the Arabian Sea leads to the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world's seaborne oil exports flow.

The U.S. The Navy's Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

On Tuesday afternoon at least five ships in the sea between the UAE and Iran updated their AIS tracking status to "Not Under Command", according to Refinitiv ship tracking data. Such a status generally indicates a ship is unable to manoeuvre due to exceptional circumstances.

Reuters could not confirm this Refinitiv data had any connection to the reported incident.

Last week an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman killed two crew members and was blamed on Iran by the United States, Israel and Britain. 

Iran denied involvement in that suspected drone attack and said on Monday it would respond promptly to any threat against its security.

The United States and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to the attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.

Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations of carrying out attacks on each other's vessels in recent months. 

Tensions have increased in Gulf waters and between Iran and Israel since 2018, when then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its economy.


August 4, 2021 / 2:00 PM From August 1 to November 30, 2021, the Panama Canal will once again promote the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) speed and navigational recommendations to protect whales, dolphins, and other large aquatic animals, as they start their nearby seasonal migration.

In accordance with the IMO’s recommendations, ships traveling to and from the Canal via the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean during this period must stay within designated navigation areas known as Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), which decrease the overlap between vessels entering or exiting the Canal and migrating marine life. Vessels traveling through these areas on the Pacific side of the Canal should also proceed at a speed of no more than 10 knots, a practice known as Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR).

These measures, first implemented and promoted by the Canal in 2014, have significantly reduced the likelihood of interactions and serious incidents involving whales and other cetaceans, while assuring maritime safety and control of vessels transiting the waters surrounding the Canal. Compliance with the TSS measures by the Panama Canal has proven critical, as the Gulf of Panama is an important wintering ground for migrating humpback whales.

“When we talk about sustainability at the Canal, we take into account the protection and wellbeing of our entire ecosystem and biodiversity,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales. “These measures show that a small change can mean a huge difference when our industry works together to prioritize sustainability. We are grateful for our customers who continue to recognize the value of these measures and the Panama Canal’s offerings as a green route for global maritime trade.”

A study commissioned by the Panama Canal also found that the TSS program garnered significant emissions reductions. Analysis of the speed, position and heading data from vessels’ automatic identification systems (AIS) confirmed that compliance with the annual recommendations lowered a vessel’s greenhouse gas (GHG) and pollutant gas emissions by an average of 75 percent. The savings varied by the vessel type, size, and fuel, but resulted in over 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) saved in total between 2017 and 2020.

Being an all-water route, Panama Canal recognizes first-hand the impact of rising global temperatures and the importance of protecting our oceans. The waterway is focused on elevating its sustainable operations and value for the global supply chain, and these efforts are just another example of its commitment towards mitigating the effects of climate change, ensuring ocean conservancy and protecting biodiversity.


August 2, 2021 / 1:20 PM  Maritime tensions are escalating in the Middle East following the deadly attack on a tanker connected to an Israeli billionaire in the Arabian Sea.

Two crewmembers, a Briton and a Romanian, died on Thursday when the Mercer Street tanker was attacked by an armed drone believed to be operated by Iran off the coast of Oman. The US, Israel and the UK are blaming Iran for the attack, which Tehran denies. Speaking Sunday at a cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran was denying the attack “in a very cowardly manner” and that Israel has intelligence evidence that it was behind the incident.

“I say absolutely that Iran is the one that carried out the attack against the ship,” Bennett said. “The thuggish behavior of Iran is dangerous not only to Israel but also to the global interest in freedom of shipping and international trade.”

Iran denied involvement in the attack on Sunday. “The illegitimate occupying regime of Israel must stop the false accusations,” the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in his weekly news conference, according to semi-official news agency Mehr.

“This is not the first time that the Zionist regime has made such accusations against Iran. This regime has taken violence and insecurity with it wherever it has gone,” Khatibzadeh added.

But both the US and the UK have joined Israel in accusing Iran of carrying out the attack. In a statement issued Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration was “confident” Iran was responsible and was considering “next steps.”

 “Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region,” the statement says. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also released a statement Sunday condemning the attack and saying the UK believed it is “highly likely” that Iran carried it out.


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