Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Global efforts to prevent oil spills continue despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we are informed. In mid-April IMO indicated that the first webinar of a new series on oil spill preparedness and response had been delivered by the Global Initiative West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) Project on 14 April.
For more on GI WACAF see here: https://www.giwacaf.net/en/project/history
The webinar focused on developing a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP). Experts from ITOPF (https://www.itopf.org/) and OTRA (https://otra-antipol.com/about-us/ ) presented both the development process and the content of a NOSCP, as well as the importance of its effective implementation.
According to IMO other webinars will cover related topics, including waste management, the use of dispersants, wildlife response and liability and compensation in case of an oil spill.
It was reported that the GI WACAF project launched its first webinar series on oil spill preparedness and response in June 2020. This helped provide key assistance to countries in improving their response plan, such as response techniques or implementing legal and institutional instruments to meet international regulations.
At GI WACAF the project is a collaboration between the IMO and IPIECA* to enhance the capacity of 22 partner countries in West, Central and Southern Africa to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills.
Readers are invited to click here for a replay of the webinar: https://www.giwacaf.net/en/webinars
*Originally the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association. For more on this organisation see: www.ipieca.org
Illustration per www.imo.org ©
The bulk carrier Eaubonne (former name GH Storm Cat) is now (4 May) under quarantine in Durban harbour. On the same day that the South African government issued a statement saying that the ports were on high alert for the Indian variant of the Coronavirus (B.1.617) that has emerged in devastating numbers in India, it was learnt that a ship that arrived on Sunday night, 2 May, has been placed under quarantine after the discovery that a crew member had died en route. Another 14 crew have since been taken for testing for Covid-19.
‘All our ports of entry employ stringent containment procedures to minimise the importation of COVID-19,’ said Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize in the statement issued on 4 May 2021.
The ship Eaubonne (IMO 9663104), sailed from the port of Kandla in India on 18 April on a 14-day voyage to Durban, where she arrived off port on 1 May, prior to entering port and berthing at Maydon Wharf 2 on 2 May at 2000.
During the voyage one of the crew members passed away and authorities in Durban were advised that he died of a heart attack.
The ship was carrying a cargo of 6,250 tons of rice to be discharged in Durban.
However, on 4 May dock workers and others working on the ship were told to stop all operations and that the vessel was under quarantine. Fourteen of the crew were taken for COVID-19 testing but the real worry is that a large number of dockworkers had already been exposed to the crew.
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the adoption of the own-initiative (INI) report of TRAN-Committee Chair, Karima Delli*, on technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport by the European Parliament. This was reported on 28 April.
It is understood that the report was adopted with 453 votes in favour, 92 against, and 154 abstentions.
The final text adopted in the European Parliament plenary contains many of the key strong points which are supported by ESPO: