zoom Tokyo-based shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) launched a domestic feeder service between Tokyo and the port of Sendai, Miyagi on February 16, 2016.According to the company, the new service will offer frequent connections between the two ports, while connecting with MOL’s global network through Tokyo and further enhancing MOL’s reefer service.The port rotation of the new feeder service is Sendai on Tuesdays – Tokyo on Thursdays – Sendai on Fridays, with a turn around of four days.MOL said that the Japanese-flagged 1,829 dwt cargo ship MV Hyogo started working on the new service from February 16.The company recently got its outlook changed by Moody’s rating agency from stable to negative due to weaker expectation in the container shipping market in 2016.Dry bulk and container shipping woes pushed down MOL to recorded net profit of JPY 13.2 billion (USD 110 million), plunging from last year’s JPY 24.8 billion.For the full year, the company predicts its loss to deepen to JPY 175 billion (USD 1.45 billion), considerably higher from the previously announced JPY 17 billion.
A researcher with a passion for coastal protection and a high school environment club devoted to Piping Plovers and green space have been recognized for their commitment to marine protection. Tim Webster, a research scientist with the Applied Geomatics Research Group at Nova Scotia Community College in Middleton, and Barrington Municipal High School’s Environment Club each received a 2011 Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council on Marine Environment. “Both award recipients have demonstrated dedication to the environment, and to marine protection in particular,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau, who represents the province on the Gulf of Maine Council. “Their communities, and the province as a whole, are benefitting from their leadership and commitment.” Mr. Webster was recognized for his long-term leadership in developing and applying remote sensing technologies. Mr. Webster’s work has led to a better understanding of the Bay of Fundy’s changing coastlines and watersheds and the implications of climate change on coastal environments and communities. Barrington Municipal High School’s Environment Club was recognized for its efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of watersheds and coastal environments. Club members have engaged students, staff and local residents in protecting and restoring sensitive coastal habitats and have helped to promote environmental stewardship. “The Environment Club is overwhelmed to have received the Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Award,” said Helen Goreham, the club’s staff advisor. “Our students are being empowered to be ambassadors for the environment at the local community level as well as globally.” Two Gulf of Maine Visionary Awards are given annually in each of five jurisdictions: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The awards recognize innovation, creativity and commitment to marine protection by businesses, environmental organizations, or individuals who are making a difference to the health of the Gulf of Maine. The council works to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the gulf and to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations within its five jurisdictions. The departments of Environment and Fisheries and Aquaculture are member agencies, which include representatives from federal and provincial governments, non-government organizations and the private sector.
The Pentagon’s annual report to the US Congress on military and security developments involving China, has taken note of Sri Lanka’s deal with China on the Hambantota Port.The report China’s leaders increasingly seek to leverage China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence. According to the report, the “One Belt, One Road,” now renamed the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), is intended to develop strong economic ties with other countries, shape their interests to align with China’s, and deter confrontation or criticism of China’s approach to sensitive issues. Countries participating in BRI could develop economic dependence on Chinese capital, which China could leverage to achieve its interests. In April 2017, Chinese special forces, under the cover of an Indian naval helicopter, boarded a hijacked cargo ship and rescued the crew. China also continued to send submarines to the Indian Ocean, ostensibly in support of its counterpiracy patrols.Chinese attack submarines conducted port calls in Seppangar, Malaysia and Karachi, Pakistan, but they were denied a port call in Colombo by Sri Lanka.The Pentagon report says the submarine patrols demonstrate the PLAN’s emerging capability both to interdict key sea lines of communication (SLOC) and to increase China’s power projection into the Indian Ocean. (Colombo Gazette) The report released last week, notes that in July 2017, Sri Lanka and a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) signed a 99-year lease for Hambantota Port, following similar deals in Piraeus, Greece, and Darwin, Australia.The report also notes that In 2017, China continued counterpiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden by deploying its 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th naval escort task forces to the area since 2008.