Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 23, 2005
Author: P&S







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SOUTH AFRICA – Starlight announces all year round cruising for South Africa

Starlight Cruises, which introduced the concept of cruising to tens of thousands of South Africans back in 1979, today confirmed our reports (see PORTS & SHIPS Cruise News dated 13 October) that the MSC Monterey will be arriving in South Africa in October 2006 where she will remain as an all year round cruiser, operating mainly out of Durban.

“The market appears to be calling out for the more permanent presence of a passenger cruise liner in the region, and the South African economy suggests to us that our timing is exactly right,” said Allan Foggitt, director of Starlight Cruises in Johannesburg.

He said he believed this to be the biggest single development in the local cruise industry in South Africa since his family pioneered leisure cruising off the South African coast 26 years ago.

The Monterey, which is no stranger to South Africans having operated here successfully over a number of years, will be positioned to Durban from October 2006. She will be joined at the end of November by the MSC Rhapsody for the summer season, increasing the total number of Starlight cruise departures from 33 to 107 per annum and the annual passenger capacity from the 26,500 passengers expected in 2005/06 to 60,000 in the first full year of operation in 2006/07.

The full announcement from Starlight Cruises will appear in our Cruise Section.


SOUTH AFRICA – KZN trawler allocations announced

The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism has allocated four commercial fishing rights in the KwaZulu-Natal prawn trawl fishery for eight vessels. Only seven will however be taken up. Each license is valid for eight years effective from January 2006 until 31 December 2013.

The four successful applicants are:

1] Viking Fishing Company, utilising two fishing vessels, Striker (DNA 1) and Panevezys (DNA 81).
2] Spray Fishing (Pty) Ltd, utilising three fishing vessels, Ocean Crest (DNA 91), Ocean Spray (DNA 6), and Ocean Surf (DNA 68).
3] Nathaz Fishing CC, utilising fishing vessel Sterling Star (DNA 47).
4] Hacky Fishing (Pty) Ltd, utilising fishing vessel Golden Eagle (HTB 250).

In terms of black economic empowerment (BEE) in this sector of the industry the profile has altered with black shareholding increasing from 22% in 2001 to 63% at present, and female ownership from zero to 22%.


ZAMBIA – Mwanawasa calls for help as country runs out of food

Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa has declared a national disaster and is appealing to the international community to help prevent more than a million of his people from starving this summer.

Mwanawasa’s appeal came in response to the Zambian parliament passing a resolution a week ago urging government to declare a national disaster as Zambia faces another widespread famine arising out of the drought.

“Parliament in this country is the highest body and I therefore declare a national disaster in so far as food shortages are concerned. I therefore appeal to the international community for help,” he said before leaving to attend this week’s Commonwealth Summit.

According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Zambia is only one of six countries in southern Africa which face an immediate food crisis. The worst affected country is Malawi, where five our of 12 million people face starvation in the next few months.

The other countries listed by WFP include Zimbabwe, whose government largely pretends there is no crisis, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.

The WFP recently announced that 28,000 tonnes of food aid would arrive in Mozambique ports during November and December for distribution to drought affected areas – 13,000t through the port of Maputo and 15,800t via Beira.

WFP says it needs to raise another US7 million to meet its appeal for 0m simply to ward off starvation in the region between now and April 2006.


NIGER – WFP urges more aid

Unless the international community renews its commitment to deal with the consequences of this year’s food crisis in Niger, including high levels of malnutrition among children, the country faces a second successive year of extreme suffering and hardship.

That’s the stark warning this week from the World Food Programme (WFP). A recently completed assessment revealed a worrying picture of poverty, debt and widespread food insecurity, in which over 1.2 million people are estimated to have cereal stocks sufficient for only three months, while another two million have stocks that will last a maximum of five months, with two million others facing a precarious year with borderline livelihoods.

Food aid, based on international donorship will again have to be shipped in to the West African country. The WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency annually feeds an average of 90 million people across the world, including 61 million children.


SOUTH AFRICA – Navy plans for peacekeeping role

The South African Navy is playing a significant role in support of peace keeping operations on the African continent, says the chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu.

Mudimu was speaking at a media briefing held at the Durban Naval Station earlier this week, in which an annual naval diving exercise was held in front of the media.

Referring to the navy’s peacekeeping role, he said: “This is our contribution to the government’s initiative and vision of the African Union and the objectives of the New Economic Partnerships for African Development (Nepad), to create a stable environment in Africa.

“This partnership is essential to assist in bringing about a stable and peaceful environment in Africa that will allow for development and economical growth on the continent. To achieve this will require priority being given to interventions aimed at eradicating poverty, hunger, conflict, disease, corruption, poaching, piracy, human trafficking and organised crime.”

He said an example of the immoral activities being conducted by unscrupulous elements in the seas around Africa were the incidents of sea piracy reported in West and East Africa. He drew attention to the escalation of incidents off the Somalia coast and to incidents off Nigeria, while adding that those countries had few or no assets to protect their own seas. In this role he saw the South African Navy taking a more proactive position.

“Poaching in the seas around our coast also remains a challenge and results in a considerable loss to the economy and the people of our country and is caused by the plundering of wealthy marine resources by this illegal fishing. In this regard ships of our navy are regularly deployed in support of Marine Coastal Management and the SA Police Services off the South African coast to counter such activities.”

He pointed out that the South African Navy already has five harbour protection boats (Namacurras) with crews and support personnel deployed on patrols in Lake Tanganyika in Burundi.

“Their presence has already served as a deterrent that results in bringing back local activities on the lake and preventing arms smuggling.”

He said the SA Navy is currently looking at increasing its participation in peace support operations and has a concept of establishing a Naval Rapid Deployment Force that will be able to operate alongside South African land forces in these missions.

“The first contingent of this force is scheduled to be in place by early 2007.”


Clipper Race – R&R in Durban

Wednesday 23 November

With the conclusion of the 3rd leg of the Clipper Race at Durban, competitors are now able to relax in the sun and surf of South Africa’s favourite holiday playground and enjoy a well-earned rest. The race resumes on 14.00 local time Sunday, 27 November – until then if any reader wants to stay in touch with what is happening during the Durban stopover please go to http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk/plc/index.php for a daily update.

Ports & Ships will pick up the race again from Sunday.


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