CASA brings shipping to University level
industry gets new boost in maritime education
In marking a landmark evolution in maritime education, Ceylon
Association of Ship's Agents (CASA) has succeeded in bringing Commercial
Shipping into University level by convincing the Colombo University to
conduct a special degree program in 'Transport Economics and Commercial
The inaugural ceremony of the stream of specialist in "Transport
Economics and Commercial Shipping" was held recently at the Colombo
University, attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama,
Prof Indralal de Silva, Prof Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof Amal Kumarage
(University of Moratuwa) who was the Guest Speaker and Dr Athula
Ranasinghe among other officials of the University.
CASA was represented by Jayantha Rathnayake (Committee Chairman of
Training & Development of Ships' Agency Personnel), Nimal Perera
(Executive Committee Member/Committee Convenor) and Dhammika Walgampaya
A CASA spokesman said this is the first time in Sri Lanka a degree
course is conducted covering subjects relating to Commercial Shipping
which plays a vital role in the economy of Sri Lanka by shouldering
almost 100 percent of international trade of the country.
Professor Amal Kumarage,Professor
Indralal de Silva, Professor Kshanika
Hirimburegama,Dr.Athula Ranasinghe,Professor Sirimal
Abeyratne,Jayantha Rathnayake (CASA) Training and
Development Committee Chairman) and Dhammika Walgampaya
(CASA/Secretary General). (Inset) Nimal Perera (CASA/Ex Co)
addressing the gathering.
CASA has been lobbying this idea with the Colombo University for
sometime and finally the Department of Economics of the Faculty of Arts
agreed to introduce a stream in 'Transport Economics and Commercial
Shipping' under its Economics Special Degree Program. Those who select
new course as their field of specialization would have lectures covering
subjects relating to Commercial Shipping in their third year and the
first half of the final year.
In addition to that, the students would be given practical training
for a period of three months, attached to shipping companies.
Resource personnel to cover shipping related subjects are expected to
be arranged by CASA and the Colombo University and is expected to sign a
MOU in this connection with CASA.
As per CASA, the objective of this move by CASA, is to bring
university level professionalism into the field of shipping and at the
same time helping universities to produce employable graduates.
Shipping group CMA CGM saved by creditors
Heavily indebted CMA CGM, the world's third-biggest shipping group,
has received a lifeline from its creditors in exchange for a management
After weeks of intensive discussions, 63 creditor banks agreed at a
meeting at the French finance ministry to provide the group with loans
worth 500 million dollars (348 million euros), a company spokesman said.
The agreement, to take effect next month, will enable CMA CGM to deal
with its obligations and to avoid having to undergo a court-mandated
The company is saddled with debt of 5.0 billion dollars. But in
exchange for the loans, CMA CGM has agreed to replace its current
supervisory board with a board of directors.
CMA CGM, one of the leading private sector employers in the southern
French port city of Marseille, is a family-owned business headed by its
founder, Jacques Saade.
If Saade in the planned re-shuffle becomes chairman, he will be
responsible for company strategy only. Operational responsibilities will
be given to chief executive Philippe Soulie, who until July had headed a
company that manufactures escalators, according to the spokesman.
CMA CGM, which employs 16,500 people worldwide, is also to get two
new directors, Denis Ranque, former chairman of engineering group Thales,
and Christian Garin, head of the professional shipping association
Armateurs de France.
The group's immediate task is to complete negotiations with South
Korean shipbuilders on CMA CGM's request to delay delivery of 49 ships
scheduled for delivery by 2012, the spokesman said. AFP
Oceans becoming nosier thanks to pollution
The world's oceans are becoming noisier thanks to pollution, with
potentially harmful effects for whales, dolphins and other marine life,
US scientists said in a study published Sunday.
Low-frequency sound in the ocean is produced by natural phenomena
such as rain, waves and marine life, and by human activities such as
sonar systems, shipping and construction.
The sound is absorbed mainly through the viscosity of the water and
the presence of certain dissolved chemicals, said the report published
in the science journal Nature.
But the concentration of chemicals that absorb sound in the oceans
has declined as a result of ocean acidification, in turn caused by
rising concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide come from human activity such as
shipping, with the number of ships roughly doubling over the past 40
years, the scientists said.
This was in turn increasing the acidity of the ocean, shown by a
lowering of its pH levels, they said.
Using model simulations, the scientists found that increases in
acidity could reduce seawater sound absorption by as much as 60 percent
by 2100 in high latitude oceans. Concern about the negative effect of
the sea's increased acidity had previously been concentrated on the
reduced rate of calcification, such as in coral reefs.
"However, a less anticipated consequence of ocean acidification is
its effect on underwater sound absorption," the authors said.."A
decrease in seawater pH lowers sound absorption in the low-frequency
range and, as a result, leads to increasing sound transmission."
Future global warming due to an accumulation of greenhouse gases may
further decrease the ocean's sound absorption capacity at certain
frequencies, the study said.
"High levels of low-frequency sound have a number of behavioural and
biological effects on marine life," it added.
This included tissue damage, mass stranding of mammals such as whales
and temporary loss of hearing in dolphins associated with military tests
using intense mid-frequency sonar, the report said. Marine species had
adapted to varying levels of noise but the consequences of the sea's
decreased ability to absorb sound were uncertain and required further
research, the scientists said. AFP
Dubai World buys into Russian port hub -official
Russian authorities on Monday gave the go-ahead for a unit of the
troubled Dubai World conglomerate to buy a 25-percent stake in the
management company at a major port on Russia's Pacific coast.
Vostochny is a warm water port and one of the largest transport hubs
in eastern Russia - close to Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets.
The Vostochny company is majority owned by Russian steel magnate Alexei
"The purchase by DP World, that is to say Dubai World... of 25
percent in the Vostochny port management company controlled by Alexei
Mordashov has been approved," said Igor Artemyev, head of Russia's
The value of the investment was not disclosed.
Russia has boosted exports to its Asian neighbours since the collapse
of the Soviet Union - mainly in the form of oil and gas - but trading
volumes are still estimated to be at only a fraction of their potential.
DP World ran into fierce opposition in the United States in 2006 when
its purchase of British ports operator P&O would have led it to run key
ports including New York and Miami. It later sold P&O's US operations.
Also on Monday, government-owned Dubai World began talks with its
lenders over its request to restructure 22 billion dollars (15 billion
euros) in debt.
The emirate rocked global markets last month when it requested a
six-month freeze on debt payments by the group in order to restructure
Dubai's economy grew at a rapid rate over the past years, on the back
of a real estate boom, but it was hard hit by the global economic crisis
which caused a shortage in available finance for the emirate's ambitious