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The International Chamber of Shipping has expressed its concern about a new policy reportedly to be brought in by Italy’s new coalition government, closing the country’s ports to migrants disembarking after being rescued by NGO vessels. We look into the new policy and its potential impact on migrants and merchant vessels alike.

We also investigate the drones being used to tackle shipping’s greatest inspection and repair challenges, find out more about the latest trend to create LNG vessels with unique systems that do not require ballast water systems, and speak to Sailcargo about its project to build a combustion-free cargo sailing vessel in Costa Rica.

Finally, we take a closer look at Global Fishing Watch’s satellite-driven transparency platform, which reveals the location and behaviours of commercial fishing fleets across the world, and learn more about an EU project to improve health on ships without a doctor.

In this issue

Sailcargo blends old and new in sailing freight venture
In a Costa Rican ‘jungle shipyard’, a small team is building Ceiba, a combustion-free cargo sailing vessel that aims to combine traditional shipbuilding techniques with avant-garde design. Chris Lo finds out more from Sailcargo managing director Danielle Doggett.
Read the article here.

Send in the drones: solving inspection and repair challenges at sea
Drones are already solving some of shipping’s greatest inspection challenges at sea. The onset of automation, hybrid systems that combine aerial flight with subsea diving, and on-board 3D printing capabilities could take the technology even further, as Joe Baker finds out.
Read the article here.

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Could ballast-free shipping be the best route to IMO compliance?
Following the adoption of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, ship operators have come under increasing pressure to improve the efficiency of their ballast water systems. Joe Baker considers whether ballast-free solutions could remove the need for these systems altogether.
Read the article here.

Mediterranean migrants and Italy: bad news for shippers too?
In June, Italy announced plans to close its ports to NGO rescue ships following fears over mass migration. The International Chamber of Shipping has expressed concern that similar rules may be applied to merchant vessels, potentially damaging trade. Patrick Kingsland reports.
Read the article here.

Transparent transhipping: detecting illegal fishing with satellite data
Global Fishing Watch has expanded its satellite-driven transparency platform, which reveals the location and behaviours of commercial fishing fleets worldwide. Joe Baker finds out how the platform is helping government regulators crack down on illegal fishing.
Read the article here.

Can a new EU project improve health on the high seas?
The European Union has launched a new project designed to optimise health management on ships without doctors. In a time when seafarers still face health risks at sea, Joe Baker asks whether the new e-healthy digital platform could help lighten the load.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Dutch company Bin2Barrel is constructing a new facility that will convert previously unrecyclable plastic into fuel for diesel-powered cargo ships. The plant will be the first of four ‘plastic to fuel’ facilities built near the port and is estimated to begin operations by the end of the year. We find out what benefits it could bring to the port and ships.

We also investigate the choppy waters ahead for Indian shipping firms after the government relaxed cabotage rules, find out what can be done to prevent fires on board container vessels, and speak to security solutions company Synopsys about an ethical hacking project that could improve shipping cybersecurity.

Finally, we consider whether European ship recycling facilities will provide enough capacity following China’s decision to ban the import of end-of-life ships for recycling, and take a closer look at the implications of Sri Lanka’s decision to transfer ownership of the Port of Hambantota to China.