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The latest blow in a six-year-long legal battle between Dubai’s DP World and the Government of Djibouti has landed Doraleh in hot waters. What is the convoluted story behind this disputed port?

Our cover article tackles a pressing matter currently on everybody’s minds: widespread plastic pollution. Pressure is now mounting on shippers to clean up their act when it comes to dumping waste at sea.

When it comes to the lives of seafarers, one real but often hidden issue is drug use at sea, which can have serious implications for both crew health and vessel safety. We investigate how pervasive this problem is and look at modern, more dignified drug-testing solutions.

We also visit Frequentis’ new maritime control room and talk to international NGO Shipbreaking Platform about the horrors of beaching and the steps it’s making towards instilling the industry with safer practices.

In this issue

The fight for Doraleh: the legal battle over Djibouti’s port
A convoluted legal battle is taking place over the Port of Doraleh in Djibouti. The country has illegally seized control of the port from operator DP World and reneged on its contract. And now a special report on the arms trade in the Horn of Africa has warned that the port could potentially be used as an illegal weapons hub. Elliot Gardner untangles the story behind the fight for control over the disputed port.
Read the article here.

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Scourge of the seas: handling shipping waste
Horrifying pictures of trash strewn across beaches and sea life caught in floating plastics are now par for the course, and companies across industries have pledged to clean up their act. But what about waste generated by ships? Joe Baker investigates.
Read the article here.

On-board with theDOCK innovation hub
theDOCK innovation hub, an Israeli business and technology accelerator, promises to ‘accelerate your start-up to an ocean of possibilities.’ But what does that mean in practice and who are some of the maritime companies benefiting from its experience? Patrick Kingsland sat down with founding partner Hannan Carmeli to find out more.
Read the article here.

The battle against drug use at sea
Long stints at sea can affect the mental health of seafarers and sometimes lead to substance abuse. The implications and consequences of this affect both the crew and the safety of the entire vessel. Following the release of a new paper on the matter by the Shipowners’ Club, Adele Berti explores how employers are now looking into new ways of detecting and preventing drug use at sea.
Read the article here.

How should ports prepare for autonomous shipping?
The British Ports Association recently published a report in which it encouraged UK ports to consider the implications of autonomous ships on their operations. What challenges will ports face in preparing for autonomous ships in the future and what benefits they stand to gain from their adoption? Joe Baker finds out.
Read the article here.

Inside the new Frequentis maritime control room
Earlier this year, Frequentis, an Austrian high-tech company specialised in developing communication and information systems, launched a new remote control solution for the maritime industry designed to aid critical decision-making in cases of emergency.
Watch the video interview here.

Shipbreaking Platform: fighting to stop boats being broken up on beaches
Shipbreaking is still a major problem, both due to unsafe working conditions and damage caused to coastal ecosystems in countries such as Bangladesh. Non-governmental organisation Shipbreaking Platform tells Elliot Gardner about the impact of shipbreaking, the progress that has been made to change the landscape of this activity in recent years and the steps the NGO is making in the future.
Read the interview here.

Next issue | January 2019

Going into the new year, we look at how aquaculture company Nordlaks is applying ship design principles to Havfarm, a gigantic moored fish farm that could transform Norway’s salmon fishing industry.

We then turn our attention to Brexit and the worrying impact a no-deal scenario might have on UK seafarers.

We also look into the safety dangers of liquefied cargoes on board, considering that granular cargoes are responsible for the loss of numerous ships every year.

Finally, we talk to the authors of a three-year-long project looking into the different crewing strategies used in the merchant shipping industry, an area that has so far received little to no attention, and celebrate London’s Thames Clipper 40 millionth passenger milestone with an overview of its history and the role it plays in the busy capital.