Fog forces closure of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait to ships on Sunday, Jan. 26
Heavy fog on Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 forced the closure of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, a vital route for Russian oil and other commodities, to shipping traffic.
Five tankers were waiting to travel north at the mouth of the narrow strait, which links the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Traffic at the Dardanelles at the other end of the Sea of Marmara was unaffected. Reduced visibility due to poor weather in the winter frequently requires maritime officials to shut the Bosphorus, disrupting the flow of Russian oil and grain to world markets.
Turkey Moving Forward with Bosphorus Strait Bypass Canal
Ship & Bunker reports that the Turkish government says it is moving forward with plans for a canal that would link the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, allowing ships to bypass the crowded Bosphorus Strait, Reuters reports.
The 45-kilometer "Kanal Istanbul" would turn the European side of Istanbul into part of an island, and land dug up to create the canal could fill part of the sea, creating a sea port and airport. "We believe that this is a very realistic project that will be talked about by the world," said Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. Babacan said the country's Higher Planning Council has decided to go forward with the project. More at shipandbunker.com...
Turkey's Bosporus Strait closes again on strong winds
Turkey's Bosporus Strait is closed to maritime traffic for a third day due to strong winds and current, shipping sources said Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, Platts reports.
The strait closed to commercial maritime traffic Sunday following strong winds and currents in the Black Sea, shipping and port sources said previously. It was also officially closed Monday to maritime traffic ahead of a planned firework display as part of Turkey's Republic Day celebrations.
According to information from Turkey's Directorate General of Coastal Safety website the Bosporus closed in the north-south direction at 5:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Tuesday after opening on Monday at 11:00 pm local time, following the firework celebrations. While in the south-north direction the Strait is scheduled to close at 2:00 p.m. local time Tuesday having previously opened at 07:00 a.m. local time.
Currently six tankers above 200 meters length overall, typically anything larger than or equal to the size of a Panamax vessel, are waiting to transit the Bosporus in the northbound direction and eight in the southbound direction, according to data from The Turkish Straits Vessel Traffic Service Authority.
Inspections of high polluting vessels navigating the Bosphorus planned
A legislation passed by the Istanbul Development Agency (İSTKA) yesterday could mean vessels in the Bosphorus being subject to emission inspections and fines for the use of highly pollutant fuels.
ISTKA will join forces with the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) to design a feasibility study to identify heavy polluters among strait traffic. Under the new legislation, suspect vessels will then be required to have their emissions measured by authorities, according to Turkey’s Today’s Zaman.
“We find this (project) essential and will be offering our support,” ISTKA Secretary-General, Abdulmecit Karatas, told Today's Zaman on Monday. More to read at www.porttechnolog...
Tanker traffic on Bosporus Strait halted due to heavy fog
Tanker traffic through Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, a key shipping channel for Russian oil, was suspended on Wednesday after heavy fog reduced visibility, shipping agent GAC said, Reuters reports. The Istanbul channel was closed in both directions at 7:21 a.m. (0521 GMT), GAC said in an e-mailed statement. It was not clear when the strait will re-open, but a GAC official told Reuters that they expected the fog to clear in the afternoon.
Six tankers were scheduled to transit the Bosphorus on Wednesday, the agent said, and only one of them passed early on Wednesday before the traffic was closed.
On the night of Oct 18 due to strong SSW wind with a force of 7-8, 5 cargo vessels were dragged ashore in Istanbul. It was such a mess that to get an exact picture and chronology of the mishap seems to be very difficult, especially considering the fact, that all news are in Turkish. Anyway, it looks like that some of the vessels, including Kumdas 2 and Ismet Atasoy, were seriously damaged, but there are no casualities. All 5 vessels are Turkish general cargo ships. Pic and full list of stranded vessels at Maritime Bulletin www.odin.tc
Turkey reconsiders discounted transit fees for ships Bosporus passage - Turkey is studying ways to make it more attractive for commercial ships to travel through a proposed canal that would be built in the next decade as an alternative to the heavily congested Bosporus Strait, Associated Press reports. Transportation Minister Mehmet Habib Soluk said Thursday that Turkey could reconsider its policy of charging discounted fees for transit through the Bosporus Strait, a possible hint that those fees might be raised. Increasing the Bosporus fees could encourage ships to use the proposed Canal Istanbul. The new canal would create a second waterway linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, PortNews reports.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement on Wednesday of a plan to build a canal so that oil tankers and other commercial shipping can bypass the congested Bosporus Strait has triggered heated discussion on the possible consequences of the project.
Erdoğan on Wednesday announced his new project, Kanal İstanbul, a 150-meter-wide waterway that will link the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. He said the canal is the "greatest project of the century." Read more www.hellenicshipp...