Issue 174


1. New Venezuelan maritime courts

WE are indebted to John Richard Prados for news that the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) has finally reached a decision to set up the Venezuelan First Maritime High Court, as well as the First Maritime Court, both based in Caracas and both having lawful nation-wide jurisdiction.

The Venezuelan Law on Maritime Proceedings of 2001 established the legal basis
for these courts, but the administrative process of creating the courts and nominating judges has been delayed for almost three years.

It is hoped that the new courts will contribute to the process of finally developing a
specialised maritime forum to discuss and litigate maritime cases in Venezuela. The establishment of these courts is also seen as an opportunity to overturn the dynasty of the civil and commercial courts in Venezuela, which have traditionally included maritime cases in the antiquated civil law of the Venezuelan legal system.

Now, maritime cases should be litigated more efficiently and quickly, in accordance with the modern principles of maritime law as provided by the package of maritime legislation enacted in Venezuela during the past three years.
2. Inadequate security
THE US Coast Guard has issued a port security notice detailing countries which it deems to have inadequate port security measures. And it says that ships which have called at any of these countries within their five previous port visits may be subject to increased port state control examination upon arrival in a US port.
The enhanced examination may be less if the ship establishes a higher security level during the port call, executes a declaration of security, logs all security actions in the ship’s log, and reports to the USCG actions taken prior to arrival at a US port.
The countries found to have inadequate port security measures are Albania, Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nauru, Nigeria, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, and Surinam.

3. French awards

THE latest internet newsletter of the Chambre Arbitrale Maritime de Paris includes, for the first time, English translations of some abstracts of recent French maritime arbitration awards. These include a summary of a dispute involving a vessel’s readiness to load cargo. The arbitrators found that it was a condition precedent to accepting a vessel for loading that its holds were ready in every respect to accommodate the contractual cargo. It was held that the charterer could not be blamed for refusing to accept a vessel for loading because of a persistent fishmeal smell from a previous cargo. As a result, the shipowner was held liable to the charterer for commercial damages.

4. OCIMF barges in

THE Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has completed a two-year project to enhance and expand its Ship Inspection Reporting (SIRE) programme by including a barge inspection scheme. The new scheme will be available for use throughout the world in ports and inland waterways by barges, tugs, and vessels carrying road tankers and packaged cargoes. It will cover all vessels used to carry oil, chemical and gas cargoes, including those carrying road tankers and packaged containers.

The existing SIRE programme had, until now, predominantly provided inspection reports for tankers trading internationally. But there are about 20,000 barges worldwide carrying petroleum, chemicals and liquid gases in ports and inland waterways, in addition to shipments carried by tankers trading internationally. The newly expanded coverage of SIRE should help charterers improve safety and prevent pollution.

5. Maritime law conference

THE 5th International Conference on Maritime Law, which is organised every three years by the Piraeus Bar Association, will this year take place in Piraeus between September 29 and October 2. The subject of this year’s conference is ‘Marine Pollution: The Problem of Damages and Penalties’. There will be a variety of speakers from Greece and other countries. For further information and registration, contact the Piraeus Bar Association:

or the conference secretariat:

6. LMAA moves

THE London Maritime Arbitrators Association has been unable to renew the lease on its office at Rodwell House due to the refurbishment of the building, and is relocating to the offices of M J Kusel & Co, 124 Aldersgate Street, London EC1A 1JQ.

From September 23, the LMAA can be contacted at:

Tel: 44 207 490 7334.

Fax: 44 207 490 4383.

7. People & Places

UK-based international maritime recruitment specialist Spinnaker Consulting has augmented its team of dedicated maritime recruiters with the recent appointments of Will Bixby and Lucie Boxall.

Will Bixby, a keen yachtsman, has a strong sales background in the yachting industry and in maritime events with Lloyd’s List Events and Seatrade. Lucie Boxall joins from Top 10 UK law firm Hammonds, where she worked as a recruitment officer for several years, with responsibility for the nationwide recruitment of solicitors

8. Voicing concern

BILL Thomson, chairman of the North of England P&I club, has challenged the shipping industry to start projecting a more positive image if it wants more sympathy from society. He says, “The industry must find ways of demonstrating a more positive industry profile and conveying the magnitude of shipping’s contribution to the world economy. Shipowners need to speak with one voice if they are to stop the seemingly unrelenting campaign by governments and public authorities to penalise and criminalise the shipping industry.”

Bill is right, of course, except that shipping shouldn’t be looking for sympathy. Most politicians recognise that ships, like wind farms, are best kept out at sea, where they can do least harm. They are not like cars, or trains. They barely affect the electoral vote.

One voice would be nice, as long as it carries. To date, what we have had “are yet but ear-kissing arguments,” as Curan says in King Lear.


On the Death of Brian Clough

Brian Clough,
You are gone.
Were never England football manager,
But should have been.
I will miss you,
Young man.

Best Brian Clough Sayings of the Week

“I can’t even spell ‘spaghetti’, never mind talk Italian.”

“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.”

“I only ever hit Roy Keane the once. He got up, so I couldn’t have hit him very hard.”

“That David Seaman is a handsome young man but he spends too much time looking in his mirror, rather than at the ball. You can’t keep goal with hair like that.”

Worst jobs

A NEW book to be published next month claims that trainee solicitors have one of the worst jobs in Britain. ‘Crap Jobs’ details the hundred worst ways you can make a living. Phone sex-line operators have the worst job, with pea checkers, salmon-head-slicers, and night petrol cashiers also featuring highly. Trainee solicitors, meanwhile, feature in sixth place.

The excellent RollOnFriday news update service notes, “The book describes a trainee who accepted a job at a high street firm for the Law Society minimum wage. He found himself being given a succession of menial tasks by an irritable partner (surely not?), including repairing photocopiers, washing cars, cleaning shoes and spending a month “fighting spiders the size of my head” in archives. His only litigation experience seems to have been apologising to an irate judge after the partner failed to turn up in court.

“Every day the partner would get through two bottles of cheap wine and 40 Lambert & Butler. The final straw apparently came when, in the middle of one such session, the partner suddenly stopped dictating a letter and urinated all over her chair. Knowing when he was beaten, the unfortunate trainee resigned.”

RollOnFriday wants to hear from people who have had a similar experience. The writer of the best entry gets a copy of the book and 40 Lambert & Butler.

A defective petition

AN associate judge of the supreme court was sitting by a river when a traveller approached and said, “I wish to cross. Will it be lawful to use this boat?”

“It will,” was the reply, “it is my boat.”

The traveller thanked him and, pushing the boat into the water, embarked and rowed away. But the boat sank and he was drowned.

“Heartless man,” said an indignant spectator. “Why did you not tell him that your boat had a hole in it?”

“The matter of the boat’s condition,” said the associate justice, “was not brought before me.”

(Ambrose Bierce)

Eating out

ANDREW Trassler writes, “In preparation for a short holiday in Spain I have been researching the area on the internet. I would like to share with you and your maritime advocate readers the gastronomic delights that are apparently awaiting me in the region’s many restaurants, according to the local tourist office website.”

Dos Mares

Mediterranean kitchen in the Atlantic. Face to the Atlantic Ocean, to the
beach foot, in paradisíaco surroundings, Two Seas offers Mediterranean
kitchen to you of high quality.

Meson Juderia

Specialty in meats, fresh fish and cooks traditional caretaker. Products of
first quality and well-taken care of warehouse. Located in the street
Juderia or “Callejon de las Monjas”. Panoramic views from its terrace.

La Castilleria

Possibly the best spit of the province. All the meats are roasted to the
grill on the firewood coal. Located between rest of a Roman aqueduct, in a
true oasis of peace and exhuberante vetacion with an intimist and cosy
atmosphere. In Julio and August it is necessary to reserve. Opened of March
to September.


Restaurant-Pizzeria of furnace of firewood in which podra to savor in its
terrace its endives to roquefort, substantial boulder of tuna to the salt,
smooth, flavorful and fine paste or his riquísimas and crujientes pizzas
done in the firewood furnace.

El Pirata

Located on beach foot, being the suitable place to eat without leaving the
same one. Specialty in fried pescaito. At night their views to the light of
Trafalgar and the beach turn it a unique and privileged place. Opened all
the year. Glasses at night.

La Fontanilla

Best urta of Cadiz. Specialty in urta to the Fontanilla and seafood. Typical
beach restaurant, on the sand and with tile roof of sombrajo. Marinnero of
Conil. In a barbecue outdoors they prepare the fish of the zone.

El Roqueo

Restaurant with exceptional views to the sea. Comfortable and ample dining
rooms, where podra to taste plates based on typical products of the zone
like marine fish, seafood, meats and rice asi like its homemade last


A kitchen totally reconocible Andalusian but with I touch very present. Rice
and fish of the Estrecho. A charming place with two dining rooms with two
different atmospheres: one more intimate and another ample, colorista and
luminous one.

El Jardin del Califa

Specialty in food of the African North and the Middle East in a calm and
incomparable atmosphere. Located in the heart of the medieval enclave that
is Vejer. They serve more than 10 varieties as herbario and normal tea: the
English of quality, the German and the famous Moroccan.

Blonde moments

WHEN asked whether she was offended by dumb blonde jokes, the incomparable Dolly Parton once said, “I’m not offended because I know I’m not dumb and I’m also not blonde”.

So Dolly would not mind the story about the blonde who comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. “Yoo-hoo,” she shouts, “how can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up and shouts back, “You ARE on the other side.”

Or the blonde playing Trivial Pursuit who lands on ‘Science & Nature’ and gets the question, “If you’re in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?” She thinks for a moment and then asks, “Is it on or off?”

Most Geographically Out-of-Date Headline of the Week

Congo discovery boosts Total West African hopes (Lloyd’s List)

Best Team Sport of the Week


Quote of the Week

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows. (Janette Barber)

Thought for the Week

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, “That was fun!”

Fitness Quote of the Week

“I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place.” (Anon)

Non-PC Moment of the Week

I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with “Guess” on it. So I said “Implants?” She hit me. (Anon)

Best Advice of the Week

Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Best Question-and-Answer Sessions of the Week

Q: Which ‘Boris’ is a Conservative MP and editor?

A: Karloff

Q: Which city beginning with ‘T’ is the capital of Albania?

A: Tashkent

Q: Which ‘D’ is a word describing the expulsion of people from a county where they have no right to abide?

A: Demote

Q: Which rhyming two-word phrase is used to denote an area of punishment in ice-hockey?

A: Den

Q: Which word describes both hair falling over the brow and an unconventional type of medicine?

A: Homeopathic

(The Weakest Link, BBC TV)