Around 82 ships with 418 seafarers remain stuck around Ukrainian ports despite the opening of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, reports US News.
Alleviating global food shortages
According to analysis by the ICS six ships, which had been stuck since February, had been able to leave Ukraine before the corridor was announced in July.
The agreement was reached in July, creating a protected sea transit corridor, in order to alleviate global food shortages. However, the initiative only involved dry bulk ships around three Ukrainian ports with dozens of other vessels including oil tankers not able to access the corridor.
Vessels and crew wait for approval
These vessels now await for approval to leave while waterways remain controlled by Russia and other ports are blocked by Ukraine.
“The corridor was made only for the purpose of loading the grain to leave,” said ICS Chairman Emanuele Grimaldi told a news briefing.
At the start of the conflict in late February approximately 2,000 seafarers from all over the world were stranded aboard up to 94 vessels in Ukrainian ports. According to Mr. Grimaldi, the ICS had discussions with the IMO, but he noted that: “It is not easy and a complicated matter.”
New route for merchant vessels
Recently, the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) announced a new route for merchant vessels going in and departing from the three Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, Pivdennyi/Yuzhny under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The new route is 320 nautical miles long and connects the three Ukrainian ports with the inspection areas inside Turkish territorial waters.
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Source: US News