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SHIPPING firm OPDR has announced plans to increase the number of services it operates out of the Port of Tilbury – just two months after it began using the port's container terminal. Hamburg-based firm Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei and London Container Terminal (LCT) struck an agreement in November last year for the shipping firm to make 200 calls a year at Tilbury, with ships heading to the Canary Islands, Spain and North Africa. From the middle of January, two more Canary Island services per week started to call at Tilbury.

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Teams of volunteers carried out a count by air, land and water of grey and harbour seals in the Thames Estuary for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) survey, sighting 708 animals! The survey, last August, was the first large-scale survey of grey and harbour seals carried out by scientists in the Thames estuary. The aerial element enabled researchers to count seals on the outer sandbanks of the estuary where colonies of up to 120 seals were recorded in remote and undisturbed spots away from people and boats.


Work continues on the development of the Pilot Portable Unit (PPU). The Thames application of PPU was developed principally to help in the safe navigation of large container vessels such as Maersk's Triple E class to London Gateway. It assists the pilots in navigating vessels through the main approach channels and is particularly helpful in the fine manoeuvring required to berth larger vessels.

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