At the “Our Oceans” Conference in Malta on 6 October 2017, SEA Europe was one of the leading industry associations making a pledge on how to improve the environment and the oceans. In its pledge, SEA Europe expressed the commitment of the European maritime technology sector to move forward on the installation as well as retrofitting of Ballast Water Management Systems onboard ships, despite the IMO’s recent decision to delay the Ballast Water Management Convention by another two years. Ballast Water Management Systems protect the marine environment against invasive species.
“The protection of the environment and sustainable development are part of our DNA” said SEA Europe’s Secretary General Christophe Tytgat “and we did not want to miss the opportunity to stand in front of the world leaders and take up our share of responsibility. Moreover, with our commitment, we wanted to highlight once again to policy-makers and to the maritime community that ballast water management is an important aspect of environmental protection and sustainable development, on which the global shipping industry needs to move forward faster”.
In the pledge, SEA Europe committed to “deploy, demonstrate and promote on-board and on-shore ballast water treatment solution” and to “foster the implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Convention earlier than the due date in 2024, by showcasing industry’s early movers and virtuous conduct.” The commitment will be implemented, starting June 2018, by an ad hoc campaign and monitored by key performance indicators, such as number of systems retrofitted and volumes of untreated ballast water discharges averted.
Mario Dogliani, SEA Europe’s Technical Director, who announced the commitment in Malta, said “we, the EU maritime technology industry, already invested at least half a Billion Euro in developing Ballast Water Treatment Systems and we will continue in the coming years to provide solutions for the whole value chain from onboard the ship to ashore.”
“After a long debate at the IMO and more than 12 years of research and development, it is now time to act, and not only on ballast water”, added Mr. Tytgat. “Also in the field of ships’ emissions, there are a lot of efforts that the shipping industry still needs to do but the European maritime technology sector has solutions, technologies and equipment that can assist the shipping industry in meeting the environmental targets. In this respect, we very much welcomed the pledges during the “Our Oceans” Conference made by shipping companies Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival and Grimaldi Napoli on reducing passenger ships emissions”.
SEA Europe’s commitment was one of the nearly 100 pledges presented by the private sector, made in the presence of four European Commissioners, nearly 1000 delegates, among which 67 Heads of State, Ministers and high-level industry leaders. Details on each pledge, including the full text and video of the SEA Europe announcement, can be taken from Our Ocean official website: www.ourocean2017.org