Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
On 1 November IMO reported that Libyan port and maritime security officers have been receiving training on IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (see here: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/Guide_to_Maritime_Security/Pages/SOLAS-XI-2%20ISPS%20Code.aspx). This document sets out preventive security measures to detect and deter threats to ships and port facilities.
Participants in the training course (see relative pictures here kindly provided by IMO ©) are in charge of port security throughout the country. Others were members of the national committee responsible for oversight of compliance in Libya. They took part in a special session dedicated to oversight responsibilities.
From 27-31 October this training workshop focused on equipping the officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to plan and conduct effective self-assessments of compliance with relevant IMO regulations/guidelines. Those under training studied the documentation, particularly SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, as well as taking into account MSC.1/Circ.1192 on Guidance on Voluntary Self-Assessment by SOLAS Contracting Governments and by Port Facilities.
It is reported that the workshop was also conducted in neighbouring Tunis, Tunisia, and follows the initial training of the same group of Libyan officers in April this year.
Training of this type is a splendid example of IMO’s priorities being delivered.
Emerging maritime challenges were at the forefront of discussions at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security held in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on 14-15 March. Participants had the opportunity to exchange views on regional maritime issues, review progress of their maritime security work plan, and discuss proposed activities over the coming year.
IMO took the opportunity to update ARF members on IMO’s work in Asia and told senior maritime officials of potential future technical cooperation projects in the region. IMO also talked about improving the implementation, among ASEAN members, of maritime security measures, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).
It was reported by IMO on 13 March that a new set of publicly-available guidelines for monitoring plastics and microplastics in the oceans will help harmonize how scientists and others assess the scale of the marine plastic litter problem.
These guidelines* for the monitoring and assessment of plastic litter and microplastics in the ocean have been published by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a body that advises the United Nations system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Guidelines cover what to sample, how to sample it and how to record and assess plastics in the oceans and on the shoreline, including establishing baseline surveys. They include recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for establishing programmes to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter, also referred to as plastic debris, in the ocean.