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.
It was announced in mid-August that Maersk Supply Service will in the coming months provide marine support to The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit organization that is developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastics, and install their first clean up system in the North Pacific. This introduction will mark the start of the World’s first large-scale initiative for collection of floating plastic debris in the ocean.
Global plastic production has risen steadily since the 1950s with, as an unintended result, an estimated of over 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste now littering all major ocean basins. The Ocean Cleanup, is a globally recognised organisation addressing the problem of plastic pollution, having developed a method in the form of long floating screens to collect plastic debris for recycling.
Within a few weeks the first offshore cleaning system, in a partnership between The Ocean Cleanup and Maersk Supply Services, will be established in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located 1200 nautical miles off the coast of San Francisco. The system will be deployed by Maersk Supply Service’s AHTS vessel Maersk Launcher.
In the words of Steen S Karstensen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service: ‘We are truly proud to be supporting the installation of The Ocean Cleanup’s first system. Large towing operations have been a part of Maersk Supply Service’s work-scope for decades. It is rewarding to see that our marine capabilities can be utilised within new segments, and to support solving such an important environmental issue.’
Departing on 8 September the system will be delivered 250 nautical miles offshore for a two-week sea trial before towage to the final deployment location at the GPGP. Maersk Supply Service will in addition to the towing and installation, be monitoring The Ocean Cleanup’s System 001. Total duration of the campaign is expected to be 60 days.
Karstensen again: ‘Part of Maersk Supply Service’s strategy is to diversify its business and use its technical capabilities in new areas outside traditional oil and gas. With recently announced other new partnerships in innovative fields with DeepGreen and with Vestas Wind Systems, this collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup is a confirmation we are taking important steps in this direction.’
Claus V Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A P Moller - Maersk and CEO of the Energy division added: ‘Maersk contributes to the protection of the ocean environment through enhancing the sustainability of all our activities both at sea and on land. In addition to always taking great care that our operations do not pollute the oceans with plastic, we are also very pleased to take part in the world's first major collection of plastics from the ocean. As a responsible maritime operator, we are committed to ensuring that the oceans can remain a healthy environment for generations to come.’
The Ocean Cleanup’s long-term ambition is to install a fleet of at least 60 floating screens in order to remove 50% of the 80,000 tonnes of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.
The principle of Ocean Cleanup is shown in an animation here:
A 120 metre unit of the first cleanup system being tested in towing configuration for two weeks in the Pacific Ocean, May-June 2018.
Photo: The Ocean Cleanup ©.
On 13 November speaking in Tokyo on behalf of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), its Chairman, Esben Poulsson, highlighted serious concerns about the challenge presented by the United States.
In his words: ‘To the proven benefits of multilateralism and the existing global trading order underpinned by a system of international rules and norms which has brought peace and prosperity since World War Two’.
He added: ‘The view that international trade can be seen as some kind of zero sum game is demonstrably false.’
Poulsson acknowledged that the US has legitimate concerns about the policies of some of its trading partners, concerns which to some extent ICS also shares, particularly with regard to China and South Korea’s possible contribution towards overcapacity in shipping.
The IMO regulation that sets out preventive security measures on detecting and deterring threats to ships and port facilities – the ISPS Code* – was the subject of a training workshop that took place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 5-9 November.
This workshop was initiated as a means of assistance to potential Designated Authority (DA) and Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) to improve their knowledge of how to implement the relevant provisions in the ISPS Code and SOLAS Chapter XI-2. This followed a national maritime security workshop on design and conduct of drills and exercises organized for Trinidad and Tobago by IMO last year, the outcomes of which are being addressed in part by this new workshop.