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.
At the end of July IMO reported that Mauritius had become the 15th signatory* to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. That Code has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in the region.
This Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January last year (2017). The instrument covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, trafficking of arms and in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife and oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste.
On 26 July HE Girish Nunkoo, High Commissioner of Mauritius in London, deposited the Jeddah Amendment Instrument with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters.
* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, and Yemen.
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.