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.
A key IMO-supported international centre responsible for co-ordinating efforts to protect the marine environment in the north-west Pacific Ocean is to expand its areas of work, following a high-level meeting in Seoul. This was reported by the IMO media service on 2 September.
MERRAC (the Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre), is the focus for cooperation between China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation on preventing spills, and ensuring an effective joint response to any spills that do occur in the region.
At the latest meeting of focal points held from 28-30 August, the four countries agreed to enhance their cooperation by identifying new areas of work for MERRAC, such as monitoring illegal discharges under IMO’s MARPOL convention, including by use of unmanned aircraft, and developing additional response manuals for managing spills involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS), such as gasoline or liquefied gas. It is understood that these new work streams are expected to start in 2020.
MERRAC was established in 2000 by IMO, UN Environment and the Republic of Korea under the UN Environment’s Regional Seas Programme*. Hosted in the Republic of Korea, it is one of four Regional Activity Centres operating within the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP**).
At the August meeting the 22nd NOWPAP-MERRAC Focal Points Meeting invited MERRAC to collaborate with similar centres established under other Regional Seas Programmes, such as REMPEC in the Mediterranean and REMPEITC in the Caribbean.
It was reported that MERRAC is also to assist IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in developing an operational guide on responding to HNS spills.
IHMA Congress 2020 goes virtual
A message from Capt. Allan Gray, IHMA President.
We’ve been planning the 2020 Congress and looking forward to catching up with you all in Tasmania for almost three years now. Unfortunately, given the current situation in Australia, we won’t be exploring Hobart this October or clinking glasses at the Gala Dinner. We could focus on many things we will surely miss at this year’s event, however, we’re extremely fortunate and delighted to be able to bring a virtual edition of the 2020 Congress to you, wherever your home port may be.
Congress is the key forum for IHMA members and the global ports sector to collaborate, network, share information, and provide updates on the latest industry technology and solutions.
And there’s a lot to catch up on.