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 on 14 October that the Port of Galveston is going green with a number of environmental initiatives, including membership in Green Marine, the leading voluntary environmental programme for North America’s maritime industry.
In the words of Rodger E Rees, port director and CEO: ‘Joining Green Marine will help us identify and implement best practices, manage our environmental initiatives, measure our progress and strive for continuous improvement. Sharing new technologies and best practices with other Green Marine members is another benefit that we’ll tap into.’
Rees added that the port will look for opportunities to integrate new sustainability practices like solar power as it implements its new 20-year strategic master plan. The port is seeking Green Marine certification as a standardized process to benchmark and measure progress in its environmental performance. Our illustration here is reproduced with grateful thanks from www.portofgalveston.com ©
David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, welcomed its newest member. by saying: ‘We’re pleased to welcome the Port of Galveston and applaud them on their plans to seek Green Marine certification to tangibly demonstrate their commitment to greener practices. We hope this inspires other maritime stakeholders to look at what Green Marine has to offer with its step-by-step approach towards achieving greater sustainability.’
The Green Marine environmental certification programme addresses key environmental issues through 12 performance indicators that include greenhouse gases, air emissions, spill prevention, waste management, environmental leadership, and community impacts – some applicable to shipping activities, others to landside operations. The certification process is rigorous and transparent with results independently verified every two years. Each company’s individual performance is made public annually.
About the Port of Galveston
Perfectly situated at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial centre since 1825.
Just 30 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth busiest US cruise port, it welcomed almost one million cruise passengers in 2018. One of the top 50 ports in the US and one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved four million tons of cargo in 2018 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.3 billion.
Green Marine overview
Green Marine is a voluntary maritime industry initiative with the goal of achieving levels of environmental performance that exceed regulatory requirements in areas such as air/land/water emissions.
There are currently more than 130 ship owners, port authorities, terminals and shipyards from coast to coast in Canada and the United States participating in the program.
Established in 2007, the programme has earned support from more than 70 environmental organizations, scientific research programs and government agencies. These supporters contribute to shaping and revising the program.
Readers may wish to learn more here: www.green-marine.org
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).