The threat of regional action – how to improve maritime safety and environmental protection in the north and baltic seas
BREMEN (GERMANY) – Coalition Clean Baltic and Friends of the Earth International are disappointed with the outcome of the shipping chapter of the JMM. True, some progress has been made during the ministerial meeting. Specifically, the ministers agreed to speed up the entry into force of several instruments dealing with ballast water, antifouling, liability and damage compensation. The ministers also declared to support work on the Clean Ship concept.
As the Environmental Senator of Bremen nicely put it:” Good ships have to drive bad ships out of business”.
However, in the area of maritime traffic much more needs to be done to really improve marine environmental protection. The Ministers should recognize that they all, jointly and on their own, have a role to play in ensuring the success of those initiatives delegated to other bodies, and a responsibility to act themselves if these organizations fail to deliver.
The most important issues where the JMM did not meet our expectations are:
- The ministers deferred action elsewhere, without making clear what they expect from those fora.
- No clear deadlines were given.
- Appropriate actions at OSPAR/HELCOM level to safeguard the marine environment are missing in the declaration.
- Finally, they deleted the text on a joint application of PSSA status for the Baltic Sea !
To counteract this important omission at least partly, we urge all Baltic coastal states to request mandatory pilotage for every narrow, restricted and congested waters immediately. As PSSA is the best tool for integrated protection and safety measures, we urge the ministers to take the lead in proposing a Baltic PSSA at IMO to compensate the missed opportunity of a joint HELCOM application.