In my last blog I referred to the UK Government Maritime Sector’s latest report ‘MARITIME 2050: NAVIGATING THE FUTURE – The Government’s Vision And Ambitions For The Future Of The British Maritime Sector’. It can be accessed here: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/772805/maritime-2050-executive-summary.pdf.
In this blog I want to mention a couple of items in the 52 page report that readers may find interesting or at least have an opinion or comment about.
Regular readers will know that Solar Solve is currently promoting Crew Fatigue Management as something ALL shipowners and operators should be acting on as a priority and we know that many of them already are and have been for many years. The reality is though, that there are still lots of accident reports published that conclude the cause of the accidents to be directly due to crew fatigue or, that fatigue is at least a contributing factor.
In ‘MARITIME 2050: Navigating The Future’, there is a section on page 38 which is sub-headed:
CONSIDERING THE HUMAN IN THE FACE OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE.
It contains Short Term (1-5 years) objectives that include, developing a social framework that lays out UK expectations for the welfare of the UK maritime workforce; government and industry to push for worldwide recognition and standardisation of seafarer ID cards through the ILO and government to introduce a National Minimum Wage for all seafarers working in the UK territorial waters, affording them the same protection as land-based workers.
The only Medium Term (5-15 years) objective is to push for a limit on hours per shift through IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and ILO (International Labour Organisation) to combat seafarer fatigue.
With two Long Term (15 years and beyond) objectives of exploring opportunities to encourage greater cooperation between the ILO and IMO on seafarer welfare issues and leading the way in addressing modern day slavery concerns within the industry with the aim of eradicating it.
These are all very important and indeed crucial objectives and it is somewhat bewildering to read that some of them are expected to take 15 years or longer to achieve and that totally combating seafarer fatigue is expected to take up to 15 years. It makes our FATMAN 2020 campaign, aiming for Crew Fatigue Management procedures to be in place and working successfully by the end of 2020, somewhat ambitious I suspect. But you never know and every little bit of progress will be significant for the seafarers that benefit.
Moving on to another very significant and critical requirement that needs to come into effect sooner rather than later, which is mentioned on page 40 of the report under the sub-heading:
MINIMISING WIDER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
I just want to pick up on two objectives that have my support. The first is Short Term (1-5 years) and states that the Government will apply a new ship recycling regime from 1 January 2019, and work with industry to improve compliance. By 2023, conduct a post implementation review to assess how effective the new regime has been in improving the sustainability of end of life shipping.
The second is a Medium Term (5-15 years) objective whereby the Government will consider further alignment between the UK regime for ship recycling with the Hong Kong Convention, and whether any further measures are needed to discourage non-compliance.
I am not an expert on ship scrapping but I have seen the photos and read the reports about the very dangerous and hugely environmentally unfriendly methods used in countries like India and Pakistan. I do know that there are locations where all kinds of vessels, including old offshore rigs can be de-commissioned, dismantled and scrapped under very safe, environmentally friendly processes and conditions. The Solar Solve factory is only 30 miles from such an organisation that is considered to be a market leader in the field of demolition and marine decommissioning, on Teesside.
Finally, staying on this subject, what an embarrassment this debacle must have been for Greenpeace.
SCRAPPING ON THE CHEAP: GREENPEACE CAUGHT DUMPING DECOMMISSIONED “RAINBOW WARRIOR 2” ON BANGLADESHI BEACH!
The article involves Greenpeace’s dirty scrapping of its retired Rainbow Warrior II ship on a Bangladeshi beach under horrendous environmental and social conditions. Greenpeace has always been a harsh critic, and often justifiably so, of ship-scrapping under awful environmental, work and social conditions in third world countries like India or Bangladesh. Read the story here: notrickszone.com/2018/12/30/scrapping-on-the-cheap-greenpeace-caught-dumping-decommissioned-rainbow-warrior-2-on-bangladeshi-beach/
The report is very harsh on the Greenpeace organisation in this instance and there is a lesson to be learned in this story for everyone:- No matter how important a person or an organisation is perceived to be status-wise, they can say whatever they like but in the end, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.