IMO piracy and emission focus

23 Nov 2011
Efthimios E.Mitropoulos addressed the 27th IMO assembly this week Photo: imo.un/Flickr

Efthimios E.Mitropoulos addressed the 27th IMO assembly this week Photo: imo.un/Flickr

IMO secretary general, Efthimios E. Mitropoulos told delegates at the 27th IMO assembly this week that piracy and ships' emissions have been central themes for the organisation this year.

In his opening address to the assembly, Mr Mitropoulos said that the escalation of piracy had prompted IMO to make combating it an important focus in 2011.

A piracy action plan, devised in collaboration with the shipping industry and seafarer organisations, is being implemented. Although the number of successful pirate attacks has dropped to less than 20% this year, as of last week 15 ships were still being held in Somalia – an indication that the situation is still very serious.

Mr Mitropoulos also spoke about efforts to establish a regulatory regime to control and reduce ship emissions and emphasised the need for governments, the shipping industry and environmental groups to work together. He said this had been: “A difficult task from both a conceptual and a technical perspective”.

Nonetheless, MARPOL Annex VI has still established the first ever mandatory global greenhouse gases reduction regime for an international industry sector this year.

Looking ahead, the IMO Council has chosen ‘IMO: One hundred years after the Titantic’ as the World Maritime Day theme for 2012 – a good opportunity to get back to grass roots and focus on safety at sea.

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