Thursday, January 30, 2014

IMO POLAR CODE

Polar Code application areas

What can and did happen already

On January 14, 2014 the Final Draft of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Polar Code was issued.  It was met with disgust by concerned environmental organisations whose representative Mr. Bill Hemmings stated:

"A Polar Code which fails to address the major environmental dangers of increased shipping opens the door to potentially catastrophic consequences should a disaster happen.  Environmental protection has essentially been put on a back-burner through the active lobbying of the shipping and cruise industry which consistently dismisses ecological concerns. 

This is a disgraceful illustration of big business working behind the closed doors to advance its own corporate interests before those of mankind and the unique polar environment.  When the next big incident happens in polar waters the public will know where responsibility lies."

NAUTICAL LOG completely and heartily concurs so has quoted Mr. Bill Hemmings here in full.  As has been the pattern in recent decades the IMO is useless in effectively protecting seafarers, maritime safety and the environment.  It issues regulations which make little or no practical sense, are often counter to each other and impossible to follow because of the small minimum crews the IMO itself approves to operate ships.  The Organisation as very little respect amongst seafarers who know it is the darling of the ship owners and operators.

The concerned organisations Mr. Bill Hemmings represents are:
  • Seas at Risk.
  • Transport & Environment.
  • Clean Shipping Coalition.
  • Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.
  • Friends of the Earth US.
  • Pacific Environment.

NAUTICAL LOG fails to understand why the IMO would not have say two environmentalists as Observers during the development of this Polar Code.  One can only therefore presume that the closed doors meetings are because of the clearly intense lobbying and thus preferential treatment given ship owners.  This Polar Code gains little or no respect before it is even presented to seafarers and governments for ratification.

Good Watch.

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