Text and photo by EMPA
Representatives of sea pilots from 24 nations organized in the European Maritime Pilots Association held their general meeting in Antwerp.
At the beginning of the event, the situation of the pilot colleagues in the Ukraine, with whom the EMPA is in constant contact, was discussed.
Due to the long-standing friendships, concrete help could already be provided here.
In a minute of silence, the missing colleagues in Mariupol, with whom there has been no contact for several weeks and whose fate is currently unknown, were remembered.
The core topic of this year's meeting was the climate crisis, the EU Commission's "European Green Deal" package and cyber security in the maritime sector.
Top-class speakers were invited. For example, the internationally renowned oceanologist and climate researcher, Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, spoke about the current status of climate change and its effects on the coasts and the maritime sector.
The former German Minister of Transport and current coordinator of the European project "Motorways of the Seas" (Sea Motorway), Prof. Kurt Bodewig, reported on the efforts of the European Union to shift more goods from the roads to the waterways.
The director of the EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency), Mrs. Maja Kostelac, also gave an interesting lecture on sustainability and traffic safety with the key statement:
There is no sustainability without safety and security - Triple S
Invited representatives of the industry reported on the possibilities of using alternative fuels and drives, the pilots themselves presented a list of all measures they have already taken and are planning to take to combat climate change.
The presentation by the APICA (Port of Antwerp) representative drew a future-oriented picture of a digitally upgraded port.
In this context, he emphasized the need for cyber security, but also for cyber resilience, i.e. surviving an attack that could not be prevented.
An important component of this cyber resilience is also the pilot on the bridge, who, thanks to his training and experience, can guarantee safety in shipping traffic in and on the way to the ports at any time, even in the event of a cyber attack, according to Captain Erik Dalege, President of EMPA.
He was very satisfied with the results of the two-day meeting:
As European pilots, we have shown that we are willing and able to make our contribution to the EU Commission's "European Green Deal" package.
Thanks to our Europe-wide recognized status as part of the public service, we stand for sustainability and environmental protection.