European Dredging Association Seminar at ESW

At the initiative of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), shipowners and shipping industry leaders have joined forces to launch the inaugural European Shipping Week (ESW) in the first week of March 2015.

Centered around a Flagship conference, Europe’s main shipping organisations as well as the European Commission are organizing a series of high level events to bring together the major players in the shipping industry with the primary aim of promoting the strengths and the importance of European and global shipping to legislators in Brussels such as the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

As shipping is of strategic importance to the EU economy, so is its safety. Maritime safety policy and related legislations promote high-quality standards and aim at increasing the protection of both human lives (e.g. passengers and crews) and the environment (reduce risks of pollution).

As a member of the ESW Steering Group, the European Dredging Association (EuDA) is organizing a seminar on ‘Innovations improving Maritime Safety’ which will be followed by a technical visit illustrating some aspects the available technological solutions. Opened by a keynote address by Mr Markku Mylly, EMSA Executive Director, the Maritime Safety aspect on which the seminar will focus is the ‘safe place of refuge’.

Indeed, during the seminar, EuDA aims at presenting specifically designed artificial islands using hydraulic engineering or naval architecture, combining sand and rock or metal, which could be used, amongst other purposes, as innovative solutions for safe places of refuge for sea vessels. The seminar should briefly touch on the feasibility of building a kind of safety belt around European Waters, linking such developments to the Blue Growth. Mrs Barbara Sellier, Policy Officer and EMSA Liaison for the Unit in charge of Maritime Safety, will give the closing address.

EuDA members are of the opinion that the growth potential for the dredging industry in Europe and worldwide lies in the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable multipurpose maritime infrastructures: using, instead of fighting, the forces (physical and biological) of nature to build multipurpose maritime infrastructures providing services beneficial to the environment, the society and/or the economy.

The rising of the level of the oceans will also automatically generate the need of protecting vulnerable coastal areas. The coasts of the world have to be protected from erosion, from floods, from storms and raising sea level. Renewable offshore energy from wind, from tidal forces or from waves, are becoming also an ever increasing playfield for the dredging industry.

The future of the dredging industry lies in the sea and the growing world population will have to integrate the sea in its daily life.