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HELCOM and CLIA jointly organise workshop on cruise industry’s future in the Baltic Sea

HELCOM and CLIA jointly organise workshop on cruise industry’s future in the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) jointly held a workshop on the cruise industry and the Baltic Sea.

Organised in the framework of the European Maritime Day, which is being celebrated in Turku, Finland this week, the workshop on 'Effective solutions for responsible growth' has given participants a chance to discuss a range of issues regarding the cruise industry’s future in the Baltic.

Moderated by Hermanni Backer, HELCOM, the workshop speakers included Tom Strang, Carnival Corp.; Anna Petersson, Swedish Transport Agency; Kirsti Tarnanen-Sariola, European Sea Ports Organisation; and Pauli Merriman, WWF Ecoregion Programme. Together they discussed a range of relevant topics, including the industry’s economic impact in the Baltic countries, state of the art developments in the cruise industry, and the potential for maritime stakeholders’ cooperation for responsible growth.

The International Maritime Organization has recently designated the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under MARPOL Annex IV, banning passenger ships from discharging sewage offshore from 2019/2021. The discussion focused on the practicalities of its implementation, particularly the need expand and improve the region’s network of port reception facilities in order to make sure that cruise ships will be able to discharge their sewage while at berth.

'Sustainability in the Baltic Sea Region is a common goal and regional collaboration is vital,' said Anna Petersson, Head of Environment Section at Swedish Transport Agency and the Chair of HELCOM Maritime Group. 'It is important to investigate possibilities and incentives for voluntary application prior and beyond regulations.'

'All stakeholders should work together in order to find pragmatic, workable solutions that help ensure the Baltic Sea’s sustainability and also the cruise industry’s future in the region for years to come,' said Tom Strang, svp Maritime Affairs at Carnival Corp. and & chair of CLIA Europe’s Environment, Safety and Security Subcommittee. 'There is an urgent need to balance economic and environmental policies so that they complement each other, rather than get in each other’s way.'