• 2018 March 6 16:05

    The Baltic Sea countries and the EU come together at the 2018 HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Brussels

    Today, at the 2018 HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the Baltic Sea countries and the EU comes together to decide on renewed efforts to reach a healthy Baltic marine environment, HELCOM said in its press release.
    HELCOM – the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – is the arena in which the nine Baltic coastal states and the European Union work together to protect and restore the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. At the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Brussels today, the responsible Ministers, the EU Commissioner, and other high-level representatives meet to assess the progress made towards reaching a good environmental status in the Baltic Sea.

    The outcome – the Ministerial Declaration – will form the framework for the following years' work for a healthier Baltic Sea, following the long tradition of regional HELCOM cooperation.

    The recent State of the Baltic Sea report shows that in spite of some positive signals, the efforts so far have not led to the recovery of the Baltic Sea. This is the first time that a comprehensive assessment of ecosystem health on this scale, based on a wide range of indicators and information on human activities and their impacts, is available as background information for a HELCOM Ministerial Meeting.

    One reason that the Baltic marine environment has not yet recovered is the long delay between cause and effect, due to the natural features of the Baltic Sea. Further, some actions agreed upon in the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) from 2007 – the concrete roadmap for restoring the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea – are yet to be completed. In addition, some aspects of the environment have so far not been addressed in Baltic-wide plans and policies.

    In light of this new information, an important part of the Ministerial Meeting today will be to decide both on stronger follow-through on the existing BSAP and on a blueprint and timeframe for updating the BSAP.

    The current Baltic Sea Action Plan aims for a healthy Baltic Sea by 2021, and rests on actions aimed at eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity, and maritime activities. In the discussions leading up to the Ministerial Meeting, marine litter, underwater noise, and seabed damage and disturbance have been raised as possible additional issues for countries to follow up on more strongly, striving to limit adverse effects by increasing efforts and coordination at regional level.

    At the Meeting, the high-level representatives will decide on the next steps for these themes: e.g., whether action plans will be developed, whether indicators will be developed to measure these issues, and so on. The Meeting is also expected to follow up on the existing Regional Action Plan for marine litter.

    The high-level representatives at the Meeting are also set to finalize discussions on a possible future HELCOM strategy regarding nutrient recycling in the Baltic Sea area. This has been one of the goals of the EU chairmanship of HELCOM, as part of the target of promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Nutrient recycling is essential for reducing nutrient losses to the Baltic Sea and for efficiently using the limited nutrient resources.

    A common thread to the themes of the Meeting are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

    The countries around the Baltic Sea have agreed to use HELCOM as the regional arena for coordinating work on those SDGs that relate to marine and water issues.

    The Meeting follows up on the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017, where HELCOM made several voluntary commitments towards SDG 14 – "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources".

    The Ministerial Meeting will be chaired by HELCOM Chair Marianne Wenning of the EU. Expected to participate on behalf of HELCOM members are Mr Karmenu Vella (Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission), Mr Esben Lunde Larsen (Minister for Environment and Food, Denmark), Mr Siim Kiisler (Minister of the Environment, Estonia), Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen (Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, Finland), Dr Barbara Hendricks (Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany), Mr Kęstutis Navickas (Minister of Environment, Lithuania), Ms Karolina Skog (Minister for the Environment, Sweden), Mr Jānis Eglīts (Vice Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia), Ms Anna Moskwa (Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Poland), and Mr Nuritdin Inamov (Director of the Department for International Cooperation and Board member of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Russia).

2018 March 17

06:48 Seatrade convicted for trafficking toxic ships

2018 March 16

18:06 Rijkswaterstaat awards Afsluitdijk project to Levvel consortium
17:36 HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai handles new record ship
17:05 ICS publishes latest Flag State Performance Table
16:51 Vladimir Putin inspected the completed new road section of the Crimean Bridge
16:35 Wison successfully delivers the global largest single cracking furnace module
16:20 GTT announces the end of the test phase of its new LNG brick® technology
16:05 Fincantieri starts building of ultra-luxury cruise ship for Regent Seven Seas Cruises
15:30 Caterpillar Marine announces first European IMO Tier III tugboat
15:03 Throughput of port Kavkaz up 67% to 4.3 million tonnes in 2M’18
14:39 Port of Hamburg proves effectiveness in handling mega-carriers
14:05 Training for port facility security staff arranged in the Dominican Republic
13:42 Multipurpose Reloading Complex takes lead in the industry
13:20 Karachi Shipyards & Engineering Works delivers two Damen Stan Patrol 1605 FRP patrol boats to Pakistan Customs
13:17 Bunker prices continue going down at the port of Novorossiysk, Russia (graph)
12:51 52 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 15-16
12:28 Seaports of Russia’s Azov Sea Basin handled 16.77 million tonnes of cargo in winter 2017-2018, up 63.8% Y-o-Y
12:04 Latin America maritime cooperation centre launched
11:40 Vympel Shipyard laid down second armament support ship of Project 20360М for RF Defence Ministry (photo)
11:15 Vostochny Port JSC develops railway infrastructure under its Phase 3 project (photo)
10:52 IMO joined leading oil spill experts to discuss future issues concerning oil spill preparedness, response and restoration
10:27 Brent Crude futures price down 0.11% to $65.05, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.05% to $61.16
10:09 Panama Canal signs agreement with Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of Mato Grosso
09:48 IMO is looking at safety aspects of on shore power supply to ships
09:34 Bunker prices are flat at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,150 points
09:03 Damen unveils Multi Cat Water Injection Dredger

2018 March 15

18:25 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
18:11 ICS releases latest Flag State Performance Table (with new criteria included)
18:05 Fincantieri will cooperate with Barzan Holdings
17:57 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 2M’18 up 16% Y-o-Y to 2.32 million tonnes
17:35 Second Sanmar Voith Schneider Propeller tug joins sister in Israel
17:20 Throughput of port Vyborg up 19% to 197,800 tonnes in 2M’18
17:05 Seaspan acquires Greater China Intermodal Investments LLC
17:02 MABUX: global bunker market still in 'wait-and-see' mood
16:35 DP World announces strong financial results for 2017
16:16 Throughput of port Vysotsk down 5% to 3.06 million tonnes in 2M’18
16:05 ECSA and WSC call for the revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive to improve the efficiency of maritime transport
15:39 Port of Oakland imports up 14.9 percent in February 2018
15:31 Sanmar orders 42 Rolls-Royce thrusters
15:22 Coastal facilities and hydraulic engineering structures under FNPP project in Chukotka to be completed in August 2019
15:07 Port of Dover awards major contract for new Refrigerated Cargo Terminal
14:33 Yang Ming to launch new Japan-Malaysia-Vietnam direct service
14:11 Throughput of port Primorsk in 2M’18 down 32% Y-o-Y to 7.47 million tonnes
13:50 Throughput of port Ust-Luga up 6% to 16.59 million tonnes in 2M'18
13:25 VARD secures contract for the construction of one fishing vessel for Remøybuen AS
13:12 Throughput of Big Port St. Petersburg up 11% to 9.01 million tonnes in 2M’18
12:30 Paweł Jakubowski appointed as President of Polskie LNG S.A. Management Board
11:45 Freeport of Riga is getting ready for new cruise ship season
11:44 MOL announces delivery of the Beluga Ace, 1st next-generation FLEXIE series car carrier
11:23 34 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 14-15
11:00 Bunker prices are going up at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:38 Marine Recruiting Agency and Corporate University “Norilsk Nickel” take on joint educational project
10:14 Brent Crude futures price up 0.05% to $64.92, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.11% to $61.03
09:49 Arctic Council will gather in Levi, Finland on 22-23 March 2018
09:17 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,169 points

2018 March 14

18:26 Port of Antwerp sets up maritime training institute in Brazil
18:06 Port of Oakland releases a new 5-year strategic plan
17:55 Baltic Workboats delivers ten more 15m Baltic wave piercing pilot boats to Denmark pilots stations
17:36 Fincantieri upgrades ultra-luxury cruise ship Silver Spirit