Following an earlier discussion in 2009, Benoit Loicq from the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) visited the Sea Alarm offices in Brussels last September. The aim of this meeting was for both organisations to present their activities and look at areas of common interest. Mr Loicq explained the setup and programme of ECSA, which is an international association made up of the national shipowner associations in each EU Member State. ECSA works to promote and represent European shipping interests though specialised committees, including an Environment and Safety Committee.
Every shipping incident which has consequences for the marine environment can threaten the public image of the marine sector as a whole, and can undermine the real efforts being made within the industry towards making shipping safer and more environmentally friendly. One of the topics discussed was spreading positive communications on the efforts and successes of the maritime sector in establishing safer, cleaner seas to a wider audience, including NGOs. The possibility of educating seafarers on the importance of prevention of pollution was also raised, so they gain a greater understanding of the real effects on marine wildlife populations. Sea Alarm will continue to work with ECSA to explore and develop potential areas for collaboration.