Men of the waters are prime movers of the economy. Today, there are over millions of seafarers that runs over 60, 000 vessels around the planet. As the world shifts towards sustainable action to create lesser impacts to our environment, so did the maritime industry. In fact, the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) already adopted this change —laws that Captain Roque Gutierrez abided for more than decades at sea.
“As seafarers, the ocean is so important. It is because without the ocean there is no vessel”, said Captain Gutierrez.
Maritime Industry is responsible for 90% of the global trading and is hailed as the bloodline of the economy. As it is progressing into a sustainable transition, we cannot deny the fact that it is also the one of the main contributor of Oil spill, plastic, dynamite fishing and trawling fishing at sea.
“Follow rules and regulations as per MARPOL”, said Captain Gutierrez.
He firmly believes that following this International law will deal a great help towards the marine environment. Under the MARPOL are the series of annexes that is imposed by the International Maritime Organization(IMO) to prevent impacts towards the marine environment. It is composed of 6 annexes which talks about the prevention of pollution from Oil, Noxious Liquid Substances, Package Form, Sewage, Garbage and Air respectively. In the Philippines, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is the governing body that is strictly imposing the rules and check all vessels as per Port State Control checklist.
“Yong walang lagayan or under the table [negotiation]”, he added. (“Those without under-the-table [negotiation]”)
One of the main problem to environment is the people in the office that should deal a strict implementation of the law but is greatly compromise by out-of-the office agreement. Captain Gutierrez believes that without these under the table negotiations, we can help our environment through strict implementation of the laws and regulations.
“We should respect the ocean as it was given from our Almighty God,” he said, ” All seafarers [and the maritime industry] must follow rules implemented to save [our planet] earth for we are not the masters instead we are only guests.”
Merchant Mariners are the prime movers of our economy and without them, many products will not be present on our homes. Through sustainable shipping and abiding laws and regulations of the high seas, we can not only secure the future of the ocean but also to the lives on land that depends on it.
- ADNOC Logistics. Saif Alkhamiri. (https://www.facebook.com/bmfa34/videos/335253534125286/)
- Marine Insight. Safety of Life at Sea & Convention for Prevention of Marine Pollution. (https://www.marineinsight.com/maritime-law/safety-of-life-at-sea-solas-convention-for-prevention-of-marine-pollution-marpol-a-general-overview/)
- Consolidated Marpol 2017. ( https://drive.google.com/open?id=16NJt-fb7USjiQNUcL5ULLcDFkemuLR17)
- MARINA. (www.marina.gov.ph)