Author Archives: N.F. Coelho

About N.F. Coelho

Doctoral researcher in public international law a Utrecht University, specialized in environmental rules and standards applicable to maritime transport in pots worldwide.

Seminar: Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Ocean – Supportive Technologies and Future Trends

The World Maritime University (WMU) and the University of Nantes, will jointly hold a scientific seminar on the theme: Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Ocean – Supportive Technologies and Future Trends. The two-day seminar will include presentations and discussions on Marine Spatial Planning & Blue Growth, Safety Aspects of Exploitation Activities,  and issues surrounding Shipping in the Era of Digitalisation including a session on Autonomous Vessels. The seminar is open to professionals and students working in the field of sustainable ocean management, marine spatial planning and maritime technologies. Simultaneous interpretation into French and English will be available. The event takes place at the WMU in Malmö, Sweden, from 29-30 August 2018. The program is available here.

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Japan: Third Basic Plan on Ocean Policy approved

The Government of Japan has approved (15 May 2018) a new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy. Since its first adoption in 2008 (English version here), the ocean policy has been reviewed every five years. In this third stage of the document, reference is made for the first time to an Arctic policy and targets are defined for Japan to become “a new oceanic state”. The “Maritime Domain Awareness” capacity is strengthened and this item receives an independent treatment. In the item “Comprehensive Maritime Security”, the document refers to the strengthening of the “Coast Guard System”. The document also highlights other goals, such as methane hydrate development, the establishment of rules on the use of maritime zones and the improvement of the accuracy of resource evaluation. The official announcement of the approval of this document may be found here (video in Japanese). All the relevant documents of the approval process are here (in Japanese). The outline of the plan is here (in English).

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EU: Commission approves Portuguese tonnage tax and seafarer scheme

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a Portuguese tonnage tax scheme. Under this scheme, maritime transport companies will pay taxes on the basis of the net tonnage (i.e. the size of the shipping fleet) operated in maritime transport activities rather than on the basis of their taxable profits. In addition, for certain more environmentally-friendly ships, companies can achieve an additional reduction of 10% to 20% of the tax base under the tonnage tax scheme. Moreover, a seafarer scheme exempts seafarers employed on vessels that are eligible under the tonnage tax scheme from paying personal income tax. It also allows them to pay reduced rates of contribution for social insurance. Both the tonnage tax and seafarer schemes will remain in force for ten years. More information is available here. The proposal of the scheme (Proposta de Lei 111/XIII) may be found here (in Portuguese).

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Norway: emissions from cruise ships and ferries in World Heritage fjords to be halted

The Norwegian Parliament (Storting) has called on the government to implement requirements and regulations for emissions from cruise ships and other maritime traffic in tourist resorts as well as other suitable means to ensure phasing-in of low-and-zero emissions solutions in the shipping industry by 2030. This includes introducing a zero emissions threshold for ferry ships and ferries in the World Heritage fjords as soon as it is technically feasible, and no later than 2026. The decision is part of a broader set of recommendations from the Energy and Environment Committee on the climate strategy for 2030 to cut Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions. Those recommendations (3 May 2018) may be found here (in Norwegian).

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EU: proposal on recovery plan for Mediterranean swordfish approved by the EC

The European Commission (EC) has approved a proposal to transpose into EU legislation stronger measures to help the recovery of the Mediterranean swordfish (24 April 2018). The new regulation incorporates the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation 16-05 into EU law. This ICCAT Recommendation establishes a recovery plan that takes into account the specificities of different types of gear and fishing techniques. When implementing the recovery plan, the Union and Member States should undertake to promote coastal fishing activities and the use of selective fishing gear and techniques that reduce the environmental impact, including gear and techniques used in traditional and artisanal fisheries, thereby ensuring a fair standard of living for local fishing communities. That EC proposal may be found here.

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Workshop: Mapping the Arctic Ocean

The K. G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea will host a workshop entitled Mapping the Arctic Ocean: An Interdisciplinary Workshop to Map the Frontiers of Knowledge. The workshop is based upon the idea that multiple ways of ‘mapping’ exist (scientific, legal…). The workshop’s goal is to explore how different types of mapping manifest and interact with each other in the Arctic Ocean. This event is set to happen on 5 June 2018 in Tromsø, Norway. More information is available here.

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IOI: Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas

The International Ocean Institute shall host its Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas, 4 November – 7 December 2018, in Malta. The course will cover the international ocean legal framework and related conventions, ocean resource management and exploitation issues, negotiation skills and a policy-simulation exercise at the end. Furthermore, the course will address topical issues such as ocean literacy, marine litter and microplastics, the latest progress in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) as well as a seminar on Marine Genetic Resources (MGRs) and include two field visits (Grand Harbour and Gozo), GIS lab sessions and a training session on Marine Spatial Planning.  Applications are welcome until 3 September 2018. For more information see here, the application form and course brochure.

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