• 2018 June 19 12:28

    HELCOM Heads of Delegation approve Baltic Sea Action Plan update process and welcome new HELCOM Chair

    HELCOM says its roadmap for the future took centre stage during the 54th Meeting of the Heads of Delegation (HOD 54-2018) that was held in Helsinki, Finland from 14 to 15 June 2017. A key event on HELCOM's governance agenda, it also saw the handover of the HELCOM chairmanship from the EU to Finland.

    Besides the review of current and recently concluded HELCOM activities and the approval of HELCOM reports, a major subject was the update of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan(BSAP) beyond 2021. 

    The BSAP is HELCOM's comprehensive regional programme of actions to achieve a healthy Baltic Sea, and was initially set to end in 2021. Recalling the agreement taken earlier in Brussels during the Ministerial Meeting 2018to update the current plan, the delegates decided on an extension of the BSAP until 2030. 

    In addition to the current objectives on eutrophication, biodiversity, maritime activities and hazardous substances, the updated BSAP will incorporate new perspectives beyond 2021 such as focussing on an ecosystem approach and giving due consideration to the economic and social aspects of its measures.It will also address emerging pressures such as underwater noise, pharmaceuticals and micro-plastics.

    The update of the BSAP particularly resonates with the region's current desire to step up its efforts for a healthy Baltic Sea, as recently witnessed during the EUSBSR Annual Forum held earlier in Tallinn where a continuation of the plan was already mentioned and welcomed. 

    Furthermore, the delegates decided to delete the Dalälven Riverin Sweden from the HELCOM list of hotspots, and welcomed the intention by Sweden to continue monitoring the river. It was added in 1992 because of high levels of heavy metals originating from the mining industry – specifically cadmium, copper and zinc – which eventually entered the Baltic Sea.

    At HOD 54-2018, a number of HELCOM publications were also approved, including the updated State of the Baltic Sea report. The report contains a wide array of indicators that were assessing the state of and the pressures on the Baltic Sea between 2011 and 2016.

    This work on indicators – unique in the world at this scale – was particularly commended by the delegates which tasked the HELCOM Secretariat to draft a document on lessons learnt to be shared with UN Environment.

    Other approvals were the Report on nutrients input by seven biggest rivers and the Report on input of selected hazardous substances into the Baltic Sea, two reports resulting from HELCOM's Sixth Pollution Load Compilation (PLC-6) project. 

    HOD 54-2018 was also the opportunity for the hand-over of the HELCOM chairmanship from the EU to Finland. The delegates acknowledged the accomplishments of the EU chairmanship ending this 30 June, especially the excellent organization of the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Brussels in March 2018. 

    They also welcomed the priorities of the new Finnish chairmanship that will focus on the Baltic Sea Action Plan update, the reduction of nutrient inputs and nutrient recycling, as well as climate change and fostering synergies between HELCOM work and the Agenda 2030.

    The new HELCOM Chair will be Ms. Saara Bäck, seconded by the Vice-Chair Ms. Tarja Haaranen, both from the Ministry of the Environment of Finland. The outgoing chair Ms Marianne Wenning from the European Union will retire from active duty this summer.

    The HOD 54-2018 Meeting was attended by participants from all HELCOM Contracting Parties and by observers from the Baltic Farmers' Forum on Environment (BFFE), Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operationand Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions – Baltic Sea Commission (BSSSC and CPMR BSC), Coalition Clean Baltic(CCB), Federation of European Aquaculture Producers(FEAP) and World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF), as well as invited guests from the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region(EUSBSR) and Nordic Environment Finance Corporation(NEFCO).

    HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention.

    The Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area – Pressure group – focuses on nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including the follow-up of the implementation of the HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme. The group ensures the necessary technical underpinning as well as develops solutions to the policy-relevant questions and needs. Marine litter and underwater noise are also coordinated by this group.




2018 September 18

18:09 Cruise ships called Saaremaa Harbour nine times during the summer season
17:52 Arctic units of RF Navy’s Northern Fleet hold amphibious assault training at Chukotka coast
17:27 Annual Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management held in France on 10-12 September
17:04 Maersk Line announces rates from Europe & Mediterranean to West Africa
16:50 Marinet Conference gathered more than 500 on-site and virtual participants
16:21 Drilling rig supply ship of Project 22420, Ostap Sheremet, left Amursky Shipyard for outfitting and testing
16:04 Maersk Line announces new Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)
15:34 NYK participates in Japan Climate Initiative
15:04 6 MOL-operated/managed vessels earn commendations from Japan Coast Guard Regional Headquarters
14:30 Yang Ming launches new container vessel 'YM Wellbeing'
14:16 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.1% to 6.15 billion tonnes in 8M’18
14:03 PORT OF KIEL restructures Ostuferhafen access area
13:52 RS gains ISO 9001:2015 Certificate
13:28 Kolmar to export up to 40 million tonnes of coal per year via a terminal under construction in the Muchke Bay
13:04 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 8M’18 grew by 6% Y-o-Y to 9.6 million tonnes
12:40 Okskaya Sudoverf takes part in Global Fishery Forum and Seafood Expo 2018
12:17 Throughput of port Shanghai (China) declined by 1% to 372.85 million tonnes in 8M’18
11:55 Fuel oil prices show no significant changes in the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:31 Throughput of port Vyborg in 8M’18 up 23% Y-o-Y to 1.15 million tonnes
11:09 Diana Shipping aqnnounces time charter contract for m/v Artemis with Ausca
10:48 Throughput of port Primorsk in 8M’18 fell by 11% Y-o-Y to 35.79 million tonnes
10:30 Throughput of port Vysotsk in 8M’18 declined by 3% Y-o-Y to 12.07 million tonnes
10:09 Georgia Ports Authority approves $92M rail expansion
09:52 Brent Crude futures price down 0.55% to $77.62, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.44% to $68.39
09:43 ABS Global Gas Team awarded classification contract for Singapore's first LNG bunker barge
09:33 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard delivers Pola Feodosia, fourth dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,357 points
08:17 GTT and Keppel Offshore & Marine sign a license agreement for the construction of membrane tank solutions
07:36 Bureau Veritas issues approval for GTT’s new NO96 Flex cargo containment system

2018 September 17

18:04 Maersk Line announces rates from Indian Subcontinent and Middle East to Mediterranean
17:50 ICS launches free guidance on preparing for 2020 sulphur cap
17:23 Throughput of port Ust-Luga in 8M’18 declined by 5% Y-o-Y to 64.49 million tonnes
17:04 Maersk Line announces rates from Europe & Mediterranean to West Africa
16:35 Cheniere and Vitol sign 15-year LNG sale and purchase agreement
16:04 Port of Piraeus establishes partnership with Port of Guangzhou
15:30 Keppel delivers its second LNG-powered vessel to Keppel Smit Towage Singapore
15:12 Maersk Line announces rates from Far East Asia to West Africa
14:58 HHLA floating crane loads world’s biggest ship propeller onto a vessel at the Port of Hamburg
14:50 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg up 12% to 39.39 million tonnes in 8M’18
14:23 Training for reducing emissions in ports held in Georgia
14:01 Incheon Port Authority signs agreement of 'Formation of eco-friendly port' with UNEP
13:36 Wärtsilä wins world’s first ‘LPG as fuel’ order for new generation of innovative gas carriers
13:12 GTT receives an AiP from Bureau Veritas for the development of its new cargo containment system (CCS) NO96 Flex
12:50 Registration opens for SMi’s 4th annual Maritime Reconnaissance & Surveillance Technology conference
12:31 Maersk to change fuel adjustment surcharge ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap
12:05 Super Luxury MV Viking Orion calls Colombo
11:57 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO up to RUB 20,404 in RF spot market
11:24 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 8M’18 down 1% Y-o-Y to 33.35 million tonnes
11:19 DNV GL starts phase II of project to examine the impact of phase-contamination on oil flow meters
11:03 Port of Singapore throughput in 8M’18 grew by 1.2% Y-o-Y to 418.62 million tonnes
10:46 Valencia Containerised Freight Index up 8.19% from January to August 2018
10:41 Throughput of port Helsinki (Finland) in 8M'18 up 8.9% Y-o-Y to 7.67 million tonnes (table)
10:18 The Maritime Standard reveals finalists for 2018 Awards
09:56 Brent Crude futures price down 0.12% to $78, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.07% to $68.72
09:34 Port of HaminaKotka throughput in 8M’2018 up 14.3% Y-o-Y to 10.9 million tonnes
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,366 points
08:07 Newcastle welcomes ro-ro shipment for Newcastle Light Rail project
07:05 U.S. Port of Corpus Christi resumes normal operations

2018 September 16

13:59 GTT presents its latest technological innovations and related services during Gastech 2018 in Barcelona

2018 September 15

07:22 Port of Oakland night gates will expand to speed up cargo flow