SOUTHERN EUROPEAN PILOTS’ MEETING - BARCELONA
Last February 23rd and 24th was held the annual meeting of Southern European Pilots, which this year has been organized by the Spanish Pilots’ Association (Colegio & Federación de Prácticos) in the Faculty of Nautical of Barcelona, with the collaboration of Barcelona Pilots.
The opening ceremony was held on the afternoon of the 23rd, hosted by the presidents of the Colegio and Federacion of Pilots, Mr. Amador Gutierrez and Mr. Jose Luis Saura, and the secretary general of the Colegio and delegate of International Affairs Mr. Jose Antonio Perez, representing the Board of the Colegio and Federacion. During the same a welcome drink was served to the participants in the day, in which pilots from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Croatia and Montenegro, together with the president and general secretary of EMPA (European Maritime Pilots Association), were able to chat in a relaxed atmosphere about the news of the profession at European level.
The following day, a technical meeting was held in the Assembly Hall of the Faculty, under the theme of climate change, the EU Green deal and its possible repercussions on our activity.
The speakers were Mr. Damià Gomis, from the University of the Balearic Islands; Mr. Federico Navarro, from the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy; Mr. Sergio Alda, from the European Maritime Safety Agency; Mr. Antonio Góngora, from Puertos del Estado; and Ms. Mercedes de Juan, from the Valenciaport Foundation. As experts in each of the fields discussed, the meeting was based on the knowledge of the meaning of what is known as "climate change", the normative regulations derived from the IMO (emissions regulations) and European Union agreements (Fit for 55 package), the strategic framework of adaptation and mitigation for climate change of Puertos del Estado, as well as the vision from the point of view of port management to undertake such regulations, both at the operational level, as well as the adaptation to new alternative fuels.
Afterwards, a round table was held where the attendants could ask questions and clarify certain doubts regarding the theme of the presentations, in which the involvement of the pilotage activity in the knowledge and adaptation to the new challenges that climate change will bring could be demonstrated. Among these challenges are the pilot boats with alternative fuel propulsion, sustainable good practices during the service, the problems generated by more restrictive regional regulations, the aspects to be taken into account in the use of propulsion control systems through software that regulates the power supplied, or the role of the pilot in the port organization to avoid wrong environmental practices at port following normative. That is why those present, according to all the knowledge acquired during the meeting, did not hesitate to conclude that the pilotage service, by itself and given its mission, is one of the main guarantors not only of maritime-port safety, but also of environmental protection, highlighting its resilience capacity necessary to cope with climate change issue.
To conclude, commemorative presents of the event were handed out and a fraternal meal was held among the participants in the port of Barcelona.
The Colegio and Federación of Spanish Pilots want to publicly thank the speakers for the professionalism demonstrated in their presentations; the pilots attending for the interest shown throughout the day; the president and secretary general of EMPA for their presence and contribution to the event; the Barcelona Pilots organization for their excellent collaboration; and the Faculty of Nautical of Barcelona, an example of academic and nautical heritage in its more than 253 years of history, for the use of its facilities. To all of them, GRACIAS.