BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants
BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of distressed migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
BIMCO welcomed the announcement last night (23 April), that the funding of Operation Triton will be increased to match that previously allocated to Operation Mare Nostrum. It also welcomed the contribution of extra ships, planes and helicopters that many countries will make to assist with the search and rescue capabilities of the region.
Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General at BIMCO, said:
“The shipping industry has recently highlighted the risks to the health, safety and security of seafarers who assist distressed migrants in increasingly large numbers.
“Merchant ships are ill-equipped to deal with large-scale rescue operations involving many hundreds of migrants and it may compromise the safety of those onboard as well as those who they attempt to rescue.
“The long term problem of huge migratory flow in the Mediterranean has led to a humanitarian crisis at sea that merchant shipping is not equipped to handle. Migration is an issue for nations to resolve.
“The industry had called for an expansion of the geographical scope of Operation Triton to include areas where migrants are most likely to be found before they get into serious difficulty. This does not yet seem to have been addressed.
“We realise that the issue of migration will not be resolved by these step changes alone. This is why BIMCO will continue to give practical advice to Shipmasters on how to effectively deal with calls for search and rescue assistance.”