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CHAIRMAN'S WELCOME ADDRESS
To promote the aims of the Nautical Institute and the work of the Hong Kong branch, every two years the Branch arranges a full day seminar on a topic of interest to the nautical profession and the shipping industry as a whole. Welcome to our fourth seminar entitled "Seafaring - What is the Future".
The debate about manning levels, and the future and safety of seafaring continues - and will continue as the shipping industry evolves and moves into the next decade. Indeed, the debate has been ongoing from the earliest days of commercial shipping, from the initiatives of Samuel Plimsoll, the SOLAS Convention, to the setting up of the IMO, and the more recent STCW Convention and ISM Code.
Unfortunately, most of the milestone developments in legislation have been prompted by major casualties at sea. We should not have to wait again for a catastrophic accident in order to focus our minds on the human element of shipping. World trade needs ships - and ships need seafarers. The public today demands safer ships and cleaner seas - and this requires qualified and professional seafarers. Where do we get them from, and how do we keep the ones we have? That is the dilemma facing the shipping industry today.
Once again we are fortunate to have a world class and international group of speakers, all of whom have given freely and generously of their time to talk to us today, and some of whom have traveled a long way to get here. We are also very fortunate to have access again to this wonderful venue for a second time, and the Branch is very grateful to Star Cruises for their continuing support of the Nautical Institute.
Today would not have been possible either, without the generous support of our many sponsors, who are listed below.
Harry Hirst, FNI
Chairman, Nautical Institute Hong Kong branch
Andrew Moore & Associates Ltd
Applied Weather Technology
Chellaram Shipping (Hong Kong) Ltd
Clyde & Co
Fleet Management Ltd
Hong Kong Pilots Association Ltd
Holman Fenwick & Willan
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Hong Kong
J.D. Wort & Co. Ltd
Lloyd's Register Asia
Marine Consultants Hong Kong
Pacific Basin Shipping (Hong Kong) Ltd
Parakou Shipping Ltd
Steamship Mutual Management (Hong Kong) Ltd
The China Navigation Company Ltd
The Nautical Institute (HQ)