Annual Seminar for Port Security Officers

On 28-29 September, the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute of the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted a Seminar for Port Security Officers (PSO). The event was co-organized with Nordic Crisis Management and included 15 Harbour Masters from the Scandinavian Region. The objective of the seminar was to qualify and update the participants on regulations, routines and best practices in their duties related to maritime security. The seminar also featured marine technology and innovations under the Horizon 2020 BugWright2 project of which WMU is a partner.

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, provided remarks for the opening of the seminar. She emphasized the contribution of WMU in advanced education and research, capacity-building and economic development while promoting the roles of women in the maritime and ocean sectors. She spoke of the invaluable role that digitalization will play in the development and sustainable operation of the maritime and port sectors including ``Smart ports”  that will optimize capacity and maximize efficiency through the use of 'Big Data’, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) and ‘Blockchain’ technologies. To be successful in that regard, she concluded that it is imperative to adopt progressive approaches to port security and management in a collaborative manner working constructively with the governments, industry and all the relevant port stakeholders.

Day one of the seminar included presentations from Nordic Crisis Management relevant to EU and national Maritime Security Regulations, Port State Officer’s (PSO's) responsibilities, Port Security Assessment (PSA), Port Security Plan (PSP) and verifications and audits. On day two, Dr Aspasia Pastra presented the EU-funded BugWright2 project regarding Autonomous Robotic Inspection and Maintenance on Ship Hulls. The Horizon 2020 project aims to change the European robotics landscape for infrastructure inspection and maintenance and facilitate a multi-robot visual and acoustic inspection of the whole ship structure, detecting corrosion patches or cleaning the surface as necessary. A round table discussion with Port Officers followed regarding the security challenges and benefits that stem from the use of Micro Air Vehicles (MAV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and magnetic-wheeled crawlers at ports in the Scandinavian region. Additional presentations included the topics of  Security Awareness, Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management in ports.

The Seminar for Port Security Officers is organized annually by Nordic Crisis Management in cooperation with a different host organization each year. The aim is to train Scandinavian Harbour Masters on the latest developments of the ISPS Code. This is the first time WMU has hosted the Seminar. Cooperation in the delivery of such activities supports WMU's commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, Goal 4 focused on inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all, and Goal 17 focused on partnerships. The Seminar is also connected to the Work Package of the EU  Bugwright2 project which includes public awareness for the dissemination of the project.

The cooperation between Nordic Crisis Management and GOI has been long-standing since they have been instrumental in facilitating connections with Port State Control Officers for various Transport Canada projects.

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