SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

MAX1 Conference In Wilmington, NC; A First In Shipboard Waste Management

By Rik van Hemmen

The MAX1 conference, which took place in Wilmington, NC on June 24, 2015, set a new standard in Shipboard Waste Management studies. The conference was a rapid fire exchange of ideas by 30 industry professionals representing almost all stakehlders involved in shipboard waste management.

For too long OWS and Shipboard Waste Management has been a stove piped debate and this conference finally broke the stovepipes and allowed industry professionals to interact with their peers in a completely transparent setting. Thanks to the hard work of all attendees we initiated significant advances and mutual understanding in developing solutions that have evaded the industry for almost 50 years.

The conference conclusions and recommendations will be published soon at the MAX1 website.

Significantly, it needs to be stated that the continuous discussions (that actually extended in the days before and after the conference during travel, meals and drinks) tremendously benefited from the wide experience of the participants. This is a (partial) list of the backgrounds of the participants:

Ship Owners

Ship Operators

Ship Masters

Ship Engineers

DPA’s

Equipment Manufacturers

Consultants

Port State Control

Flag State

Regulators

Scientists

Naval Architects

Environmental Managers

Maritime Educators

Marine Engineers

Technical Societies

Attorneys

Cruise Industry

Offshore Industry

Reefers

Bulkers

Container Ships

Tankers

Environmental Protection Agencies

Environmental Advocacy Groups

Even more significantly, this was not a group of upper tier managers sending directives to the lower echelons. The international participants ranged from university students and junior ship officers to the most senior personnel in the industry who have led major corporate shipboard waste management initiatives. In this setting everybody was able to receive feedback from everybody and nobody was worried about the consequences of their honest thoughts. Most of all, many participants were surprised that everybody’s motivations were so closely aligned. We all want to achieve the lowest levels of environmental impact and the highest levels of sustainability. Doing that is incredibly complex, but fully achievable with transparency and honest vigorous debate.

Conferences like this can break preconceived notions that sneak in due to lack of open communication, and only exchanges like this will lead to innovative, efficient and effective solutions. A great start was made; now it comes down to maintaining the momentum.

To see some of the presentations click this link.

The final report and recommendations will be issued next month.