For the 4th time since 2002, the international maritime community met in Brest, at "Le Quartz" congress centre, to share their thoughts and works on issues of maritime safety and security, be it in a conference room, in the trade show alleys or around a coffee.
As usual, there was talks of save and rescue, of pollutions, of container carriers, of regulations, policies and technologies, however, attendees also heard of markets, of industry and, perhaps more unexpected, of climate change.
Safer Seas traditionally considers the stakes of maritime safety together with the related economic obstacles or opportunities but these days, environmental issues and the possible answers to the climate and energy challenges are redefining the scope of maritime security and safety policies. From potential new maritime routes opened by the ice melting, to new regulations and technological innovations for greener, low-carbon ships; from the increase in offshore activities related to the exploitation of fossil or biomarine resources, to the rise of marine energies; there is no shortage of examples demonstrating that maritime shipping and the rules regulating it are no longer the alpha and omega of maritime safety and security.
Consequently, "Blue Growth" was the theme chosen for this 2015 edition of Safer Seas to highlight the stakes of maritime safety and security and the world of possibilities that the seas have to offer.
Safer Seas was one of the last major milestones before the UNFCCC Conference of Parties, due to take place in December in Paris: oceans, climate, maritime safety, it all makes senses considering the numerous interactions between them... Indeed, it was not by sheer luck that the European Academy of Sciences symposium EURASC and its internationally recognized authorities chose Safer Seas to host their event.
These questions were addressed under a form or another through a now well-proven formula: Safer Seas is manifold, with at its core an international conference gathering some of the best experts in a wide range of fields. Beside the conference run high level, more specialized, meetings and symposiums going further into issues mentioned during the conference.
This time, there were four of them, each one an event in its own right:
Along with the conference and the meetings or symposiums, the formula of Safer Seas fosters companies, innovation and business.
This is especially true of the Trade Show, where the most innovative companies (a good part of which happen to have local facilities) can demonstrate their products, and of the B2B meetings.
Safer Seas was initiated by Brest métropole and the Technopole Brest-Iroise science park with the involvement of the main local stakeholders, notably the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique competitiveness cluster, the public research institutes, the post-graduation engineering schools, the services of the State... However, the event has always been designed to address and tackle not only local or national maritime issues, but also and more importantly, at a worldwide scale. That is the reason why Safer Seas was always granted the patronage and constant participation of the most prestigious international institutions such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) or the European Union (EU).
The common involvement of the representatives of Brest and Brittany maritime excellence as a whole alongside their European and international partners materialized in October 2015 under the form of a Statement of Brest on «Maritime security, Climate and Blue Growth».