important role to play, as they are the ultimate beneficiaries of the salvors' environmental services. The Environmental Awards debate has gathered pace over the past six months. It provided the theme for January's London Shipping Law Centre seminar. ISU representatives set out the case for change. However, Charles Hume, Chairman of the International Group of P&I Clubs' Salvage Committee, argued against separate Environmental Awards. He said the Clubs want to see a financially secure salvage industry. At the same time, salvors' revenues could be enhanced by arbitrators having greater regard for some of the existing Article 13 criteria when setting Awards and, in addition, recognising the special commitment of salvors operating in difficult jurisdictions without responder immunity. Charles Hume concluded: "I see no reason to bypass the well-established Article 13 Award. Let SCOPIC rates be encour- aging, but there is no justification for a new Award when the existing LOF regime already provides the means for rewarding the salvor generously and sufficiently." Here, ISU Vice-President Arnold Witte stressed that SCOPIC was a "safety net" and, as such, was not an adequate vehicle for compensating salvors who prevent environmental damage. He said that a new Environmental Award was required, to recognise the salvage industry's transition "from strict reliance on the preservation and value of property to the total dedication to protect the environment, often to the exclusion of property value." ISU Legal Adviser Archie Bishop told the seminar that one solution would be to contractually amend Article 14 of the Salvage Convention. Newly-retired IOPC Funds Director Måns Jacobsson also said he favoured an industry solution. This debate resumed at the ISU's Associate Members' Day conference in March. During the conference's Open Forum, Charles Hume called on salvors to present a broader case for Environmental Awards. He said: "The current argument seems to be structured entirely around the Prestige. There may be other casualties deserving consideration. It is up to the salvors to do the research and show benefit to the environment." Responding for the ISU, Arnold Witte said that the P&I Clubs "spend too much on pollution response and clean-up, paying on a time and material basis." He added that a salvor conferring environmental benefit should share in the value of the benefit. Casualty Management Another ISU initiative seeks wider appreciation of best practice in the handling of marine casualties. For some time the ISU has argued that the IMO's existing Places of Refuge Guidelines are too narrowly focused and should be superseded by broader guidelines, dealing with places of refuge and many other issues -- with salvage having a much higher profile in the recommended approach to casualty management. In the European context, the ISU's proposal for International Guidelines on Marine Casualty Management has been taken up by the MSUO (Maritime Safety Umbrella Operation). The MSUO is to partner the ISU in drafting the new guidelines, which will be submitted for EU and IMO consideration and possible adoption. Work will begin later this year. One aim is to bring together the ISU proposals and certain elements of the existing Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Convention, the IMO Guidelines on Places of Refuge and the Bahamas Maritime Authority's proposed "Guidelines on control of ships in an emergency." The goal is to arrive at a comprehensive set of international guidelines, setting out straightforward advice on best practice for marine casualty management. GET ARMORED.. ARMORED. MORED DESIGNER AND MANUFACTURER OF MARITIME ARMOR KITS FOR OEM AND END USER REQUIREMENTS, CONTACT US AT 888-4BUNKER OR VISIT US AT PROTECHARMORED.COM. ©2007 Armor Holdings, Inc. May, 2007 · MarineNews · 27
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