The sea is not only passion, but also respect and responsibility

The sea was the protagonist of the 2007 edition of the Academy Day, a good choice for the interest that it has aroused and for having been linked to both souls of AEREC, economic and cultural. Around the themes of the sea and upon a proposal of the academician Patrizia Marin, the Academy built an event that gathered wide support among all those - and they were many - who took part in the exceptional setting of the Hall of Columns of the Chamber of Deputies with high and authoritative speeches that allowed us to develop the argument in many aspects, all of them being equally interesting.

"The sea is not only passion. Respect and responsibility" was the title of the conference moderated by Patrizia Marin, who opening the speeches underlined how the theme of the sea allowed riding the wave of enthusiasm aroused by the long outstanding performance of Luna Rossa in the ongoing races of the American Cup, in which the Italian boat managed to reach the final phases.

After the greetings of the President of AEREC, Dr. Ernesto Carpintieri, the Conference started with Rosalba Giugni’s speech, president of Mare Vivo. She first thanked AEREC for having wanted to focus on an important issue in relation to the ecosystem that is in a serious crisis. A crisis which receives less attention from the institutions: I remember that until a few years ago we had a Ministry of Merchant Marine which included within it a number of departments ranging from fisheries to the protection and transport and, after its dissolution, these were transferred to five different ministries. "In those circumstances, I believe that talking about a policy of the sea in this country has become almost utopian, in the absence of a steering committee and a global policy. Today we speak about the sea only with respect to the increase in the sea level and to related problems while no one talks about the sea as a great regulator of climate. I give you some figures: the surface of the sea represents 75% of the planet, like the fluid in our body. It produces 80% of the oxygen on the planet and thanks to phytoplankton it absorbs a third of the Co2. The blue lung of the Earth is therefore the sea. I will talk about to the Mediterranean Sea now: This small enclosed sea that represents only 0.7% of the seas of the world and in order to change its waters it requires 80 years (if we speak only about the surface, because in the depth it requires thousands of years), so in this small sea, there is a maritime traffic of 30% of the global maritime traffic, out of which 29% represents hydrocarbons, a figure which is constantly increasing since the economy has moved towards the eastern markets with goods that pass through the Mediterranean Sea. At this moment, the tar dissolved in the Mediterranean Sea has one of the highest values on the planet, 38mg per square meter compared with 10mg of the Sargasso Sea and 3.8 mg of the Sea of Japan. “

"The establishment of a big steering committee regulating maritime traffic which takes care not only of Italy but of all the Mediterranean basin is urgent as well because the survival of our species is strongly linked to the sea, it cannot and should not be considered only as a place for transport or for unloading goods.

"The strategic position of Italy and its bilateral relations with all countries give our country a key role in the promotion and management of virtuous actions on the sea. Then, from a human point of view, it is necessary for everyone to do his part. We, namely Mare Vivo, shall never tire of providing information, manage or encourage campaigns and initiatives for cleaning the sea. Let me speak about one of our most important campaigns related to biodiversity: the above mentioned phytoplankton lives as long as there is an ecosystem that ranges from sharks to phytoplankton, and if this system does not work, the balance breaks and then the role of the sea deteriorates with respect to the climate and to the survival of the Earth. The campaign in question is called 'Mediterranean Free Dolphin' and was created to counteract the massacre of incidental catches of large mammals (whales, sharks, turtles) occurring during the fishing of the swordfish that is illegally conducted. The campaign, therefore, sets forth the promotion of a brand that should signal the swordfish that is caught legally, thus discouraging the harmful phenomenon of illegal fishing. And this is one of our campaigns, which are many and varied, but all aimed at safeguarding the common good and irreplaceable that represents the sea. “

At the end of Rosalba Giugni’s speech, the moderator Patrizia Marin gave the floor to Hon. Sandra Cioffi, President of the Inter-parliamentary Group called “Amici e Amiche del mare”.
"The sea is a major touristy and economic resource and it is therefore our duty, among others, to support the boat shows in virtue of the great tradition that Italy has in the construction of boats that are sold all over the world. I believe, however, that even the small seamanship should be encouraged for the development of tourism in our country, as I believe that the culture of the sea should also involve young people, through the support of the sea sports as well as the world of solidarity and regarding this I think of the sailing treatment that helps a lot the people with disabilities. Every initiative, in all cases, must be conducted with respect for the environment and being fully aware that the sea is a good that belongs to all of us. We welcome initiatives like this Conference where we, the politicians, have the opportunity to acquire wider awareness of the problems: politics must always know how to listen and then to act with concreteness. “

The following speech was that of Antonio Bruzzone, Business Manager of Fierra Roma Srl, the company that manages the new exhibition center of the capital and this year has organized the first boat exhibition of the city, Big Blue. "It is not easy for those organizing fairs to talk about respect and responsibility because our first task is to do business. However, we assessed that we have a different approach than a traditional boat show, turning it also into a time of deepening of all aspects involving the sector. We created the same connection between all the exhibitions, in my opinion it is a cultural operation first of all. Because we are certain that the presence of more international nautical exhibitions represents not only something good for the industry but it also brings an increased attention on the themes of the sea. We offered to further develop this aspect untied to the economic productive aspect, starting from a series of thematic appointments within the various pavilions for doing justice to the huge variety of doing seafaring, from the small seamanship (often sacrificed), the underwater world to the world of sailing, not only competitive one, but also - what is essential for us - to push young people near the love for the sea. “

The benefits of a partnership between the nautical events evoked by Antonio Buzzone were in agreement with Giuseppe Mattiazzo, General Director of the Sea Festival of Venice that reaches the 7th edition. "That action with Rome is an important cooperation because the two reference seas, the Adriatic Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea must be covered by a synergy between the two large shows that operate in two major areas. I would like to say that our event, as well as being a major trade event is also a cultural event. For example, this year, we had the availability of Arsenale where we reopened historical halls, in collaboration with the Navy, which had never been seen by anyone. Then we promoted thirty major conferences on the culture of the sea, being fully aware that the development of seamanship depends on the respect for the environment and water, primary resource to be preserved if we believe that the seamanship can grow and have economic value.“ The subsequent speech of Patrizia Lupi, Director of the fortnightly "New Port", was carried out in her capacity of representative of Wista, Women International Shipping and Trading Association, the Women's Association involved in shipping." The sea is an area where you develop great professions but also great passions. The Italian branch of Wista has 60 affiliates but it is a broader international association involving 62 countries and about 800 women working in the field of sea and of shipping in particular, covering all the various professions operating in the field. What distinguishes the association is the passion that all women feel for the sea and its purpose is to spread the growing presence of women in the field even in those sectors, such as the harbour sector, which has long been an exclusive prerogative of the male world. "Apart from the economy of the sea that is increasingly developing – we remind you that a job in nautical field also means eight jobs in the related industries - and that will bring important results both in terms of wealth and employment, I must underline that the professions in the sea field must be cultivated and encouraged, and especially by having support from the institutions. We must understand that speaking about the sea in a certain way is also an effective way to transmit values. “ To insist on the issues of the economy and industry in the maritime field, the speech of the academician Guido Beltrami, CEO of Techno-Reef, has aroused great interest. "Thank you very much for having invited me to represent the Italian industry, to be able to testify that it is alive and its forward innovations in a particular sector such as the sea." "The Italian system has undergone in recent years a massive anthropization process that has profoundly transformed the environmental and natural features of the territory. This happened particularly starting from the 70s when many harbours have developed because of the strong anthropization of the coast for tourism - small harbours, piers– represent one of the greatest risk factors for the stability of coastlines. There are also other factors such as the indiscriminate taking of inert materials from the bed of the river, activities of draining (let’s think, for example, of the water in the Pontina plains) and not least there is the destruction of the marine environment, through practices such as trawl fishing. According to data provided by the Ministry, related to this year, approximately 45% of the Italian coastline is now threatened by a progressive and general deterioration. Until now, the sea, even when seeking a solution to solve the problem, has always been violated: the man has decided to protect the coastline from erosion and thus destroyed the sea to safeguard the soil. Finally, it seems that the phenomenon of algae poisoning is due to stagnation of water because of the external barriers. Over the years, these changes have in fact changed the natural environment. How has the Italian research developed? To quote our case, for the use of Italian technology and of an Italian patent that allows no more sea attacks but assistance for it, through barriers that have the ability not to block the sea but to reduce the waves so that that the action that occurs against the coast should be very different from the one created naturally, worsened by the quantitative growth of climatic phenomena." "The solution that we, TecnoReef, have developed consists in the production and placement of barriers to a meter below sea level, certified and achieved using natural products. This is an environmentally friendly technology that provides concrete modules based on natural elements without synthetic additives that can be assembled in various forms. The timing of assembly are extremely low: think that in order to protect one kilometer of coastline 14 days are required compared to the long time it takes today and the destructions required to obtain the same results. In terms of material, then it is used 2 % of material compared to traditional use of stones. The pyramid shape of the modules, thus, allows an anchoring to the sea floor, so that currents should be distributed uniformly in all directions. This structure also facilitates the development of life, producing a vibration that acts as a reminder for fish and thus promotes coastal repopulation. "To summarize: the principal applications of our products represent anti-erosion for the coast - for which they are currently using antiquated systems with a strong environmental impact – the marine repopulation with an advantage for fishing and the remediation of the sites and the creation of underwater gymnasiums for the development of tourism. I want to say, finally, that ours is the first country that is working in this direction. " To conclude the conference, it is the speech of Hon. Giuseppe Galati, President of the Foundation “Sud del Mondo” as well as Secretary of the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies. "The sea is an issue that covers many others, for example in our history, the fact that it contributes to the definition of the identity of a people, starting with the discovery of America by our compatriot Christopher Columbus. But the sea requires first of all, as the title of the conference suggests, respect and responsibility and careful analysis to understand how this resource should be preserved both from the point of view of environment and safety.” “In the Foundation “Sud del Mondo”, whose president I am, which includes public and private associates, is the basic idea to link the various “south” and in particular that of our country that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea that from 2010 will be free trade. From that moment on, the whole European continent will be directly or indirectly involved in various commercial and economic activities of countries including India and China. The sea should therefore be considered only as a vehicle for tourism but also for transport through the famous motorways of the sea. Then there is also the environmental plan, and here we had an opportunity to acquaint ourselves with some ideas that show how this wealth requires innovative technologies, as well as the safety of maritime spaces. From our part, namely the institutional one, we presented two draft laws that seek to bridge two gaps: one related to security and civilization concerning migrations and the other linked the government, namely the need to give more power to the Port Authorities in relation to trafficking, such as toxic waste for example." "The sea is for Italy a great resource to be exploited from the point of view of industrial production, considering the medium-high level of our shipbuilding, the nautical system has today a rate of increase of 9% per year, witnesses a production that nearly reaches 3 billion euros with the direct related industries without considering the indirect related industries of fine mechanics, furniture and design. But it is also necessary to intensify the harbours taking into account the growth and the substantial numbers of recreational boating. It is our duty, therefore, to identify any gaps that are still there in the field to try to counteract them giving to sea system, increasingly more parameters of safety, environmental sustainability and policies that go towards knowledge and cultural roots of the sea, where every initiative, including that of today promoted by the Academy for Economic and Cultural Relations, is welcome. "

Carmen Seidel

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