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It is the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association; the pioneering voluntary commitment of Greek seafarers and ship owners to safeguard the seas from ship-generated pollution, undertaken in Piraeus, on June 4, 1982. Under the motto “To Save the Seas”, they have consistently supported their initiative to date.

What is the principal aim of this initiative?

How is this achieved?

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HELMEPA’s participation in Posidonia 2018

HELMEPA took part in the Posidonia 2018 International Maritime Exhibition for the 18th consecutive time with a Stand, kindly offered by the organizers, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A.

The exhibition opened with the “Posidonia Cup 2018” sailing regatta, which took place on 1 June, in Faliron Bay. HELMEPA participated once again with S/Y ARMENISTIS, kindly offered by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC), skipper Mr Isidoros Kyriacou, his assistant Ms Cleopatra Kourti and crew the following volunteers from HELMEPA member-companies: Ms N. Paraskeva of Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc and Messrs Ch. Chiotis of Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc, X. Goumalatsos of Vernicos Tugs & Salvage, Α. Pantazis of Niovis Shipping, S.Perissakis of Dynamarine and Μ. Sardis of Costamare Shipping. HELMEPA’ s boat finished 12th among 24 in its category.

On Wednesday 6 June, HELMEPA held a conference titled "2020 is closer than we think: Scrubbers, Fuels and Ballast Water Treatment" on Wednesday, June 6, at the conference hall kindly offered gratis by the organizers Posidonia SA. The 400 attendees were welcomed by the Chairman of HELMEPA Dr. G. Gratsos, giving the tone for the presentations of the first panel "Emissions and Fuels", which he coordinated. The distinguished speakers, Ms C. Røjgaard, Global Technical Manager of Bureau Veritas, Dr N. Liapis, Supply and Operations Director of ELINOIL S.A., Dr V. Tyrogalas, Director of Martechnic Navigation Ltd, Mr P. Zachariades, Technical Director of Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd and Member of HELMEPA’s BoD unfolded their views on pressing issues regarding compliance of the shipping industry with the forthcoming global requirement for low sulfur fuels. They raised issues such as availability of fuels, possible risks from their use and compliance alternatives i.e. scrubbers, while RADM J. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy of the US Coast Guard, approached the subject from the point of the regulatory Authority.

The second panel, themed "Ballast Water Treatment", was coordinated by Mr. D. Fafalios, Chairman of the Technical Committee of INTERCARGO. The speakers, Mr Ch. Anastasakis, Senior Specialist, Technical Support Office of Hellenic Lloyd's SA, Ms E. Polychronopoulou, Executive Vice Chairperson of Environmental Protection Engineering SA and Dr. K. Stanzel, Managing Director of INTERTANKO, referred to the developments and needs arising from the implementation of the IMO International Convention on Ballast Water Management, treatment technologies and issues such as retrofitting and measures to address potential problems. The session concluded with Mr S. Xiaodong, General Manager of Shanghai Costamare ShipManagement Co. Ltd., who presented the current state of ballast water management in China.

Dr. Gratsos presented commemorative Diplomas to the speakers in recognition of their contribution to the successful implementation of the Conference. Furthermore, the Chairman offered a Commemorative Plaque to Mr. John Maragoudakis, Commodore of the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC), in recognition of his long standing cooperation and warm support to the Association's work.

The Conference ended with a reception for HELMEPA guests, who had thus the opportunity of further discussions with the speakers.

During the Exhibition, HELMEPA’s Stand was visited by Admiral Evaggelos Apostolakis H.N, Commandant of the Armed Forces’ National Security Board, RADM John Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, USCG, the Chairman Dr. G. Gratsos and Members of HELMEPA’s Board of Directors, the Chairman of INTERMEPA, Mr. Warwick Norman and numerous members and friends of HELMEPA.

“Let’s Cleanup Europe” 2018 Campaign

This Campaign that is supported by the European Commission was organized and coordinated by HELMEPA for the 5th consecutive year in Greece. Most actions took place between 4 - 25 May, but due to the extensive participation cleanups will continue until the end of June.

To date approximately 7,600 volunteers, who organized and implemented 137 cleanups of beaches, the seabed, rivers, lakes, parks and school gardens throughout the country.

Noteworthy is this year’s participation of the following 15 Member-companies of HELMEPA, which is triple compared to last year’s respective campaign:

- Allseas Marine S.A.
- Arcadia Shipmanagement
- Athenian Sea Carriers
- Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Hellas) SPLLC
- Diana Shipping Services
- Dianik Bross Shipping Corporation S.A.
- Eurobulk Ltd
- Genimar Shipping & Trading S.A.
- Kyla Shipping
- Minerva Marine
- Minoan Lines
- Optimum Ship Services Ltd
- Metropolitan College (AMC)
- Environmental Protection Engineering SA

Significant was the contribution of the educational community to this initiative. Schoolchildren-members of “HELMEPA Junior” and their volunteer teachers, youth volunteers-“Cadets” and pupils of 97 Kindergartens, Primary and High Schools gave their distinct character to the actions.

Cleanups were supported by Hellenic Coast Guard Officers of 18 Port Authorities, who following the directions of the Marine Environment Protection Dept of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, encouraged, coordinated and supervised actions at the local level.

Participants also included volunteers from Local Authorities, companies and organizations, Parents’ Clubs, management bodies of protected areas, environmental organizations, cultural associations, sailing and diving clubs.

The processing of Data Cards is already underway and the results regarding amounts, types and sources of litter in Greece will be announced by HELMEPA in September and will be sent to the European coordinators of the campaign to be included in total statistics.

Approximately 2,300 commemorative Participation Diplomas were sent to the Coordinators of actions, kids and youth. HELMEPA thanks and congratulates all the entities and the volunteers, who through collective action expressed their environmental sensitivity and personal commitment and projected the message for a Clean Environment without Plastics and other garbage.



Keep Oceans Free of Plastics

Τhis year, on every occasion the international community places an emphasis on plastic pollution and its detrimental impact on the terrestrial, marine and coastal environment. The themes of both the Earth Day, which was recently celebrated and the World Oceans Day that is fast approaching are centered on plastic pollution prevention, the need for urgent solutions and the link between the health of the oceans and humans. In shipping, the Member-States of the International Maritime Organization-IMO, in April 2018, decided the adoption of a special Action Plan, in the framework of the United Nations Agenda 2030, to address the serious threat posed by plastics.

Therefore, this year HELMEPA’s “Seagull” message “NO garbage, NO plastics in our seas and on our beaches” is as contemporary as ever, despite having already completed 34 years! This is also confirmed by the extensive amounts of plastics, such as straws, bottles, bags and packaging, which are collected every year by volunteers during cleanups of our country’s seabed, beaches, lakes, rivers and forests.

This summer’s public awareness campaign of HELMEPA, besides the “Seagull” spot broadcasted gratis by TV stations, also includes 2 posters designed by the creator of the “Seagull”, Mr. Stavros Georgiades.

The first poster with the Seagull flying above the coastline while removing bottles, cups and other plastics is addressed to the wider public. Its projection throughout Greece will be carried out by the 6,150 schoolchildren-members of the “HELMEPA Junior” program. The second poster, addressed to the wider maritime community, depicts the globe entrapped in a plastic bag. Its message “Keep Oceans Free of Plastics” will be projected worldwide by the Members of HELMEPA, 408 vessels, 180 managing companies and shipping organizations and 13,500 Greek seafarers.

May this awareness raising campaign highlight the threat of plastics and the duty of each and every one of us to wipe out this danger that we ourselves created!



Norway and Greece join forces to #BEATMARINEPOLLUTION

To mark World Environment Day 2018 and Posidonia, the Norwegian Embassy in Athens, in partnership with HELMEPA, organized a breakfast seminar on how the industry, organizations and individuals can help prevent, reduce and remove plastic pollution from the ocean.

More than 120 representatives, including top executives from Norwegian and Greek maritime companies, gathered to discuss concrete ways of coming to grips with this urgent priority. Outstanding efforts of Greek foundations and organizations, with youth, fishermen and coastal communities as well as shipowners and crew were highlighted, while all agreed that there is a major role for industry to play in driving innovation, technological development and new standards for how business is done. The goal of the seminar was to inspire to concrete action by highlighting the many ways actors are approaching the challenge, in Norway and in Greece.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Jørn Gjelstad, underlined that the ocean economy will be a fast growing and absolutely necessary part of the future global economy, and that economic growth must go hand in hand with environmental sustainability. “This concerns our human behavior: our pattern of consumption, how we use and re-use, and how we manage the waste”, he said. Norway has recently launched its first fully electric ferry connection, and ferry companies are modernizing their fleets as the Norwegian authorities have required zero-emission technology solutions for the coming years. He encouraged Greece to look into the possibilities and benefits green ferries could bring with all the islands and high number of ferry crossings every year. Norway has taken a leadership role in fighting marine pollution recently and is currently taking fast-paced measures to drive solutions to the challenge.

Mr Sturla Henriksen, head of the UN Global Compact on Ocean gave a global perspective on sustainability of the ocean space, highlighting how the industry together can set new standards that change the course of developments. “We have to acknowledge”, he underlined, “that most, if not all problems related to the oceans have their root-cause and solutions on shore. Ocean clean-up action is very important, at the same time we need to make a collective effort to stop the supply of new litter into the oceans. All plastic ever produced is still around”. “During a 10 minutes presentation like mine today”, Mr. Henriksen said, “150 tons of new plastic litter will have entered the oceans”. Mr. Henriksen was appointed Special Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact on Ocean January 1st 2018, a position he took up after a decade serving as the CEO of the Norwegian Shipowner’s Association. In his time as CEO, he has had the opportunity to interact with many of the major shipowners globally, among them Greek – and is optimistic that there is a growing awareness and commitment.

Dr Angeliki Kosmopolou, Director of AC Laskaridis Charitable Foundation held a thought-provoking presentation about the history, scope and consequences of plastic pollution. Suggesting effective measures for prevention, recycling, and cleanup of plastic waste in a circular economy, she encouraged all to take action and outlined a number of suggestions for approaching the problem. The organization’s contribution to fighting marine litter involves coastal cleanups and awareness-raising workshops, shore and underwater cleanups on 10 islands, empowerment of special groups, e.g. fishermen and entrepreneurs. A success story is helping turn Sikinos into the first plastic straw free island.

Dr. Vassilios Mamaloukas Frangoulis from Environmental Protection Engineering (EPE) shed light on the effort to clean up an oil spill in the Saronic Gulf last September, while minimizing waste. He referred to his company having successfully responded to more than 2,000 marine pollution incidents that occurred over the last four decades, offering a wide range of services addressing to waste management and response to spill of oil and chemicals in the ocean. Dr. Mamaloukas Frangoulis urged the audience to fight pollution while minimizing the waste into the oceans. He too stressed the importance of communication and educational programs as tools to create awareness and change behavior.

Ms Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator of HELMEPA spoke enthusiastically about the organization’s various initiatives, targeting all relevant stakeholders ranging from shipowners to mariners to Greek youth. Among many programs, the association organizes regular nationwide beach clean ups with strong participation from the young generation of Greeks. Since 1993, more than 105,000 schoolchildren members of “HELMEPA Junior” have implemented beach cleanups, participated in recycling projects and motivated their local communities throughout Greece. Ms Prekezes closed her presentation by urging all to take a pledge this summer for clean seas and beaches.

The seminar concluded with questions posed by the audience and answers offered by the panel.  


HELMEPA at GASLOG’s European Crew Conference

GASLOG, an Associate Corporate Member of HELMEPA, held its European Crew Conference at Divani Apollon Hotel, in Athens, 8-9 May 2018, under the title “Guiding the Way into the 21st Century”.

During the first day of the Conference, HELMEPA was invited and presented the issue of “Marine Litter, Plastics and Microplastics”. The association’s Executive Coordinator Ms Christiana Prekezes and the Assistant Coordinator Mr. Costas Triantafillou shared the presentation on the sources and spread of plastic waste pollution globally, the results on the environment as well as the impact on the health of marine ecosystems and eventually the human health itself. Ways to reduce ship generated plastic waste were also discussed.

The CEO Mr. Paul Wogan, Executives and shore based competent personnel together with about 130 officers attended the presentation. A number of interesting questions were posed that gave further food for thought on what we may all do to reduce our environmental footprint regarding plastics.

HELMEPA wishes to thank GASLOG for the opportunity it gave the association to address such a large number of mariners as well as to congratulate them for their commitment and proactive approach to pollution prevention, which is actually the essence of HELMEPA’s philosophy.



HELMEPA supports the Oceanos NTUA research program

On May 9th, HELMEPA’s Director General Dimitris C. Mitsatsos and scientific staff visited the Laboratory of Aerodynamic Naval Engineering of the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), on the occasion of HELMEPA’s sponsorship of the Oceanos NTUA research program. The aim of the project is to design energy efficient ship models to represent Greece at the worldwide competition "Hydrocontest" in September 2018, in France.

The Dean Professor and coordinator of the program, Grigoris Grigoropoulos, guided the visitors to the laboratory area and presented the achievements of his longstanding operation. The Oceanos NTUA students, who were at that time working on the 2 ship models, provided a detailed account of the structural features and the improvements made in their design to achieve the maximum efficiency of the ships.

The enthusiasm of these students and their attempt to promote NTUA’s research work fills us with optimism for the distinction of Greek scientists worldwide. We wish them every success at the contest!



HELMEPA and shipping entities of the United Arab Emirates

On 9th April 2018, the Director General of HELMEPA, Mr. Mitsatsos met with representatives of shipping entities, companies and organizations at the headquarters of Gulf Navigation Holding company in Dubai. The meeting was a result of the cooperation between Messrs Ν. Bafaloukos, CEO of HELMEPA’s Member Fairdeal Group of Companies and Treasurer of the Board and Khamis Juma Buamim, CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding.

In order to inform the participants so they can assume the role of founders of UAEMEPA, Mr Mitsatsos presented the aims of HELMEPA as well as the Association’s achievements during the past years. He placed special emphasis on the Association’s financial autonomy, transparent operation and the consistency it has displayed all these years. These resulted, as the Director General of HELMEPA stated, in the appreciation of world shipping and Maritime Authorities, which reflects upon the voluntary efforts of its Members and extends to the rest of the MEPAs.



INTERMEPA Members focus on fight against plastic pollution

Celebrating 12 years of existence, the Steering Committee of INTERMEPA, the International Marine Environment Protection Association, convened in Athens on 7 June, on the occasion of Posidonia 2018. Present Members of the Committee were Warwick Norman, Chairman of AUSMEPA, George Tsavliris, Chairman of CYMEPA, Dr. George Gratsos and Capt. Dimitris Mitsatsos, Chairman and Director General of HELMEPA respectively, Joseph Hughes and Carleen Lyden-Walker, Chairman and Executive Director of NAMEPA respectively and Sadan Kaptanoglu, Chairperson of TURMEPA. HELMEPA’s BoD Treasurer Nicolas Bafaloukos and Legal Advisor Nicolas Gerassimou together with Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator and Costas Triantafillou, Assistant Executive Coordinator, were also in attendance.

Opening the meeting, the Chairman wished all member MEPAs a happy 12th anniversary and called on each Association to present the activities carried out during the past biennium. Ideas towards strengthening the cooperation between MEPAs were also exchanged while Mr. Bafaloukos informed the Committee on the developments pertaining to the newly founded United Arab Emirates MEPA (UAEMEPA).

Following the proposal of INTERMEPA’s Vice Chairperson, Ms Kaptanoglu to adopt a common theme every two years, the SC unanimously accepted the idea of HELMEPA’s Executive Coordinator that all MEPAs streamline their activities around the topic “Beat Plastic Pollution”, inspired by the focus of this year’s “World Oceans Day”, celebrated today, 8 June.

In compliance with the provisions of INTERMEPA’s Constitution, the members of the Committee unanimously agreed that Mr. Norman and Ms Kaptanoglu continue to serve for a further two-year term as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, respectively. They both thanked the Committee for renewing their trust in them and closed the meeting wishing them all every success in their future endeavors.



HELMEPA notifications and Regulation 679/2016 of the E.U.

Dear Ladies/Sirs,

We would kindly like to remind you that from 25 May 2018 Regulation 679/2016 has entered into force in the European Union, according to which in order to maintain a database with emails, telephones and other personal details, a consent is required by those registered. Therefore, if you do not wish to receive by email HELMEPA’s technical bulletins, updates on news and developments in shipping and the protection of the marine environment through newsletters, press releases and event invitations, please reply with "I DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE NEWSLETTERS AND OTHER INFORMATION".

If you wish to continue receiving our emails, you don’t have to do anything and we’ll keep you posted on HELMEPA’s activities and updates as always. Don’t forget that you can always unsubscribe from HELMEPA’s recipient list by sending us an email at Thank you for staying in touch!



36th General Assembly and new Board of Directors of HELMEPA

According to the Articles of Association, the 36th General Assembly of the Members that took place on 27 March 2018, unanimously approved the activities of 2017, the financial operation during the past year, as presented in the report of the Auditors, Moore Stephens S.A. and other issues. The secret ballot that followed resulted in the election of the following Members of the new Board, as follows:

Chairman Dr Gratsos George
Vice Chairman Xylas John
General Secretary Daifas Irene
Special Secretary Los Aikaterini
Treasurer Bafaloukos Nicolas
Deputy Treasurer Dalacouras Michael

Members (in alphabetical order):

Beis Athanassios
Chandris Marietta-Antonia
Chalas John
Karageorgiou George
Ladas Ilias
Matthaiou Dimitrios
Paliou Semiramis
Pittas Aristidis
Zachariadis Panagiotis

Alternate Members:

Andreou Gabriel Avlonitis Evangelos
Dimitriou Constantinos
Pafliotis Theofilos
Vlachos Spyridon

The new Board of Directors

The event was hosted at the building of the historic (for HELMEPA) CERES company, which also offered a buffet lunch.

Snapshots from the General Assembly



HELMEPA and shipping entities of the United Arab Emirates

On 9th April 2018, the Director General of HELMEPA, Mr. Mitsatsos met with representatives of shipping entities, companies and organizations at the headquarters of Gulf Navigation Holding company in Dubai. The meeting was a result of the cooperation between Messrs Ν. Bafaloukos, CEO of HELMEPA’s Member Fairdeal Group of Companies and Treasurer of the Board and Khamis Juma Buamim, CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding.

In order to inform the participants so they can assume the role of founders of UAEMEPA, Mr Mitsatsos presented the aims of HELMEPA as well as the Association’s achievements during the past years. He placed special emphasis on the Association’s financial autonomy, transparent operation and the consistency it has displayed all these years. These resulted, as the Director General of HELMEPA stated, in the appreciation of world shipping and Maritime Authorities, which reflects upon the voluntary efforts of its Members and extends to the rest of the MEPAs.




HELMEPA took part in conferences of, NAFTEMPORIKI and its Associate Corporate Member DYNAMARINe, where the Association was also a "Supporting Organization". More specifically, the Executive Coordinator of HELMEPA, Ms Chr. Prekezes participated in all three events with presentations and panel coordination.

“Shipping is My Choice” was the title of the workshop of that took place on 23 March on the island of Chios with a participation of 390 students of the Merchant Marine Academies of Chios and Oinousses and representatives of 68 shipping companies, training establishments and entities. Ms Prekezes participated on the panel titled “Safety and risk management onboard: the master’s role”, along with representatives of The North of England P&I Association Ltd and Thomas Miller P&I (Europe) Ltd.

At the 1st Corporate Social Responsibility Conference organized by the shipping newspaper “NAFTEMPORIKI”, on 28 Μarch, in Athens, Mrs Prekezes spoke in the section titled “CSR – PRACTICES: Public and Private Sector – Which sectors in Greece of the crisis era are most in need of corporate responsibility actions?” The Conference was attended by approximately 300 delegates.

The 7th consecutive “International Forum on STS Operations” by DYNAMARINe took place on 7th March in Zappion and was attended by 200 Greeks and foreigners. Ms Prekezes chaired the panel on "STS Equipment: technical aspects, selection and maintenance" and delivered a welcoming address on behalf of HELMEPA.

Snapshots from the workshop “Shipping is My Choice”

Snapshots from the 1st CSR Conference of Naftemporiki

Snapshots from the International Forum on «Ship-to-Ship Operations»



Technical bulletin “The HELMEPA Monitor” No 16

The HELMEPA Monitor, issue No. 16, has been released, including the following articles:

New USCG Circular on Ballast Water Management in US Waters A new Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC 01-18) on ballast water management (BWM) has been made recently available by the USCG, providing updated guidance on BWM reporting, record keeping, compliance and enforcement…

Maritime Traffic Measures to Support the Safety of Navigation in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait New shipping routes in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait, aimed at reducing the risks of incidents and to protect the marine environment as well as local fishing activities, have been agreed by IMO's Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) during its 5th session (19-23 February)...

North Atlantic Right Whale Unusual Mortality Event The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, with only an estimated 450 remaining, primarily along the east coast of the US and Canada...



Update on QUALSHIP 21 / E-ZERO

According to data published by the USCG for April 2018, current holders of the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate include a total of 31 HELMEPA member vessels managed by 14 companies, and the E-Zero Designation: 5 vessels managed by 3 companies.The following table shows the member vessels number per Managing Company:

Managing Company

                          Number of vessels*


               Qualship 21












































Total number of member vessels



*Note: Vessels of the company that also carry the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate but
are not members of HELMEPA are not included in the numbers given in the table.



HELMEPA Scholarships for 2018-2019

The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA, honoring the memories of its Founder, George P. Livanos, Honorary Chairman, Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos and Founding Member Stavros Daifas, announces 3 scholarships valued at EUR 15,000 each, for candidates pursuing post graduate courses (Masters' level) starting in the 2018-19 academic year, in Greece or any other country of the European Union, in the following fields:

Shipping, in memory of George P. Livanos. Priority is given to those applicants whose parents are Greek seafarers.

Environmental Studies, in memory of Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos. Priority is given to those applicants who in the past have been members of the "HELMEPA Junior" and "HELMEPA Cadets" environmental programs.

Naval Engineering - Marine/Offshore Engineering and Technology, in memory of Stavros Daifas. The Scholarship is a kind offer of his daughter, Ms. Irene Daifas, General Secretary of HELMEPA's Board of Directors.

Applications with the necessary documentation, as specified on HELMEPA's website, must be sent by Friday 8 June 2018, to the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA, 5 Pergamou Street, Nea Smyrni 17121, Athens - Greece (tel. +30 210 9343088) with clear indication for the specific scholarship for which it is being submitted.



Environmental Section bulletins

The Environmental Section of HELMEPA regularly communicates with children, youth and teachers participating in the voluntary programs “HELMEPA Junior” and “HELMEPA Cadets” through informative environmental newsletters. Specifically, in March, the 90th quarterly issue of the "Seagulls" newsletter was posted to 400 volunteer teachers who distributed it to the 3,800 children (6-12 years old) of the HELMEPA Junior program. Also, the 77th monthly e-bulletin titled "The Cadets’ Periscope" was sent electronically to 1,900 youth, 13-29 years old, all over Greece.



The 8th MEPA - Marine Environment Protection Association was created

On 28 February 2018 the Director General of HELMEPA, Dimitris C. Mitsatsos and the Chairman of Dubai Council for Marine & Maritime Industries (DCMMI), Mr. Khamis Juma Buamim, signed the Inaugural Declaration of UAEMEPA, the United Arab Emirates Marine Environment Protection Association.

The signing ceremony took place at the beginning of the 9th Offshore Arabia Conference at Dubai in the presence of the Secretary General of IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, UAE high standing functionaries and representatives of organizations and companies from within world shipping.

The new MEPA is the 7th consecutive association, to the creation of which HELMEPA contributed, following relevant request of the interested parties. Mr. Kitack Lim congratulated HELMEPA for spreading the volunteer spirit of MEPAs, whose Members sustain the financial operation of the associations. Apart from HELMEPA in Greece, these entities are today: CYMEPA (Cyprus), TURMEPA (Turkey), URUMEPA (Uruguay), AUSMEPA (Australia), NAMEPA (USA), UKRMEPA (Ukraine) and UAEMEPA.

HELMEPA offers the expertise it has gained during the 35 years of its existence to UAEMEPA, together with the wish to succeed in its mission for the protection of the environment in the fragile sea area of the Gulf.



HELMEPA and AUSMEPA meeting with AMSA in Canberra

On 4 January, the CEO of AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Mr. Mick Kinley welcomed at their offices in Canberra, Mr Dimitris Mitsatsos and Ms Christiana Prekezes of HELMEPA, Mr. Warwick Norman, Chairman of AUSMEPA and INTERMEPA and Ms Julie Nash, Executive Officer of AUSMEPA. At the meeting also present was Ms Annalisse Sly, Acting Manager, Environment Standards of AMSA.

The aim of the meeting was the exchange of information and the strengthening of cooperation between HELMEPA and AMSA, which started in 2000 when AUSMEPA was established. In this spirit, HELMEPA tabled questions of Member Companies on the implementation of Australian maritime legislation requirements, on which Mr. Kinley provided clarifications and explained the respective policies of AMSA, that HELMEPA will disseminate to its Members. Ways to sustain a closer cooperation were also discussed so that HELMEPA Member vessels trading in Australian waters, timely informed, can effectively contribute to the common efforts of protecting Australian's sensitive sea areas. Last but not least, the synergy of the three organizations was discussed during the meeting.

Mr. Mitsatsos, on behalf of HELMEPA, invited Mr. Kinley to come to Greece during POSIDONIA 2018 and to address HELMEPA Conference to be held on 6 June, between 10.30 and 14.00 at the Metropolitan Expo.

On the occasion of HELMEPA's visit in Australia, Mr. W. Norman, in his capacity as INTERMEPA Chairman, exchanged views with HELMEPA's representatives on issues to be included in the agenda of the Steering Committee meeting of INTERMEPA during POSIDONIA.



HELMEPA welcomes its new Members, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and vessels under their management

On 20 February, at HELMEPA's offices, Mr. Michael Dalacouras, Deputy Treasurer of the Board of Directors, met with Captain Nicholas Pagonis, Associate Vice President-Fleet Captain, Global Marine Operations of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, who handed him the applications for the registration, as HELMEPA Members, of the Company and 12 cruise ships under their management. Captain Pagonis expressed his appreciation of HELMEPA's voluntary mission and its achievements during the past 35 years since the association's founding.

Mr. Dalacouras expressed the satisfaction of all in HELMEPA for the decision of Royal Caribbean Cruises, one of the world's largest cruise lines, to register the vessels with HELMEPA.

We believe that the cooperation between HELMEPA and Royal Caribbean Cruises will be mutually constructive. The voluntary training of the human factor that HELMEPA offers, will complement Royal Caribbean's spirit of pollution prevention, while HELMEPA will spread its messages to thousands of seafarers ononboard cruise ships.



The 2018 HELMEPA Refresher Training Program

HELMEPA, operating as a DNV GL certified “Maritime Training Center for Pollution Prevention, Safety at Sea and Environmental Awareness” launched on 16 January its 36th Annual Program of Voluntary Refresher Training.

The Program kicked off with the 2-day Seminar “Marine Environmental Awareness”, based on IMO Model Course 1.38 and certified by the Maritime Authority of the Republic of Cyprus.

The 2018 Program offers also the 2-day “Safety” and “Pollution Prevention” and the 1-day “Human Element and Safety” Seminars. Again this year, these new Seminars have been developed in close cooperation with HELMEPA’s Training Committee, in a way that their syllabus meets the actual training needs of Member Companies.

New topics presented this year include cyber security, prevention of enclosed lifeboat release accidents, MRV implementation, response to oil pollution from ships, the Safety II approach to safety issues and leadership-communication principles for the management of human resources on board. Each 2-day Seminar is to be offered 5 times during the year, while the 1-day Seminar is scheduled 8 times in total. HELMEPA warmly thanks all those who are actively involved in the successful implementation of the Program, in particular the lecturers, who are experts of 12 Member Companies and Organizations, scientific staff of the National Technical University of Athens, Officers of the Hellenic Coast Guard and independent associates.

Detailed information on the Seminars is included in the Refresher Training 2018 booklet, available at HELMEPA’s website (



Update on QUALSHIP 21 / E-ZERO

According to data published by the USCG for January 2018, current holders of the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate include a total of 36 HELMEPA member vessels managed by 14 companies, and the E-Zero Designation: 4 vessels managed by 2 companies. The following table shows the member vessels number per Managing Company:

Managing Company

                          Number of vessels*


               Qualship 21












































Total number of member vessels



*Note: Vessels of the company that also carry the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate but are not members of HELMEPA are not included in the numbers given in the table.



HELMEPA cuts its traditional “Pita”

In the presence of the Board of Directors, the Chairmen of the Training Committee and of Moore Stephens Chartered Accountants and the staff of the Secretariat, HELMEPA’s Chairman, Dr G. Gratsos cut the traditional New Year pie, yesterday, Wednesday 31 January, at the association’s offices. The lucky winners who shared the “flouri” (coin) were Capt. E. Tsikalakis, President of PEPEN, who participates in the Board as representative of Capt. J. Chalas, Capt. J. Drakogiannopoulos, Chairman of HELMEPA’s Training Committee and Capt. D. Mattheou, member of the Board.

Dr G. Gratsos wished to all the attendees good health and all the best for 2018 and following, the year’s first meeting of the Board of Directors took place.



The Chairman of HELMEPA received the 2018 GREEN4SEA Leadership Award

The Chairman of HELMEPA Dr. George Gratsos received the 2018 GREEN4SEA Leadership Award, sponsored by Arcadia Shipmanagement, Associate Corporate Member of HELMEPA, on the occasion of the GREEN4SEA Conference, on 6th March at the Yacht Club of Greece.

Dr. Gratsos was honored for "demonstrating innovative, initiative-driven leadership by holding various positions throughout his career impacting significantly the national and international shipping industry".



Students’ visits to HELMEPA

On 16 February, students and professors from the Shipping Sector of the Professional Lyceum of Konistres in Evia visited, at HELMEPA's expenses, its Maritime Training Center. They were informed about HELMEPA’s initiatives and presented with a demonstration of the Full Mission Bridge Simulator’s capabilities.

On 26 February, 27 French students of the Master's European Studies program of the Cergy-Pontoise University in Paris visited HELMEPA's Maritime Training Centre along with their professors. They were particularly impressed with the association's non-profit making voluntary mission and the Full Mission Bridge Simulator.



Annual Meeting HELMEPA - USCG

On Tuesday 21 November 2017, the 5th consecutive annual meeting of HELMEPA Member Companies’ representatives and the United States Coast Guard took place at their Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The meeting was hosted by RADM John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, who leads development of national policy, standards and programs to promote Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Stewardship, while overseeing the Directorates of Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards.

With the participation of Captain Jennifer F. Williams, Director of Inspections & Compliance, Captain Ryan D. Manning, Chief, Office of Port & Facility Compliance, Captain Scott Kelly, Office of Operating & Environmental Standards and other staff, the meeting took place in a friendly and constructive atmosphere.

Items of the Agenda, which was compiled in cooperation with the participating Member Companies, included water ballast management, Cyber Security, adequacy of shore reception facilities and management of sewage and garbage, QUALSHIP 21, inspections towards issuing COC, biofouling, navigation issues in US waters and other. Clarifications and update on the most recent developments on these issues were provided while CG officers listened attentively to specific concerns of vessels managed by HELMEPA Member Companies because, as they stated, their aim is safety, security and environmental protection in parallel with facilitation of maritime commerce.

During the meeting, the Coast Guard emphasized that, at all circumstances, on time and sincere reporting to the COTP by the Master and the Operator of any problems experienced onboard is appreciated since proper communication can solve issues that otherwise may have severe consequences.

The 7 Member Companies that participated and their representatives were:

- ARISTON NAVIGATION CORP., Christos Georgousopoulos, DPA/CSO-Newbuildings Manager,
- CARRAS (HELLAS) S.A., Spiros Vlachos, QMS Manager,
- COSTAMARE SHIPPING COMPANY S.A., Ioannis Drakogiannopoulos, RS&Q Manager, DPA-CSO,
- S. LIVANOS - HELLAS S.A., Michail Fragkias, DPA & Safety Manager,
- TSAKOS COLUMBIA SHIPMANAGEMENT (TCM) S.A., Andreas Zarnavelis, Deputy DPA /Quality & Regulatory Compliance Officer.

HELMEPA Secretariat was represented by Dimitris C. Mitsatsos, Director General, Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator and Dimitris Giakos, Membership Services.



The HELMEPA-Lloyd’s Register Foundation Campaign concludes on the island of Naxos

The “Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences” came to a close in the Cyclades and specifically Filoti of Naxos with a Seminar for teachers that took place on Thursday 23 November.

This Campaign was carried out by HELMEPA between 2014 and 2017 across 14 areas of Greece with the support of Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF)*. In total, more than 14,000 schoolchildren and 900 teachers visited, on the Campaign’s expenses, the mobile exhibition that operated for 200 days in the 14 areas. Furthermore, 400 teachers participated in ‘train-the-trainer’ seminars, while many voluntary activities took place in cooperation with local stakeholders.

Besides raising the environmental awareness of kids and adults, the aim of this initiative was also to provide scientific knowledge on the Campaign’s themes to students and teachers of the Greek periphery and to inspire children to learn more about science, engineering and new technologies in the service of the environment and humanity.

On the island of Naxos, the mobile exhibition was hosted for 8 days at the Cultural Centre of Filoti and was visited by a total of 1,050 students from all the Primary and High Schools of the island. Moreover, during the seminar “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future” that took place in the same place, participating teachers were informed about recent scientific developments and became members of the “Marine Teachers” network.

HELMEPA wholeheartedly thanks the Society of Filotites of Naxos – Anomeritis Library for hosting the exhibition, the Municipality of Naxos for placing the Campaign under its auspices and organizing the program of school visits, the Directorate for Primary Education of Cyclades for their cooperation and above all the schoolchildren and teachers of Filoti and the rest of Naxos for their enthusiastic response to the Campaign’s messages, which fills us with hope for a better future.

For further information:
Tel: (+30)210-9343088

* Note to the Editors:
Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.



HELMEPA Junior celebrated 24 years of action

On November 10, 2017 we celebrated 24 years of operation of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program. It was on November 10, 24 years ago, that HELMEPA’s Board of Directors, chaired by Basil Phr. Papachristidis and with the sincere, warm support of the late Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos, then Vice Chairman, unanimously approved the proposal to create the educational environmental program “HELMEPA Junior”. It was and still is, the offering of HELMEPA’s volunteer Members to children aged 5 to 13, in order to enhance the environmental awareness of tomorrow's citizens.

Since then, the Program, with the approval of and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Research and Religions as well as with the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, has been implemented throughout Greece with a total participation of 99,150 children and 3,604 Volunteer Teachers in 1,361 kindergartens and elementary schools.

Up until today, the young volunteers, under the guidance of their teachers, implemented with great eagerness and enthusiasm 30,000 actions of the Action Plan, which is renewed every year and approved by the State. In and out of the classroom, the children turned their concerns into action for a better environment around them but also for “Planet Earth, our one and only home”. They “adopted” beaches that they cleaned up, produced and disseminated informative material, created artworks from “trash” materials, recycled, staged theatrical performances, located illegal dumpsites and spoke about them to local authorities and media. They learned about the marine environment through simple experiments and games, they discovered the world of shipping and the nation’s maritime history through visits to Port Authorities and Maritime Museums as well as discussions with veteran mariners.

With the annual Panhellenic Drawing Contests, the children sent 5,200 colorful “messages”, through their imaginative group artworks. Many of these have been presented in special exhibitions organized by the Athens City Museum, the Maritime Museum of Greece, the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Palaio Faliro and the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, at the Port of Thessaloniki.

In 1998, the Program was awarded the Global 500 Award by the United Nations Environment Program-UNEP while in 2000, the International Maritime Organization-IMO invited two kids members of the program in London to speak to the Plenary of the Organization’s members, then 166 countries and 63 non-governmental organizations. They stated their concerns about the marine environment and made reference to the voluntary activity of Greek children through their participation in “HELMEPA Junior”.

In 2002, the Office of the European Parliament in Greece recognized the children members of the Program and their teachers for their voluntary environmental action, which HELMEPA spread to other countries.

In 2005, children members of “HELMEPA Junior” from the island of Kalymnos, and from the relevant programs of CYMEPA in Cyprus and TURMEPA in Turkey, represented IMO as its Ambassadors in the "World Children's Conference of the UN for the Protection of the Marine Environment". The Conference was held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program in Japan in 2005, Malaysia in 2006 and Norway in 2008.

In 2016, “HELMEPA Junior” received the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Award for “Achievement in Environmental Protection”.

At the annual meeting of the Board of Children's Representatives of the Program in Athens, the most active groups from all over Greece are represented with their leaders. They exchange experiences and ideas and express their messages to the adult society. At the same time, teachers and parents, as HELMEPA guests, are informed about the children's activities and contemporary environmental issues by the association’s staff.

During all these years of the Program’s operation, HELMEPA’s scientific staff visited public schools in 85 towns and informed students and teachers. The 89 issues of the quarterly newsletter titled “Young Seagulls” in 75,000 copies, informed kids and teachers on the members’ activities in various regions and hosted students’ articles addressed to other children and the adult society.

A dedicated website ( with approximately 12,000 visits annually, in operation since 2001, provides information to teachers about the Program and developments on contemporary environmental issues besides projecting groups’ activities.

HELMEPA, having celebrated this year its 35th anniversary of the voluntary commitment of the Greek shipping family, from shipowner to the last seafarer for Clean Seas and Safe Ships, wholeheartedly thanks all children-Members, their Teachers and their parents. Furthermore, HELMEPA wishes that the thousands of members of the Program of the past and the future contribute towards the protection of the environment urging us all to change our environmental conduct.



WISTA Hellas 2017 Conference

HELMEPA, as a Supporting Organization, attended the annual WISTA Hellas Conference, with members of its staff, at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel on Monday, 27 November 2017, along with 300 guests.

The conference included two sections of panel discussions with experts from the Greek and international shipping industry. On behalf of the MEPAs, in the first section panel, HELMEPA Executive Coordinator, Christiana Prekezes, stressed the importance of continuous education for seafarers and refresher training on a voluntary basis. HELMEPA Board Member, Aristides Pittas, spoke about the apparent recovery of container transport in the panel of the second section. Furthermore, TURMEPA President and INTERMEPA Vice-chairperson, Sadan Kaptanoglu, highlighted the value of complying with the regulatory system internationally for fair competition.

The rapidly growing challenges for global shipping such as the uncertainty of the global economy, has been part of the debate. Seafarer training, new ship technologies, automated vessels, cyber-security, concerns on the Ballast Water Treatment Convention of IMO and climate change were also issues of the conference. Moreover, topics such as "new investment opportunities and forms of financing in a constantly changing and uncertain business environment" were raised, while at the same time shipping seems to be setting a "green route" and adoption of the autonomous ship is being delayed by the industry.

President of the Board of WISTA Hellas, Angie Hartman, concluding the Conference, thanked the sponsors, speakers, media and supporting organizations, as well as the guests for their participation "in a constructive and successful event".



The new generation talks with the protagonists of shipping

HELMEPA’s pocket guide titled “Important Reminders for your own Safety on board”, was presented during the successful workshop “Shipping is my Choice” organized by the “Naftika Chronika” (Shipping Chronicles) magazine and the educational initiative, on Saturday 4 November, at the Benaki Museum. This publication, along with other information material of HELMEPA, was disseminated to the 400 young merchant marine officers and students of Merchant Marine Academies. This constitutes a useful tool for the young officers in conducting their duties on board, as mentioned by the representatives of the “Naftika Chronika” magazine.

Addressing the participants, HELMEPA’s representative, Costas Triantafillou, spoke about the need for seafarers to implement safety and pollution prevention procedures on board, not in fear of penalties but for the protection of human life and our Planet’s environment. Wishing the young officers a productive career, he invited them to become members of HELMEPA and participate in the seminars of the Maritime Training Centre for Pollution Prevention, Safety at Sea and Environmental Awareness.



New Biofouling Management Regulations in California

The HELMEPA Monitor, issue No. 15, has been released, including the following articles:

New Biofouling Management Regulations in California
The biofouling management regulations to minimize the transport of non-indigenous species from vessels arriving at California ports, contained in Article 4.8 of the California Code of Regulations, became effective on...
Cyber Security Developments in the US
Things are tightening up on the issue of cyber security in US ports. In the aftermath of a cyber-attack on a major shipping line doing business at the Port of Los Angeles in June 2017, which seriously disrupted operations, U.S. Senators for California introduced the…
USCG Draws Attention To Vessel Stability and Watertight Integrity Issues
On the occasion of a recent marine casualty involving a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea which resulted in multiple fatalities and complete loss of the vessel, the USCG draws attention to the critical safety issues of vessel stability and watertight integrity…
ECDIS Updates to Meet IHO Standards
Since 1 September 2017, Paris and Tokyo MoUs have been running a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on safety of navigation, following the guidance as listed in… • Update on USCG Type-Approved Ballast Water Management Systems Since 18 October 2017, the number of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) granted a USCG type approval amounts to six. The last, for the time being, type approval was issued for ERMA First FIT…
Update on USCG Type-Approved Ballast Water Management Systems
Since 18 October 2017, the number of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) granted a USCG type approval amounts to six. The last, for the time being, type approval was issued for ERMA First FIT…


24th Annual Board of Representatives of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program

“Adults, wise up and help us save the environment”

Twelve children, 5 to 11 years old, from Agia Paraskevi in Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli, Antiparos, Chios, Corfu, Florina, Gargalianoi in Messinia, Gerakas in Attica, Gournes in Heraklion-Crete, Ioannina, Vagia in Viotia and Volos convened as the 24th Board of Representatives (BoR) of the “HELMEPA Junior” educational Program, on Friday 8 December in Athens. These children are the “leaders” of the most active Groups in 12 Greek Prefectures and representatives of the 7,214 children-members of the program during the school year 2016-2017. Invited by HELMEPA, children, parents, volunteer teachers and local coordinators of schools’ activities participated in two separate events, hosted by HELMEPA’s Associate Member Company, COSTAMARE Shipping. The young schoolchildren convened and elected their Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretaries, shared their experiences and agreed upon their environmental messages addressed to the adult community. Teachers and parents were welcomed on behalf of the family of the late Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos and COSTAMARE by the company’s Executive Vice President, Mr. Diamantis Manos and on behalf of HELMEPA’s Board of Directors by the Chairman, Dr George Gratsos.

Honouring symbolically the devotion of teachers to their high duties, the Chairman presented a commemorative plaque to Mrs. Maria-Phaedra Tsialera, teacher of the sole schoolchild in the Primary School of Arkioi, in Dodecanese. Ms. Tsialera thanked HELMEPA and spoke of the adverse conditions on this little remote island as well as of the unprecedented and valuable experience of her work there, as a teacher.

Mr. Theodosis Stamatellos, Area Manager for Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic of Hellenic Lloyd’s, Associate Corporate Member of HELMEPA, referred with warm words to the Association’s voluntary environmental programs, which were supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation in the six-year period from 2011 to 2017 in 24 Greek Cities. These consisted of Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaigns on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences. The outcome of this 6-year effort was presented by HELMEPA’s Executive Coordinator, Mrs. Christiana Prekezes.

Afterwards, the children members of the Board of Representatives sent out their common message:

“Please do not throw down your garbage, because the environment will
 need assistance.I am a small child doing as much as I can.
 Wise up and give me a helping hand!”

Following, commemorative diplomas and gifts were presented to the children and adults. HELMEPA offered saplings and seeds of aromatic plants to the children-member of the Board to plant them at their school yards, as a symbolic act to reduce the environmental footprint of the transportation with airplane, ship or car to Athens.

The event concluded with a lunch kindly offered by COSTAMARE and a visit to the Planetarium of the Eugenides Foundation.



2017 International Coastal Cleanup Campaign: Results in Greece

The campaign, coordinated by HELMEPA in Greece from 16 September to 16 October 2017 as “Action Month for the Marine Environment”, was concluded with the hope that the power of volunteers may improve the environmental state of seas and beaches, but also with the concern about the continuing pollution from garbage. From the island of Corfu to that of Karpathos and from Alexandroupolis to Neapoli, Lakonia, thousands of motivated volunteers actively expressed their interest in our country’s seas and coasts.

In total, 99 beach and underwater cleanups were organized by 108 private and public entities. Once again, the extensive participation of the educational community is noted. Members and volunteer teachers of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program, young volunteers-Cadets and kids from 55 Kindergartens, Primary and High Schools sent their environmental message to the adult community. Participants also included representatives of Municipalities, Coast Guard officers, staff of environmental education Centres, members of environmental organizations, clubs and societies, divers and other sensitized citizens.

Present in this initiative were also 4 HELMEPA member-companies, who organized beach cleanups with the participation of their staff and families:

- American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) – Megalo Kavouri beach,
- Lamda Flisvos Marina S.A. at the beach of Derveni near Corinth, in cooperation with children-members of
  “HELMEPA Junior” and teachers of the local Primary School,
- Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement “TCM” S.A. and Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd – beach of Agios Nikolaos in Anavyssos.

Under the motto “We clean what we left behind us during the summer”, volunteers, apart from collecting the waste, contributed to HELMEPA’s research regarding the quantities, composition and origin of waste. The data that the volunteers provided, is being forwarded to Ocean Conservancy, the global coordinator of the initiative, in order to include it to the overall results.

Top 10 marine litter items in Greece

Type Pieces
Cigarette filters 43.339
Plastic straws   9.987
Plastic pieces less than 2.5 cm   7.808
Food wraps                                      7.773
Plastic bottle caps   6.881
Plastic bottles   5.252
Plastic bottle lids   5.172
Plastic bags   3.282
Glass pieces less than 2.5 cm.   3.032
Foam pieces less than 2.5 cm   2.389

Cigarette filters are once again this year at the top of the list, accounting for 37% of the total number of the items collected ( almost 1 in 3 items are cigarette filters). In recent years, the list is filled almost entirely with plastic waste, associated with recreational activities in the coastal zone, polluting every “corner” of our seas and beaches. Especially microplastics are one of the environmental challenges of our time, because they serve as a new type of “food” that invades uncontrollably into the sea food chains, as seabirds, fish, marine mammals as well as smaller organisms consume this deadly “delicacy”.

Out of the 6.8 tons of litter collected, 1.3 tons were recycled in cooperation with the Hellenic Recycling-recovery Corporation (He.R.R.Co.). Unfortunately, for yet another year, many household items were found discarded along beaches, such as 86 electrical appliances, 1 heater, 15 chairs, 1 quilt and 2 carpets, 3 gas cylinders, and various articles of clothing and footwear, such as 72 pairs of shoes and flip-flops! Furthermore, many items dangerous to human health, like the 355 batteries, 164 used diapers and 92 syringes, in addition to the derelict fishing gear among which were 685 metres of synthetic nets and 1,006 metres of rope, as well as 469 tires!

HELMEPA congratulates all volunteers who, with their participation, emphasize the need to respect the marine and coastal environment of our country and wishes that “every year, our beaches would need us less and less”, as a volunteer-teacher of the 4th High School of the island of Rhodes characteristically remarked.



25 years of CYMEPA

CYMEPA celebrated its 25th anniversary by staging a gala dinner on Wednesday 19 October 2017, at the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia.

The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr. Marios Demetriades, the Director General of the Ministry Alekos Michailides, the founder of the Association Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and many members of CYMEPA, distinguished personalities of the Cypriot and international community, honored the event with their presence.

HELMEPA was represented by the Director General, Dimitris C. Mitsatsos, to whom CYMEPA’s President, George Tsavliris, presented a commemorative plaque, as an expression of appreciation to the Hellenic Association, the "mother" of all MEPAs.

Saluting the anniversary, Mr. Mitsatsos expressed the satisfaction of everyone in HELMEPA for the success of the first MEPA it helped to be established worldwide along with the wish that CYMEPA continues this course for many years in a peaceful environment.

The event came to a close with music and songs from Cyprus and Greece.



HELMEPA - Lloyd’s Register Foundation in Southern Evia

HELMEPA’s “Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences”, which is supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF)* and is carried out across 14 towns and cities of Greece between 2014 and 2017, was concluded on a positive note in Karystos and Marmari.

The environmental Exhibition of the Campaign at the Cultural Centre of Marmari was visited by 750 students and 60 teachers of 11 Primary and 3 High Schools of Marmari, Karystos, Styra and remote villages of Southern Evia. All the students and the accompanying teachers were transported to the Exhibition on the Campaign’s expenses.

A ‘train-the-trainer’ Seminar for Teachers was conducted titled “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future”, during which HELMEPA’s staff presented to participants the marine environment, shipping, climate change and marine litter. Simple experiments and methods that teachers may use in class to introduce their students to the world of science were also demonstrated. Each teacher received a Certificate of Attendance, while the vast majority became members of HELMEPA’s “Marine Teachers” network. Members of the network have access to supporting educational material and regular updates on scientific developments on the themes that the Campaign raised during the 10 days that it remained in the region.

The “Aegean Rebreath” team of volunteer divers in cooperation with HELMEPA, the “Nautilus” and “Dikelas” diving centres, the Municipality and the Port Authority of Karystos carried out a two-day underwater cleanup of a reef and the port of Karystos. Approximately 700 kgs of bulky items such as fishing nets and tires as well as many plastic bottles and other litter were collected from the seafloor.

Emphasis was given on the fact that discharged or lost fishing nets constitute a major threat to marine ecosystems and organisms that get trapped in them. The positive response of fishermen and the local community of Karystos is a sign of hope towards efficiently addressing this serious problem. The relevant video of the underwater cleanup actions is available at the following link:

HELMEPA wholeheartedly thanks the Municipality of Karystos for placing the Campaign under its auspices and for hosting the Exhibition, the Directorate for Primary Education of Evia for the sound cooperation in organizing the schedule of school visits and especially the schoolchildren and teachers of Southern Evia for their warm response to this educational initiative.

* Note:
Lloyd’s Register Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.



Memorandum of Cooperation between HELMEPA and “Naftika Chronika” (Gratia Publications)

The Chairman of HELMEPA, Dr George Gratsos and Mrs Ioanna Bissia, Publisher of Gratia Publications signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on Tuesday, 31 Οctober 2017 at HELMEPA’s offices, with the aim to further develop cooperation between the two contracting parties towards enhancing environmental awareness and a spirit of safety at sea among the human element in the Greek shipping community, with a focus on the younger generations, by use of all adequate means of information and publicity. Both parties are committed to cooperate towards raising awareness on environmental protection and pollution prevention issues, in which we all participate even if we are often not aware of it.

Such means will include organizing awareness raising activities, recognizing and projecting achievements in pollution prevention by individuals or organizations, projecting achievements of the contemporary shipping industry and the potential of engaging in marine professions, as well as the information of youth on marine science and technological developments for the sustainable management of marine resources.

The collaboration has actually already begun with the extensive coverage of HELMEPA's 35 year-long history and work, hosted in the English May 2017 edition of "Naftika Chronika".

This joint effort continued with the recent educational event for students of maritime schools and Merchant Marine Academies, titled "Environmental regulations in shipping: modern dilemmas for the maritime industry", co-organized with the "" educational initiative, at the "Aikaterini Laskaridis" Foundation.



Εducational initiative on marine pollution

Following the invitation by the Primary and Secondary Education Directorates of the South Athens’ District, HELMEPA was the keynote speaker at the Workshop titled “Marine Pollution and the Saronic Gulf Oil Spill”, which took place on 13 October at the “Flisvos” Cultural Centre of the Municipality of P. Faliro. Participants were welcomed by the Mayor of P. Faliro Mr. D. Chatzidakis and the Vice Mayor for Environment Mrs V. Andikopoulou, who both saluted the event.

The aim of the event was to inform approximately 40 teachers about oil pollution, combating an oil spill and the promotion of the idea to create a relevant Environmental Education program.

Under the title “Pollution Prevention and the Voluntary HELMEPA”, Mrs Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator, spoke about the initiative of the Greek shipping community to spread environmental awareness in shipping through information and training “from shipowner to seafarer” as well as in the wider shore-based communities through the “HELMEPA Junior” program. The ultimate goal is to protect the marine environment from our own mistakes.

Following, Mr P. Giannatos, Chemical Engineer of Environmental Protection Engineering SA, Associate Corporate Member of HELMEPA, presented the complicated procedure of combating an oil spill and carried out a demonstration in the sea in front of “Flisvos”. and HELMEPA: Environmental Regulations in Shipping
 and HELMEPA cooperated in the organization of an informative meeting titled “Environmental Regulations in Shipping: Contemporary Dilemmas for the Shipping Industry”, which took place on 19 October 2017 under the auspices of the “Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation”, at their library.

The event was saluted by Mrs Irene Daifas, Special Secretary of HELMEPA’s Board, while speakers included:

- Mr Panos Zachariadis, Technical Manager, Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd and Member of HELMEPA’s   Board

- Mrs Christiana Prekezes, Executive Coordinator, HELMEPA

- Mr Emmanuel Vergetis, Senior Consultant Marine & Offshore, LR

- Mr Vasileios Dimoulas, Ηellenic Plan Approval Office Manager, BV

- Mrs Efi Koureta, Claims Executive, The North of England P&I Association Ltd

- Ms Katerina Stebili, Communications Officer, ELLINIKI ETAIRIA - Society for the Environment & Cultural Heritage



Global Climate Change Week

The week 9-15 October 2017 aims to encourage academic communities including academics, students, and non-academic staff at universities in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities and policy makers on promoting Climate Change actions and solutions.

This initiative was taken because current policies do not seem sufficient to reach the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

There is an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to the effects of Climate Change that now are obvious and impossible to avoid. The Global Climate Change Week provides the opportunity to engage in voluntary awareness raising activities to change our environmental conduct, research activities such as conferences and workshops, educational activities outside the university area such as discussions with schools or local communities, in cultural activities and promotion of this subject by the media.

HELMEPA, honoring this initiative, devoted the week to informing students and teachers visiting its environmental Exhibitions on Climate Change and the need to change our daily habits so that we can help to address the issue, which concerns us all absolutely!



HELMEPA honors World Teachers Day

World Teachers Day, celebrated on 5 October each year, pays tribute to those who on a daily basis struggle to provide decent education to the new generation, often under harsh conditions. It was established by UNESCO in 1994 in order to honor the teachers’ precious work and place them at the center of attention along with their needs.

This year's theme “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” reaffirms that priority in all education and development strategies is a top issue, so that teachers can offer to each student the level of education he/she deserves.

The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, which operates the annual Environmental Education Program "HELMEPA Junior" since 1993 throughout Greece, wholeheartedly thanks the 3,600 Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers who have voluntarily participated and supported the Program to date and wishes them health, strength and success.



New Placard on MARPOL Annex V discharges

Revised Guidelines on the implementation of Annex V of the MARPOL Convention on the Prevention of Garbage Pollution from Ships were adopted at the recent 71st meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) of the International Maritime Organization (ΙΜΟ), 3 - 7 July 2017. The new Guidelines are aligned with the revised MARPOL Annex V, while new amendments will enter into force on 1 March 2018 bringing significant changes to operational practices as well as to the structure and categories of the Garbage Record Book (GRB).

Seeking to contribute actively to its Members efforts towards prevention of garbage pollution from ships, HELMEPA supplied its 400 Member-vessels with the new redesigned Discharges' Placard, which also includes the requirements of the "Polar Code", in force since 1st January 2017.

For further information you may contact the Maritime Training Center of HELMEPA (



Development of the 2017 Training Program - New Full Mission Bridge Simulator Seminars

The annual Refresher Training Program of HELMEPA and the training offered on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, which since 2016 operates at the Centre’s offices in Nea Smynri, continue during Autumn 2017.

From the start of the year until the end of September a total of 18 two-day and one-day seminars of the Training Program’s 24 seminars have been carried out with 221 participants from 50 Member-companies, the Panhellenic Seafarers’ Federation, the Coast Guard and the Hellenic Navy.

The remaining scheduled seminars are as follows:

• Human Element and Operational Safety on Board (10-11 October and 12-13 December)
• Marine Environmental Awareness (7-8 November)
• Best Practices for MARPOL Implementation (14-15 November)
• Challenges for Shipping and New regulations (28-29 November)

During 2017 a total of 27 five-day, three-day and two-day seminars and 6 half-day assessments were carried out on HELMEPA’s Simulator with the participation of 108 merchant marine officers from 17 Member-companies and the Hellenic Navy.

Following a recent decision of HELMEPA’s Training Committee, the training offered on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator is now enriched with the following 3 new two-day seminars:

• Optimizing Skills in the Best and Safe Use of ECDIS and Radars (HS2)
• Νavigating in Dense Traffic – Fishing Areas – COLREGS and Loss Prevention (HS3)
• Marine Meteorology – Handling Ships in Heavy Weather and Following/Quartering Seas (HS5), which incorporates the content of the one-day seminar of the Training Program titled “Modern Marine Meteorology”.

For further information and Registration Forms those interested may contact the Maritime Training Centre,, (+30) 210-9343088.



Meeting of HELMEPA's Training Committee

The meeting of HELMEPA's Training Committee took place on 21 September 2017 with the participation of 11 representatives of member managing Companies and the Association's competent staff. The Committee elected unanimously Capt. J. Drakogianopoulos, DPA/CSO of COSTAMARE SHIPPING CO. SA as its Chairman and Capt. M. Gavriil, DPA/CSO of DIANA SHIPPING SERVICES as his replacement.

Following, the Committee reviewed the Training Program for 2018, which was proposed by the Maritime Sector and will be offered by HELMEPA to Merchant Marine Officers and the staff of Member-Companies. The Program will consist of two-day and one-day seminars in the fields of Safety and the Human Element, Pollution Prevention and Meteorology applied on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, while the two-day Marine Environmental Awareness seminar will continue. The Committee also dealt with the training offered by HELMEPA on the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, which 193 merchant Marine Officers have received so far and recommended additions to the programs concerning ship handling, ECDIS and COLREGS.

The Committee's proposals are being materialized following the information of the Board of Directors at their recent meeting.



The HELMEPA-Lloyd’s Register Foundation Campaign kicks off at Marmari in Evia

Τhe Exhibition of HELMEPA’s “Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences”, which is supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF)*, was inaugurated on 26 September at the Cultural Center of Marmari, on the southern tip of Evia.

The Mayor of Karystos, Mr L. Raviolos and the Vice Mayor, Mr Ath. Zafeiris, the Coordinator of Schools’ Activities of the Primary Education Directorate of Evia, Mrs A. Frantzeskidou, the Schools’ Consultant of Marmari, Mr. G. Pantioras representatives of the Hellenic Coast Guard and local stakeholders, as well as 50 pupils and teachers of the Primary School of Marmari honoured the event with their presence.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of HELMEPA, Mr C. Triantafillou, Assistant Executive Coordinator, made reference to the aims and the results of the Campaign to date underlining that pollution prevention through information and awareness raising of all constitutes the best investment towards protecting the marine environment.

In his address, the Mayor of Karystos wholeheartedly thanked HELMEPA for including their region in the Campaign, thus providing the opportunity to local students and teachers to be informed on issues pertaining to the marine environment, shipping and sciences. He then stressed that the environmental consciousness of all and especially the younger generations must be alert due to increasing pressures on the natural environment.

Representing the Educational Directorates of Evia, Ms A. Frantzeskidou spoke about our valuable heritage, the marine environment and the threats it faces, which may cause irreversible changes to marine ecosystems and widespread social and economic damage. Also, she stressed the importance of inspiring students to become further involved in science, engineering and new technologies in the service of the environment and humanity.

Following, Mr G. Pantioras congratulated all those who contributed to the design and implementation of this imitative, which provides the opportunity to students to realize that environmental problems are the result of reckless human activity. The event came to a close with a light buffet lunch offered by HELMEPA, during which representatives of local stakeholders discussed with the Director General, Capt. Dimitris Mitsatsos and staff of the Environmental Sector about issues of common interest.

Until 6 October, 800 Primary and High school students of Marmari, Karystos, Styra and adjacent villages will be transported to the Exhibition on the Campaign’s expenses. Additionally, a ‘train-the-trainer’ Seminar for Teachers titled “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future” will take place on Wednesday 4 October at the Environmental Awareness Center of Karystos ,as well as underwater cleanups of the port of Karystos and “Mandili” reef during the weekend in cooperation with the “Aegean Rebreath” volunteers’ dive group, the “Dikelas” Scuba Dive Club and local fishermen.

* Note to the Editors:
Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.



Action Month for the Marine Environment, 16 September - 16 October 2017

The Action Month began with voluntary cleanups in Astros Kynourias, Chios, Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Karystos in Evia, Kato Achaia, Kea, Lasithi and Rethymnon in Crete, Platamonas, Polygyros and Sykia in Chalkidiki, Preveza, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thessaloniki,and Volos. This initiative of HELMEPA is carried out in the framework of the 207 International Coastal Cleanup campaign and runs until 16 October with the voluntary participation of schoolchildren and teachers, port authorities, local stakeholders, diving clubs and the wider public.

So let's renew our commitment for Clean Seas and Beaches on the occasion of the International Coastal Cleanup campaign! It is an opportunity to measure what we "left behind" on the beaches we visited and send a message that we care about the sea and our future!

All you need to do is to mobilize your colleagues, relatives and friends, choose the site you wish to clean-up and register your action by filling in the participation form. To support your action, you will receive from HELMEPA relevant guidelines, information material and data recording sheets.

For further information please contact HELMEPA’s Environmental Awareness Sector on telephone +30 210 9343088 or by email at



Safe voyages and return strong and healthy to your families!

HELMEPA Junior groups have prepared cards with wishes and short messages to Greek seafarers, to give them strength and joy! The indicative cards included in the collage are from children-members of the following Elementary Schools and Kindergartens:

- 1st Elementary School of Gerakas, Attica
- 2nd Kindergarten of Zakynthos
- 2nd Kindergarten of Sapes, Rodopi
- 20th Kindergarten of Volos
- Elementary School of Antimachia, Kos island
- Elementary School of Vrytes, Edessa
- Elementary School of Cynopyaston, Corfu island
- Kindergarten of Ambelia Giannitson
- Kindergarten of Elia, Crete
- Kindergarten of Maistros, Evros



Update on QUALSHIP 21 (September 2017)

According to data just published by the USCG, current holders of the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate include a total of 46 HELMEPA member vessels managed by 19 companies, as shown in the following table:

Managing Company

        Number of vessels*







































Total number of member vessels


* Note: Vessels of the company that also carry the QUALSHIP 21 Certificate but are not members of HELMEPA are not included in the numbers given in the table.

European Cleanup Day - thousands of HELMEPA’s volunteers take action

European Cleanup Day was organized and co-ordinated in Greece by HELMEPA during 5 - 25 May 2017, with actions continuing during June.

In total 5,402 volunteers, from 167 public and private stakeholders organised 127 beach, underwater, riverbank, lake-side, forest, park and other natural area cleanup activities, covering a distance amounting to 83 kmThe volunteers collected 6.8 tons of rubbish, of which 2.6 tons were recycled in collaboration with the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HE.R.R.Co).

As the volunteers, young and old, descended on beaches, rivers and lakes, they recorded the items of litter on special Data Sheets, which HELMEPA provided. The results made up the “Top 10” of most common items of trash that pollute our natural environment.

Top 10 marine litter items in Greece

Type Pieces
Cigarette filters 21.730
Plastic pieces less than 2.5 cm.   8.458
Food wraps   6.026
Plastic bottles   4.645
Straws   4.581
Plastic bottle caps   4.177
Plastic bags   2.852
Plastic lids   2.231
Foam pieces less than 2.5 cm   2.187
Glass pieces less than 2.5 cm   2.075

In total, volunteers collected 75,889 pieces of litter, from the tiniest pieces of foam to a gym mattress! Unfortunately, cigarette filters are, once again, the “champions” prevailing on the top of the list of common marine litter items. This is characteristic of the indifference and ignorance of people about the damage that even the smallest item of rubbish can cause to the natural environment. Worrying is also the fact that 2 out of 3 items are plastic, which are associated to recreational activities and remain in the environment for long periods of time. Let us consider that according to a recent survey, by 2050 there may be more plastic by weight than fish in the ocean!

Once again this year, the education community was widely involved in this initiative. Students, members of the “HELMEPA Junior” and “Cadets” Programs, together with their teachers, as well as other students of all ages, from 82 Kindergartens, Primary, Junior and Senior High Schools gave their own special touch to the activities of the Campaign.

Cleanup actions were also organized by 7 HELMEPA member-companies, local authorities, other companies and organizations, protected areas management authorities, environmental organizations and cultural associations, nautical clubs, citizens' groups and divers. Τhe participation of Coast Guard Officers, from 17 Coast Guard Stations and Port Authorities, was also significant. With instructions given to them by the Marine Environment Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, they supported the organization and implementation of activities on a local scale. A list of all participating organizations is available at the following link (in Greek only):

Commemorative participation diplomas were awarded to the coordinators of the clean ups as well as the children and teenagers that took part. HELMEPA thanks all the volunteers who, with their participation, showed that only through a concerted team effort, the environmental problems of our times may be effectively addressed. The message remains: let’s change the habits that harm our planet!


Τhe U.S. Coast Guard honors RADM Joe Servidio

Invited by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Admiral Paul Zukunft, the Director General and the Executive Coordinator of HELMEPA attended on June 22, at USCG headquarters in Washington, a special event organized in honor of RADM Joe Servidio, who is leaving the service. As Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, RADM Servidio made the many year-long relationship between HELMEPA and USCG more direct by introducing annual meetings in 2013, under his chairmanship, of Member Companies’ representatives with his section and more particularly with the responsible officers of Port State Control. His successor, RADM Paul Thomas, continued and strengthened this important initiative.

HELMEPA’s presence at the event, which bears a special meaning not only for the departing RADM Joe Servidio but also for the traditions of the Coast Guard, was dully underlined at relative speeches. During Mr Mitsatsos’ conversation with the Commandant, Admiral Zukunft thanked him for the association’s presence and expressed his appreciation for the ongoing cooperation.

Upon the initiative of Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, RADM Paul Thomas, Mr. Mitsatsos and Mrs. Prekezes met with him and his successor, RADM John Nadeau, whom they informed on HELMEPA and its 30 year-long ties with USCG's Sector, which he is soon taking over. During the meeting, they talked about the voluntary initiatives of HELMEPA, the refresher training it offers to its Members in support of their efforts towards eliminating ship generated pollution (and not only) and ever upgrading safety and security. They also exchanged ideas on closer cooperation for the better information of Greek seafarers serving upon Member-vessels and discussed the meeting to take place next November.

HELMEPA's representatives thanked Admiral Thomas for his cooperation and wished him every success in his new duties as USCG 8th District Commander.




HELMEPA’s Maritime Training Center Seminars

The 2017 Voluntary Refresher Training Program seminars continue divided in four 2-day and one 1-day seminar categories:

- Human Element and Operational Safety on Board,
- Best Practices for MARPOL Implementation,
- Challenges for Shipping and New Regulations,
- Marine Environmental Awareness and
- Modern Marine Meteorology (one-day).

In all HELMEPA refresher training programs an interactive spirit prevails between instructors and participants, through which experiences are “shared” among participants. The topics of programs are being selected in cooperation with the Training Committee’s 15 members, experienced staff officers of respective Member companies. These companies manage in total 400 ocean-going ships of all categories, which call at ports all over the world more than 3,000 times each year. In this way the vast experience of 15 shipping companies is spread to an ever expanding circle of Greek officers.

At HELMEPA’s Bridge Simulator facilities, the following seminar categories are carried out:

- HS1: “Bridge Resources Management (BRM)”
- HS2: “Refresh BRM and Advanced Ship Handling”
- HS3: “Navigating in Highly Congested Waters and Heavy Seas”

The following data is quite interesting as it represents the participation in HELMEPA’s refresher training of Member Companies’ officers and shore based personnel and their evaluation of the Programs.

Training Program 2017

All the 14 seminars executed from the beginning of the year till the end of June, a number of 183 persons from 46 Member Companies, the Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Navy attended them, with the following breakdown by specialty:

So, 67 shore-based personnel of Member Companies, 55 deck officers, 27 engineer officers and 34 Hellenic Coast Guard and Hellenic Navy officers, a much larger number than previous years, attended the seminars.

The most popular category is that of The Marine Environmental Awareness, immediately followed by The Human Element and Operational Safety On Board, The Best Practices for MARPOL Implementation, The Challenges Shipping Encounters and The New Regulations and Modern Marine Meteorology. The average participation was 13 persons/seminar.

Regarding the evaluations, the vast majority of the participants (over 90%) consider the seminar they attended as “Very Good” or “Excellent” with regard to its quality, usefulness when carrying out duties onboard or at the office as well as the quality of the accompanying educational and information material.

It is noteworthy that in their absolute majority (98%), the participants stated that they felt more familiar with the topics than before. When answering the question "Where do you encounter the greatest difficulties in implementing the requirements and regulations for the safe operation of the ship and pollution prevention?", the most highlighted issues and their frequency are the following 10:

1. Training and briefing of the crew,
2. Garbage management and lack of port reception facilities,
3. Fatigue, resting hours, heavy workload,
4. Complexity of regulations and legislation, difficulties in their implementation,
5. Fuel change when entering ECAs,
6. Multiculturalism of crews with different maritime culture,
7. Implementation of safety measures,
8. Not proper maintenance of equipment and spare parts,
9. Ballast Water Management,
10. Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP).

Bridge Simulator

The 22 seminars that took place from January to June 2017 were attended by 67 officers from 15 Member Companies and 5 Hellenic Navy officers, with the following breakdown:

- HS1: “Bridge Resources Management” - 11 seminars - 42 persons
- HS2: “Refresh BRM and Advanced Ship Handling” - 8 seminars - 23 persons
- HS3: “Navigating in Highly Congested Waters and Heavy Seas” - 3 seminars - 7 persons

In terms of their quality and usefulness in the execution of duties onboard ships the seminars were rated by the above officers as “Excellent” (58%), “Very Good” (39%) and “Good” (3%).

HELMEPA celebrated its 35th anniversary

In an atmosphere full of excitement, at the Yacht Club of Greece, hundreds of supporters and friends, headed by Mrs Fotini P. Livanos, celebrated on Tuesday 6 June, 35 years of operation of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA, founded on the initiative of the late George P. Livanos.

Members of the Parliament, State officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Hellenic Coast Guard Commandant, the Chief of the Fleet, the President of the UGS, the President of the Union of Masters and Mates of the Greek Merchant Marine, former Chairmen of HELMEPA, members of the Greek and international maritime community, Presidents and Directors of AUSMEPA-Australia, CYMEPA-Cyprus, NAMEPA-North America και TURMEPA-Turkey as well as representatives of Greek and foreign shipping press honored the event, which was coordinated by the journalist Ms Niki Lymperaki.

The TV spot with the “Seagull” of 1984, a video with facts and achievements of the 35year long work of HELMEPA and the presenter’s statement that her generation grew up with the message “no garbage, no plastic in the seas and on beaches”, provided the basis upon which Dr. George Gratsos, Chairman of the Board of Directors presented a brief account of the association’s work in his address. He referred to the voluntary contribution of HELMEPA in the maritime training of Greek officers, the environmental awareness of the wider public and the students as well as the creation of similar associations in 7 more countries.

“Shipowners and seafarers, inspired by George P. Livanos, co-signed in 1982 a joint declaration with which HELMEPA operates and will continue to do so as long as Greek shipping exists”, emphasized Dr Matthaios D. Los, Founding Member of the association and Treasurer of the Union of Greek Shipowners.

On behalf of the 15,000 Greek member seafarers, the President of Union of Masters and Mates of the Greek Merchant Marine, Captain Manolis Tsikalakis, underlined that “Greek mariners believe in HELMEPA, which with its work contributed also in their being treated with respect by national maritime administrations.”

“The work and example of HELMEPA offer Greece a special distinction, comparable to the advantageous position of the Greek owned fleet within global shipping. It took the vision, creativity and faith of a great Greek shipowner and patriot – George P. Livanos – for Greece to express the best its maritime tradition has to show” stated Mr. Basil Phr. Papachristidis, second HELMEPA Chairman, in his address read by Ms. Lymperaki.

Honoring Mr. Andreas Potamianos, who served HELMEPA’s goals for a number of years as Member of the Board, Dr. G. Gratsos bestowed him a commemorative placard. In his thanking address, Mr. Potamianos praised the vision of the late G.P. Livanos and spoke on HELMEPA’s achievements through his personal experiences, specifically at the beginning.

Also honored at the event was Captain John Tsenembis, associate member of HELMEPA since 1983, first and for many years instructor at the association’s seminars. In his brief speech, he referred to his personal memories from the first years of this initiative of Greek shipping, which he still serves. Presenting him with a commemorative placard, Mr. Paul Ioannidis, associate Member and Member of the first Board of Directors, stressed the fact that HELMEPA was the first to accept and implement in its training the safety spirit with which the global aviation industry was already operating.

Moving on from maritime training to the environmental education of children, Mr. Nikos Tsakos, former Chairman of HELMEPA, presented Mrs Carmen Constantakopoulos with a commemorative placard in appreciation of the support of her late husband Capt. Vassilis Constantakopoulos to “HELMEPA Junior” program, which is continued by his sons and Costamare Shipping. Mrs Constantakopoulos expressed her warm gratitude to all those who contribute to the environmental awareness of the younger generation.

HELMEPA was exposed for the first time to the international shipping in 1985, participating in the Seatrade exhibition in New York and since then is present at every “Posidonia” with the initiative of their founder Mr. Themistocles Vokos, Honorary Member of HELMEPA. In his address, Mr. Vokos expressed his admiration to the vision of George Livanos and all the contributors to the successful evolution of the association, to what it offers to maritime training and environmental education and wished that this work continues for many years to come.

The Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice-Admiral Stamatis Raptis referred to the long standing cooperation of the Coast Guard with HELMEPA. Similarly, Vice-Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos, Chief of the Fleet, thanked the association for the gratis participation of Hellenic Navy personnel in its training programs.

First classification Associate Member was American Bureau of Shipping-ABS and on the reasons for which they supported this voluntary initiative from the very beginning, referred Mr. Dimitris Houliarakis, at the time prominent member of ABS staff.

Significant to the successful growth of HELMEPA was and remains the contribution of Associate Member Companies. Commemorative honorary placards were presented to the representatives of the first 3 Associate Members as well as for the extra support to HELMEPA’s needs. To Mr. Vassilios Kroustallis, Senior Vice President, ABS Europe, to Mr. George Teriakidis, Regional Business Development Manager, DNV GL and Mr. Theodossis Stamatellos, Area Manager, Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic, Lloyd’s Register. All of them in their respective addresses praised the association for its constant voluntary contribution to shipping and the wider community, renewing their commitment to continue supporting it in the future.

Congratulations and wishes for continuation of its work expressed also to the Members of the Board and the Secretariat of HELMEPA the 300 Greek and foreign guests who honored the event during the reception that followed, closing a enjoyful evening. The guests were offered, as a symbolic souvenir of the 35th anniversary, the special, well designed in English issue of “Naftika Chronika”, which its editors had the initiative of dedicating to the 35 years of HELMEPA with data derived from the association’s records.



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Mailing Administrator:

Dimitris C. Mitsatsos
Christiana Prekezes
Maritime Section
Constantinos Andreadis

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