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Retrospect of the conference seminar

Portal correspondents took part in the international contact development seminar about cooperation among Baltic Sea yacht ports and recreation boat sector and promotion of healthy environment practice in the management of yacht ports organized by the Environmental education fund and international Baltic Sea region environmental organization "Keep Baltic Tidy".

Seminar about cooperation among the Baltic Sea yacht ports and recreation boat sector and healthy environment practice in the management of yacht ports in the baltic Sea region took place on June 15 and 16 in Liepaja. Representatives of Sweden, Lithuania, Finland and Latvia took part in the seminar.

The main aim of the seminar was to promote cooperation and share experience among the Baltic Sea states. The main themes of the seminar were:

  • the sustainable strategy in yacht sector of Sweden,
  • good practical and ecological education in the yacht ports of Sweden,
  • experience and practice of yacht ports' development and yacht maintenance of the Finnish project "Keep the Archipelago Tidy".

The representative of Latvia Janis Ulme presented the new Yacht port handbook "Mairina Handbook'' published in Latvian.

The representative of Swedish Maritime Safety Inspectorate - SMSI Anders Wissler pointed at the man problems of ecology that are connected to the growing popularity of yachts and cutters.

In Sweden ecological problems and their control in laws and regulations that correspond to the safety of ships and yachts as well as to their traffic are solved by the Maritime Safety Inspectorate. Anders Wissler pointed at several main problems, that should be solved by the Baltic Sea region states, as well as to the need of unified standards. In the last decade state authorities and yacht port organizations have created unified sailing strategy that is friendly to Sweden's environment. The main environment protection problem in this strategy is the contamination of water by water transport exhaust fumes and other kind of fallout (nitric oxide, CO, HC and PAH), that are mainly produced by old water transport. The corresponding institutions of the European Union invite to search for new approaches how to reduce the fallout of this type of sea recreation transport, that would include the use of new technologies, promoting both climate protection and the competitiveness of the European Union industry. Other important problems are as follows: high noise level of the old boats, toilet waste, waste disposal and the use of toxic paint for yacht and boat dyeing. The problems mentioned above are planed to be solved by the end of summer.

Bjorn Altnas (Swedish Guetharbour Association) told about Sweden's example in Good practice and ecology school in the yacht ports of Sweden and stressed that by creating a waste disposal point on the coast and recycling they have to pay 1000 Euro instead of 9000 Euro per year. In Latvia this problem is not so important since waste from boats are not gathered separately from other household waste.

Bjorn Altnas also drew attention to the fact that on average each recreation boat is used less than ten times per year. There is a tendency in Scandinavian countries not to leave yachts in the port but bring them in the car trailer thus making the yacht mobile. From the ecological point of view, boats should be stored in land garages so that they would be protected from corrosion and the paint would not contaminate the water. The washing of boats and yachts should be automatic.

The representative of Latvian Environment education fund Janis Ulme presented the new yacht port handbook "Mairina Handbook" that will be for the first time published in Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Russian and English. The yacht port handbook is provided for both yacht ports' managers and owners of yachts in the Baltic Sea region. The book advises how to act according to the high safety standards, how to offer upper level service, at the same time not harming the environment. The yacht port handbook offers possibilities and educates the yacht port managers.

The handbook is published according to already existent, similar samples from other Baltic Sea region countries. There are the main questions about successful management of yacht ports:

  • short information about the Baltic Sea
  • environment and management (waste disposal, recycling, sewage, maintenance and cleaning of the boats)
  • safety in yacht ports (first aid, fire security, electric safety, oil leakage)
  • information about protected areas,
  • information about services in yacht ports (the importance of service industry, toilet facilities, weather broadcast, utilities for physically disable people)

The representative of Finnish organization "Keep the Archipelago Tidy" demonstrated a film about the organization and it's successes in environment protection in the yacht ports in Finland. The main targets of the organization "Keep the Archipelago Tidy" are disposal and recycling of waste, informing and educating the society about the main problems in nature protection.

Finland may be proud of it's high developed yacht port infrastructure, waste disposal and recycling, toilet facilities. There are buildings that are build for people in wheelchair, they have chance to sail boats that are suited to them.

There is a great difference between the new European Union member states (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and the Scandinavian countries in the development of yacht ports and sea transport both in the amount and the infrastructure, it's maintenance. Also the development of waste disposal differs.

Latvian yacht ports should learn from Sweden and Finland how to begin and develop environment practice in the yacht ports: how to build the rest houses for the visitors, how to develop administrative and technical buildings for recycling in order to protect the Baltic Sea.


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