Posted on June 23, 2011

The Marine Emergency Mutual Assistance Center (MEMAC) subsidiary of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), held a press conference on the sidelines of advanced training course hosted by Doha at Ritaj Al Rayyan Hotel from 19-22/6/2011, as Captain Abdul Moniem Al Janahi, Director- Memac, with some experts who lectured in the course where Captain Janahi said that holding the course is for the purpose of decision execution taken by Council of Ministers of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the marine environment.

Professional technical personnel representing all regional countries participated in such course. Experts from The United States were delegated to share their experiences in this area. He said that scientists have presented and shared their experiences with participants in the course, as he also pointed to the fact that the Arabian Coast in the offshore area, extended from southern Iraq through the coasts of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar and the coast of the UAE, is globally categorized as rich areas as these coasts have shallow water making up so natural incubators for various types of marine animals, fish, crustaceans and other marine flora and also imported birds or transiting over the region, forming huge wealth for the region.

Janahi added that we must take all measures to protect this wealth, particularly marine and coastal environment, where they are permanently and continuously threatened as a result of Oil, Gas transfer processes in addition to exploration operations beside other human activities. He also pointed out that the ship-faring region is one of the key elements causing pollution, so as for the steadily increase in their numbers as the number of ships crossing the Strait of Hormuz increased for over 47 thousand ships annually, as a result of the increase in demand for energy as regional countries provide world countries with more than 47% of the oil and gas global demand, the number of oil tankers and crude reached 21.500 tankers in the last year.

This is in addition to investments and other constructions in the region, where the number of ships is rising as studies conducted by the Marine Emergency Mutual Assistance Center predicted the passage of 60 thousand ships in the Strait of Hormuz in 2015. Through the study we can conclude that the number of ships crossing the Strait of Hormuz, increased by 21% compared with previous years, as well as  intra-trade among countries in the region increased accounting by 290% in relation with ships movement between the regional countries compared with five years earlier.
He showed that through studying the movement of ships it was found that there is an estimated loss of more than $ 30 million per year caused by ships in the region unless regional countries took decisive action in terms of surveillance and the development of mechanisms for being prepared for incidents.

He also mentioned that Marine Emergency Mutual Assistance Center had carried out a study for the draft main plan over the past five years in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Qatar, supplied by Ras Laffan / Qatar Petroleum Company as an enhancement and support from the State of Qatar to the Center and the organization for this substantial study, which included all countries in the region, and discussed all existing laws and environmental situation, and concluded several recommendations to be implemented in order to keep up with the latest developments in the fields of transportation and safety.

The course discussed, during the four days, several scientific aspects for the effects of pollutants and oils, especially their influences on the various marine and coastal plants, and methods of treatment and rehabilitation, as well as it discussed the effects of pollution during the Gulf War on the region's coast. It has been concluded through research and methods of rehabilitation where the work is still underway, as the marine and coastal area are still suffering from the impact of the Gulf War 1991. Furthermore, it will present the survey and environmental assessment in relation with the incident of the Mexican Gulf, where it was caused by the explosion of the oil company BP platform, which is also considered as major global incidents.