China Maritime Centre – A Successful One-Day Course

The China Maritime Centre (GMI) ran a successful one-day short course ‘A Leading Global Player: Maritime Business Activities in China’, 10th June 2013. The short course was organised against the background that over the past decade China has become the leading influence shaping global seaborne trade, as result of a remarkable upsurge in trade volumes. This short course was led by the Director of China Maritime Centre Dr Minghua Zhao, international shipping analyst Richard Scott and researcher Yifan Liao who specialises in ship recycling. The course investigated how and why China has become such a prominent part of the global maritime scene within a relatively short period since the early 2000s and also provided with some clues about future trends.

Three specific areas of growth within the maritime industry in China were discussed at the course: China’s maritime trade in a global context, the rapidly growing China-owned merchant ship fleets and ports and a new era for shipbuilding and ship recycling in China.

This course has attracted a good number of participants from a range of sectors of the maritime community, including delegates, for example, from shipping companies, maritime law firms, maritime media and research institutions, maritime museums, seafarers welfare organisations and others.

Short Course Image, June 2013

The next event of the China Maritime Centre will take place on 10th September 2013 and is a one-day conference, ‘China’s Growth as an International Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Sustainability’. More details can be found on our booking website:


GMI PhD student talks about private maritime security at conference in Gdansk

With his presentation about challenges for private and naval operations in African waters, Dirk Siebels was the GMI’s representative at MAST Europe in Gdansk from 4 to 6 June. His talk was an insight into his PhD research and attracted a number of questions from senior naval officers and defence industry representatives in the audience.

Maritime Systems and Technology (MAST) is one of the most important conferences for the maritime security sector. The tenth edition of MAST was held in Poland’s largest port city Gdansk. More than 700 attendees from 40 nations attended the conference. Presentations included a number of highly specialised topics, ranging from autonomous underwater vehicles to countermeasures against pirate attacks.

In his presentation, Dirk compared developments in maritime security in East and West Africa. Highlighted by the rise of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, he explained efforts undertaken by the United States and the European Union and pointed out future challanges for navies and private security providers.

Regarding the use of private maritime security companies (PMSCs), the main focus was on differences between operations in East and West Africa. Another important aspect for an audience that included senior officers from various European navies was the cooperation between private companies and naval forces in the Indian Ocean.

The next part of Dirk’s presentation were efforts at regulation of PMSCs as well as measuring their performance. Currently, there are very different rules and regulations in different flag states yet there is no data regarding the actual performance of armed guards on merchant ships. For his research, Dirk is cooperating with the Security Association of the Maritime Industry (SAMI) and the Marshall Islands shipping registry. As the third-biggest flag state, the Marshall Islands are taking a keen interest in measuring the quality of security teams onboard their vessels and have developed a questionnaire for ship operators and masters.

At the end of his talk, Dirk gave a brief outlook to the future of private maritime operations. After the industry has grown into a billion-dollar industry within just a few years, it seems unlikely that it will go away as soon as the piracy problems on both sides of the African continent are under control. Oil and gas production is moving more and more offshore, even East African countries such as Mozambique or Tanzania are on the verge of becoming major exporters. It may open up another potential market for private security providers. There are, however, a lot of legal and other challenges involved so it will remain an interesting topic for the foreseeable future.

The Piri Reis World Map of 1513 – Attend a free 500th anniversary event in Greenwich, UK.

The Turkish Embassy are holding an event at the Univeristy of Greenwich on Friday 14th June to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the map of 1513.

As one of the most beautiful and mysterious maps to survive the Great Age of Discoveries, drawn by the Ottoman Admiral Piri Reis, the map is an invaluable piece of the world’s documentary heritage and provides insight to the history of its’ time.

To attend this event on Friday 14th June from 1.30pm – 4.30pm please book a place by emailing:

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