The Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) has become the first flag state to formally back the Eyesea initiative, the not for profit organization formed last year to map marine pollution.
The move will see the IOMSR director Cameron Mitchell become an ambassador of Eyesea while the registry, which is home to 10,000 seafarers aboard more than 380 vessels, has become a member. Eyesea aims to tackle pollution of the seas by collecting data in a newly developed app and reporting incidents of oil spills, rubbish and debris to NGOs like Beach Buddies and Government organisations to action clean ups.
Mitchell, a marine engineer and former seafarer of 17 years, said ocean pollution is a cause he and the IOMSR team care passionately about. He said he personally witnessed the devastating effect of pollution on the marine environment in his time at sea, particularly the accumulation of plastic waste in ports and coastal regions as well as witnessing large accumulations within the pacific ocean now commonly known as the notorious Great Pacific Garbage patch. He said he wants to mobilise the thousands of seafarers sailing under the IOMSR flag to document and report instances of pollution they witness. He said he will be encouraging seafarers to use the Eyesea app as well as the IOMSR ‘Crew Matters’ seafarer welfare app to capture examples of pollution.
Mitchell said the IOMSR has taken part in Beach Buddies initiatives through the Isle of Man Maritime cluster. He said members of the Isle of Man Maritime Cluster had also recently help trial a beta version of the Eyesea app on the Isle of Man after the island was battered by storms and high tides which washed up fishing nets and large amounts of rubbish and debris in March. A joint clean-up event organised by Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters subsequently collected 520 kilogrammes of trash littered over a large area of Douglas Beach on the self-governing British Crown Dependency.
The IOMSR is ranked 17 in the world by Clarkson’s in terms of tonnage with around 14 million gross tonnes, under its flag. The registry has held top spot on the Paris MoU Port State Control whitelist and is firmly on the whitelist in the Tokyo MoU rankings. It is also one of the high-performing flags on the US Coast Guard’s Qualship 21 scheme.